'

DIY-IT: A look at projects coming in 2018

Get ready for another year of 3D printing, drones, robots, smart homes, and more as David Gewirtz unveils early plans for DIY-IT projects and hands-on making in 2018.

NAS Wars 2017: Behind-the-scenes and final RAID review results

Well, it's almost here. A new year -- 2018. Are you excited? I am. This year was a challenging, eventful, sad, and disturbing year in many ways. Although we can expect even more political rancor leading up to America's mid-term elections, 2018 -- like all new years -- is a time to start fresh and with renewed optimism.

For those of you who enjoy the advanced geekery here on DIY-IT, I have a lot of exciting projects and products in the queue. Here's a quick look at some of what you can look forward to in 2018.

3D printing

DIY-IT Project: 3D printing discovery series

Whether you're new to 3D printing or an old hand, ZDNet's 3D Printing Discovery Series will help you understand and get the most out of this amazing, accessible technology.

Read More

Our super-popular 3D Printing Discovery Series will continue unabated. I'll be leading off the year with a look at how to build a warming enclosure for 3D printing in winter weather. We have the massive Zortrax m300 in the lab, along with the slightly smaller Creality CR-10 mini.

We'll be doing multi-filament work with the Ultimaker 3. Once everything works in the new studio, I'll get to talk to the company's president in a video interview that I'll be sharing with you.

New studio

Speaking of the new studio, I'm building a new studio. Since I moved, everything has to be rebuilt, and that includes the green screen studio. This time, I'm trying to save space and optimize gear by combining the studio and my office. That promises to be a logistical challenge that will likely be of interest to anyone producing YouTube videos or training of any kind.

Beyond that, I'll also take you into the workshop and lab, and show you some of the cameras and gear used there. Since we're working outside now with drones, we'll be looking at filming gear used on the road.

Drones and robotics

We now have three serious drones in the lab: The DJI Mavic Pro, the Parrot Bebop 2 Power, and PowerVision PowerEgg (which is a drone in the shape of an egg). I'll be taking you through first flights, impressions, how to register your drone, how to use drone footage, and even how to film a drone. The Drone and Robotics Discovery Series will dive deep and explore lots of great aspects of drones, the way our 3D Printing Discovery Series does with desktop fabrication.

I also have a pile of Arduino components in the lab. I'm hoping to combine real-world objects with Arduinos and Alexas, so hopefully, we'll be able to see DIY voice-operated IoT objects in 2018.

In addition, as more robots and robotics products come out, I'll have a look at some of them and let you know where they might fit into your strategy and use. For the latest news in robotics, be sure to check out Greg Nichols' great coverage of the topic.

Smart home and office

It seems like it's possible to hook an app to almost everything now. Since I've moved, I've been doing a lot of setup and installing of new gear. Expect to see an installation video and review of the less expensive Nest Thermostat E and an installation walkthrough for the Ring video doorbell.

I'll be covering Alexa even more in 2018, along with the devices Alexa can control. In addition to WeMo and Hue devices, I've got in the Wiz line of smart bulbs, and I've started connecting Alexa voice control to all of these devices.

Beyond that, I'll be looking at an app-enabled bed, tiny app-connected temperature sensors, simplifying home entertainment, and more.

More how-tos, productivity, and more

Because I'm always trying to get more work from the same number of hours, while also maintaining work/life balance, I'm sure I'll be trying more productivity hacks throughout the year. As I tweak some of my systems (particularly storage and my ongoing fight to control my email), I'll be sharing how-tos with you.

Stay tuned. Next year is looking like a great year. As long as no one -- ever -- mentions anything about politics, we should be fine. Oh, wait...

You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz, on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.