If you were starting with no applicable background, no engineering degree, nothing except for a lot of free time and a moderate amount of money to spend, how would you become Tony Stark? No limits on time, whether it's 6 months or 60 years, how would you go from Joe the VCR clock programmer to Tony the Engineer? I'd like to learn how to make things. If you were a young, impressionable, pre-Iron Man Tony Stark, where would you begin? I know this is an ambiguous question, but think along the lines of: "First I'd get my hands on a primer to mechanical engineering. Then I'd get my hands dirty with a 3D printer and an Arduino or Raspberry Pi. Read these books." but in more detail. Specific books, technologies, anything to fulfill the goals of this though experiment are welcome. Software, hardware, whatever. I'm not looking for information on how to make anything in particular, I'd like to set the foundation to make anything. (or at least attempt to) Obviously we all know that being an engineer/maker/inventor isn't just sitting around and creating robots or faster than light warp drives, I'm using Tony Stark to illustrate an ideal. I know it's very hard. But I'm curious as to what steps you guys would take to get from point A to point B. Point B being the point where one could think "I want to turn my house into a smart-house over the next year with a central Linux server and some off the shelf sensors in my spare time" and get it done, or you know what, maybe even the point where you think "I want to build a robot or a faster than light warp drive." Sky's the limit. What is the recipe to make the ultimate Maker?