posts tagged with the keyword ‘makerfairemke’

2016.08.29

Data Loss

Data Loss is a sculpture I’ve been working on for Maker Faire Milwaukee. Here’s a description:

Data Loss consists of 130 hard drive platters suspended in air with zip ties. The platters contain physical fingerprints which can be easily seen, and digital fingerprints which cannot be easily seen. The data on the platters is (for all intents and purposes) unretrievable, but you can still see yourself in the data.

Data Loss has been a group effort in many way. It started when we were dismantling hard drives at Milwaukee Makerspace. Harvey and a few other people spent a good amount of time taking apart hard drives and saving the platters for me. (Thanks, Harvey!)

After a few failed attempts at connecting the platters together I decided to use zip ties since Stacie at BBCM got a ton of zip ties for super-cheap at a local rummage sale. Kaivahn (ex-DCRL) helped me put together a ton of zip ties and put up with me requesting they go together with only 3 clicks and then be trimmed short with a diagonal cutter…

Zip Ties

My daughter Madeline then helped use the zip tie harnesses to connect up strings of platters to prepare them for hanging. Right now there are over 100 platters sitting in a box waiting to be attached to the frame. I’ll probably get that done within the next week so the zip ties have time to stretch/straighten a bit before Maker Faire.

Besides being a sort of “light sculpture” (as it will be placed in the Dark Room at Maker Faire) it may also serve as a sound sculpture, but I’m still doing a bit of testing on that part of it.

Stay Tuned!

2016.08.28

Star-Blinken Stand

I got quite a bit done for my Star-Blinken project last week. I started by throwing a bunch of scrap wood I had in the garage into the car to take to Milwaukee Makerspace to build into some sort of stand to hold the 36″ x 29″ piece of steel.

I didn’t really have a plan for building, which is a way I occasionally like to work, just a big pile of raw materials and the appropriate tools. Another member, Kyle, said that he had a bunch of scrap wood to unload from his vehicle, so I helped him do that, and then ended up using the wood he brought instead of any of my wood. I did end up grabbing a piece from the scrap pile in the Wood Shop, but besides a box of screws I bought, the entire stand was built from scrap at the space.

Star-Blinken Stand

The stand ended up being very heavy, and I had to get it on a cart to easily move it around the space. I still need to add the star to the metal so we can fill in the LEDs. I’m hoping to have the preparation for this project done by the end of the week, though we can’t add the LEDs until the evening of Thursday, September 22nd, 2016. I’ve been experimenting a bit with the LEDs to checking the blinking rate, and I think it’s going to look awesome when all lit up!

And of course if you want to see the final product, come to Maker Faire Milwaukee on September 24th & September 25th, 2016.

This is just one post in a series, check out the other posts as well:

2016.08.21

LED Testing

I’ve been testing some flashing red LEDs with CR2032 batteries to see how long they’ll last. My first test confirmed that they’ll definitely go 48 hours, which is good, because they’ll have to last the duration of Maker Faire.

Here are my completely unscientific notes taken this week after starting a new test on Monday night.

Day/Time Status
Monday 11pm Extremely Bright
Tuesday 11pm Extremely Bright
Wednesday 10pm Very Bright
Thursday 11pm Somewhat Bright
Friday 6pm Not Quite Bright
Saturday 6pm Dim
Sunday 6pm Very Dim

I think we can expect three solid days of bright LEDs, and maybe another day or two of acceptably bright LEDs. Working backwards, this means that if we want the LEDs still going strong by 6pm on Sunday, we need to start getting them in place by Thursday night.

Hmmm, Thursday night is when I teach class. Perhaps I can just make this into a group project for my class, or maybe DECODE can lend a hand…

LED

This is just one post in a series, check out the other posts as well:

2016.08.20

Star-Blinken

I’m still gathering material, but this is a project I’ve got planned for the Dark Room at Maker Faire Milwaukee that is titled “Star-Blinken”. (Enjoy the conceptual rendering above.)

I still need to construct the frame (probably from scrap wood at Milwaukee Makerspace) but there is a sheet of steel about 36″ x 29″ that will be covered in flashing LEDs each powered by its own battery and attached with a binder clip and a magnet.

I’ve seen a single LED blink, and even a few blink at once, but this will consist of over 200 LEDs all blinking at once, and at different rates… Star-Blinken!

This is just one post in a series, check out the other posts as well:

2016.07.06

DSC32D_1189W

It’s been quiet around here, but it’s not due to lack of activity! As previously mentioned, I attended National Maker Faire in Washington D.C., and met with producers from Maker Faires around the country. It was great to connect with others and meet with a government official to discuss how the Maker Movement is affecting the country, and what is needed to make it do even more in the coming years.

Amanda

I ran into Amanda from Circuit Breaker Labs before the Faire started. She was still busy setting up so I didn’t want to bother her to much. I did have to get a photo of her circuit dress though. (And hey, she’ll be at Maker Faire Milwaukee this year!)

I also stopped at the Vintage Robot booth and after a brief discussion convinced them to come to Milwaukee as well. It’s great to see people traveling half way across the country to attend our event.

Gold CNC

I didn’t get a ton of photos because I got really busy doing things and talking to people, but here’s a shot of some CNC work that looked like gold.

House

A tiny smart home created by a young maker. I always enjoy seeing what kids come up with, and love it when they share their creations at Maker Faire.

BOSE

The folks from BOSE were there with a nice display showing how speakers work. They were doing demonstrations and had hands-ons stuff to play with, and they’ve got a speaker kit that is suitable for kids to build, which is a neat idea. It’s interesting how music seems to tie into the maker world. I may have had a brief talk with Dale Dougherty late one night about how punk rock played a part in the DIY/Maker Movement. (He was in agreement and mentioned the work of Patti Smith.)

I ended my time at National Maker Faire by speaking on a panel about how different organizations do Maker Faires, which was fun and educational, and at the end a bunch of Maker Faire Producers sang “Happy Birthday” to me, which was weird and also fun.

Oh, and my Maker Profile went live on the Week of Making web site.

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