posts tagged with the keyword ‘makerspace’

2014.07.06

The Bodgery

There’s a new makerspace in Madison, Wisconsin. The Bodgery is the new home of the Mad City Makers, a group that’s been around for a while, but didn’t have a physical space. Now they do. :)

Of course Madison already has Sector67, so why would it need another space? I had my own ideas about this, but inevitably people started asking me before I got the inside scoop, so I got in touch with Karen and John at The Bodgery and discussed the need for another Madison space. It was pretty much as I assumed; different spaces cater to different audiences. A space (just like a company or any organization) will have a specific culture, a vibe, and a way of doing things that might not work for everyone. I don’t think anyone involved with Sector67 or The Bodgery is concerned, in fact, I think that everyone involved is pleased to see the Maker Movement growing, and the need for another space in Madison.

Right now Milwaukee Makerspace has approximately 170 members, and there’s a projection that we may hit 200 later this year. That may or may not happen, but my own prediction is that there will be a second space, completely separate from Milwaukee Makerspace, within the next 18 months. (I could be totally wrong on this, time will tell.)

In the meantime, I’ve been tracking other Wisconsin spaces on the wiki, and while a new one gets added now and then, we’ve also seen a few disappear in the last 12 months.

Back to The Bodgery… I’ve not yet had the chance to visit, but I do keep up with their antics on Facebook. If you’re in Madison, go check it out! I know for a fact that there are some awesome and friendly people there who are excited about sharing the love of making.

2014.04.10

Though I’ve managed to miss a lot of the 3D Printing Meetups lately, I managed to make it this month, and since the speaker unexpectedly canceled, I got called into duty as a replacement.

Without a ton of time to prepare, I ended up recycling a presentation I’ve given before, about Milwaukee Makerspace and what we do there. (I did manage to update it a bit and add in some 3D printing specific content though.)

Anyway, here are my slides, which you can also find on Speaker Deck and SlideShare. And if you don’t like these, I’ve got plenty more presentations.

2014.01.12

We’ve been using the RED ONE a lot in the past few months over at z2 and while we’ve had the matte box for a year now, we never managed to get top or bottom flags for it, so I finally got around to solving that problem.

RED Flag

Camera accessories are notoriously expensive. For some things, that makes sense, and for others, I’m not sure it does. The top/bottom flag for a RED Matte Box is $90 USD. Well, hey, it’s carbon fiber. Yeah, that stuff is pricey! But, don’t worry…

RED Flag

There’s an aluminum version of the top/bottom flag for just $40USD. Hey, you could get two of the aluminum flags for less than the price of one carbon fiber flag!

RED Flag

While I was perusing the RED store, admiring their well done photography, I noticed that the large version of the photo was clean. Really clean, and at the perfect angle, straight on! So… I engaged in what I now like to call “R3Dverse Engineering”. (That’s “reverse engineering” of RED stuff, if that was too subtle.)

RED Flag

I grabbed the image from the web site, opened it in Photoshop, and started to clean it up.

RED Flag

I got rid of the shadow, added a white layer below so I could see things a bit better, and selected the object…

RED Flag

I then filled the whole thing with black so I had a high contrast image…

Once this was done, I saved the file as a PNG and imported it into Inkscape, where I used the ‘Trace Bitmap’ feature to create vector lines defining the image.

Inkscape Flag

The next step involved a lot of precise measurements with the digital calipers on the part of the matte box where the flag mounts. There were many guide lines added.

Inkscape Flag

The lines helped me determine centering of the slots and how wide the slots/tabs needed to be.

Inkscape Flag

I did a few revisions, and here’s the final cleaned up version. with most of the guide lines removed.

Inkscape Flag

Here’s a visual diff to show the tweaks between the original trace of the image I imported, and how much I ended up adjusting the lines a bit for a better fit. (The reddish hue shows the final. I mainly had to add a bit more space around the larger tab.)

I should mention that with each revision, I was printing out a sample on tabloid size paper and cutting it up to test the fit.

Inkscape Flag

Once my paper prototype was good enough to consider “final”, I ended up sitting on this project for a bit trying to determine what material to use, and how to cut it.

I’m still thinking about it… I’d prefer to go CNC versus trying to cut it by hand. Perhaps using the CNC Router at Milwaukee Makerspace would work. A very thin sheet of aluminum perhaps? I thought about laser cutting something, but didn’t think acrylic or wood would be a good option. I’ll need to keep thinking about materials…

Black Flag

Meanwhile, we have lots of black board at work, so I stuck my paper prototype onto a piece and hand cut it with an X-ACTO blade. (I did not round the corners.)

Black Flag

The tabs and slots are a little messier than I’d like, but again, I’ll call this part of the prototyping stage.

Black Flag

But it also totally works… and is probably less than 1/100 the cost of the carbon fiber version. It may not hold up as long, but then again, I can easily make a bunch of these for next to nothing. (I can also just laser cut the black board instead of sliding an X-ACTO around to do it.)

Black Flag

Update! I ended up laser cutting the black boards, and they works great! You can grab the files from Thingiverse.

2012.11.25

Hack Friday

Here’s a quick time-lapse video from the 2012 Holiday Make-A-Thon that Milwaukee Makerspace does in cooperation with Bucketworks. We’ve been doing it for 3 years now, and Bucketworks has been doing it on their own even longer.

It seems like a lot more hackerspaces are doing these type of events this year, which is awesome, and there’s even a nice name for it now: Hack Friday. In my mind, part of belonging to a makerspace/hackerspace is the love of creating things, sharing that with others, especially on a day that has become completely over the top in regards to consumerism. Our mission is plain and simple: Instead of buying useless crap on “Black Friday” join us and we’ll help you make something for the holidays.

I figured it was also a good time to test out the time lapse capabilities of the GoPro Hero3. I have a workflow in place that includes taking still images with the intervalometer and then combining the frames into a video, and then resizing and cropping the video to the correct proportions. It seems to work. Oh, and the camera motion near the end is actually the gaff tape giving out before the camera fell face-down. Enjoy!

2012.11.19

Mothership Hacker Moms

I fully support Mothership HackerMoms (The first women’s hackerspace) and was happy to donate to their Kickstarter campaign. Their goal was/is to construct a workshop with tools and equipment, and create a kids program and business incubator for moms. I think it’s a great idea.

So who would be against this? Nobody, right? Well, actually, some people spoke out… see Anti-HackerMoms send hate mail, HackerMoms respond. Great responses from the women involved. Mothers are important to the world, and having a space where they can get their making fix should be viewed as a good thing. Here’s another blurb:

We are a new kind of playground and workspace for creative mothers. Fun to us is not mani-pedis, but making, breaking, learning and hacking our bright ideas. HackerMoms model active creative lives for our kids who learn, explore and create as mini-makers alongside us. We offer members daily childcare. We also welcome dads.

I don’t think they have any plan to be exclusionary, and they certainly aren’t out to stop anyone else from doing their own thing. You want to start a hackerspace geared towards women who have chosen not to have kids, or for single dads, or for people who view their pets as their babies? Go for it. I’m sure they won’t try to stop you.

And here’s the thing… we all have/had mothers. (Well, unless you were created in some other way, I know some people were.) Imagine being a kid and having your mom take you to a hackerspace, and growing up in that sort of community and culture. I can’t wait to see what the kids who frequent the Mothership HackerMoms space turn out like in 10 or 20 years.

If you believe in creative spaces like these, support them, and let others know how awesome it is.

One more thing… over at Milwaukee Makerspace we’ve talked about how to reach out to more people, men, women, robots, etc. We’re interested mainly in maker, and less about gender, but you can bet that if a bunch of women (or mothers, or men, or cats) came to us asking for advice on how to start their own space, we’d help them out. In fact, we’ve already done that a bit for Spring City Launchpad. We’re also hoping that our new space will be much more inviting to all kinds of people. I guess we’ll find out how that goes in 2013!

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