posts tagged with the keyword ‘makerspace’

2012.07.25

Laser-cut wood

I was at Milwaukee Makerspace, using the laser cutter (that I adore so much) and another maker asked me some questions, and then offered their thoughts. This was nothing new, and it’s a welcomed thing. Often you’ll get suggestions or ideas for future projects (or the one you’re currently working on.)

The maker was looking at what I was doing (making a laser-cut spool) and said he would probably use a band saw to cut the wood, and find a large dowel to put in the middle. That’s definitely one way to do it.

He guessed about how much time I spent on my method, and if you count the file-diddling his estimate was probably low, and I’m fine with that.

Testing...

But hey, it’s all about perspective, right? I’m comfortable with software, and I like learning and designing things, so I don’t mind picking up new skills in solid-modeling and file conversions. These are skills I’d like to improve, as I plan to use them again and again. If I was just picking up a piece of wood and going at it with a saw… that’s not very enjoyable to me. I’m also not very good at it.

Spool

So instead of just finding a piece of wood and making it work with a saw, I prefer the process I took. I found something close enough to what I wanted, modified it to be exactly what I wanted (and along the way got help from another maker (Gary) and learned more about OpenSCAD) and after some tweaks I should have a repeatable process that will allow me to make as many spools as I want with relative ease. Since I’ll be sharing my files, it also means that others can make the exact same thing. To me this is powerful stuff, and while dumb power tools have their place, the smart tools (design software + CNC machines) offer so much more.

I’m also contributing to a community of makers who share their work, make derivatives, suggestions, and mashups of their work, and allow anyone else to do the same. I’m into that stuff, so yeah, that’s my perspective.

2012.05.05

Spring City Launchpad

As regular readers may know, I’ve been involved with the Milwaukee Makerspace for some time now, and being a member has given me access to tools and equipment I’d never have on my own, but more importantly it’s given me access to a community of makers who have assisted me with projects, some personal, and some business-related. I wouldn’t be selling products right now if it weren’t for the advice of Milwaukee Makerspace members.

So while Milwaukee is fairly close to Waukesha, it’s certainly not in Waukesha, and I’m excited to learn that there are some makers & hackers in Waukesha working towards a new group/space called Spring City Launchpad.

Spring City Launchpad hopes to assemble a group of interested people: makers, artists, creatives, builders, etc. and create a collaborative workspace where people can share skills, tools, and knowledge. Will it be exactly like Milwaukee Makerspace? No. It also won’t be exactly like Sector67 in Madison, or PumpingStation: One in Chicago. Each space evolves into what it is based on the members and the interests and activities of the members.

If you’ve got an interest in seeing a new creative space in Waukesha, you can sign up on the Atrium site, and if that’s not enough, join us on Saturday, May 12th, 1:00pm-2:30pm at the Waukesha Public Library, 321 Wisconsin Avenue in Waukesha.

2012.04.29

Ping-Pong Balls in the Egg-Bot

Adam, one of the members at Milwaukee Makerspace, organizes The Amazing Milwaukee Race, and he asked for some help making customized ping-pong balls for this year’s event. He specifically asked about using the Egg-Bot to do it, so I volunteered to help… you know, being that I’m an certified Egg-Bot Operator and everything. ;)

Ping-Pong Balls for The Amazing Milwaukee Race

Here’s the end result, a whole bunch of The Amazing Milwaukee Race ping-pong balls. We originally tried to use the official logo, but at such a small size it just wasn’t as legible as we wanted, so I decided to go simple and just use text, but mix it up with all the different Ultra Fine Point Sharpies that I had available.

Egg-Bot Manual Control

I’ve almost always plotted on eggs, so doing ping-pong balls was new to me. I found the trick to doing them well (besides raising the height of the motor that holds the pen arm) was to put the ball in with the printed logo aligned directly upwards, and then using the manual control to spin the ball 180 degrees (1600 steps) so the logo is facing downwards so you can center your plot onto the backside where you’ll have the most room and (in theory) the artwork should be centered. Once you’ve done this, just plot as normal!

The other nice thing about using ping-pong balls rather than eggs is that ping-pong balls are all the same size (in theory) while eggs are all slightly different. Oh, ping-pong balls are also lighter, which means there should be less slippage, which sometimes occurs with eggs due to their weight.

So the next time you need some customized ping-pong balls for an event you’re putting on… give me a call! :)

2012.04.24

Our old pal Time Lapse Bot is back! And this time he visited Bucketworks for Spring Gallery Night 2012. Watch as the guys from Milwaukee Makerspace wow the crowd with their amazing making skills…

You can also view this video at blip.tv. The musical soundtrack is “Bogi Beat Budapest” by Budapest BluesBoy (feat. Church Choir Sv. Troica – furkosbot – presserror) and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License.

2012.04.22

Arc-O-Matic

Once again Gallery Night was a blast… This time myself and the Milwaukee Makerspace guys joined forces with Bucketworks and showed the art-lovers of Milwaukee what we do. (Make things!)

Since both Drawbots were busy at the Art Milwaukee Wedding event, I needed something new to show. (And yes, I did say “both” because there are now two rolling drawbots.)

Anyway, I saw this blog post over a year ago, and made a mental note to explore the idea more, and I did, and the result is the Arc-O-Matic: a robotic drawing arm that makes arcs. Well, that’s basically what it does at this point. See the Arc-O-Matic project page for all the details.

People seem to really like seeing machines that draw, which means I’ll probably keep on exploring the world of art robots.

File Under: FUN.

(Also, if anyone knows who I can talk to at Sharpie about a sponsorship, I’d appreciate it!)

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