posts tagged with the keyword ‘makerspace’


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.


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! :)


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 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.



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!)


Wooden Knuckles

I made some wooden knuckles. Why wood? Well, brass knuckles are usually made out of brass, which is a hard metal, and may hurt someone. Wooden knuckles use wood instead, and shouldn’t be as harmful, or dangerous, or heavy. Also, I may have a history of making safe/odd weapons.

I also published this on Thingiverse, which means if you’ve got access to a laser cutter or are really handy saw, you can make your own. It’s derived from 3D printable “brass” knuckles which would look lovely in glow-in-the-dark ABS plastic.

These may or may not be something you want to take through security. I mean, they are definitely not metal, so they won’t set off any metal detectors, and really, they are more “art” than “weapon” in my opinion. (I have no idea what the TSA might think about these…)

If you want to make your own laser-cut wooden knuckles, you could probably do so at the Milwaukee Makerspace if you were a member, and had some 3mm Baltic Birch plywood and a bit of glue.

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