posts tagged with the keyword ‘makeshiftmke’

2015.07.11

MakeShift

Over at the museum we do these monthly maker nights called MakeShift where we do demos and hands-on, DIY activities in BAMspace, which is our in-museum makerspace. These are adult-only events… that we happen to hold in a children’s museum, at night, with alcohol.

Back in March we did a Nerf Night, and we did things like make our own darts, modified Nerf guns (to make them more powerful) and then had a Nerf War. People seemed to like it, so we decided not to skip doing a MakeShift in July, and instead punted and went with another Nerf War, and this time we just focused on running around like maniacs and shooting each other. It was a blast! (And yes, we will definitely do it again!)

I wasn’t sure everyone would want to play with Nerf guns the entire time, so I 3D printed a few piece so we could play air hockey on one of our exhibits. Word Headquarters features these long skinny tables with jets of air that move tiles, and it seemed like all that was missing were a few paddles and pucks.

Puck

I grabbed a puck from Thingiverse and printed it scaled down just a bit. It moved great on the side that was printed on the glass, but the other side was not smooth enough, so I did a bit of sanding to help things out.

Paddles

I then printed some paddles from Thingiverse to knock the puck around with. Again, they were scaled down to match the size of the table.

Air Hockey

Here’s the pieces. I made a set for each of the two air tables in the exhibit. Below you can see a few visitors taking a break from shooting each other to play a game of air hockey. I’ve left the parts in BAMspace in case you’re ever at the museum and feel like a quick game of air hockey.

Air Hockey

Oh, and if you want to see a ton more photos of the Nerf War action, check out John McGeen’s blog post MakeShift: Nerf Night II.

2015.01.15

Ice Hammer

I present to you… The Ice Hammer! Which is, of course, a hammer made of ice, and not a hammer made of something else that is mean to pound ice. That would be ridiculous, obviously.

MakeShift Milwaukee

I’m sure you’re wondering how I made this ice hammer. I shall tell you. Over at the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum there’s plenty of great stuff for kids. You might be young at heart, or just love hands-on science-type fun stuff, but as an adult you can’t really go to the museum without a child. Yeah, adult without a kid? You’re out of luck. The museum folks realized this wasn’t ideal, so they are starting a program called MakeShift which is an “adults only” thing at night, for adults interested in maker related activities.

I attended last night, and besides the provided food & (adult) drinks, we got to use a plasma cutter, play with a re-purposed/hacked pen plotter, see a trio of 3D printers spitting out plastic, and play around with other fun things. There was sewing and craft related stuff as well, and… oh yes, a vacuum former. You may have seen the hammer I made.

Ice Hammer

After we vacuum formed the hammer, I thought that it would make a nice mold for… something. Eventually I determined that it could hold water (well, after taping up a small crack caused by releasing the original hammer from the plastic sheet.)

Ice Hammer

I filled it with water, and carefully (uhhh) placed it in the freezer. And then wiped up all the water I spilled. Pro-tip: fill it with a cup while it’s in the freezer, or put it on something flat to transport it.

Ice Hammer

After freezing it was fairly easy to get it out of the plastic. I had thought I might have to let it melt a little, or add some warm water, but it came out in once piece.

Ice Hammer

I then made a second hammer, this time adding some food coloring to the water. The different colors didn’t really mix well, so I mixed them together, but I may do this again and let them stay separated from each other.

Ice Hammer

You can see the colored one broke. That happened when removing it from the plastic. Maybe I was a bit rougher on this one, or maybe the food coloring caused some strange weakness in the ice. (OR maybe I took it out too soon!) I’m not actually a scientist, but I welcome any ideas on the topic.

The next event is February 5th, 2015 and the topic is “Hot Stuff!” which could have something to do with Valentine’s Day, but I’ve heard rumors there will be soldering, hot glue, and drinks.

Keep an eye on the MakeShift page for upcoming events and other info… See ya there!

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