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Baltimore Node

Baltimore Node

It’s been a while (two years) since I’ve been to Baltimore, and since I got to visit Baltimore Hackerspace last time, I really wanted to visit Baltimore Node, which I originally tried to visit in 2011! This time I succeeded.

Maze was kind enough to show up and give us a quick tour. He said that they have about 35 members now, and oddly enough Michael D. who was one of the original members of Milwaukee Makerspace is/was a member. I was hoping he could give me a tour but oddly enough he was back in Milwaukee when I was in Baltimore. Missed Maker Connection!

Han in Carbonite

In the front room is our old pal Han Solo… in carbonite! We’ve discussed making one of these at Milwaukee Makerspace but it hasn’t happened yet. Supposedly this one was made from a mold that was made for the film, but wasn’t the one that was used in the actual film. It still looks good, though! There’s also some fine furniture, a box fan, and an old-timey lamp on the wall.

OK, I’m just gonna get this out of the way. Baltimore Node has a blue box. It’s not a TARDIS. It’s a bathroom, which they affectionately call the “Baff-Frume”.


I didn’t get a photo of the inside, but it’s pretty much a toilet and a roll and not much else, surrounded by thin plywood walls. I mean, it works, and luckily, it’s small so it should be easy to clean!


And hey, how many spaces can claim then have a rocket almost as large as their bathroom? (It appears there is also a ventilation fan. Good call!)

German Scary Death

The side of the “Baff-Frume” features a wonderful poster showing all of the best ways to get electrocuted or otherwise killed in Germany. Dr. Prodoehl points out her favorite.

German Scary Death

As we all know, everything is more terrifying in German. Especially operating a forklift. Unheimlich!

3D Printing

3D printing, with a MakerBot Replicator (1st gen) and an old MakerBot Thing-O-Matic. There’s also an inkjet printer, but I think it just prints ink on paper in two dimensions. There’s also a video game cabinet in the back. We started talking about MAME cabinets, so I can’t remember if this was a MAME cabinet or a specific game.


Electronics area, soldering irons, components, oscilloscopes and all that jazz…


There was a big big LED thingy that was moved to the new space probably didn’t get installed and up and running yet. I asked Maze how many LEDs there were and he said “A lot!”


The shop area is in the back. The space was previously used by the current landlord who does wood working on another floor of the building. Having a maker as a landlord is probably an ideal situation.


Plenty of tools for making, and it’s even fairly organized… Screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers. Come on down to Cunningham’s Hardware!

Laser Cutter

Here’s the big-ass Chinese laser cutter. Also, someone likes trains, or is planning to maker a laser-cut train, or something. Say it with me “Motion card SoftDog no same!”


The craft area, where at least two people can get crafty at the same time. Maze said every now and then someone comes in and wants to do some sort of crafty thing.

(I always appreciate that spaces will have some small collection of things for a specific making discipline. I think it was i3Detroit that also had a really small craft area. The effort is worth recognizing.)

The Last Thread

I’m going to call this one “One Thread to Rule Them All” or maybe “The Last Thread” or something. It’s not even conductive thread! :)

Thanks again to Maze for the quick tour. I love seeing other spaces and checking out the equipment and projects, and just seeing how they are laid out and function.

Sadly, I did not get to Hive76 in Philadelphia during this trip, which was my second (failed) attempt. I’m hoping to visit other spaces this year if possible. I keep a list of spaces I’ve visited here.


Milwaukee Makerspace @ MKE3DP

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.


Quelab, Albuquerque, New Mexico


I was in Albuquerque, and had hoped to visit Quelab while I was there, and I did… sort of.

Due to my tight schedule I was unable to coordinate with any of the members to find a time I could meet up with any of them there, so when I did get some free time I took a little photo walk and managed to snap a few shots of the place.

So no stamp for my Hackerspace Passport this time, but hey, maybe I’ll make it back to Albuquerque someday, right?


Wisconsin Hackerspaces / Makerspaces

Wisconsin Hackerspaces / Makerspaces

Just over a year ago, I don’t think I could have created this map… but here’s the current list of hackerspaces/makerspaces (that I know of) in Wisconsin. Some are well established, and some are just getting started. Either way, if you’re looking for a group of people and/or a space to hack/make things, here’s a guide.

I’ll start in Milwaukee, where we have both Milwaukee Makerspace and Bucketworks…

Bucketworks has been around (in various locations) since 2002 and besides being the venue for BarCampMilwaukee for the past 6 years, it’s also a great place for co-working, meetups, hackathons or other creativity-related activities.

The Milwaukee Makerspace as a group has been around for about two years, but just got their space less than a year ago. In that time they’ve managed to build up membership and acquire quite a list of impressive equipment. If you’re into physical making of things in the areas of electronics, robotics, woodworking, metalworking, 3D printing, electric vehicles or any sort of building/making, it’s an awesome place filled with smart people.

Over in Madison we’ve got Sector67, which is more of a “community workshop” where pretty much anyone can come in off the street and work on a project. If you want to be a member, you’ll help keep the place alive, and gain other privileges, but if you just need help on a project, show up and see what happens. They’ve also got some private space set aside as a small-business incubator.

Up in Appleton we’ve got a group known as The DHMN (which stands for “Distributed Hacker/Maker Network”) The DHMN doesn’t have an actual space yet, but they’ve got some dedicated and enthusiastic members who meet regularly and are slowing building up members so they can someday have a permanent space.

MakeBit is just a bit south of Appleton in Fond du Lac. I don’t know a whole lot about MakeBit, but Tim Bertram is the guy behind it, and hopefully he can make it happen get a space at some point. (Right now it seems they are just gathering interest, which is definitely the right way to do it.)

A bit north of Milwaukee and Madison (and about the same distance from each) is the Beaver Dam Makerspace. Hacker/Maker Jason Gullickson is the guy behind this space. I say “space” because it appears they do have a space thanks to some solid connections in the city, but they’re still finding people interested in being members. I’m hoping we see some action here in 2012.

The newest group/space I’ve heard about is the Wausau Collaboration Center. The folks behind it seem pretty focused on making it happen, and seem to be following along the lines of Sector67’s “community workshop” idea. This isn’t surprising, as many of the people involved in these groups/spaces have met each other, know each other, or someone influence each other. (That’s probably a good thing!)

Oh, there’s a few more spaces mentioned on but the domains seem to be gone and I’ve never heard of them.

And if I missed any, let me know! I’d like to eventually visit them all, meet the people behind them, and maybe even get stamped.