Alert others to your presence outside, in style!
Alert others to your presence outside, in style!
A total of 12 members and 4 guests attended the meeting.
After we went around the room and spoke a bit about ourselves and what we do here, our three guests shared how they found our group. The responses included Googling ‘electronics clubs,’ attending Electric Car Club Meetings at Tom’s House, finding us on Hackerspaces.org and meeting members at BarCampMilwaukee6.
Chill Out Space Proposed
Adam had suggested we consider building a “chill out space” for makers and guests to hang out, talk, and generally relax. Our Lab and Library spaces are separated from the rest of the workshop, but still lack adequate space when others are present and working. Other members agreed and enthusiastically brainstormed possible features of such a space including a couch, a TV, video game systems, a stereo, etc. The Loft was proposed as likely the best location and immediately following the meeting, Adam, Kevin, Shane, and others walked through The Loft while continuing the discussion.
Earlier this week, Milwaukee was added to the number of cities with a Skillshare website. The site connects teachers, instructors, and students together for classes and meetups as a sort of non-traditional learning community. Our group is considering listing our Thursday Night Demos and other events on the site once more are scheduled. See the website at: http://www.skillshare.com/learn?city=milwaukee
The list of possible demos people are interested in either hosting or attending continues to grow. Demos and classes mentioned included welding, sweating copper pipes, an intro to AC/DC motors, Processing, Arduino, Blender, and OpenSCAD.
Jason asked to begin considering online financial services for group business and invoicing since our current accounting software is somewhat lacking. The group proposed that instead of paying for access to an online accounting service, we first check retailers and bookstores for discounted software. Jason also mentioned that integrating the access control system with our accounting software would be a great item for our Space Wish List.
Matt N. mentioned that he visited a rapid fabrication workshop at MSOE earlier in the week and in his opinion powder systems are too messy and expensive and the parts they make are too fragile. He recommended that if we want to add a rapid prototyping machine to our Wish List, we should consider the Ultimaker.
Matt N. also asked if the current CCTV system could be make to broadcast to the web so members and visitors could keep an eye on the space when not around. He offered a $100 prize for anyone who manages to do so. Obstacles to setting up such a webcam have included our bandwidth and ISP connection, software issues, and firewalls.
Adam noted he spoke with some people at MSOE regarding hanging up posters or distributing flyers and Brant said he would talk to Tom about seeing what it takes to underwrite an ad on WMSE.
Today marked the first monthly meeting of The DIY CNC Club at Milwaukee Makerspace. Ron Bean and Tom Gondek, the creators of the router, guided members and guests through the use of CamBam CAD software to generate G-code and Mach3 software to operate and control the router. The day before, Tom and Mike tested the machine’s ability to cut aluminum. On Sunday, Rich created a decorative wooden sign and Brant began making plastic shapes for a project enclosure. As Ron pointed out, in less than 24 hours we had worked in three different materials: wood, metal, and plastic.
Several items were also crossed off our wish list. Two emergency stop buttons were added to the front of the machine and wired together in series. Hitting either one stops all motion in the X, Y, and Z planes and pauses the program. We also built a relay-controlled receptacle box that when wired into the CNC computer, will be able to stop the spindle so hitting the E-stop will kill all motion in all axes and the router. For some reason the pins we’re using on the parallel port are only producing 1.6 volts instead of the 3 or 5 we expected and the relays won’t turn on. All in all, a very productive weekend.
A total of 13 members and 1 guest attended the meeting.
“State of the Space” Presentation
Jason presented a series of charts and graphs that described various aspects of our group. Membership increased over the last few months with most gains happening after the Grand Opening in April. Our peak number of members was 26; we had more but not all at the same time. Some past members have moved away or left the group. Jason noted that adding different classes of membership for students and part-timers has helped us grow. Our financial situation is currently sustainable, however attracting new members would help support new projects and provide more of a cushion. The conversation turned to attracting new members which led into the other discussions mentioned below.
Marketing and Promotion
Royce mentioned that someone from an UWM Arts & Technology group contacted him recently. They were interested in our group and said we might be interested in theirs. Royce asked if anyone would be willing to go to UWM in the future and see their group and space. Matt, Brant, and Rich were interested. Some other organizations and schools in the area that we would like to reach out to include MATC, WCTC, Marquette, MSOE, MIAD, and Alverno. Brant and Tom also agreed to work on a potential radio ad or show. The idea of a membership drive was also discussed.
Past classes have been successful, however no new ones are currently scheduled. Ideas discussed included Electric Motors by Brant, Processing by Pete and Jason, Arduino by Royce, Welding and/or Sweating Copper Pipes by Rich. The group agreed that classes could be organized and scheduled to begin January or February 2012.
A toilet in the Ladies’ Restroom was clogged and the floor is dirty from when the drain in the Janitor’s Closet was backflushed recently. Tom noted that the lack of toilet paper supplies lately could mean others that use that restroom are using paper towels instead and that could more easily clog the drains. Signs will be posted to dissuade any men from using the Ladies’ Room and any one from leaving a mess. (On Thursday, Elizabeth posted signs, cleaned the bathroom, and bought a plunger.)
Royce, Tom, and Rich reminded everyone that broken drill bits can be recycled and are usually worth money. A container will be provided by the drill presses to collect them in the future.
A total of 15 members and 3 guests attended the meeting.
The sink is being repaired, but until then, there is a garden hose out by the bathrooms. All other plumbing fixtures still work. The group reminded everyone to check the back door is closed and locked when leaving. Also, the air compressor is currently out of order. Rich and Tom will be repairing it shortly.
Black Friday Make-A-Thon
We are planning our second annual Make-A-Thon for the day after Thanksgiving. Several project ideas have been suggested including CNC or saw cut wooden snowflakes, Makerbot-made cookie cutters, decorating eggs with the Egg-Bot, and soldering LED tie-pins. We’re still open to ideas, especially those that have more guest involvement and less fabrication time like CNC designs would need.
CNC Work Days / Club Meetings
Ron announced that CNC Club Meetings will likely occur on the first Sunday of each month. As a reminder, the Electric Car Club meets on the second Sunday of the month. More info to come.
Sunday, October 16th will be our first ever Game Day. Elizabeth has offered to bring in The Impossible Machine and Timeline: Inventions. Tom will bring Empire Builder and Ticket to Ride. Settlers of Catan, Warhammer, and others have also been suggested. Events start at 3pm. See the discussion on our Google Groups page.
Real Steel Matinee
The group is planning an outing this Saturday, October 15th to go see the new Hugh Jackman movie “Real Steel” featuring boxing humanoid robots. Meet at Marcus South Shore Cinemas prior to the 4:20 PM start time. See the discussion thread for more info.
A Visit From An Ethnographer
One of our guests this evening was Michael, an anthropology major from Beloit College, about 75 miles southwest of us. Michael is interested in becoming a member and studying the culture and community of hackerspaces. We just happen to be the closest one he’s found. Over the next several weeks Michael will be interviewing members, observing projects, and working in the shop. When completed, we have been promised a copy of either part or all of the finished work. There is also a presentation component that Michael will be organizing for his class.
After weeks of revisions and sitting idle, the “Podium” project was completed last night. Constructed from a tri-fold photo booth enclosure and a rolling base, the Podium holds a binder full of Guest Release Forms to introduce visitors to our space while also performing a very practical and necessary legal responsibility.
In addition to the variety of projects that were being worked on last night, Shane and Brant rewired Chris H.’s “American Horseshoes” game cabinet and reconnected the speaker. After a few rounds, we understand why it had been disconnected. It’s definitely a bar game. Regardless, it will make a great addition to the Workshop.
A total of 14 members and 3 guests attended the meeting.
BarCampMilwaukee6 Wrap Up
Our “Learn to Solder” booth at BarCamp was a smashing success! We had nearly 60 campers solder up either a Milwaukee Makerspace Logo Board or the Maker Shed Robot Board. Our location out in the loading dock also put us close to the 3D printing group so we better got to know people from PS:One, Sector 67, and TC Maker. On Saturday, we ferried people from Bucketworks over to our space and gave 30 or so people a tour. The whole weekend was a great event and we’re glad we were invited to be a part of it. Pictures from BarCamp6 can be found on the Flickr photo pool.
Electric Car Club Meeting Sunday, October 9th
CNC Machining Club Proposed
Ron has announced that he intends to start a CNC Club for those interested in computer controlled milling, routing, machining, and fabrication. Meetings will likely occur on Sundays, but specific days are yet to be determined. Stay tuned for more information!
Black Friday Make-A-Thon Revisited
Last year Milwaukee Makerspace hosted an all day “make-a-thon” at Bucketworks where guests were invited to make light-up Christmas tree ornaments and other small trinkets rather than go out and fight the crowds at department stores. The group discussed possible projects for this year and garnered interest for a 2011 event.
Innovation in Milwaukee – MiKE
A new organization has been formed in Milwaukee that promises to foster innovation, technology and design, entrepreneurship, and collaboration. MiKE’s partners include General Motors, Kohl’s, Briggs & Straton, Spreenkler, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and many others. An introduction meeting is scheduled for Thursday in their new space in Grand Avenue Mall with an open house to immediately follow. More information is available on their website at http://www.innovationinmilwaukee.com/
By-Laws and Voting
The mailing list has been buzzing with talk of how to best make fair and informed decisions regarding the direction of our group. The discussion Tuesday clarified several procedures and reiterated how our by-laws work. In short, the major points included were:
For more information on our organizational structure and operations, refer to the By-Laws Page.
Officer Elections and Other Business
After the discussion on policies and voting, the group voted on new officers. The roles of President, Vice President/Treasurer, and Secretary were opened for new nominations and votes cast.
The attendees also approved a budget of roughly $450 for 500 custom PCBs and parts for new Makerspace “Learn to Solder” Boards since we have exhausted our handmade supply during past events. Royce is handling the pricing and ordering. A budget of $20 was also approved for a rubber logo stamp so we can mark guests’ Hackerspace Passports when they visit from other spaces. Pete is leading the stamp project.
A time lapse video complied from the Milwaukee Makerspace CCTV system. 7 hours of video compressed into 4 minutes. All events took place between 4:30 and 11:30 PM Thursday, September 29, 2011.
- Rich welding
- Chris and Rich working on their electric cars
- Chris driving his electric car in and out of the shop
- Tom, Adam, and Royce working in Diptrace
- Bret, Rich, Royce, and Adam blacksmithing items with the forge
- Various people working on misc. projects and chatting
- Royce, Brant, and Adam etching and tin-plating circuit boards
- Pete working on his Makerbot 3D printer
In addition to the usual hackery and makers working on their electric cars, Bret fired up the forge again last night. Rich turned some horseshoes into hangers, Adam flattened a steel rod, and Royce folded a metal bar.
In preparation for BarCampMilwaukee6 (this weekend!) Royce and I have been mass producing circuit boards for a “learn to solder” class we’ll be holding. The boards are 1.5″x1.5″ square and include a battery, two resistors, traces in the shape of our logo, and two red LEDs for eyes. The copper traces were tinned using “Tin It” to prevent oxidation and make it easier to solder. We’ve made 65 of the “tie pins” so far and the project gave us an opportunity to tweak our methods for PCB etching. We prefer etching with ferric chloride, but muriatic acid and hydrogen peroxide are looking more attractive as they’re cheaper chemicals, can be obtained locally, and etch much faster without heating. Also, red Sharpie markers seem to work really well at cleaning up traces with the muriatic acid solution. Specifically red, not sure why.
A total of 14 members and 1 guest attended the meeting.
BarCampMilwaukee6 is this weekend!
If you haven’t yet, go visit their website at http://barcampmilwaukee.org/
Jason proposed that we actively engage the public and recruit new members. He volunteered to lead a small group and make contact with people at area schools and colleges. More to come shortly.
Rich presented an idea to sponsor people who regularly attend meetings and help out at the space, but lack the disposable income necessary for membership. Candidates would be eligible for two or more months of part-time or student level membership. A fund has already been set up using donations from other members.
Jason noted that PS:One and other groups offer incentives to bring in materials, clean the space, teach classes, etc. and earn points which can be redeemed for merchandise, discounted dues, and more. More details to come.
It was noted that Shane, a regular at the space but not quite a member, was left waiting outside in the rain last Friday without anyone to let him in. People were in the space, but did not know he was out there. The group discussed the need for a doorbell to alert occupants to the presence of guests waiting outside. Ross volunteered to help build a system with a bell and lights and began working shortly after the meeting.
Electric Car Club Meeting October 9th
As usual, the Electric Car Club will be meeting on the second Sunday of the month. Tom asked for a few volunteers to come to the space and help direct any guests that attend the meeting. People will hang out between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM with the meeting somewhere in the middle. Tom noted that Ben is working to make the group an official chapter of the Electric Automobile Association.
Join our public mailing list to talk with Milwaukee Makers about projects, techniques and more.
Check out some behind the scenes info on our wiki.
Check out our photos on Flickr.
Check out our videos on YouTube.