Mr. Cinderella Fusion

A Pretty Princess

If you’ve seen Mr. Fusion around the space, or at one of the Power Racing Series events this year, you’ve probably wondered what it looked like before we, uh, had our way with it.

It took a bit of digging, but I found an old photo of Mr. Fusion (aka Cinderella) it its original state. Baby blue, pink, and basically a pretty, pretty princess.

Matt W. started the build on this thing, and Chris H took over from there. I ended up doing the body work because I didn’t care for the plain look of it. (We had already removed the Cinderella decal.)

The car was named “Mr. Fusion” due to the vertical motor mount in the back, as a reference to the “Back to the Future” films.

Anyway, this was my attempt to make it look just a little bit more like a DeLorean than a Pontiac. I’ll have a follow-up post detailing more on the body work, and hopefully someone who knows about what’s going on under the hood (and trunk!) can post about that.

Vote for us in the Hackerspace Challenge!

2013 Hackerspace Challenge!

As we mentioned back in July, Milwaukee Makerspace was selected to take part in the 2013 Hackerspace Challenge put on by RadioShack and Popular Mechanics, and now we can reveal it all, and we’re also asking for your vote!

Head on over to www.popmechnow.com/radioshack, watch the videos, and vote for the best project. I mean, we’re pretty confident you’ll prefer our project, but check out the awesome stuff that the guys from Inspiration Labs did. Hey, it’s got a TARDIS so those guys must be alright! ;)

I know you really want to see the Milwaukee Makerspace Morgifying Marble Manipulation Machine (aka: M6) mark your calendar for October 19th, 2013 because Milwaukee MakerFest will feature the M6 as for you experience in person!

(Oh yeah, we’re also running a Kickstarter Campaign to help make Milwaukee MakerFest ever more awesome. Help us out if you can!)

Bay View Gallery Night

BVGN

It seems like just four months since the last Bay View Gallery Night… oh wait, it was!

We’ll once again have a group show, this time titled: More Awesome Things From the Makerspace, which is our way of saying “come check out all the crazy things we do!”

It’s all happening Friday, September 27th, 2013 from 5pm to 10pm. And as always, we’ll have some sort of magical surprise to knock your socks off!

(Or who knows, maybe it’ll be something that gently removes your socks and then carefully places them into the nearest laundry basket…)

Fix It Milwaukee ReCap

Fix It Milwaukee

On Saturday, August 10th, 2013 Milwaukee Makerspace hosted the first “Fix It Milwaukee” event. We invited the people of Milwaukee to bring in their broken things, and we did our best to fix them.

The idea for the event came from Milwaukee County District Supervisor Jason Haas, and we partnered up with the Milwaukee Area Time Exchange to make it happen. We really didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out great, and we’ve already got members interested in doing it again.

Fix It Milwaukee

So what did we fix? There were lamps, computers, printers, furniture, a bird feeder, musical instruments, gardening tools, zippers, a battery charger, a dog’s chew toy, clothes, and even bikes. (Speaking of bikes, we should also thank Truly Spoken Cycles who sent over Sam, one of their expert bike fixers.)

Did we fix everything? Nope… some things are either too difficult to repair, or made so cheaply that they are not worth repairing, but percentage-wise we did really good, and I’d estimate an 80% success rate for fixing things.

Fix It Milwaukee

Throughout the event we probably saw about 25 people bring in items, and we had about 20 members helping fix things. At few members mentioned that it was a lot of fun troubleshooting things and working in teams to determine the best method of repair, and at least one member picked up a few new skills along the way, which is what we’re all about!

Keep an eye out for our next Fix It Milwaukee event… The more items we can keep out of the landfill, the better!

Power Racing Series – Detroit 2013

Milwaukee Makerspace Racing Team

The Milwaukee Makerspace Racing Team (Pete, Chris, Tony, Sean, and Audrey) took three cars out to Maker Faire Detroit to race against other hackerspaces around the country. How did we do? We did pretty good! And by “pretty good” I mean that we had fun, no one got hurt (too badly) and we returned with plenty of good stories to tell.

Chris on Mr. Fusion

Since Matt W. couldn’t make it, Chris took over Mr. Fusion (our newest car) for the weekend. There were some transmission problems, which we got figured out, but Mr. Fusion failed before the end of the weekend, which we sort of expected. The highlight of the weekend was Chris flipping the car and getting pinned under it. (Well, he might not agree it was the highlight!)

Tony on Jake N Stein

Jake N Stein was driven by Tony and myself, and I think Chris may have take a few laps as well. Jake N Stein did pretty well during the weekend, and only died right before the end of Sunday’s Endurance Race. Jake N Stein is pretty solid right now, though we’ll probably be upgrading the water cooling system for the motor. We did get a warning for “being on fire” that was actually just steam. Luckily it wasn’t 95 degrees in Detroit this year.

Dan on Jake N Stein

Dan (our resident Blacksmith) gave us a call as he just happened to be in Detroit for the weekend, so we recruited him and he ended up driving Jake N Stein during some of the races!

Audrey Fits

This photo shows that Red Lotus was pretty much built for Audrey, and by that I mean, she’s the only one who can sit in it and not have her knees sticking way the hell out.

Audrey on Red Lotus

Even when we forget the right batteries and have to do an emergency battery replacement, it’s no big deal to Audrey. It helps to have a driver that you can fold in half to fit into the car. Oh, the batteries, yeah… we somehow left the small batteries Red Lotus uses in Milwaukee, so we rigged up the big batteries the other cars used, and removed the hood of the car, and attached it to the trunk. I figured we couldn’t leave it off because (1) it’s part of the original body, and you’re supposed to maintain that and (2) the transponder was attached to it. So we zip tied the hood onto the trunk, which worked fine, until…

Sean on Red Lotus

Sean was driving and the hood (and transponder!) fell off. We tried to get Sean into the pits but he just grabbed the hood and did a bunch of laps holding it. It totally worked and gained us a few laps until we had to pit.

The Pits

All in all, the Power Racing Series event in Detroit was awesome. We met a lot of cool people, and worked together as a team to get all the cars functional and keep them functioning for the races.

We’re currently planning to head to the Fort Wayne Regional Maker Faire in September for one more race. We may even try to build a new car by then, because we are crazy.

Sugru Build Night Results

Instructables & Sugru

We had out first Instructables Build Night recently and a few of the members wrote up Instructables showing what they did with the Sugru… here they are:

Thanks to Instructables, Sugru, and everyone who took part in the event. We’ll be hosting another Instructables Build Night in August, so keep an eye on the calendar.

Fix It Milwaukee

Fix It MKE

Milwaukee Makerspace is proud to team up with the Milwaukee Area Time Exchange and Milwaukee County for “Fix It Milwaukee” with the goal of repairing those broken things you’ve got around the house so they can become useful again and not end up in the landfill.

We’ve got a great team of volunteers who are skilled at troubleshooting and fixing everyday items because, well, we do it ourselves all the time. Many appliances can be fixed with the simple replacement of a switch or wiring repair. If things like computers or bikes or torn clothing seem beyond your skills to get back to 100%, we’re here to help.

Bring your broken things to Milwaukee Makerspace on Saturday, August 10th, 2013 between 12 noon and 4pm and we’ll do our best to get them working again. (If we can’t fix it we’ll give you our best advice on what to do next.)

So what types of things should you bring? Well, if you can fit it in your car and get it to Milwaukee Makerspace, we’ll take a look at it. We’ve got a shop full of almost every tool imaginable including stuff you won’t find in your basement workshop (unless you’ve got laser cutters and 3D printers!)

If you have specific questions or need more info, feel free to email info@milwaukeemakerspace.org

We Frolicked Again

Frolicks 2013

Hey, we frolicked again!

We successfully made it through another parade, this time the 2013 South Shore Frolics Parade, which didn’t “officially” happen last year, but did happen two years ago. (And yes, we did it two years ago as well.)

Somehow Tom and Tony managed to get all 5 of the Power Wheels cars we had functional, and all were driven in the parade. Red Lotus broke down, Mr. Fusion ran out of batteries, something weird happened to Jakenstein, and as pointed out, the only cars to not have any problems were the last-minute hacked together pair of old-time (illegal!) cars known as Grave Digger and Baby Burrito. (And yeah, Joe almost flipped Grave Digger, man, that car sure lives up to its name!)

We also had a few bikes, some people walking, and my Honda Element in the parade, which played marching band music (it seemed appropriate.)

We hope to return next year, but in the meantime Mike snapped a few photos during the parade.

Instructables / Sugru Build Night

sugru Build Night

Join us on Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 for the sugru Build Night sponsored by our friends at Instructables!

How does it work? After the 7pm meeting we’ll have a bunch of sugru on hand and all you have to do is create something cool with it. Make something more ergonomic, fix something that’s broken, or come up with something completely new.

Oh, and if you’re not familiar with sugru, it’s a self-setting rubber that can be formed by hand. It molds like Play-Doh, bonds to almost anything and turns into a strong, flexible silicone rubber overnight. Check out the Gallery for some ideas on what you can do with it.

And where does Instructables come into it? They sent us the sugru, and we’re going to create a few Instructables based on what we do with it.

If you’ve got something that needs fixing, bring it in. I’ve used it in the past to fix a broken griddle and to repair a broken letter opener.

This is a free event, just bring yourself (and your ideas!) to 2555 S. Lenox St. in Bay View and make something cool with sugru.

Return of the Frolicking Makers

Parade Makers

Remember way back in 2011 when Milwaukee Makerspace took part in the South Shore Frolics Parade? Well, I guess we were so awesome that they had to skip a year, but it’s back, and so are we!

That’s right! The Parade is Back! South Shore Frolics is this weekend, and you’ll want to catch the parade on Saturday, July 13th, 2013 at 11am. The parade begins on S. Kinnickinnic Ave. near E. Smith St. and proceeds south on Kinnickinnic Ave. before turning northeast on S. Ellen St., and finally east on E. Nock St. to South Shore Park.

This is known as “Milwaukee’s Best Parade” and we hope to help it live up to that reputation… So what are we planning?

In the words of Dr. Song: Spoilers!