Hackerspace Challenge 2013

Team Milwaukee Makerspace

Last year it was East vs. West, and this year it’s Milwaukee Makerspace vs. some unsuspecting challenger! That’s right, we’ve been chosen to take part in this year’s Hackerspace Challenge put on by Popular Mechanics and RadioShack!

During the month of July our team will be busy building, uh, something, and we may be a bit hush-hush about it until it’s done, but don’t worry, once completed you’ll see and hear all about it! :)

Oh, and this year’s theme is “Turn something old into something new” which you can imagine we’re going to have quite a bit of fun with…

Etsy Craft Party

Etsy Craft Party

Our friends at Etsy are helping us throwing a little party on Thursday, June 20th, 2013 and you’re invited!

And what is an Etsy Craft Party exactly? Etsy has a blog post that explains it, but basically:

Etsy Craft Party is a one-day celebration of meeting and making. Around the world, we come together to share creative skills with our neighbors. You can organize a Craft Party, or join one in your area. All you need are good friends, craft supplies, and fun!

Well, Hannah Kleinhans is a local Etsy fan here in Milwaukee, and when she needed a place to host the event, we though Milwaukee Makerspace was a natural fit!

You can check out the event on Facebook, and grab a ticket on Eventbrite.

The event is free, but we are asking asking for $5 to help cover the cost of materials, but we’ll do our best to put the tools and skills of our members to work to help out with the making. And what are we making? Well, there are three projects:

Craft Station #1: Lil’ Free Library

Craft Station #2: DIY Wedding Gifts

Craft Station #3: Crafting for our 4 Legged Friends

(Check out Facebook or Eventbrite for full details.)

There’s some FAQs here from Etsy, and if you’ve got a specific question, post a comment or email Hannah at kleinhah[at]gmail.com

Hello Kuka!

Kuka KR 30

We recently got an email from a guy who runs a manufacturing company in the Milwaukee area. He said he had some extra equipment he was looking to donate, including a welder, and some wire, and some scrap steel, and oh yeah, a Kuka KR 30 Industrial Robot!!!

We said, sure, we’ll come and pick it up. ;)

To be fair, he did mention it “needs work” but we’ve already assembled a team of members interested in getting this thing up and running. We’re hoping that with the varied experience our members possess, from electronics to industrial controls to robotics and general hacking and tinkering, we’ll get this thing swinging around in no time.

And what will we do with it? Well, besides the silly suggestions of arm wresting, can crushing, and free high-fives at the next Art Jamboree, there’s been talk of multi-axis milling, 3D printing, and hey, just being awesome with a giant industrial robot arm!

Before we even think of firing it up we’ll be mounting it securely to the floor and building a safety cage. The last thing we want to do is reduce our membership due to an “accident” with the giant industrial robot arm!

Of course, until it’s up and running, it’s available for amusing photo opportunities. ;)

robot002

PPPRS, We’re coming for you!

PPPRS

We’re just a few weeks out from Maker Faire Kansas City and the first official race of the season for the Power Racing Series.

And for those of you that don’t know, the Power Racing Series (typically abbreviated to “PPPRS”) is a challenge to create a working electric vehicle for less than $500 using open source tools and tech. But we use Power Wheels Cars… yeah, the ones designed for little kids. We rebuild them to hold a full-size adult driver (some of us are even, uh “extra large” as it were) and the add in beefy motors, rechargeable batteries, motor controllers, brakes, sometimes trailer hitches and parachutes, and race ‘em.

We complete against other hackerspaces, like our friends at Pumping Station: One, Sector67, and i3Detroit.

This season we hope to have three cars functional for the races. You may have seen some work on Red Lotus recently. While it was one of our main cars last year, it’s probably the slowest car we have right now, of course speed isn’t everything in the Power Racing Series, and who knows, we may have a few tricks up our collective sleeves by the time the race at Maker Faire Detroit rolls around. ;)

Appleton Makerspace is now OPEN!

Appleton Makerspace

Back in April 2011 when Milwaukee Makerspace had its Grand Opening at the Chase location, a bunch of guys from up north stopped by, and they were calling themselves DHMN, which stood for [D]istributed [H]acker/[M]aker [N]etwork. It was the early formation of a group similar to Milwaukee Makerspace, though they had no physical space to meet in. They made do meeting at member’s houses or coffee shops, etc., which is typical for the formation of a new group.

Well, it’s been about two years, but they’ve been growing, and making, and sharing with others, and now… they’ve got a space!

Signs of the Times

We’re please to welcome the Appleton Makerspace (Powered by DHMN) into the ranks of Wisconsins’s makerspace/hackerspace community. Way to go, guys!

Bay View Gallery Night

Bay View Gallery Night

Summer is just around the corner, and that means it’s time for the first Bay View Gallery Night of the year, and now that Milwaukee Makerspace is located in the heart of Bay View, we just had to get in on the action, so we’re inviting you to join us in what we sometimes refer to as “16,000 sq feet of Art”.

And hey, it’s not all art, as we do a zillion things at Milwaukee Makerspace, as long as it involves being creative and making things, we do it. We’ll have plenty to see and experience, including our group show titled: Awesome Things From the Makerspace.

If that’s not enough to convince you, we’ll also be hosting a show from our friends at the Bay View Arts Guild, so yeah, even more art!

It’s all happening Friday, May 31st, 2013 from 5pm to 10pm. And as always, we’ll have some sort of magical surprise to knock your socks off!

(Note: If you’re not wearing socks, we can’t be responsible for what might happen to your feet. You’ve been warned!)

The Milwaukee Makerspace Makership

The Milwaukee Makerspace Makership Program

We’re doing it again! For a second year in a row, we want to provide a local maker with a chance to become a member this summer, and do something awesome.

Milwaukee Makerspace is proud to be a part of Milwaukee and to provide a shared workspace where people can explore their passions in making things, whether it be art, technology, electronics, alternative energy, or rapid prototyping and fabrication. Our members are eager to share their skills and equipment with others, and we recognize that we learn better when we learn together, so we’re introducing a “makership” program, which will allow a local maker to become a full member though a sponsorship from the group.

If you’re interested in joining us and gaining access to our space, our tools and our community, come up with a killer idea and apply today!

Find out more at: http://milwaukeemakerspace.org/makership

Art Night

Art Night

If you happen to be out and about on Friday, April 19th, 2013 you might want to swing by Milwaukee Makerspace at 2555 S. Lenox St. in Bay View.

While we aren’t officially part of any gallery night events this time around, we’ll be open to the public on Friday from 6pm to 9pm for anyone who wants to stop by and take a tour, or check out some of the art (and art making tools!) we have at our space.

And if you want to see us in full art swing, you’ll only have to wait until the end of May. ;)

Brown Dog Gadgets on Kickstarter

Kickstarter

Joshua is a recent addition to Milwaukee Makerspace, and as we mentioned before, he runs a kit company called BrownDogGadgets. Well, the latest on Joshua is a Kickstarter campaign he’s running… and yeah, did we mention it’s over $71,000 now!?

He originally had a goal of $5,000 but the backers showed up in force to support his Folding USB Solar Cell project, and even though it’s been cloudy and raining all week here in Milwaukee, it’s all sunshine and smiles at the success of the campaign so far.

Check it out on Kickstarter if you’re into solar power, got an iPhone you need charged, or just like brown dogs. :)

Art Jamboree [Time Lapse]

The Jambo at Krambo!

Well we certainly had a good crowd for the Art Jamboree that Art Milwaukee held at the space a few weeks back.

Don’t believe me? Check out the crowd in this time-lapse video we shot during the evening with a GoPro camera mounted in the welding area.

We actually had a lot more going on that you can see in this room. Pretty much every space in the 16,000 square foot building got put to good use showing off something cool.

(Here’s a view of the other large room, the camera angle is not quite as wide, but just as many people.)