Thanks to our friends at Adafruit Industries, we’ve got an awesome Raspberry Pi Starter Pack (and a few other goodies) and we decided that rather than fight over who gets to play with it, we’d issue a challenge to our members: Tell us what you’d build with the kit.
The results are in, and we’ve got a bunch of entries to look at before we decided who will be chosen take on the challenge. Hopefully in the next week or so we can reveal what the winning entry is.
But don’t worry, we’re going to share a bunch of the ideas right here on the blog. We may not get to build them all, but we’ll do our best to highlight some of the ideas that our members have come up with.
(If you’re looking to get into using the Raspberry Pi in your projects, you’d do well to check out the Adafruit Learning System’s category on the topic.)
Thanks, Jean-Luc! If you haven’t heard yet, Milwaukee Makerspace now has a craft area, complete with sewing machines and plenty of space to roll out and cut up some fabric. Make It Sew!
At our old location (which was a bit “industrial”) there was a layer of filth everywhere which pretty much prevented the introduction of clean fabric, but with new members eager to handle the operations of the craft area in our clean new building, we can’t wait to see what gets made.
New member Caitlin has already made a new shirt! (She used this pattern, btw.)
There’s another member organizing a regular “Stitch ‘n Stuff” event (details to come) where people can show up and work on their sewing, knitting, crocheting, and costuming projects.
At some point I’m sure the sewing people will run into the electronics people, and someone will pull out the conductive thread, and then the next thing you know, e-textiles will appear. (We have it on good authority that’s how these things usually work.)
(Did I mention the screen printing? No, I didn’t, but we’ll save that for another post!)
You’ve been waiting for this… It’s The Return of the Space Improvement Workshop!
What’s that you say? Space Improvement? How could we possibly improve the space anymore? Sure, it seems impossible, but we think we can do it.
In fact, the wiki has this huge list of things to do, and since we moved from the old location on short notice, there’s still some unpacking to do, as well as cleaning, and just general organization. All of these things will help improve the space and make the processing of actually making things in the space, that much easier.
So please, join us on Sunday, February 24th, 2013 at 1pm as we run this totally awesome Space Improvement Workshop.
(There’s been rumors of pizza and appropriate beverages for those willing to join us.)
Join us on Saturday, March 9th, 2013 from 1pm to 4pm for the Milwaukee 3D Printing Meetup! We’ll be hosting it at the new Milwaukee Makerspace located at 2555 S. Lenox St. in Milwaukee.
The Meetup group is over on meetup.com, but we welcome anyone to come to the meeting and learn about 3D printing. We’ll have a few printers on-hand (as well as many printed objects) and will provide a nice introductory talk to the subject by one of our members. After that we’ll melt some plastic and create some real-world things.
This event is free and open to the public, so come on down at learn about 3D printing!
You probably know Nick Offerman from NBC’s Parks and Recreation, though if you’re a maker, you may know him better for his woodworking skills. (There’s a great video tour of his workshop you should see.)
Well, Nick’s coming to Milwaukee February 23rd, 2013 for a show at The Pabst Theater, and while we’re sure he’s a busy man, we’d like to invite him to Milwaukee Makerspace to check out our workshop. We’ve got a nice collection of tools and a great group of makers who would love to show Nick some of the things we’ve made and talk about our love of wood.
Check out Offerman Woodshop for some of his amazing work, and if you’re on Twitter, ask @Nick_Offerman to swing by Milwaukee Makerspace and check it out!
I used the laser cutter to make a Raspberry Pi case, and rather than leave the front of it all boring, I added an 88nine Radio Milwaukee logo to it. (Since I had a project that involves a Raspberry Pi and 88nine, it seemed appropriate.)
I started with the original 88nine logo, which is brown and orange. I couldn’t find a nice hires version, but a quick web search turned up something that would work…
To start with, I converted the logo to black and white, since color wasn’t going to matter to the laser cutter…
I then separated the top bars (which are orange in the original logo) and dithered them to create a visual separation from the bottom part of the logo that was brown in the original.
Here’s a close-up of the dithering pattern. It’s extremely simple, but it worked. I’ve done a lot of work with halftones and dithering, and you can get extremely complex, but sometimes the simple things just work.
Here’s a close-up of the final piece of Baltic Birch plywood with the logo etched in it. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
With Milwaukee Makerspace still in a state of constant change, I thought that Time Lapse Bot might enjoy keeping an eye on things…
Time Lapse Bot consists of an old laptop running (an older version of) EvoCam to capture an image every X number of minutes or seconds.
The whole thing fits in a nice box that you can easily carry around and place on a table or other flat surface to capture images. You’ve probably seen Time Lapse Bot at various BarCamp events around Milwaukee.
Eventually carrying Time Lapse Bot around looking for something to set it on got tiresome, so I built a rolling base from an old office chair. We also upgraded the camera over time, starting originally with an old VHS camera with a USB adapter, then moving up to a MiniDV camera with FireWire, and now a Logitech C910 Webcam, which captures HD quality images. (We also recently added a gooseneck for easier camera positioning, and a bit of height, as you can see in the top photo.)
There’s a heap more info about Time Lapse Bot over on my web site… and if you remember the Red Lotus build from last summer, or the Grand Opening at Chase, yeah, those were done with Time Lapse Bot.
Did you know that we’ve got a number of members who have built electric cars? Ben Nelson even runs 300mph.org and has published DVDs and Instructables showing you how to build your own. (Sharing of knowledge is a top priority for our members!)
If you’re interested in electric cars, come on down to Milwaukee Makerspace at 1pm on Sunday, February 10th, 2013 for the first Milwaukee Electric Car Club Meeting at our new location. Got a Tesla, or a Volt, or some DIY/converted vehicle? Bring it! Just want to learn what these electric vehicles are all about? That’s cool too!
The Milwaukee Electric Car Club: Because gasoline is so 20th century.
I first came across BrownDogGadgets on Etsy back in 2011, and was excited to see a kit-maker in Milwaukee. Somehow I never managed to connect with the man behind BrownDogGadgets until recently when we somehow became friends on Facebook, and I then realized that Joshua was the driving force behind BrownDogGadgets.
BrownDogGadgets makes a variety of fun electronics kits, many of which center around solar energy, and many of which fit in empty Altoid tins. (There’s also some Arduino-compatible kits which look pretty interesting.)
We’re glad to have Joshua as a new member of Milwaukee Makerspace and look forward to having someone with kit-making skills in the group.
Check out browndoggadgets.com for some awesome kit fun!
We had to pause a bit last night when we saw some water in the space… Our old location at Chase was well known for the leaky roof and the occasional floods. It turns out the water was just from the electrician’s truck that was pulled into the space. Whew!
The Lenox building has been water-tight so far (knock on MDF!) and we’re feeling secure in the fact that everything that should stay dry will stay dry.
Kevin also demanded I take an “arty” photo of the water. Enjoy!