The idea was simple: make something to help keep track of our supplies so we know when we’re running low on the essentials. After weeks of kicking the idea around and various rough doodles, this project finally took shape. Two days after the first cut on the laser cutter, it was complete.
Made from multiple layers of acrylic, cardboard, and wood, the “Milwaukee Makerspace Consumables Super Analog Status Board” is a clipboard-sized device with nine sliders installed in enclosed slots. Sliding the tabs right displays more green to indicate “full” or “lots” and sliding left reveals the red acrylic below to indicate “empty” or “low.” The user can carry the board around the Space with them as they check on supplies and when done, a large hole centered at the top allows the board to be hung up and displayed on a wall.
The hardware holding the whole thing together can be loosened and the layers disassembled. The cardboard insert that the text resides on can be swapped out should we decide to change the list of items we want to keep tabs on. The supplies being tracked currently include:
A digital version may or may not be planned for future release.
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. ;)
When we say “The Art Jamboree is Coming” we really mean The Art Jamboree is Coming! That’s right, Art Milwaukee is bringing the next Art Jamboree to us. Mark your calendars for Friday, March 29th, 2013 when the Art Jamboree will take place at Milwaukee Makerspace.
This one is titled “The Maker” and besides the usual awesomeness that includes the best in Milwaukee art, there will also be raffles, food & drink, and free low-fives(?) We’ll also be adding our own maker-related art to the mix. Expect some some interactive pieces as well as art in mediums you may not be used to. (Sure we like paint, but we also like lasers and molten plastic and beer.)
This event is free and open to the public. (All ages are welcome, but keep an eye on the kids. We have a lot of rotating blades, but we’ll do our best to keep them powered-down during the event.)
Mark your calendars for March 29th, 2013 from 7pm to 11pm. We’ll see you at 2555 S. Lenox Street in beautiful Bay View.
Hopefully, we can use this as a backdrop for events like the Art Jamboree.
I’ve been toying with the idea of room dividers for a while now. I don’t exactly have use for one, but I think they look neat and it’s basically a blank canvas. Drawing inspiration from my Clockwork Boxes, I decided that a gear motif would best suit the makerspace, thus giving me a new use for the piece: as a backdrop at events we participate in such as Art Jamboree and the various Maker Faires.
There are 3 of us in this photo. Really.
The actual screens were cut out with a large-scale CNC router, while the frame was ripped from 2×4’s, with a dado groove down the center for the screen to slip into. Thanks, Jason H.!!
Assembly went well, although there were a few hiccups. The drill bit wasn’t long enough, so some minor splitting occurred at a couple of spots. The frame was slightly warped and so needed to be clamped and glued before being screwed together.
After allowing the paint to dry overnight, myself, Matt W., and Jason H. assembled this thing just prior to heading to the Art Jamboree at the Hilton in Milwaukee.
This is the assembled LEGOlamp. It will be mounted as a ceiling fixture, with an internal bulb. To light it for this picture, I used a desklamp to project light into the tube.
One idea I tried after the previous post, was slicing the tube into 16 rings. The idea was to glue the bricks to the tube, with the bricks stacked vertically, then offset the rings after the bricks were attached. That approach failed. I was unable to cut the rings smoothly, resulting in large gaps between them. When stacked, they looked horrible.
In the end, a simple change of adhesive and application made the difference. First, I abandoned both hot glue and epoxy. I discovered gel super glue has sufficient open time to position the bricks, but also sets quickly enough that clamping and supporting the bricks was unnecessary. I addition, I realized the important joint is between the bricks. If the bricks are firmly cemented to each other, the connection to the tube can be a series of comparatively weak joins. Less glue on the end-face means less glue to smear, and less chance of accidentally gluing the template in place.
Many people have asked how I cut the LEGO bricks. Initially, I used a sharp chisel. That was tedious, as each brick had to be clamped. After that, I switched to a rotary-tool held in a fixture, with a standard abrasive cut-off disk. That worked well enough. Finally, I hit on chucking a Dremel-sized circular saw blade into a drill press. That provided a rock-solid platform. Better still, once the height was set it didn’t vary. Unlike the abrasive disk, the bricks weren’t heated by the saw blade. No molten plastic flying around. Using this method, the bricks required little-or-no touch-up work with a sharp knife.
It’s that time again, folks… Time for another Art Jamboree! Join us on January 25, 2013 from 7pm to 11pm at the Loyalty Building (Hilton Garden Inn) 611 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The event is free and open to the public (and all ages are welcome) and there will also be a cash bar, prizes, art raffles, free hi-fives and some of your favorite Milwaukee Makerspace members showing off things they’ve made, many of which could be considered “art”!
We’ll also have some interactive pieces for you to experience, but we can’t give away all the details yet, because we’re all about secrecy and the element of surprise, so you’ll just have to show up and see what we do. (Safety glasses and ear plugs are highly recommended!)
I got invited to take part in a gallery show and display some of the art created by my art robots, and I must say, the whole experience reminded me a little bit of my time in the arts program at UWM. Late nights with X-ACTO knives, cork-backed metal rulers, foam core, spray glue, looming deadlines, things not working out as well as you’d like them to… repeatedly. Besides all that though, it was a lot of fun.
I tend to get distracted by other projects after I reach the stages of “it works!” and “I showed it to people!” and I’m not alone… many members of Milwaukee Makerspace suffer from this as well. We’re starting a support group. Actually, we started 5 support groups, but we keep getting distracted by other projects. (I kid, I kid!)
The thing I really like about projects that involve hardware and software is that you can work on one side for a bit, and then switch gears and work on the other side. Many of the makers I know write code all day (which they like doing) and do hardware stuff at night (which they also like doing) so combining them is a double-win.
I started thinking about some of my projects, and I think they fit into a few categories:
Idea Only: These are projects where I come up with an idea but never follow through on them.
Completed/Forgotten: Projects that get “done” and then I just move on from them without ever improving or creating new versions.
Always in Progress: These are projects that are never finished. They may reach finished “stages” but there’s always a chance they’ll get upgraded, or completely rebuilt, or replaced with a better version.
Failure: Things I try, that just don’t work out. They typically get abandoned.
You might think the Completed/Forgotten or Always in Progress projects are the best, but there’s a lot to be learned by the Idea Only and Failure projects as well. In the end, I love learning new things, so even if I don’t finish a project, learning something new, or even learning how not to do something, can be very valuable.