Gothic Arch Room Divider is Finished (Sort of….)

Sanctuary and More 102Silversark put together an amazing fashion show on Friday to showcase pieces she made inspired by church architecture and her trip to the Netherlands. This is something I cooked up for a background piece for the show.

The design work took several months and the actual creation of the piece took about a week, working 12-16 hours a day.  The frame is made from CNC routed aspen (thanks, Jason H.!) which is a rather “fuzzy” wood and required two days to hand finish, including the use of a set of needles files to smooth out the inset edges.

The acrylic panels were hand-stained with Gallery Glass stain and simulated liquid leading. They’re not quite finished yet, but I plan to complete the staining within the next week.

I’ll also be using this as a backdrop for various events including the Sustainability Summit coming up as well as the Concinnity sci-fi/gaming convention on April 5th. Additionally, this might be making its way to Embellishments in the Grand Avenue Mall for a window decoration.

I can’t wait to make another one!

The Milwaukee Makerspace Theater

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Around 25 members have hopped in the new Milwaukee Makerspace Theater after the last two Tuesday meetings.  Its up and running in a “no hearing protection required” way!  The bass still goes way down to subsonic tones, but its being powered by a small & sensible surround sound amp.   Its a very immersive audio experience, and likely sounds much better than any 5.1 system you’ve heard because there’s only one seat!  The sound has been optimized for the single theater-goer: You!  The theater is hooked up to a DVD player, and is available 24/7  for any member to watch a movie in: no check-out required.   Note that any video source you have can be hooked up via the HDMI cable.  Alternately, you can follow the lead of JasonH, who used the theater with a portable audio player to rock out while he worked on his own project near by. See the photos below for the simple instructions on how you can start up the theater, and feel free to take a break from making by using the theater!

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Raspberry Pi Project Ended

I’ve really struggled with the Raspberry Pi Project. As I posted earlier, the Raspberry Pi kept killing the file system on the SD card. Pete traded me for a different Pi, which behaved much better, making the card last at least long enough to get the operating system and other software installed. Yet the Raspberry Pi continued to corrupt the file system if left running for longer periods. The latest time it totally killed the SD card; I couldn’t even reformat it on my computer.

If I include the Pi in the traveling mascot, I’m convinced it will not survive the inevitable rough treatment. The only other use I can think of for a Raspberry Pi in a travelling mascot is as a home base server for the mascot, publishing the travelogues. Yet it’s too unstable for even that task.

I still like the idea of a traveling mascot that can track it’s own travels, but I’m convinced that building it around a Raspberry Pi is not the proper foundation. I really like the little GPS unit that came in this kit, and will try to build a scaled down version of the traveling mascot with a USB interface to hook up with any computer for collecting data.

Thanks again Adafruit Industries, we really appreciate the kit, and we’ll continue to work with the parts on other projects. Like vultures, some other members have already picked off some pieces of the kit for their projects.

2013 Annual Member Survey Results!

Feedback and constructive criticism can be great tools for planning and managing any sort of endeavor.  Gauging the interests, concerns, and opinions of our group can help us make better decision on how to spend time and money as well as working with each other and the community.  Last month we asked our members to take a survey and share their thoughts with us.  Why do people come to Milwaukee Makerspace?  What do they do here?  What would they like to see more of?  What can we do better?  44 members responded (or about 39% of the total group) and after spending some time slaving over spreadsheets, we published the results.

Two of the biggest questions we asked survey-takers were: 1) What do you come to Milwaukee Makerspace for? and 2) What is important to you?  The following results can be found in our 19 page report, available for download here:  http://wiki.milwaukeemakerspace.org/_media/2013_annual_mms_member_survey.pdf

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Bay View Gallery Night

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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…)

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!

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

Makerspace rocks Sustainability Summit

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Members of the Milwaukee Makerspace built and manned a booth at Milwaukee’s Sustainability Summit this week.

Josh Z. and Ben N. talked with the crowds, showcasing member’s projects ranging from an electric motorcycle to 3D-printing, aluminum casting, CNC woodworking, lasers, and more! Several of the event organizers told us that we were the busiest booth there, which was pretty obvious, because my throat is still sore from speaking with attendees for two days straight!

The 3D printer was especially eye-catching to the crowds and there was a strong interest in 3D printing and laser-cutting.

We did NOT have electricity at the booth, so in true DIY-style, we MADE our own with a real-world “Vehicle-to-Grid” Display, powering a laptop, 2 computer monitors and the 3D printer directly from the electric motorcycle. Our display featured a slideshow of Maker projects on the double monitors, the hands-on Laser Kalidescope, and even conductive Play-doh!

One of my favorite moments was speaking with the owner of the “Cow Sailboat” out in Madison about converting its diesel system over to an electric drive. We also briefly saw Ed Begley, Jr. and Will Allen. (Thanks to Growing Power for the sprouts!)

All in all, it was a great event! The organizers donate the booth space to us because they love the real-world, hands-on teaching and excitement that we bring!

If you were at the Summit, and are swinging over here to the web-page after learning about us, WELCOME! Stop on by, meet some members, and take a tour, we’d love to have you!

Thanks to Josh, Ben, Shane, Pete, and others that loaned projects for us to display!

 

We’re Back!

OPEN!

You’ve been waiting for it, we’ve been waiting for it… Milwaukee Makerspace can now officially re-open, and we’ll be holding our first official meeting of the year at 7pm on Tuesday, January 29th, 2013.

Come on down to 2555 South Lenox Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and see the new Milwaukee Makerspace. It’s bigger, better and 178% more makier!

See you Tuesday!

HOPPY NEW YEAR!!!

WE DID IT! We made it to 2013. To celebrate, Milwaukee Makerspace built the New Year’s Hop Drop. This was epic from the beginning. Jeremy from Art Milwaukee asked me if I wanted to build a giant beer hop for new years. LOL, What? Sure! So here goes the process…

This is the concept rendered by the great Ali Carlucci.

Victory shot after set-up at The Milwaukee Art Museum.

We started out with the skeleton for the hop. Designed by Makerspace’s own Shane Thelen.

Here’s another Maker, Matt Wittmann, attaching the leaves on the hop.

After attaching the leaves we built the base to support the hop. The hop will rise 20 feet and get lowered at the 30 second countdown to the new year.

Here’s Shane painting the base.

Now, to test the motor.

WooHoo it works! Here is a video of us doing a test,

Hoppy New Year! Stay safe, Stay classy.