A total of 14 members were present and 2 guests attended the meeting. We did not have Google Hangout up and running that night.
DIY CNC Day – December 4th
The CNC router has been repaired and Z-axis has been restored. Come out and join us for the Third Monthly DIY CNC Day. The event is loosely scheduled to begin noon however work will likely be going on all day Sunday.
Current Project Roundup
The meeting was fairly brief and concluded with members discussing various current projects. Topics included larger than life winter yard decorations, curing the forge to begin using it, hammermills, electric truck suspension systems, DIY tongue & groove flooring, laser cutter projects, and the RFP for a Bay View Art Project.
A total of 18 members were present, 3 joined via Google Hangout, and 5 guests attended the meeting. At least three guests expressed interest in becoming a member that night.
After welcoming everyone, some guests went on a tour of the space while other members continued with the meeting.
Second DIY CNC Day – November 6th
Black Friday Hack-A-Thon – November 25th
Ideas for items to make were shared with the group. Pete noted he has found some pieces to be made on the CNC router and Royce noted the tie-pin boards are on order.
Contacts and Promotion
Adam plans to drop some posters off with MSOE’s Studer Activities Office and Jason plans to speak with his contact at Marquette. Royce mentioned he visited UWM’s Art and Technology Group last week.
Tom has some Hobart welders he plans to bring to the space and convert at least one to TIG welding for aluminum.
Space Clean-Up Day – Last Sunday of the Month
Kevin suggested we either move the day or schedule it later on Sunday to allow for more people to attend. The group agreed and plans to meet next on November 27th at 1:00 PM. Tom emphasized that the Clean-Up Day was always meant to be a Clean-Up and Cook-Out Day and we will plan to cook out next time. Brant and Royce also plan to meet and salvage some of the lists and pages from the old website. The Clean-Up Task List and Vendor List were among the most important.
New Video Ideas
David proposed doing a series of interviews with members and several people were interested. Jason also mentioned that he would like to produce some quick “Meet the Maker” segments.
Ron and others pointed out that some pallets on the top of the pallet racks are difficult to reach safely with the forklift. It was suggested that members with pallets on the lower racks or floor relocate their work or ensure the pallets are shelved as far back as they can be.
A total of 12 members and 4 guests attended the meeting.
After we went around the room and spoke a bit about ourselves and what we do here, our three guests shared how they found our group. The responses included Googling ‘electronics clubs,’ attending Electric Car Club Meetings at Tom’s House, finding us on Hackerspaces.org and meeting members at BarCampMilwaukee6.
Chill Out Space Proposed
Adam had suggested we consider building a “chill out space” for makers and guests to hang out, talk, and generally relax. Our Lab and Library spaces are separated from the rest of the workshop, but still lack adequate space when others are present and working. Other members agreed and enthusiastically brainstormed possible features of such a space including a couch, a TV, video game systems, a stereo, etc. The Loft was proposed as likely the best location and immediately following the meeting, Adam, Kevin, Shane, and others walked through The Loft while continuing the discussion.
Earlier this week, Milwaukee was added to the number of cities with a Skillshare website. The site connects teachers, instructors, and students together for classes and meetups as a sort of non-traditional learning community. Our group is considering listing our Thursday Night Demos and other events on the site once more are scheduled. See the website at: http://www.skillshare.com/learn?city=milwaukee
The list of possible demos people are interested in either hosting or attending continues to grow. Demos and classes mentioned included welding, sweating copper pipes, an intro to AC/DC motors, Processing, Arduino, Blender, and OpenSCAD.
Jason asked to begin considering online financial services for group business and invoicing since our current accounting software is somewhat lacking. The group proposed that instead of paying for access to an online accounting service, we first check retailers and bookstores for discounted software. Jason also mentioned that integrating the access control system with our accounting software would be a great item for our Space Wish List.
Matt N. mentioned that he visited a rapid fabrication workshop at MSOE earlier in the week and in his opinion powder systems are too messy and expensive and the parts they make are too fragile. He recommended that if we want to add a rapid prototyping machine to our Wish List, we should consider the Ultimaker.
Matt N. also asked if the current CCTV system could be make to broadcast to the web so members and visitors could keep an eye on the space when not around. He offered a $100 prize for anyone who manages to do so. Obstacles to setting up such a webcam have included our bandwidth and ISP connection, software issues, and firewalls.
Adam noted he spoke with some people at MSOE regarding hanging up posters or distributing flyers and Brant said he would talk to Tom about seeing what it takes to underwrite an ad on WMSE.
A total of 13 members and 1 guest attended the meeting.
“State of the Space” Presentation
Jason presented a series of charts and graphs that described various aspects of our group. Membership increased over the last few months with most gains happening after the Grand Opening in April. Our peak number of members was 26; we had more but not all at the same time. Some past members have moved away or left the group. Jason noted that adding different classes of membership for students and part-timers has helped us grow. Our financial situation is currently sustainable, however attracting new members would help support new projects and provide more of a cushion. The conversation turned to attracting new members which led into the other discussions mentioned below.
Marketing and Promotion
Royce mentioned that someone from an UWM Arts & Technology group contacted him recently. They were interested in our group and said we might be interested in theirs. Royce asked if anyone would be willing to go to UWM in the future and see their group and space. Matt, Brant, and Rich were interested. Some other organizations and schools in the area that we would like to reach out to include MATC, WCTC, Marquette, MSOE, MIAD, and Alverno. Brant and Tom also agreed to work on a potential radio ad or show. The idea of a membership drive was also discussed.
Past classes have been successful, however no new ones are currently scheduled. Ideas discussed included Electric Motors by Brant, Processing by Pete and Jason, Arduino by Royce, Welding and/or Sweating Copper Pipes by Rich. The group agreed that classes could be organized and scheduled to begin January or February 2012.
A toilet in the Ladies’ Restroom was clogged and the floor is dirty from when the drain in the Janitor’s Closet was backflushed recently. Tom noted that the lack of toilet paper supplies lately could mean others that use that restroom are using paper towels instead and that could more easily clog the drains. Signs will be posted to dissuade any men from using the Ladies’ Room and any one from leaving a mess. (On Thursday, Elizabeth posted signs, cleaned the bathroom, and bought a plunger.)
Royce, Tom, and Rich reminded everyone that broken drill bits can be recycled and are usually worth money. A container will be provided by the drill presses to collect them in the future.
A total of 15 members and 3 guests attended the meeting.
The sink is being repaired, but until then, there is a garden hose out by the bathrooms. All other plumbing fixtures still work. The group reminded everyone to check the back door is closed and locked when leaving. Also, the air compressor is currently out of order. Rich and Tom will be repairing it shortly.
Black Friday Make-A-Thon
We are planning our second annual Make-A-Thon for the day after Thanksgiving. Several project ideas have been suggested including CNC or saw cut wooden snowflakes, Makerbot-made cookie cutters, decorating eggs with the Egg-Bot, and soldering LED tie-pins. We’re still open to ideas, especially those that have more guest involvement and less fabrication time like CNC designs would need.
CNC Work Days / Club Meetings
Ron announced that CNC Club Meetings will likely occur on the first Sunday of each month. As a reminder, the Electric Car Club meets on the second Sunday of the month. More info to come.
The group is planning an outing this Saturday, October 15th to go see the new Hugh Jackman movie “Real Steel” featuring boxing humanoid robots. Meet at Marcus South Shore Cinemas prior to the 4:20 PM start time. See the discussion thread for more info.
A Visit From An Ethnographer
One of our guests this evening was Michael, an anthropology major from Beloit College, about 75 miles southwest of us. Michael is interested in becoming a member and studying the culture and community of hackerspaces. We just happen to be the closest one he’s found. Over the next several weeks Michael will be interviewing members, observing projects, and working in the shop. When completed, we have been promised a copy of either part or all of the finished work. There is also a presentation component that Michael will be organizing for his class.
A total of 14 members and 3 guests attended the meeting.
BarCampMilwaukee6 Wrap Up
Our “Learn to Solder” booth at BarCamp was a smashing success! We had nearly 60 campers solder up either a Milwaukee Makerspace Logo Board or the Maker Shed Robot Board. Our location out in the loading dock also put us close to the 3D printing group so we better got to know people from PS:One, Sector 67, and TC Maker. On Saturday, we ferried people from Bucketworks over to our space and gave 30 or so people a tour. The whole weekend was a great event and we’re glad we were invited to be a part of it. Pictures from BarCamp6 can be found on the Flickr photo pool.
Electric Car Club Meeting Sunday, October 9th
CNC Machining Club Proposed
Ron has announced that he intends to start a CNC Club for those interested in computer controlled milling, routing, machining, and fabrication. Meetings will likely occur on Sundays, but specific days are yet to be determined. Stay tuned for more information!
Black Friday Make-A-Thon Revisited
Last year Milwaukee Makerspace hosted an all day “make-a-thon” at Bucketworks where guests were invited to make light-up Christmas tree ornaments and other small trinkets rather than go out and fight the crowds at department stores. The group discussed possible projects for this year and garnered interest for a 2011 event.
Innovation in Milwaukee – MiKE
A new organization has been formed in Milwaukee that promises to foster innovation, technology and design, entrepreneurship, and collaboration. MiKE’s partners include General Motors, Kohl’s, Briggs & Straton, Spreenkler, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and many others. An introduction meeting is scheduled for Thursday in their new space in Grand Avenue Mall with an open house to immediately follow. More information is available on their website at http://www.innovationinmilwaukee.com/
By-Laws and Voting
The mailing list has been buzzing with talk of how to best make fair and informed decisions regarding the direction of our group. The discussion Tuesday clarified several procedures and reiterated how our by-laws work. In short, the major points included were:
Any member can propose a vote be taken or require that vote be delayed
Members will be notified prior to a vote taking place, usually one week
Those who put items to a vote will be expected to express why a vote is necessary
Voting by proxy is allowed since not everyone can attend every meeting
If a simple majority agrees, votes can be re-examined
Typical topics requiring votes include membership, purchases, and major rule changes
For more information on our organizational structure and operations, refer to the By-Laws Page.
Officer Elections and Other Business
After the discussion on policies and voting, the group voted on new officers. The roles of President, Vice President/Treasurer, and Secretary were opened for new nominations and votes cast.
Royce remains President
Jason G. replaced Tom G. as Vice President/Treasurer
Brant remains Secretary
The attendees also approved a budget of roughly $450 for 500 custom PCBs and parts for new Makerspace “Learn to Solder” Boards since we have exhausted our handmade supply during past events. Royce is handling the pricing and ordering. A budget of $20 was also approved for a rubber logo stamp so we can mark guests’ Hackerspace Passports when they visit from other spaces. Pete is leading the stamp project.
Jason proposed that we actively engage the public and recruit new members. He volunteered to lead a small group and make contact with people at area schools and colleges. More to come shortly.
Rich presented an idea to sponsor people who regularly attend meetings and help out at the space, but lack the disposable income necessary for membership. Candidates would be eligible for two or more months of part-time or student level membership. A fund has already been set up using donations from other members.
Jason noted that PS:One and other groups offer incentives to bring in materials, clean the space, teach classes, etc. and earn points which can be redeemed for merchandise, discounted dues, and more. More details to come.
It was noted that Shane, a regular at the space but not quite a member, was left waiting outside in the rain last Friday without anyone to let him in. People were in the space, but did not know he was out there. The group discussed the need for a doorbell to alert occupants to the presence of guests waiting outside. Ross volunteered to help build a system with a bell and lights and began working shortly after the meeting.
Electric Car Club Meeting October 9th
As usual, the Electric Car Club will be meeting on the second Sunday of the month. Tom asked for a few volunteers to come to the space and help direct any guests that attend the meeting. People will hang out between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM with the meeting somewhere in the middle. Tom noted that Ben is working to make the group an official chapter of the Electric Automobile Association.
A total of 14 members and 5 guests attended the meeting.
Introductions – Guests Welcome
Tom indicated that we have paid the fee for Made in Milwaukee and we will be cutting a check to sponsor BarCampMilwaukee6. For more information visit barcampmilwaukee.org The group agreed to put donations from members toward the sponsorship and pay the remainder out of organization funds.
This Sunday, September 18th from 1-3pm Royce will be teaching a class on the DipTrace printed circuit board design software. You can RSVP on Facebook.
The First Annual Wisconsin Science Festival will be held in Madison September 22nd-25th. Milwaukee Makerspace is not actively participating however the event has been shared on the mailing list. wisconsinsciencefest.org
BarCampMilwaukee6 is scheduled for October 1st-2nd and many of our members will be in attendance; a few will even be teaching!
Wiki and Website Content Discussion
There is a discussion on the mailing list about starting a Makerspace Wiki. Jason, Ross, and Royce led most of the discussion in the meeting Tuesday. While it is not clear if members would maintain or use a wiki, blog posts are being made often so the website is staying fresh and up-to-date. Is it also not clear at this time if WordPress has “collaboration” style pages like Drupal did with the former website. Brant volunteered to port the old cleanup task list and recommended vendors list over to the new website. Brant and Jason expressed interest in tagging the equipment with QR codes or something similar to track relevant information and possibly maintenance.
The group went around the room and shared what projects they are currently working on:
Royce P. – Gyro Belt/E-Textile Project for Dancers
Rich N. – Electric Ford Ranger Conversion & Restoring the Craftsman Lathe
Chris H. – Electric Ford Escort Conversion, transmission work
Ron B. – Wants to build a large electric clock using wooden gears, plans to level the CNC milling surface soon
Tom Gr. – Tweaking the Electric Dodge Neon, battery monitors and “smart” battery chargers
Mike K. – Temperature control circuit for an ATV, motor controller, possibly a Tesla coil soon
David R. – Motorcycle repairs, RFID audio plane
Jack D. – Continuing work on the ambulance, siren and PA coming soon
Jason G. – Coaching a FIRST Lego League Team
Matt N. – Looking to fabricate aluminum porch post covers
Ross O. – LED scrolling display hacking, analog synthesizer, repairing various test equipment picked up from yard sales
Brant H. – Scoreboard clocks, video projector hacking, making a key for the TP dispenser in the Women’s Room
Brett – Continuing work on the forge, needs to make tools and casting forge, also a LilyPad bicycle illumination project for night riding
A total of 14 members and 4 guests attended the meeting.
Made In Milwaukee – Event Recap
Several members attended ‘Made In Milwaukee’ last Saturday, downtown at Cathedral Square. The event was a great success despite the rain. The soldering classes went well and the group discussed plans for soldering projects at future events. Royce agreed to look into pricing custom PCBs with traces that form our logo. A discussion has started on the mailing list.
Power Wheels BBQ – This Weekend
Saturday, 9/10 we will be joining PS:One and others in Chicago for a picnic and gathering. A few of our makers will bring their cars along and plan to discuss the 2012 season, rules, and have fun.
Doctor Who Party – This Weekend
Ben Nelson will be hosting a Doctor Who-Themed birthday party for his brother this weekend. For more information on time and location, check the mailing list.
New Books in Library
Ron Bean noted that he’s added three books to the Library bookshelf:
There Are No Electrons: Electronics for Earthlings by Kenn Amdahl.
The Art of Electronics, by Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill
Electrical Engineering 101 by Darren Ashby
Members are welcome to use them, but please refrain from taking them home. Ron plans to use them while at the space.
Miller Welding Sponsorship
Kevin called Miller again this week to inquire about a sponsorship or possible equipment donation to us. We had contacted them months ago, but never heard back.
Cheap Electric Welders
After Kevin’s update, Tom and Rich noted that they had found some cheap DC welders for sale with options for TIG, MIG, and pulsed current for aluminum. The group seemed interested, either for the space, or personal use. Tom agreed to look into the sale further.
Four new guests joined us for this meeting and expressed interest in memberships and various projects. One guest, Andor, shared information on the upcoming Harvest Moon Festival and Sustainability Fair 9/24 and 9/25. More info can be found on their Facebook page. Another guest, Dan, was looking to meet Jason and discuss his FIRST Lego League Team.
Kevin and Tom mentioned they planned to go on a soda run later this week, possibly after the meeting. There were requests for Diet Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and “strange, unique” sodas to bring with to PS:One this weekend.
Brett announced that the forge was ready. After the meeting, the group watched as he fired it up.
September 26-27 at Wisconsin State Fair Park, the same weekend as Harvest Fair. Admission is free. Maker Faire Milwaukee's Call for Makers is now open.
Connect with Milwaukee Makerspace
Join our public mailing list to talk with Milwaukee Makers about projects, techniques and more.
Check out some behind the scenes info on our wiki.