MARRIED TO A MAKERSPACE GEEK

logo

 

I’ve known since I met my Makerspace Geek husband that he could fix ANYTHING. It didn’t always look pretty but it would work. I’m reminded DAILY just how talented he is. Unfortunately, over the years, being somewhat of a minimalist, I ran out of things to put on his Honey-Do List. I would find myself, at times, racking my brain trying to think of something he could fix or make. Because after completing a task and joyfully erasing it from the fix-it/make-it board, he was happy, contented and fulfilled. Lo and Behold he discovered Makerspace. I should celebrate the day as one would a major holiday. It has transformed my little geek into a big geek. He LOVES Makerspace and I love that he has a place to go where he can share, with other like-minded individuals, all the geeky thoughts spinning in his head. He still shares some of that with me but I know that oftentimes my head kind of goes on blank mode and I find myself just looking at him, trying not to nod off and listen. After his joining and I got over his starting every sentence with something about Makerspace, or his approaching total strangers and handing out a Makerspace card, or striking up conversations with family and friends and droning on for, what seemed like hours, about Makerspace, I surrendered. Why??? Because it makes him darn happy, that’s why. And who doesn’t want to see someone they love being happy??

 

So now when we’re eating dinner and I see him chomping at the bit because he wants to be at the club, I wish him well on his merry way and sit back to a quiet evening. If I’m awake when he gets home I get to hear all about the goings-on. I admit to crashing, often before he gets home because when he does he’s often so jazzed that I then have trouble falling to sleep .
Thanks, Makerspace, for making a space for him

Parade Time!

South Shore Frolics Parade!

Do you know what time it is, kids? It’s time for the South Shore Frolics Parade! That’s right, Bay View, the lovely neighborhood we do our making in, has its own parade, and it’s happening at 11am sharp on Saturday, July 12, 2014. The parade starts at Kinnickinnic and Linus, and travels down Kinnickinnic Avenue towards South Shore Park.

If you’re a maker and want to join us, show up at the space around 10:45am and we’ll head over to the line-up. Feel free to walk or ride a bike or some other contraption you’ve built. We might even have a few modified Power Wheels rolling for the event!

Hubba Hubba – a Power Wheels Fairy tale

A long time ago (last summer) in a place far far away (Detroit, New York or something) there was a power wheels race car called Red Lotus, crying alone in the pits.

IMG_20130824_110122
Red Lotus

All of the sudden, out of nowhere with a screech of tires and a puff of tire smoke appeared the Fairy Godfather (after all, Fairy Godmother wants “nothing to do with that dangerous racing stuff.”)

The Fairy Godfather asked Red Lotus “What’s the matter little race car?”

Blown tires

“Well Fairy Godfather, every time I try to catch up with the other cars my tires just pop!”

“Well little car, what you need are magic tires! and please call me FGF – all my drinking buddies laugh when someone calls me ‘Fairy’ ”

And with a wave if his enchanted tire iron POOF! a magical tire appeared!

New tire

“Really?” said Red Lotus “That rim won’t hold up for 20 seconds on a power wheels track.”

“Hey!” exclaimed FGF “You get a magical tire, you can figure out the rim yourself!”

Old hub

And so Red Lotus did figure out the rim herself. Thus was born the Quad Bolt, Flange Welded, Wood Spaced, super rim!

And all the rest of the season Red Lotus didn’t pop a single tire – at least not a rear tire…

Then one day when all the races for the season were over, once again Red Lotus was sitting alone in the pits crying.

With a squeal of tires and more blue smoke FGF appeared!

“What are you bawling about now? Didn’t I give you magic tires? Didn’t they last the entire season with out popping?”

“yes, they are wonderful” sobbed Red Lotus “but” (there’s always a ‘but’) “my front tires keep popping and the hubs I made suck.”

FGF thought for a minute and said “so why don’t you buy some real tires and make your own hubs to hold them?” “Here, I’ll show you how:”

Foam and tube

With a wave of his magic Tire Iron POOF pieces started to appear!

“Yum!” squealed Red Lotus “Pink frosted doughnuts!”

Bit foam

—- CRUNCH —-

“These are awful doughnuts, they taste like Styrofoam!”

—- SMACK —-

FGF knocks the doughnut out of Red Lotus’s mouth. “Those aren’t doughnuts, they’re hub patterns!”

Assembled pattern crop

“Put them on the tube like this”
“Pack it in sand”
“And pour molten aluminum all over it”

Casting

“And you get something like this”

Raw Casting

“Ewww” said Red Lotus “That’s gross!”
“Well its not done yet, you need a little time turning it on a lathe to turn it into something beautiful”

Turned casting

“Now you have your solid aluminum, hand cast, personally machined unbreakable super hub!”

And with a hearty belch FGF vanished leaving Red Lotus to do a whole bunch of work.

Tune in next time for the story of the PPPBBB – Pronounced:

Jack Manufacturing Concentrated Magic!?

Jack Manufacturing Concentrated Magic

We had a group from Liquid Wrench and Tinkernation out to shoot some promo videos about our Power Racing Series team a few weeks ago and they dropped off some Jack Manufacturing 3 ounce samples of Concentrated Magic “The World’s Best industrial Hand Soap.”

After working in our shop one Sunday I was ready to get cleaned up and I had several hand cleaners to choose from, something in an orange bottle with a pumice, green bar soap with pumice, a bottle of blue dish soap or the Jack Manufacturing Concentrated Magic.

I used the Concentrated Magic sample. Wow did it work great! It got out all that little dirt that hides in the crevices of your skin and also it did not dry my hands out!

Thanks Liquid Wrench and Jack Manufacturing for all your great support, and for the product samples.

(Want a free sample? Check out their web site!)

Girls in Tech + MM + PPPRS

GiT MKE SOLVE

A few months ago we connected with some of the women behind Girls in Tech Milwaukee and we talked about collaborating and sharing the joy of making with some local Girl Scouts troops. Well, things are still progressing, but if you’re a supporter of increasing the number of girls and women interested in technology, computer science, engineering, and design, you might want to check out the 2014 Girls in Tech SOLVE Launch Event.

And if you do, be sure to say “Hello!” to Audrey, one of the stars of our Power Racing Series team, as she talks about the engineering involved in designing and building an electric race car. Audrey joined the space last July, and in less than a year she’s gone from “Sure, I’ll drive a car” to “Sure, I’ll rip this old car apart and rebuild it better than before!”

(Oh, Audrey is also a Research Technologist, has attended MIT, and will be doing her graduate studies at Boston University. That’s what keeps her busy when she’s not building electric race cars!)

Red Lotus

A few facts about the Power Racing Series: Karen “Cannonball” Corbeil has the most wins (10) over any driver in the series. No other racing series boasts as many wins by women drivers. 6 women have won races in the Power Racing Series. Dozens have contested. This actually gives the PPPRS the highest gender balance of any “motorsport” in the world, and most every other sport too.

DIY Exterior Ashtray

For the longest time, members and guests were treated to this gorgeous sight:
0523141537a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can do better! All it took was some scrap metal, an old light fixture, and scrounged hardware. Grinding, welding, drilling, done.
0523141708

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ninety minutes later, I had chucked the vile plastic bucket in the dumpster and this hotness was bolted to the wall. One project done and a great way to start the Memorial Day weekend.
0523141747b

The Stratasys lives!

Last spring, I brought in a Stratasys FDM 2000 3D printer for the Makerspace to use for a few months before delivering it to our good friend Frankie Flood for use in UWM’s Digital Craft Research Lab.  Many people had items printed on it and wished we could keep it at the space, so I promised that the next Stratasys I acquired would indeed have a home here.  Fortunately, that didn’t take long, but unfortunately, the machine wasn’t fully working and needed a new support nozzle solenoid and had persistent jamming in the support extruder.  It functioned well enough with just the model material that we were able to run it successfully at Makerfest, but it needed much more work to run properly.

fdm2000 better wiki image

Thanks to another FDM owner, the solenoid was quickly replaced, but the jamming remained.  I assumed that it was something in the extruder tube itself, and set about a long process of clearing it of all obstruction.  Unfortunately, this provided no benefit whatsoever (but I at least got the satisfaction of a successful head teardown/rebuild and understand the internals better than before).

scumbag nozzle

Even after carefully drilling out all traces of plastic from the nozzle with tiny drills and a pin vise, it would still clog and jam.  Replacing it with another 0.012″ nozzle cured all jamming issues.

2000 first chess set print

As proof, here is a grainy, Loch Ness Monster-esque photo of a print done with support material.  Since printing Duchamp chess sets are all the rage, this seemed like a perfect inaugural print.  Much more tweaking remains – the XYZ offset of the support nozzle needs to be dialed in, there’s a bit of slack in the cable drive system that I think may be causing ripples in the part surfaces, and I’m not convinced that the ‘moonstone gray’ model material is running as well as other colors.  Regardless, full operation is within grasp – ladies and gentlemen, prepare your STL files!

Ressusciter Les Mort

About 7 years ago I was given the honor of caring for the family violin. What I got was a neck (separated from the body), the body, and one tuning peg. This is an especially sensitive item because the name written on the inside holds the name Stradivarius, and came over with my family from France. Turns out it’s not a Stradivarius, but it’s estimated to be 100 years old. It’s also estimated to have been silent for about 80 years and no living Massie has heard it played. - More on its background on my personal blog, this blog is for makers

7760937818_79a3a8f99e_b

REBUILD:
I investigated options to pay to have it repaired back to play grade, repaired enough to be an art piece, or just leaving it as is. It is a family heirloom so lending it out for someone to play was selfishly not attractive. Repairing with current parts would obfuscate what was part of the original and what is new. Finally, leaving busted up was just not cool.

IMG_20120925_130150

At a later trip to the museum I saw the T-Rex had a bright white resin femur place holder unit they could get a real one. I assumed the stark contrast in color was to not confuse what was original and what was a replacement. I.D. Magazine also had an article some time ago about some Dutch students repairing damaged wood furniture with lime green plastic replacement parts inlaid with the originals.

These use cases inspired me to try replacing the parts in some type of acrylic or pop color plastic replacement.

PROCESS:
As a Milwaukee Makerspace member I felt the best solution would be to replace all the missing pieces in 3D prints based off original parts (scanned and/or measured out). I additionally chose white cause it stood out against the dark wood.

7760977772_bc18ccb17a_b

I measured out the Tuning Peg by hand, rebuilt in SketchUp (don’t laugh) and printed to a Makerbot Replicator for first run prototypes.

7760828672_239ceeb684_o 8064832329_ff57214536_b

IMG_20140114_203333

Similar models of the tailpiece and the chin rest were purchased, sanded down, painted a flat brown and then scanned on a 3D scanner.

Once all pieces scans were complete, it was time to bring it all together (Thingiverse STLs  – Violin Peg, Chin Rest, Tail Piece). This was the easiest part, cause it just involved me handing someone a bag of money. Final edited STL’s were sent off to Shapeways to be printed and once returned all parts were taken to someone to be cleaned, assembled, strung and tuned.

14083146853_2c18454ecb_b

So now that it is done, it’s time to get it into able hands to have it played for the Massies that are still alive.

A Happening Weekend at the Space

As many of you might have known, this weekend we had our monthly space improvement day.  Thank you to everyone that came out and helped make the space even more awesome!  Here are a few of the neat improvements that happened this weekend.

  • Brant and Tiffany finished putting up the new general member storage shelves, now with cart parking!  If you would like a spot on the new shelving contact one of them to get a shelf.

 

 

 

 

 

spaceimprovement-13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • While he was at it Brant got motivated enough to to put some new wheels on the the rolling stairs.  That’s right, the rolling stairs now… roll!

 

 

  • The space received a new wood lathe and belt sander courtesy of Joe R.

spaceimprovement-4

  • The wood shop got a new table… also on wheels!  It’s great for the planner and router, but also makes for a handy work surface.  Just make sure you clean up after yourself!

spaceimprovement-16

 

 

 

  • spaceimprovement-14Vishal made us some fantastic tool height adjustment devices (read: stools)!  Now our members  can use the drill press without the added thrill of wood spinning directly into their exposed jugular!

 

 

 

  • There’s one for the forge too, so vertically challenged members (read: not 6’something giants) can now benefit from a full range of motion on the anvil.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Meanwhile the forge master spaceimprovement-18himself, Dan, used some ‘forged curvy bits’ to create a stand for the hose on the aluminium furnace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Ed built a table for the new router.  It now rolls nicely into its home, alongside it’s larger sibling in the Kuka room.

spaceimprovement-12

  • See that vacuumed floor?  Yeah that was Ed too.

spaceimprovement-15

  • Or perhaps you noticed the cable running across that floor.  Chris, Brant and Dan made some more progress towards getting us some wired internet at the space…some.

 

  • And naturally,  Charles did what Charles does best…organize! His contributions included a new drill bit organizer, a new air compressor tool rack, and a more organized tool box.

spaceimprovement-5spaceimprovement-6spaceimprovement-7

  • The craft lab storage room got the start of a makeover as well.  More progress to come, we promise.  But it was a long and exhausting weekend, so at least it’s a bit cleaner.
Before
Before

 

After
After