Makership Update


It’s been just under a month since we announce Frank as our first Makership recipient, and he’s been busy!

I just wanted to share these two great images of his work, featuring a “wing nut” and some skull rings.

Skull Rings

Pretty cool! Frank said he’s still getting the lay of the land at the Makerspace and figuring out who is who and what all the equipment does, but it’s good to see some progress being made.

And speaking of progress, if you want more updates, check out his blog, iFabr1kat3, where he’s documenting much of his work.

Makership Recipient: Frank

Milwaukee Makerspace Makership Program

About a month ago we announced our Makership Program, to give a local college student the opportunity to become a member of Milwaukee Makerspace, gain access to the space, its tools, and the members, in order to help them make something awesome.


We’re very happy to announce that we’ve chosen Frank, who you can clearly see is very excited in the photo above.

Frank is a student at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee where he’s been studying Jewelry and Metal Smithing. Since Frank doesn’t have access to the school’s studio this summer, he needs a place to continue his work, and the Makerspace is happy to fill that role with our Makership Program.

I got to spend a few minutes talking to Frank about the space, and our tools, and his project, and in the course of talking he told me that he loves to learn new things. I said “Well, you’ll fit in perfectly here then.” :)

Frank’s skills with casting may also come in handy as we get our new metal forges up and running this summer. So yeah, if the Milwaukee summer isn’t hot enough for you, come on down to the space and watch us work with molten metal!

Keep an eye on the blog in coming weeks, and we’ll fill you in on Frank’s progress, and get into exactly what his project will entail.

Food Not Bombs Bronze Pendant and Final Star Trek Assembly

Previously I had blogged about a Star Trek logo that I cast as gift for my sister-in-law. I’ll update that project later in the post, however, I held a second casting back from the blog as it was intended as a gift for my wife.

For a couple of years my wife co-ran Milwaukee’s Food Not Bombs movement. She has always had fond memories of that time and has on more than one occasion brought up their logo: a hand clutching a carrot. So, I decided to make her a pendant with a relieved carving of that logo. To begin with I pulled the jpg logo into Inkscape loaded with the Better Better DXF Output plugin. I used the Inkscape drawing primitives to trace over the major outlines of the logo and then export the tracing to DXF. Once in DXF I imported the file into CamBam where I cleaned of the drawing a little more and defined machining operations for our CNC Router to perform. I turned the outlines into a series of adjacent polygons. (e.g. a wrist polygon, a thumb polygon, etc.) I then setup pocket operations of varying depths on each polygon. Finally, I exported the file to G-Code for consumption by the Mach 3 router control program.

FNB Logo in Mach 3If you look you can kind of see the polygons even if the depth setting of each pocket is not apparent.

Above you can see the pendant in the process of being routed out and also the finished wax mold after routing. Below you can see the pendant after casting! She loved it and wears it frequently. I was a really good feeling to actually put some effort into making a gift this year. It made the act of giving the gift that much more special.

I also completed the Star Trek logo. I turned that into a broach.

Above you can see that I have mounted the Star Trek logo to a plastic backing. I’ve also cut one of Adafruit’s EL Panels way down in size and hooked it up to another one of her small inverters. The small inverter normally cannot run her panels, but after being cut down so much, it wasn’t a problem. Below you can see the two pieces put together.

And finally the finished gift!

As I said, I really enjoyed giving gifts that I made this year. I am going to try to do more of that!



Spin Casting!

Tonight we successfully spin cast a  few bronze models! This is the first time ever, at the Makerspace. I’m totally stoked to have a new and neat piece of equipment operating here.  Spin Casting now joins one of the many skills you can learn here.

Below you can see JasonH taking the torch to the bronze sitting in the crucible.


Neither JasonH nor myself have any real idea of what we are doing, but we gave it a try and it turned out! Below you can see the Star Trek logo that came from the wax mold I posted about earlier as well as bits of the sprue. It still has a good bit of investment stuck to it, but I’m out of time for tonight.


Below is a video of the spin caster in action. You can see the red glow of the molten metal being driven into the investment cavity.