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.
Just a thought on your rapid prototyping machine: I found you guys in a roundabout way through makerbot’s website (a makerbot youtube video mentions the bigwheel circuit, went to youtube and I saw Tom’s video and stumbled onto you guys) and so I thought I should throw their name into the ring. At $1300 it’s quite a bit cheaper than the Ultimaker. Plus they were on the Colbert report so that’s got to be worth something.
Mike, two of our members have MakerBot CupCake (one is at the space) and another member (me) is building a RepRap Prusa Mendel.
We are quite familiar with the MakerBot guys, and do like their work, but the Ultimaker is pretty impressive looking as far as speed and quality.
Affordable 3D Printing is still an emerging field, so different platforms will have different advantages as the technology quickly improves.