ShopWare and Markforged

We had a visit from ShopWare during our open night on Tuesday, January 29th, 2019. They thought we might be interested in seeing a Markforged 3D printer capable of printing with nylon, Kevlar, and carbon fiber. And they were right, we were interested!

They showed a few videos that featured the capabilities of very strong 3D printed parts, and then answered questions, and had a number of samples to pass around and show off. They also brought a Mark Two for us to take a look at.

One of the weird things about how the Mark Two functioned was that it homed the x and y after every layer it printed. It also lowered the z just a bit while it homed the x and y, then raised the z back up to meet the extruder (which was dripping a small bit of filament) before then starting a new layer. (None of us could figure out why it was doing that, or what benefit it offered, though we had some guesses.)

These appear to be some sort of brake lever, maybe for a bicycle or motor cycle. They were very strong. There was no flex at all when trying to bend them by hand. Typically parts printed with PLA or ABS feel pretty “breakable” but these seemed like you’d need some tools to break them. (I really wanted to crush one in the hydraulic press when no one was looking!)

Printed threads are no problem, and again, appeared to be very strong, and the ball joint moved pretty good.

The metal part was not printed on the Mark Two, but another Markforged printer. The part gets processed after it’s printed, so it shrinks a bit, but the software deals with sizing up your model before printing so it comes out the correct size when done. We’re pretty sure this part was “finished” a bit after printing as well, perhaps on a lathe, which would explain why the rounded part is polished while the flat hexagonal part is not.

While the extreme cold weather kept some members away, we had a pretty good turnout to welcome ShopWare, and for those who were there, got to see some cool technology we home to someday have a the space.

Milwaukee Tool at Milwaukee Makerspace

We had Milwaukee Tool join us on January 15th, 2019 for a brief demo about how they use an iterative process to design new products. They showed a series of prototypes and talked about how they work to identify new markets and potential products. They also brought a few goodies for the space. :)

Over the years they’ve also hired a few of our members, and they came looking for more, specifically for their concepting team. We’ve also got a few members who happen to be Milwaukee Tool employees before they joined the space, so it’s nice to have a positive relationship with them.

As a designer I really enjoyed their presentation, and I hope we’ll find ways to collaborate in the future. (At least a few members volunteered to stress-test any new tools they come up with!

Deutsche Haus, DRO, Screen Printing and Wood Stuff!

Neil made a Deutsche Haus! Neil’s wife, Fran had a great great grandfather who lived on the second floor of Hotel Deutsches Haus in Dinkelsb├╝hl, Germany. As a gift for his wife Neil made a replica of the hotel as if it stood alone rather than sharing walls with the adjacent buildings. He created it using one of the laser cutters. He also lit the tiny windows from within to show the light inside. The Deutsches Haus was built in the 15th Century and remains in use as a hotel to this day.

Bill**W (yeah, that’s what we call him) activated the Z-axis on the Gorton DRO. Now you can see some sweet digital readout

Rick made a custom rig for screen printing PCBs. He utilized the metal shop and the wood shop quite a bit.

William Re-purposed some red wine barrel staves into various gifts last month, including candle holders, platters and plant hangers.

Workbench, Wood, Wreath!

Austen had started to think about a workbench for his garage, and whipped up this quick render of what it might look like. (Can’t want to see the final build!)

Billy managed to get a giant pile of Birch plywood donated to the space. Awesome! (And hey, if you have raw materials you think might be useful to our members to learn new skills or build new projects, get in touch with us about it.)

Kathy H. made a wreath from a roll of DecoMesh that she got at Goodwill for only $2. (A steal since it’s usually twice that price or more.) She already had the roses on-hand from a rummage sale she had visited, the ribbon had been donate to the space, and the frame was $3.14 from Michaels thanks to a 30% off coupon. Way to be a thrifty maker!

No Meeting December 25th or January 1st

Usually when people ask about checking out Milwaukee Makerspace we say “Come on down! Any Tuesday night at 7pm!” but sometimes we add “unless it’s a holiday” and in the next few weeks we’ve got not one, but two holidays falling on Tuesdays, so Tuesday, December 25th, 2018 and Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 we will not have our regular open nights.

Don’t come for the meeting, don’t come for the tour, don’t come to sign up as a new member. Everyone who helps run Milwaukee Makerspace is a volunteer, and they’re getting a break for two weeks. (Thank them for their service if you’d like.)

If you are already a member, feel free to come in! Your key gets you 24/7 access to the space, and you can work on your projects as usual, without a meeting or tours going on. Simple, right? Right!