Maker Faire Milwaukee is Coming!

Good News, Everyone! Maker Faire Milwaukee returns for its fifth year! Milwaukee Makerspace is once again proud to be the co-host of the event along with the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. We’ll be at Wisconsin State Fair Park on the weekend of September 29th & 30th, 2018.

If you’re interested in learning more about the event, or being involved in some way (as a maker, a volunteer, etc.) consider joining us for the first planning meeting of the year. We’ll be holding the meeting at the new headquarters for Maker Faire Milwaukee, Brinn Labs, which is just a mile north of the space.

The Maker Faire Milwaukee Planning Meeting is set for February 8 at 6:30pm at 433 E Stewart St. in Bay View. We hope to see you there!

Pleasant Prairie Mini Maker Faire

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving we headed down to Pleasant Prairie to take part in the second Pleasant Prairie Mini Maker Faire. It was a small event, with about 40 makers and 1,400 attendees but we had a good time showing off some of our projects and taking to people about making.

As always, Mark’s Van de Graaff generator was a big hit, shocking young and old alike, and making people’s hair stand up on end. Mark also brought Ultra MegaMax Dominator so people could see a huge DIY 3D printer in action. (Sadly since the event was so short, he couldn’t do a very large print, but he had some to show off.)

Besides Mark’s UMMD I brought a 3D printing pen I got from Monoprice for cheap and Shane and I made various 3D printed “doodles” with the pen while talking to people about it. At least a few visitors were interested in it as a holiday gift.

Besides Mark, Shane, and myself, Karen was there and did a bit more of her melted crayon ornament craft for people. We also had a few other members show up and hang out for a while, which was nice as it gave us a break to check out the Faire.

Oh, as for the venue, it was at the Pleasant Prairie RecPlex which was like a YMCA, and it was a little weird that there were basketball games going on right behind us, but luckily there were able to use the pool for a cardboard boat regatta that some of the young makers took part in. There was plenty of room for Makers, and I can imagine that the Faire will grow over the years and have plenty of space to double in size.

See you next year, Pleasant Prairie!

Spindles of Wood

“Spindles of Wood” is not the name of the latest album from some obscure Icelandic emo band! Instead they are actually the front wheel spindles for our No-weld PPPRS vehicle. (You probably remember the frame from last time.)

While most teams in the Power Racing Series just buy pre-made spindles and weld them in place, our “No-weld” spindles were built using wood, glue some staples/screws, and use some 5/8″ bolts to attach to the car, and for the wheels to attach to.

We’ve still got to get the whole steering thing worked out, but we’re on our way! (Things are moving a bit slower than we had hoped, so we might debut this thing at Detroit in July instead of Kansas City in June, but we’ll see how it goes.)

Casting Maker Faire Ingots

For the last few months Kayla has been working on casting a pile of ingots for Maker Faire Milwaukee.  These ingots are made from scrap metal donated to the Milwaukee Makerspace by its members.  Everything from Kayla’s personal favorite, hard drive casings, to parts of tools and engines.  Its really cool to see her take trash and turn it into treasure in the form of aluminum bars.

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Be sure to watch for Kayla at Maker Faire Milwaukee pouring hot metal and helping people make stuff September 24th-25th at Wisconsin State Faire Park.

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Maker Faire Signs

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Over the last few weeks the Maker Faire team has been hard at work making some new signs to hang in the exhibit hall.  These signs are 10 x 5 feet and will make finding your way around much easier.  The logos are first traced on vinyl sheets and then carefully cut out.

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After the stencils are cut they are laid out on the fabric banner for painting.  It can be a challenge to get the curved lines of these very large logos to lay flat.  Kim, Mike, Kathy, and Pete have been doing a great job.  This project has been a labor of love for Kim who designed these signs and has seen them from drawing to fabrication.

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Be sure to look for these signs and lots of others this month at the largest free Maker Faire in the US right here in Milwaukee at Wisconsin State Faire Park.  For more information about Maker Faire Milwaukee and all the amazing makers that will be there click here.

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