Minne-Faire V Approaches…

April 4th, 2014 by danbackslide

For those of you looking for Minne Faire this weekend, the dates have moved to May 31st and June 1st. It seems that some people just didn’t trust the weather after last year.

minnefaire_2014_teaser

Wow! Minne-Faire five. Has it been that long? Yes, it has. Plan on helping us celebrate.

This two day event will be returning to its roots. Admission will be free, though we’ll happily accept donations to keep it running next year. We’ll be showing off our expanded space and capabilities and celebrating all things Maker — that is after all what this is all about.

We expect the usual mix of old and new friends, along with our own members contributions. Music, food, fun, and the chance to learn new things will all be available for your enjoyment.

If you’re interested in participating, feel free to email us at [email protected]. Slots are filling up, but there’s still time to get one. The coolness factor is as always our major selection criteria, but coolness is a very broad category. We are looking for both people who have stuff to show off and anyone interested in giving talks and presentations. Expect that the foundry will be pouring, blacksmiths will be smithing, lasers lasing, 3d printing discussions and much more. We know that’s not all there is, though, so help us fill in the blanks!

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Space: The Ongoing Quest

April 10th, 2014 by danbackslide

As many of you know we recently obtained some additional space. This allowed us to move storage off the main floor and out of the wood shop.

floor.png

With the move everybody gets a bit more elbow room. The major portion of the move happened during quarterly cleanup, but we are not done yet.

The machine shop will be moving into the old member storage area, which will get the precision machines away from the grinding dust and general chaos of the metal area. Coordination with our machinists and area preparation is ongoing but it will be done soon and the move will follow closely thereafter. In the meantime, anything parked in the old member storage area is subject to being moved at any time. If you leave something there make sure it’s mobile, and expect it to move.

Remember to label your things in member storage with your name and contact info. We have to know how to get a hold of you. While neat, clearly marked storage is unlikely to be touched, there are occasions when even those areas need to be shifted to accommodate other members. As we settle into the expanded storage space expect a bit more shifting around then normal.

IMPORTANT NOTIFICATIONS!!!

March 20th, 2014 by Nemesis

Hey everyone!

We’ve got a really busy and exciting spring ahead of us, and we want all of you to be involved!

First: Saturday, March 29th is quarterly clean-up. In case you haven’t heard, we’ve acquired some new space! The current plan is to move member storage to the new space, freeing up a lot of floor space in the main part of the shop. We’re hoping to complete the move during quarterly clean-up. What this means for you: we will need plenty of warm bodies during quarterly clean-up to help move EVERYTHING.

Also, if you currently have a project on the member storage shelves, please consider doing a bit of tidying up before clean-up. If you haven’t worked on your project in quite some time, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that the storage is for active projects only and ask you to bring any in-active projects home. If you’re project is active, please make sure that everything is properly labeled and consolidated into as small of a space as possible. And consider showing up for clean-up to help move your own things (only way to guarantee that nothing gets lost in the shuffle or that you know where your stuff ends up).

Second: Our 5th annual Minne Faire is being held this year on May 31st and June 1st. Interested in showing off a project? Email [email protected]. It is free to display something as a non-vendor (and also free to attend this year — though we won’t say no to donations). Want to register as a vendor? Email [email protected] for details.

Finally: I’d like to say thank you to Tony Fulda for all of the time that he put into the metal shop (don’t worry, he’ll still be around) and welcome Steve Skalko as our new metal shop manager.

Love,

Madame President

 

Intro to CNC: Sunday, March 9

March 3rd, 2014 by danbackslide

3D relief carving of the TC Maker logo

Twin Cities Maker has three CNC machines at the Hack Factory. For those who don’t know, a CNC machine is a computer-controlled router which you can use to carve out all sorts of 2D and 3D items. They take a bit of training to be able to use, so Matt is running a class this Sunday!

The  course covers the fundamentals of using the large CNC Router:

  • Safety
  • Materials you can and can’t use.
  • Powering up and shutting down.
  • Basic use of the Vectric’s Cut2D software which makes cut paths.
  • Basic use of Mach3 software which controls the router.
  • Basic uses and advantages of router bits.

To sign up for the class, head over to the registration page at Eventbrite.

WE WON!

December 23rd, 2013 by metis

wewonOur team has won the Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge sponsored by Make and Ford!

Not only did all your support get us #1 in popularity, but the wonderful, wise, and generous sponsors chose our design as the Grand Prize Winner, AND Ford is intending to build and showcase our design! Our humblest and heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported us in the voting process, we couldn’t have won without you.  Competition was stiff, and the show of support from all over the world for our design and the community we’ve built is really appreciated.

A **HUGE** “Thank You!” to the sponsors for the honor they’ve bestowed upon us, along with the giant novelty check.  We’ve got a few great plans in the works on how to spend the funds to improve our facility and outreach programs.

We’re intending on having a minor celebration at the weekly open house on the 1st of the year, and would love to see all of you there.

Official Announcement!

Update: And a follow up post!

December 5th, 2013 by SLSolarz

This weekend: ceramics and lasers and 3D printers!

 

Our latest projects will be on display at the Hack Factory this weekend!

Come check out the 3D printer we just made!
Come check out the 3D printer we just made!

We’ll be a stop on the Seward Art Crawl and we want YOU to show off your projects!  Nothing to show right now?  No worries.  Come check out what others are working on, get some ideas or just socialize.  It will all be fun! 

Checking out new and in-process maker projects is fun!
Checking out new and in-process maker projects is fun!

Stop by anytime to pick up a map of the crawl, a poster or postcards with coupons from local businesses (good for Art Crawl weekend only)!

Ceramic Sculpture by Ann Meany

Ceramic Sculpture by Ann Meany

The Seward Art Crawl is December 7 & 8 (Sat, 10am-5pm and Sun, 12-5pm).  This is an important opportunity for us to show off the space and to promote Twin Cities Maker.  Stop by Friday afternoon to help get our space ready for the weekend!

To participate in or volunteer for the event email Susan at [email protected]

Seward Winter Art Frolic

December 2nd, 2013 by SLSolarz

IMG_2506

CNC-cut chair by Pete.

ATTENTION EVERYONE: The Hack Factory will be a stop on the Seward Winter Frolic Art CrawlWe want YOU to come display your cool projects, teach people skills as you work on a project, etc.

The Winter Art Crawl is THIS WEEKEND, December 7 & 8 (Sat, 10am-5pm and Sun, 12-5pm).  We advertised our stop in City Pages so we can expect a good turnout.  This is an important opportunity for us to show off the space and to promote Twin Cities Maker.

To learn more about the Art Crawl, go to sewardarts.org.  To participate in or volunteer for the event email Susan at [email protected]

 

 

Make Magazine and Ford Motor Company’s Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge

November 18th, 2013 by Nemesis

Ask not what TC Maker can do for you, but what you can do for TC Maker!

“What can I do for TC Maker?” you ask….

VOTE!

Here is the link:
http://makezine.com/maker-vehicle-challenge/#view/19038/1651376

I need for each and every one of you to go give this awesome design all 5′s, every single day, from now until December 12th. Yes, you can (and should) vote every day.

527802c0-274c-4ab7-b1bd-70ab0a652ac7

Here is the link, again:

http://makezine.com/maker-vehicle-challenge/#view/19038/1651376

People put in a lot of hours on this. I make a complete fool of myself. At the end of the day, none of us are making any money on this. What more do you want?

What you want is for us to win the grand prize of $10,000, with all money being donated to Twin Cities Maker. This is your maker space and you want some new toys in it! Think of all the stuff that 10 G-notes could buy! A few of us did this challenge as labor of love for a shot at giving back to a community that has given each of us so much. It is your turn to help us out. Go vote.

Love,
Madame President

Seward Winter Art Frolic

November 17th, 2013 by Nemesis

ATTENTION EVERYONE: The Hack Factory will be a location for the Seward Winter Art Frolic. We want YOU to come display your cool projects, teach people skills, etc. The Winter Art Frolic is December 7 & 8 (Sat, 10am-5pm and Sun, 12-5pm). This is an important opportunity for us to show off the space and promote Twin Cities Maker. To find out more about the Art Frolic, go to http://sewardarts.org/. To find out how you can help and participate in this event, contact [email protected]

Give to the Max Day Update #3

November 14th, 2013 by danbackslide

Unfortunately, GiveMN’s website has been down for most of the afternoon. Please keep checking back, and we’re sorry for the inconvenience…

In other news:

  • The skeeball playfield parts are being cut even as I type. Some problems with the cut files slowed things down for a while.
  • The yurt should be up Real Soon Now.
  • Art cars!
  • Steve’s smelter will be firing up shortly on its inaugural run. Come by and watch us melt stuff!

There will be music later, as well as beer. Come on by, we’d love to show you around! The Hack Factory is open until midnight tonight.

gttm_smelter

gttm_yurt

Give to the Max Day Update #2

November 14th, 2013 by danbackslide

Is it noon already? Wow, time flies when you’re sleep-deprived…
Give to the Max Day 2013
Donations are coming in, slowly but surely. If you haven’t already, please click on the lovely green logo and give us a donation. Everything you give through Give.MN today is being matched, so even a small gift grows almost like magic. Or if you prefer, like sufficiently advanced technology.


Fox 9 News did a story about Give to the Max Day, and it features TCMaker. Go take a look! Riley was also interviewed on KSTP’s midday news; we’ll put a link up to that as soon as we can.

Our big project, the skeeball machine, is proceeding along. We’ve got the target area pieces cut, sanded and stained. Electronics are basically working, but will need to be installed so that the IR sensors can be calibrated. The playfield pieces still need to be cut on the CNC machine, and somehow I’ve got to make a gigantic gauge to show your score…
Skeeball backfield pieces after staining
No sleep ’til skeeball!

Give to the Max Day Update #1

November 14th, 2013 by danbackslide

So here’s what’s been happening so far:

  • A yurt collar has been built
  • Lots of skeeball parts have been sanded (and lots of sawdust has taken up residence in my shirt)
  • The back part of the skeeball cabinet is standing
  • Cocoa has been forgotten

Not bad for just under 5 hours’ work. The Give to the Max Micro Minne-Faire continues all day! Feel free to stop by any time. And we’d be thrilled if you were to give us a donation — every donation made today through GiveMN is being matched by a host of fine donors. Click the green logo over there to the right, or donate at our Give to the Max Day page. Remember, your donations are tax deductible, and immensely appreciated.

The wood shop at 5am

The wood shop at 5am

Micro Minne Faire Begins At Midnight November 14!

November 14th, 2013 by Obi-Bob

Twin Cities Maker’s 24 hour Micro Minne Faire and Hackathon launches at midnight this Wednesday night!  This DIY, maker and hacker event is being put on in conjunction with GiveMN’s Give To The Max Day.  Every donation made to Twin Cities Maker will increase the chance for TCM to double donations received.  Come to the Hack Factory and see what’s going one: doors will be open all day and all night for the Faire.   The trebuchet will be launching LED throwies all day and night.  Fox 9 was here earlier to film and launch a throwie of their own.  Live music starts Thursday night.

Treb4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUb0ZwKYXbg

Click on the GiveMN Donate Now button or go to http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Hack-Factory-Of-Minnesota to donate now.

 

Micro Minne Faire

October 30th, 2013 by Nemesis

November 14th is GiveMN’s Give to the Max Day! Twin Cities Maker will be participating in Give to the Max Day, allowing us the opportunity to receive matching grants for donations made. To further our fundraising campaign, Twin Cities Maker will be holding a Micro Minne Faire at the Hack Factory. This is a small DIY and Maker Expo that will begin at 12:00 AM on November 14th and end at 12:00 AM on November 15th. That’s right. This is a 24 hour event.

Makers, hackers, and DIY enthusiasts are encouraged to display projects and participate throughout the event. The event is free and open to the public. If you want to participaten or just visit, stop by!  We’ll be here, and ecstatic to see you!

In addition to project displays, there is also going to be a group build of a Steampunk themed Skeeball machine. Everyone is encouraged to contribute to the project. There will be live music and beverages in the evening.  A kiosk will be set up to facilitate online donations at the Micro Minne Faire.

Not able to make the event? Stop by any Wednesday for our weekly Open House from 7 to 10 PM.

Thank you to everyone for supporting Twin Cities Maker and we hope to see you at the Micro Minne Faire!

Wait, you wanted to support your favorite local makerspace and weren’t sure how to make your donation count to Give to the Max Day?  CLICK HERE

Halloween Open House Wednesday, October 30

October 26th, 2013 by Obi-Bob

ElectricChairDeath Small

The Wednesday, October 30 Open House will be spookier than normal!  Put on your favorite costume and come to The Hack Factory for the Second Annual Twin Cities Maker Halloween Open HouseOrama!  Ride the Electric Chair, if you dare!  Tremble in fear at the awesome power of the Jacob’s Ladder!  Who knows what else you’ll see?

Twin Cities Maker is going to Milwaukee Maker Fest 2013

October 14th, 2013 by Orkraider

aTreb
Click the pic to see it launch!

Twin Cities Maker is going to be showing our stuff at Milwaukee MakerFest 2013. I’m going to be bringing the little tiny trebuchet of doom, and a variety of other small items that I can fit on the bus with me. If you have any ideas for a great project or small object that can travel with me to Milwaukee, let me know!

Riley

Basic Sewing 101 — new dates!

October 3rd, 2013 by danbackslide

sewing

Sign up for this class on our Eventbrite page!

Always wanted to learn to sew but don’t know where to start?  Have you been sewing on your own but feel you need some guidance?  In this class you’ll learn the basics for sewing of all kinds of objects; useful hand sewing stitches, how to operate a machine sewing, and construction techniques, etc.  In class you will make a simple tote bag.  It will act as a sampler, providing a set of basic construction techniques that should leave you ready to tackle your next project!

  • Owning a sewing machine will be helpful, but not necessary.  If you have one, leave it at home for the first class.  Do bring it for the second class.
  • Be ready to purchase some basic sewing supplies and fabric, if you don’t already own them.  See materials list.
  • This is not an industrial sewing machine class. 
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • When: This is a four class series that will be held on Sundays from 6pm to 8pm, November 3 – 24.
  • Instructor: Lindsey Strange

Musical PVC Bench in the News!

September 25th, 2013 by SLSolarz

Sculptor Susan Solarz (right) talks with a group of passers-by who stopped to play her musical bench in downtown St Paul on Tuesday September 24th 2013 (MPR photo/Jeffrey Thompson)

Sculptor Susan Solarz (right) talks with a group of passers-by who stopped to play her musical bench in downtown St Paul on Tuesday September 24th 2013 (MPR photo/Jeffrey Thompson)

Hey thanks for checking out my blog!

MPR aired a nice story today on the bench but cut out all 3 of my mentions of Twin Cities Maker at the Hack Factory.  Kind of a bummer.

At least in this short TPT piece you can see the back of my Twin Cities Maker T-shirt!

 

Musical PVC Bench goes on display!

September 19th, 2013 by SLSolarz

Because I solvent welded each section upside-down, some PVC cement collected and dried on the seat.  Here you can see that I still have a lot of filing and sanding left before I can spray paint.

Because I solvent welded each section upside-down, some PVC cement collected and dried on the seat. Here you can see that I still have a lot of filing and sanding left before I can spray paint.

Volunteer worker Stephen VanDahm spent his Wednesday evening filing and sanding the bench in preparation for painting.

Volunteer worker Stephen VanDahm spent his Wednesday evening filing and sanding the bench in preparation for painting.

Hey, thanks for checking out my blog!

This will be my last post about my musical PVC bench. I still need to drill holes for connecting sections, make new paddles for playing music and finish lots of sanding and painting.  However, it WILL be ready to exhibit by Saturday evening when it goes into storage at the Alliance Bank Center. It will then go on display at 55 E 5th St. in Saint Paul Tues 9/24 – Thur 9/26.

Check out my press release for all the details.

Many thanks to all the TC Makers who volunteered their time to help with this project!

In my next posting, I will return to my series on redesigning the Origami Chair.

Clean-up day approaches…

September 18th, 2013 by danbackslide

 

Cleanup

It is that time again. Saturday September 28th is the next quarterly clean up.

The festivities begin at 10 AM.

With the arrival of the Industrial Sewing machines and Sergers, and of course the Laser we will have a lot of outside interest. Lets take the opportunity to really get the place in order so we can covert that interest into members.

With the wood shop and metal shop in fairly good shape we will be concentrating on member storage and up for grabs. Remember our storage is designed for active projects and personal tools. We just do not have the space for long term, someday storage and hoarding. As always we will work out something if we know about it and some longer term out of the way space has opened up. But what we don’t know about may just be gone the next time you come in. Parking Permits need to be updated if you haven’t been in recently. Outdated and undated Permits mean you are letting somebody else determine that it is junk.

Life happens and if you cannot make it to Clean Up please try and drop by in the days leading up to it and do your bit.

The Fall brings more potential membership interest, more use of the space, increased class schedules and more events. With that the staff and board can get a better handle on what we need to do with the facilities.

So let’s get the Hack Factory in shape.

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