MakerBot drawing tonight

March 31st, 2010 by uptownmaker

The drawing will be tonight, at 8pm CDT.  It will be streamed over Ustream.  View the channel using he address A notice will be posted on the TCMaker twitter account when the channel is open.

EDIT:  The winning ticket number is 364!  Note that we started our ticket numbering at 100, instead of 0, to make a dice roll easier to interpret (4-sided dice are numbered 1-4, not 0-3.  It’s almost like they weren’t designed by someone who starts counting at 0!).  We ended up using to generate a truly random number.

Thanks to all the participants, and congratulations to our winner!


Automatic Dues Payments

March 31st, 2010 by Paul Sobczak

For those of you that would like to automate their membership payments you can now do so using Paypal’s subscription option below.

Intro to Electronics class

March 27th, 2010 by uptownmaker

I’ll be offering an introductory electronics class on 17 April at the Hack Factory.

This will be a basic class, covering amps, volts, ohms, watts, and the relationship among them.  Also covered (briefly) will be batteries and switches, and then we’ll get into some exercises intended to demonstrate concepts and get you familiar with using a multimeter.

Please register at least four days in advance of the class with Eventbrite. I will need to know how many people plan to attend in advance so I can plan for how many parts kits to assemble.  The parts kit will contain all the bits and pieces needed for this class, as well as a breadboard and multimeter, some wire, and a wire stripper.  It will also include some parts useful for other projects and parts that may will be helpful in other upcoming classes I plan to teach.

MakerBot drawing closed

March 24th, 2010 by uptownmaker

Due to what can only be termed overwhelming demand, we are closing the ticket sales for the MakerBot drawing.

Unfortunately, logistics are precluding us from arranging payment with all of you wonderful folks who have e-mailed or otherwise offered to buy tickets via non-PayPal methods.  We actually went a bit beyond the originally planned 300 tickets (~340), but shipping is going to be fairly pricey, and we plan to buy some plastic for both our machine and the winner’s machine to jumpstart the process.

Look for an e-mail in the upcoming days verifying the number of tickets we have you down for.  The drawing will be next Wednesday night at the Hack Factory- as is our standard practice we’ll have a Ustream feed set up for it so the whole world can watch.

Thanks to all who participated- this has been an outstanding experience for us and a wonderful reflection of the support the Maker community has for its own.  If you have any questions or concerns,  please send us e-mail at twincitiesmaker at gmail.

Cease using PayPal for raffle

March 24th, 2010 by uptownmaker

Per PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy, we can’t sell raffle tickets through their service.

Please cease using PayPal as a payment method for raffle tickets; PayPal can, of course, still be used for paying your monthly dues or making regular donations to TCMaker.

We’ll be selling tickets at tonight’s meeting; people out of town can e-mail us at twincitiesmaker[-at-] and we’ll figure out a way to facilitate a distant payment for your tickets.

HacFac needs a MakerBot!

March 23rd, 2010 by uptownmaker

EDIT:  The drawing will be tonight, at 8pm CDT.  It will be streamed over Ustream- watch this space and the TCMaker twitter account for an address.

EDIT:  Ticket sales are now closed.  If you bought a ticket but haven’t received an e-mail informing you of your numbers for the drawing, or of a refund of your money, e-mail us and let us know.

The drawing will be Wednesday night, March 31, and will be streamed live over Ustream.  Watch this space for more information.

Shamelessly stealing Borrowing a good idea from our colleagues at AS220, Twin Cities Maker is putting up a raffle to fund the acquisition of a MakerBot.

Rules are simple: $5 a “ticket” (tickets are actually virtual- you’ll get entered into a spreadsheet and we’ll randomize a selection), 300 tickets are available, no limit (if you want to buy all 300, be our guest!).  Need not be present to win, nor a member of TCMaker (and membership is, of course, not going to improve your chances of winning).  We obviously can’t guarantee the delivery schedule (currently, they are on backorder until batch 14 is ready in mid-May; they are accepting pre-orders, but unless we sell out of tickets in record time, we will probably miss the pre-order bus, too).  Winner will be expected to pick up the prize from the Hack Factory- if you are outside of the metro area, we’ll drop ship it to you from the MakerBot mothership.

Buy your tickets via the usual Hack Factory payment methods: PayPal, or in person at one of our meetings with cash or check.  If you use PayPal, please make sure that you clearly state in the message that the money is for the raffle.  We’ll e-mail you back with a range of ticket numbers. Please do NOT use PayPal, as that would violate PP’s Acceptable Use Policy.

EDIT (3-24-2010  17:50 CDT): We’ll be selling tickets at tonight’s meeting; people out of town can e-mail us at twincitiesmaker[-at-] and we’ll figure out a way to facilitate a distant payment for your tickets.

EDIT:  To be clear, the winner of the raffle gets a MakerBot.  This is a “one for you, one for me” thing- we’re selling enough tickets to fund the purchase of TWO MakerBots, and one goes in the Hack Factory.

Coming Soon: Handmade Music: Minneapolis #2

March 22nd, 2010 by noise

This Thursday is the second installment of Handmade Music: Minneapolis.  There will be some fun stuff to see, hear and do.  Come check us out, the festivities start at 7pm.  We have created a blog dedicated to the monthly event, so you can read all the details about this month over there.

Also, if you would like to to help us spread the word there are some fliers that you can print off and distribute.

Handmade Music: Minneapolis #2

HACKQuarium at the Hack Factory!

March 18th, 2010 by uptownmaker

Sugru - hack things better

It’s been mentioned in the semi-weekly update, and here’s the skinny:

This coming Friday, March 26, the Hack Factory will be hosting a HACKQuarium.  What is a HACKQuarium?  It’s an event (FREE to members; TCMaker respectfully suggests a $5 donation for non-members) where you get to play around with sugru, a fun new material designed specifically for the DIY/hacker/maker community!

Sugru is a hand-moldable material that can be used to repair or improve existing items.  Check out their website for examples of things people have done with it. Start thinking about what YOU want to do with it- bring your stuff to fix, hack, or trick out.  Prizes will be awarded to the best uses!

We do ask that if you plan to come, you register in advance so we know how many people to expect.  As with most TCMaker events, BYO snacks or beverages, or we’ll have some non-alcoholic beverages on hand for purchase.

In The Future @ The Hack Factory

March 17th, 2010 by Paul Sobczak

If you haven’t been to the Hack Factory yet, above is a little video of the place, and here is another more poorly done video that shows the downstairs area and what the space looks like during the Wednesday Open House Meetings, which we everybody and anybody to attend.

TC Maker is starting to announce more and more events as we start to get things together, for those new to the group we are a bit over a year old, but rather new with this whole physical space thing, that said we are really excited and have seen some great things come from the tangible world. Here is what is coming up in the near future.

  • Wind Turbine Class: This filled up before it hit the internet (Watch the calendar for more info)
  • Synchronous Hackathon: The cats at are calling for a worldwide hackathon in hackerspaces the weekend of March 20th, 2010,  join in and make stuff.
  • Welding Class:This is an ongoing class that started last month and filled up to capacity the first time around, look for future classes here.
  • NSFW: This will be the first event called Now Showing From the Internet, it’s a spin off of a similar event from the people over at NoiseBridge
  • Handmade Music Minneapolis: These guys have decided to go monthly after the response that we got at the first handmade event, and a dedicated site Handmade Music Minneapolis was quietly launched in the mean time.
  • Blender: This class actually starts on April 1st, it’s an introduction into the workings of Blender an opensource 3D animation suite.
  • Hackquarium: TC Maker was able to get their hand on the coveted and colorful Sugru fix it clay stuff, check it out before you put an order in.
  • Wednesday Open House: Check out TC Maker.


March 16th, 2010 by Paul Sobczak

Welcome to Chiphacker

Chiphacker is a collaboratively edited question and answer site for electronics hackers – regardless of platform or language. It’s 100% free, no registration required.

It’s like a mash up of a wiki (collaboratively edited) and Reddit (vote system), and I really like it. So far I have asked a few questions and got some quality answers. I recommend all of you to try it, as they are currently in a sort of beta stage trying to grow the community and they are encouraging people to do that by not making them register.

Further, the site is impressively coded. Who ever did this went extra lengths to make the whole experience of chiphacker seamless, they also added this little badge system for contributing which is quite fun.

Also if you look their mascot you can see that it has been endowed with three arms. Anybody who has soldered can attest to the luxury that would provide, surely with that guy leading the site it headed for great things.

Blender 3D Class

March 5th, 2010 by swinkdaddy

Thursday evenings 6:30 -9:00 April 1st – 29th.

Learn to build and animate simple 3 dimensional objects and characters using Blender3D. Blender3D is a free open source 3D program build for numerous platforms. The class will start with making simple objects and finish with making an animated kinetic chain.

A laptop you can bring to class
3 button mouse (yes it is maddening without one)
blender3D (2.49 version not the new beta) –
optional – usb number keypad (help in switching views, but not needed)

$25 for class and ~$5 each class to chip in for pizza/snacks. Payment via check/cash on first day of class. Class will be held in the class room at the Hack Factory.



March 4th, 2010 by noise

If you didn’t get a ticket to Ignite Minneapolis or would rather hang out with a bunch of cool geeks instead of marketing drones and social media consultants then head over to the Hack Factory.

There will be minimal structure, just another great night of creating at the factory, including but not limited to the following:

  • Free software swap – bring your favorite free app on a cd to trade, be prepared to do a pitch about how cool it is.
  • Lensbaby test and review.  John Baichtal from Make blog and Geekdad scored some lenses from Lensbaby so he could write a review, so we will be testing those out.  He has a pinhole and soft focus lens, can anyone say geek boudoir?
  • Kicad hacking, etc. – Adam Wolf (inventor of the Tactile Metronome) will be there doing something awesome as always.

Handmade Music: Minneapolis #1 – Report

March 2nd, 2010 by noise

What a great night! Our first Handmade Music was a big success, lots of people showed up and got to show off and learn a bit more about sound. The night was mostly just a free for all with no direction or organization, it was awesome, none-the-less we had a great response and some terrific enthusiasm.

A few people brought things to show off or play. It was a pretty diverse collection:

– Cigar Box Guitar
– PICaxe-based Synth
– Mini-theremin kit
– Synth chip and MIDI file playback.
– Drum Pad Game Controller
– MIDI drum pad and ChucK apps
– PAiA Theremin, KAOSS Pad, Drone Lab, Supercollider Apps, MFOS Weird Sound Generator
– 555 Throwies, Arduino Synth, Thingamagoop, Assorted contact mics

I didn’t take a head count or record attendees (live and learn) but I think we probably approached around 30 people total throughout the night.

Here are some pictures from the event.

And here are some of the ambient sounds of Handmade Music.

The next event will be on March 25th, 7:00 to whenever again at The Hack Factory, please bring things to share with the group. More information on that night and future nights can be found at Handmade Music Minneapolis Page on TCMaker’s Wiki.

Short demo of the Paia Thermax at The Hack Factory in Minneapolis.