Promo Flyers for TCMaker Minne-Faire 2011, April 9

February 27th, 2011 by wammie

Twin Cities Maker is gearing up for its Minne-Faire on April 9 and we’re spreading the word! Here are some flyers which can be printed up and distributed. We have a full sheet version and quarter sheet version, both for 8.5″ x 11.0″ sheets. The quarter sheet versions are great for leaving at coffee shops or other businesses. We suggest printing on red card stock, but whatever you have on hand to print on is fine too!

Click on a thumbnail image below to get the PDF version.

If you’re able to post any flyers, we’d appreciate it! Please remember to gain permission for posting or leaving flyers at business places.

Thumbnail for TCMaker Minne-Fair 2011 flyer, full sheet


New Metal Storage

February 27th, 2011 by otto_pjm

A big thanks to Bil who scored a metal storage system that was being scrapped. I took the liberty of re-organizing the metal area to fit it in.


New metal storage rack

New metal storage rack

2/23/11 Open Hack

February 24th, 2011 by Paul Sobczak

“Wednesday nights at the hack factory are more fun than drinking cod liver oil”

@ the Hack Factory

Soap Factory Haunted Basement 2011 – Call for Submissions

February 22nd, 2011 by videoman

Ever wanted to make an ultimate horror show for your friends? Well now you can, just create a submission for The Haunted Basement 2011. Submission deadline is April 1st, 2011.

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Handmade Music Minneapolis Canceled

February 20th, 2011 by themountainfold

Canceled due to the snow storm. Josh is planing on still going to the hack factory to let the people know who didn’t get the message. Please let your friends who were planing on going know it is canceled.

Minne Faire 2011 – Call for Makers

February 20th, 2011 by Jon Barclay

I would like to announce that we have selected Sat. April 9th to be the date for this years mini maker fair. The Faire will take place from noon until 5pm and there will likely be some sort of after party. Mark your calendars!

This is also a Call for Makers. We need you to fill tables at our event.  If you’d like to request a table please e-mail with a description, link, and/or photos of what you’d be presenting.  Also include your table size and power requirements. Since the Hack Factory has filled up quite a bit since last year, space is at a premium.  We are working with our landlord to free up some extra space for the weekend, but tables will be limited. If needed, table selections may be a juried process.

If you haven’t been to the Hack Factory since last years faire, I recommend you stop by.  Our membership has increased substantially over the past year, and the difference you’ll immediately notice is the presence of tools!

Handmade Music Minneaoplis Tomorrow Night

February 19th, 2011 by Paul Sobczak

Due to some confusion it turns out that Handmade Music is Tomorrow (2/20/11) not April 20th as shown on the Handmade Music Minneapolis Blog. Sorry for the short notice, but the show must go on.

HMMM5 Lineup:

Matte Resist

Ryan Olcott with Food Team

Paul Sobczak (TCMaker Member) will be showing off what he has done to expand the Vidisynth.

You, if you want to show something that you have been working on.

Pictures and more on Handmade Music Minneapolis Blog

As always Handmade Music is free here in Minneapolis, but please do donate to Twin Cities Maker if you are not a member. If you want to become a member try and corner Paul or one of the other members there to inquire.

Open Hack Night 2/16/11

February 17th, 2011 by Paul Sobczak

Some shots from the ongoing Wednesday Open Hack Nights that happen ever so often at the Hack Factory. I got the chance to test out my new toy a Cannon’s s95. There was as always lots of neat stuff going on, The unveiling of  the TCMaker Bat Signal, and the long neglected Hack Factory Sign started to get some color, a new member showed off his lock picks and was given his complimentary plastic coordinated box, plus other stuffs. A few new people checked the place out, it was pretty fun.

On another note there are lots of awesome things going on in the way of classes and talks at the Factory

Woodworking class starting May 21, 2011.
First third Friday electronics night
Intro To Arduino (full)
Roundabout Dog Challengee ending on February 23rd
HandMade Music: Minneapolis 5 on April 20th.
Twin Cities Science Fair (not at the Factory) on February 25th

check the last week or so of blog posts for all the stuff update, you can also check out our somewhat neglected calendar. Plus there are a few class ideas brewing over on the forums.

Roundabout Dog Challenge Update

February 17th, 2011 by Paul Sobczak

The Roundabout Dog Challenge is scheduled to wrap up on next Wednesday on (2/23/11), the entries are starting to trickle in, get yours in before it’s too late.

The challenge got re-blogged at Make and over and Hackerspace Challenge Blog

Announcing the wall: This lonely, soon to be covered wall, is going to be the home of the framed roundabout dog challenge winner. It’s in the basement of the Hack Factory, you can get a better idea of where it is by watching a recent video made of the place.

Bonus: Proof that filling a tape casted roundabout dog with expanding foam doesn’t work that well.

Woodworking Classes

February 16th, 2011 by jrsphoto


From May  21, 2011 through June 4th, I’ll be hosting 4 session class woodworking basics. The first few weeks I’ll cover the woodworking tools currently at the HackFactory, some hand tools, wood finishing, and general project assembly.

The final two week I’ll plan to leave open for any projects you would like to work on with the group.

The fee for this class is $25 with all proceeds going directly back to the Twin Cities Maker.

Sign-up here

First third Friday electronics night

February 14th, 2011 by uptownmaker

Electronic whiz-bangs

I tried this once before (on Saturdays) and it didn’t really take, but this Friday night I’m going to set up shop for a couple of hours at the Hack Factory to answer questions and tinker with electronics.

I’ll be there from about 7:30 to about 10:00. This time, there’s no focus and no organization- whatever you want to talk about I’ll try and answer. In the future, though, I expect that we (there are some people who have expressed an interest in becoming “regulars” at such an event) will pick a project and devote some time to that project.

This event is free for members; we ask a $5 donation from any non-members who wish to attend.

Saturday, what a day

February 12th, 2011 by Orkraider

I stopped in at the Hack Factory today to work on a couple projects, and found it was chock full of Makers! Here’s a wrap up of what I and my fellow makers were working on today.

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Arduino for the complete newbie

February 10th, 2011 by uptownmaker

Arduino in hand

Image courtesy of the Arduino team

Twin Cities Maker is proud to offer an introductory class to the Arduino. This class will focus on breaking users into the Arduino gently by explaining the basics of the programming environment, terminology and concepts, use of online help, and modifying an existing program to suit your needs.

It assumes no prior programming experience; if you are a fairly confident programmer, you may wish to wait until the future sessions, or attend an upcoming electronics discussion night (third Fridays).

For more information, please see the Eventbrite page. Four of five tickets are already sold; if I get enough interest I will open another session as a single class on a Saturday.

Wednesday Open Hack Night

February 8th, 2011 by Paul Sobczak

Pictures from Last week’s Wednesday Open House Hack, that happens every week. Lots of stuff going on as usual.

For those of you thinking about coming down and checking out the hack factory you are more than welcome. A good way to go about it is to wander around and ask people what they are up to, we are a friendly bunch. It’s also recommended to bring a laptop along if you want to stay a bit longer, we got the wifi thing happening. People start showing up around 6~6:30 open house starts at 7:00pm, and people start filtering out around 9~11pm. Bring cool projects to show off if you are, indeed working on something or things!

This week we are also trying to do a showing of Make:Live. This is set to happens at 8:00pm

Update: Jwb can’t make it, so if someone is willing to set this up go for it.

Lots of shots of the happenings from February 2nd. There are some pictures of my (Paul) failed attempt at filling a tape cast full of foam to be entered into our Roundabout dog contest.

Also Videoman took a video of the shop showing what it looks like on a Wednesday @ the Hack Factory in the middle of winter in Minneapolis.

Just another manic Sunday

February 7th, 2011 by Orkraider

Lots going on at the Hack Factory on a Sunday!
Click through for a roundup, and here’s a taste:
Hosted by

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Twin Cities Regional Science Fair needs you!

February 6th, 2011 by danbackslide

If you have a background in science, math, biology, engineering, or any other technical background, the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair would love to have you as a judge.

Twin Cities Regional Science Fairs

The science fair runs Friday, February 25th and Saturday, February 26th at the University of Minnesota Field House. About 400 students will need to have at least 3 judges evaluate their projects on Friday, between 4.00PM and about 9.30PM. It takes 10 – 15 minutes to judge a project — if you do the math, that means they need lots of judges!

Judges are also needed to evaluate student papers. This is all being done online this year; paper judging is running right now, and will go until Feb. 16th.

TCRSF also needs other volunteers to help with the logistics: Setup and teardown, checking in the kids, scoresheet wrangling, and all sorts of other duties. 400 students, 200 teachers, 1400+ scoring sheets — it all adds up to a huge undertaking.

I know there are plenty of talented technical folks in TCMaker, and I think you’d have a blast doing this. The curiosity and enthusiasm of the kids at TCRSF is amazing, and inspiring. I hope I’ll see some of you there!

Progress on new CNC Router

February 4th, 2011 by jrsphoto

Jim Hart, Boltz in the forums, made me some 1/4″ aluminum plates for my CNC Router. The plates work perfectly.

Hack Factory Tour 2011

February 3rd, 2011 by videoman

Holly cow, The Hack Factory has been open a year now, and we got tons of new people exploring the space, and lots of really cool things going on!

So we decided to make a new Tour of our space..

Hack Factory Tour 2011 from David Bryan on Vimeo.

A tour of the Hack Factory in Minneapolis.
Music by Imogen Heap.

Free Geek Minneaoplis

February 1st, 2011 by Paul Sobczak

Back when TCmaker was meeting in coffee shops the people that wanted to start this free linux computer thing stopped by and we got to know each other. We were going to try to work together but at the early stages of planning that we both were in it just didn’t seem to work out. On Sunday at Handmade Music: Minneapolis one of the members stopped by, turns out they are doing quite well and are called Free Geek.

What is Free Geek Twin Cities?

Free Geek Twin Cities (FGTC) is dedicated to addressing the following issues though direct, local, community-driven action:

* The Digital Divide
* Electronic Waste (eWaste)

The Digital Divide and Education

There are still many people in our community that do not have access to computers and the Internet, or do not possess the skills to adequately leverage these technologies. There are many reasons for this gap in our population, but one of our main goals is alleviate this problem through work and education. Volunteers work in programs where they gain skills on how to use, build, and understand computers, and in the process earn a free computer.
Electronic Waste and Reuse

With the rapid growth of technology, our community has created large quantities of electronic waste. FGTC accepts this waste and its first goal is to reuse this material and refurbish it into a new computer to give to volunteers or to sell in our thrift store. It is not always possible to reuse all the materials we get, so we are dedicated to recycling those materials in a way that is both environmentally and socially friendly.

From Free Geek

The Machine That Goes PING!

February 1st, 2011 by noise

I never appreciated my internet connection enough when I lived in the city. Now that I’m a country mouse I think it really IS a series of tubes. Reliable it’s not. So I thought it would be fun to use an Arduino, my BlinkM and a bit of python to create a visual network monitor.

Here are the steps:

1. Plug your BlinkM into analog ports 2-5 (the standard way instructed by ThingM).

2. Load the Communicator sketch from ThingM onto your arduino.

3. Run the python script. This must be run as Administrator on windoze and although I haven’t tried it yet I believe it must be run as root on Linux. The code should be safe, but review it anyway for your own piece of mind.

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