June 26th, 7pm – Annual Members Meeting!

June 15th, 2013 by videoman

Hey folks! Just wanted to give an update to the community about our annual meeting on June 26th!  FYI- the picture below is hundreds of people watching Riley Harrison launch balloons at Northern Spark!  What a great turnout!


Acting President (David Bryan) here giving you an update!  We are having our annual member meeting on June 26th 2013!  If you are paid up on your dues, you are eligible to vote!  If you want to come in a see how this runs, this meeting is open to anyone, but topics for the meeting can only be brought forward and voted on by current members.

This year there are two board positions that are up for election.  The way our board and governance works, is that the members elect the board members, and the board elects the officers (Pres, VP, Etc).  This year our current president and secretary board seats are up for election.

Bob Poate, who is acting sectary, his board seat is up for election.  Unfortunately, he will not be running for a board seat this year, but he has been an asset for the organization and the board.  You don’t realize how important this position is, as often times it’s taken for granted and can be overlooked.  This is how we communicate with our members about goings on in our board meetings.  I personally want to thank Bob for all the hours of meetings, and times that he has spent helping us by gathering and publishing our meeting minutes and notes!  A big Thank You to Bob!

David Bryan’s board seat is up for election, and he will be re-running for a board seat.  Whether or not the board re-elects him as president is another story, however I would urge you to let a board member know your opinion, and vote in the election how you see fit.

Scott Hill will be posting a compete listing of candidates, and a Bio/Descriptions/Qualifications shortly to the TC Maker Wiki.


Hack Factory at Northern Spark 2013, June 8th 8:58 PM

June 5th, 2013 by videoman

The Hack Factory is going to be at Northern Spark this year!  We have some amazing Artists creating some super cool projects!  We also ran a fund raiser for the Hack Factory on Indiegogo to support these projects.  That ended last week, but you can still put in an order for T-Shirts or LED throwies here.  Make sure to watch WCCO Friday morning @5:10&6:10am, as they Interviewed us at the Hack Factory talking about our Northern Spark projects.

HF-NS-trebuchet-final-tshirtNorthern Spark is an over night art festival from dusk to dawn on June 8th 2013.  It’s free and open to the public, and is a completely walkable festival this year in the Lowertown part of Downtown Saint Paul.

Riley Harrison is bringing his Foshaybuchet project, and will be hurling illuminated projectiles down range, at large wall of steel!  We did a test launch of these this week, and they look like glowing fireworks!


David Bryan, Cali Mastny, and Aaron Prust are doing Steel, Exquisite Corpse of.  This will be a steel sculpture created by three artist over the course of the night, where each artist does not know what the section before or after looks like until the entire sculpture is brought together towards the wee morning hours.  Below is a sample we created to test out the process.


David Bryan is also bringing Strange Attractor to the festival, a wall of glowing lights that will mimic the phase synchronization of fireflies in nature.


Steel, Exquisite corpse of – Drawings needed!

May 22nd, 2013 by videoman

IMG_3852Hello folks!  We are running the art project Steel, Exquisite corpse of, at Northern Spark this year on June 8th.  When we start out the night, we need one drawing that will help inspire us for the first segment of the art piece.  The first sculpture will have a theme of underground, above ground, and sky.

We want the first segment of the sculpture to be drawn by you!  Submit your photos by tweeting to @HackFactoryMN with the hashtags of #nspk38 and #underground.  First 20 people to tweet us before June 8th with photos of their drawings will receive two LED throwies on the night of the event.  Please help support this project by donating to our Indiegogo campaign or sharing this with your friends!

Cali, Aaron, and I did a small test run of Steel, Exquisite corpse of last night, and it turned out really cool!  IMG_3862

Strange Attractors Project for Northern Spark 2013

May 16th, 2013 by videoman

David Bryan, Riley Harrison, Cali Mansty, and Aaron Prust are presenting multiple projects for Northern Spark 2013 on June 8th in Downtown Saint Paul! Northern Spark is an overnight interactive festival starting at 8:58pm and ending at sunrise!  We are inviting everyone to come and hang out, and enjoy the festival!  The Hack Factory will have three spaces setup for people to come and interact with the Art.

We are also in the process of fundraising for this project, currently we need about $3,800 to help cover the costs of materials, and $4,200 total to cover rewards. We receive all funds that are pledged.

Go donate now!

So lets talk about one of the projects, Strange Attractors.  You may remember me from such things as the Raspberry Pi powered cat feeder.  While I’m at it again, and making stuff with the Raspberry Pi.  I was asked create a few blog posts for MCM that talked about the Raspberry Pi Camera module that I’m going to use in my next project.

Strange Attractor1Image credit: Alex Weber, http://www.flickr.com/people/8123185@N02/

I am creating an art piece, Strange Attractors, for the Northern Spark Art Festival on June 8th.  Read the rest of this entry »

MinneFaire Post-Wrapup!

April 15th, 2013 by videoman

The MinneFaire was a great success this weekend! 42 exhibitors, 690 attendees, and whole lot of awesome volunteers!  From this we were able to raise over one thousand dollars for The Hack Factory.   We want especially thank all of our awesome Volunteers and Exhibitors for making this event such a big success.


Satruday’s weather was not bad- chilly, but bearable if you were wearing warm clothing.  Sunday we saw that the temperature plummet, and the wind kicked up- so it would have been impossible to keep the tent warm enough for exhibitors.  So we made the executive decision to move all the tables inside, and squished everyone together, and it worked out great!

If you have photos of the event make sure to tag them with MinneFaire.  Thanks to everyone involved!  We hope to do it again sometime!

We also have a few on-line posts from folks:


The Mill is Closing…

April 1st, 2013 by videoman

If you haven’t seen the news already, The Mill will be closing it’s doors April, 20, 2013.  We are very sad to hear that this space is closing.  It’s super important to have a space like The Mill in our metro area, as it provides growth to inventors and innovators.

Screen shot 2013-04-01 at 9.32.21 AMThe Hack Factory is a space for people to prototype, invent, share, learn, teach, and improve upon our community by empowering people.  Once a prototype has been developed in our space, and a production line is needed, The Mill would be any professional makers next step, and it will leave a void in our community.  However, we will be in talks with Brian to identify what works for our group, and how we can best support the community.

That said, we do welcome anyone to stop by The Hack Factory, and check the space out to see if it’s right for you.  Our Minne Faire is April 13th & 14th, and we have open houses every Wednesday from 7-9pm.

Raspberry Pi Powered Cat Feeder

March 28th, 2013 by videoman

This project is owned and operated by David Bryan and is not part of TCMaker. This work is licensed by David Bryan under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The documentation and updates have been moved to here: http://drstrangelove.net/2013/12/raspberry-pi-power-cat-feeder-updates/


Raspberrpy Pi 101 Classes Posted!

March 18th, 2013 by videoman

We have two upcoming Raspberry Pi Classes posted!

Classes start April 2nd, and April 20th.

So you want to play with a Raspberry Pi?  But maybe you haven’t been able to get one yet.  Well you’re in luck!  This class includes a Raspberry Pi, Wifi, Power, Cables, LEDs, SD Card!  This is everything you need to get the Pi going.  Don’t know what a Raspberry Pi is? Check out this article from the NYTimes.  The ticket includes $120 worth of hardware for you and the class tutorials.


Class Kit Includes:

Minne-Faire: A Maker and DIY Exposition – April 13-14

March 1st, 2013 by videoman

Mark your calendars! Our fourth annual Minne-Faire will be held at The Hack Factory, April 13th and 14th, 2013.  This year is going to bigger than last years show!


Participate, meet and get inspired by other makers and DIY artists that are interested in electronics, 3-D printing, metalworking, woodworking and textiles. This year’s Minne-Faire will include exhibits, demonstrations, power wheels racing, vendors, music, and food.


Saturday April 13th:

  • 11am – 5pm Exhibits, demos, vendors, and booths
  • 7pm – 11pm Minne-Faire after hours which includes music, drinks.

Sunday April 14th:

  • 11am – 5pm Exhibits, demos, vendors, and booths

Read the rest of this entry »

Project storage cleanup

January 9th, 2013 by videoman

Hey folks!  Q4 Clean up is this Saturday January 12th – 10am-3pm

We have moved our Q4 clean up from December to January as we know that many folks have stuff going on over the coming holiday season.  This time around we are going to focus on member storage.  What does that mean?  All items in member/project storage will be removed from the shelves (and the back bathroom/storage).  If you have a project that you don’t want us to move, talk with an area or shop manager.  We are flexible, but do need to get these cleaned out.  The goal is to have space available for active projects.  Any item that is not a work in progress or supporting a class function should be taken home.  We are trying this first, as we have a lot of stuff that has not been worked on in 6+ months to over a year gathering dust on our project storage shelves.  If this continues to be an issue, we will start charging for the use of project storage.  We also will be reviewing items bigger then a bread box/small appliance that are not part of an active project or is unavailable for communal use.  This review will happen after we  have completed the Q4 project storage clean up.

Going forward, we will request that all items in project storage are placed inside a 12-13 gallon “attached lid container” (Max of 24″ D x 16″ W x 12.5″ H).  We are going to standardize Read the rest of this entry »

Annual Membership Sale! Dec 15th-Jan15th %27 Off!

December 10th, 2012 by videoman

We are having our annual membership sale/drive this year! What does that mean? If you want to save some $$, and plan to support our community, this is a good alternative to paying for a monthly membership. This sale discounts an annual membership by $180!

  • Who: Any member or new member can take advantage of this.
  • What: 2013 annual membership for $480! That’s %27.27 off annual dues. *
  • When: Only from December 15th, 2012 to January 15th 2013.
  • Where: Website or in person on a Wednesday night.
  • Why: Because we like you, and want to give long standing members a discount.

*Memberships purchased during this sale are non-refundable after Jan 16th 2013, this is a one time sale to raise funds for our space, and we need to count on those funds being available over the 2013 year.

MakerBot Industries! BBQ, Beverages, and MakerBots?

June 26th, 2012 by videoman

MakerBot Industries, who create awesome kits for DIY 3-D printing will be in town Wednesday June 27th to demo their latest and super cool MakerBot Replicator. This is open to everyone, if you can, RSVP via Facebook so we get a count for the food.

Their new printer has a much larger bed, heated build platform, and can print using two colors. They will be doing demos during our Open House (open to all every Wednesday) at the Hack Factory starting at 8pm. We will also be doing a BBQ with grillables and beer provided by Makerbot starting at 7pm, and showing off our hacked 3-D printer that had a previous life as a medical device sampler. This is a great opportunity for the community to check out their new products, and talk with MakerBot.

Power wheels racing! 4th place!

June 26th, 2012 by videoman

The Hack Factory placed fourth at this years Power Wheels Racing series! It was awesome! We love our car!

Maker Faire KC 2012 Power Racing Series: Stop Breaking Down from Power Racing Series on Vimeo.

Thanks to the following folks for making this happen:
Build crew

  • Andy Kvamme
  • Steven Anderson
  • Jude Dornisch
  • David Bryan

Pit Crew

  • David Bryan
  • Karin Fitchett
  • Riley Harrison
  • Brandon Paplow
  • Becca Steffen


  • David Bryan
  • Karin Fitchett
  • Riley Harrison
  • Becca Steffen


  • David Bryan

A big thank you to Hammer Space for hosting the team, and for the tips and tricks from Sector67. It was super awesome!

PPPRS Coming along!

June 19th, 2012 by videoman

Andy, Jude, and Steven are helping to bring the 2012 PPPRS to life! http://powerracingseries.org/

We need to help the PPPRS raise another 3k in 15 hours, with your help we can do it!



PPPRS 2012 Build, a set on Flickr.

Minne Maker Faire is soon!

March 29th, 2012 by videoman

We have all sorts of fun things happening in the next month.  This Saturday is quarterly cleanup, and our annual meeting, followed by Minne Maker Faire in April!  It’s great!

Minne Maker Faire is April 14th from Noon-5pm, and then music starting after 7pm.

Oh, and for those who may have seen the very large Rube Goldberg type device in the basement, it’s complete and the video is up on-line.

Taming of the Peep – A Rube Goldberg Device from David Bryan on Vimeo.

Annual meeting, Members pot luck and Shop Clean up! March 31st!

February 24th, 2012 by videoman

March 31st we are having our Annual meeting.  What does this mean?  Three seats on our Board of Directors are up for election.  Our Board of Directors are the members we elect to oversee and steer the direction of the organization.   They they hire or elect staff and officers to serve in particular day to day management positions such as President, Wood Shop Manager, and many others.  They also approve major policy changes such as the dues schedule.

Currently most of the Board of Directors also serve as Officers, however this is not a requirement.  A seat on the Board of Directors is a three year commitment.  Officers and staff serve at the direction of the Board of Directors and are responsible for carrying out day to day operations.

If you would like to be submit your name for election to our Board of Directors, please send your name to our secretary (Bob Poate) via email, Secretary[ @ ] tcmaker.org or in person at the Hack Factory.  We will leave the candidacy application open until March 7th, 2012 Midnight CST.

We will also be taking input for the Agenda of the Annual Meeting on March 13th at the Monthly Board Meeting.  Once we have compiled our candidates and agenda at the March 13th board meeting, a formal announcement for the Annual Meeting will be sent out by March 16th 2012.

The same day that we are having our Annual Meeting we will be having the Quarterly Shop Clean-Up just in time  for Minne Faire and an informal general member meeting.

The overall agenda for March 31st is as follows:

  • Shop clean up – 10 am to 3pm
  • Members meeting / potluck – 4pm – 5pm (or sooner if people want)
  • Annual meeting – 5pm – 6pm

The members meetings will be a place for all members to come together and discuss all things Hack Factory related, and a place for members to meet the candidates on the ballot.

Something very important to note: in order to participate in voting, you must have payed your dues for March on or before March 1st.  Per our bylaws, only members in good standing are qualified to vote.  So that means if you submit your member dues after March 1st you will be ineligible to vote on March 31st.  If that is the case, we would still welcome you to come to the potluck and clean up, but you will not be able to vote.

**edited for policy accuracy, pardon the earlier error**

Hackerspace Passports!

January 17th, 2012 by videoman

Ever gone to another state?  Most of us have, and when we do, we will make sure to visit another hacker space.  Now you can track where you’ve been with a Hackerspace Passport!

Send me a note if you want one, $2 each and I’ve ordered 15 in total.

Boing Boing Gweek Podcast 34

January 11th, 2012 by videoman

The Hack Factory was recently mentioned in Boing Boing’s Gweek podcast.

PyStar Presents “Code Night @ Hack Factory”

January 9th, 2012 by videoman

This upcoming Monday Jan 16th PyStar is going to have a code hacking night at the Hack Factory.  Register to join! (free event)

“PyStar and the Python MN User Group (PyMNtos) present an evening of coding at the Hack Factory! All programming languages and experience levels are welcome!

* Improve your favorite open source project!

* Start learning a new language or tool you’ve been meaning to learn.

* Work on your own projects or work through tutorials (with help).

* Help someone learn or work through their coder’s-block

Bring your questions, insights, excitement and hack on code (and maybe on the HF ice shanty!) in good, relaxing company. If you are new(ish) to programming and/or Python or JavaScript specifically, there will be folks specifically there to provide some guidance to learners.

This event strives to create a safer space for learning and growing coding skills. Please be respectful of the diverse background and experiences of attendees. We especially welcome PyStar attendees and female self-identified folks to join us.”

Updates for member dues!

December 21st, 2011 by videoman

Are you a member?  Do you use a PayPal subscription to pay your dues?  Please update your subscription for the new year by visiting our Membership page, and subscribe for another year!  We have added a $75/month membership for those can afford it, and also added a followers monthly donation for $5/month.

A Last Supper

Makers making...

That’s it!  Hope everyone has a great holiday and year end!  Without you and the community this space and community would not exist.  A big thank you to everyone who has helped make this happen!

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