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!

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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]

 

 

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!

The final push to installation: volunteers welcome!

September 14th, 2013 by SLSolarz

Hello and thanks for reading my blog!

This is me testing out my bench at the half-way point.

This is me testing out my bench at the half-way point.

At the time of my last posting I had only 2 sections of my Musical PVC Bench completed.  Again, many thanks to the TC Makers volunteers who helped me get to that point!

Here are all 6 sections lined up as they will be when bolted together.

Here are all 6 sections lined up as they will be when bolted together.

Every section is now welded together.  You can see in the attached photo that I still have some sanding to do (mostly of excess PVC cement) and that it will need to be painted in order to hide markings and solvent stains as well as to protect it from the sun.

My mentor, Jantje Visscher, tests out the full bench.

My mentor, Jantje Visscher, tests out the full bench.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help with final steps will be welcomed. Remaining steps are sanding, spray painting, finishing paddles, attaching paddles, welding/cutting metal anchors & bolting sections together by Sept 22.

Willing to help?  Email me at [email protected]

Big. Frikkin’. Laser.

September 13th, 2013 by danbackslide

laserThis is Cathy, our brand new Full Spectrum laser cutter. She has a 90-watt laser tube and a 24″ by 36″ cutting bed.

Jude has spent the last week and a half or so getting Cathy’s new home ready — she will be living in the former shop office, next to the metal shop. Inevitably, what was supposed to be a quick room update turned into a major operation as various interesting architectural “features” were discovered…

I and a few others have spent the last week or so getting the laser set up and running it through its paces. I gotta say, this is a wonderful machine, and I’m really looking forward to getting classes going! We are targeting the first week of October for the start of basic training classes, which will just cover safety and basic operation. Riley will also be working up a more detailed class which will feature Deep Knowledge.

Some answers to questions I’m sure you have:

  • You need to be a member to use the laser cutter. (See, one more reason to be a member!)
  • You will need to take either the basic class, or Riley’s Deep Knowledge class, before using the laser. Yes, even if you’ve used laser cutters in the past.
  • We’ll be charging $5 per hour of runtime. The laser tube will burn out eventually, and a replacement is not exactly cheap, so we need to bank up the cash.

Watch this space for class info! Or keep an eye out for the TCMaker Newsletter in your email. What, you haven’t been getting the newsletter? Look over to the right, there’s a signup form there.

lazing

Help build a musical PVC bench, improve a St. Paul community and learn how to solvent weld

July 6th, 2013 by SLSolarz

Hey, thanks very much for checking out my blog!

Last week I promised to discuss the influence of Chuck Taylor shoes on my chair design.  However, I need to take a short break from my rocker to create a bench for a block-improvement effort in the Dayton’s Bluff Community.

This is the bench that I designed for the block improvement effort at Dayton’s Bluff. To construct it, I must solvent weld 210 pieces of PVC pipe. I need a few volunteers to help cut PVC pipe and solvent weld so that I can finish the bench by July 20, 2013.

This is the bench that I designed for the block improvement effort at Dayton’s Bluff. To construct it, I must solvent weld 210 pieces of PVC pipe. I need a few volunteers to help cut PVC pipe and solvent weld so that I can finish the bench by July 20, 2013.

In this post, I will describe the bench design and invite you to help build it!  Interested?  Shoot me an email at [email protected]!

All participants will learn how to solvent weld PVC.  The skill is used to build many exciting maker projects from potato launchers  to musical instruments like the ones played by the Blue Man Group.  In fact, the bench that we build can be used both for rest and to play a few tunes while waiting for the bus!

Two sets of foam-rubber paddles with wood handles will be attached to the bench using a small gauge steel cable.  The paddles create a musical sound when the player strikes the top end of the pipe (the foam rubber must cover the entire opening) forcing the air out the bottom very quickly.  The length of the pipe determines the pitch of the note.  Shorter pipes produce higher notes and longer pipes produce lower notes.

Two sets of foam-rubber paddles with wood handles will be attached to the bench using a small gauge steel cable. The paddles create a musical sound when the player strikes the top end of the pipe (the foam rubber must cover the entire opening) forcing the air out the bottom very quickly. The length of the pipe determines the pitch of the note. Shorter pipes produce higher notes and longer pipes produce lower notes.

 

To make construction easier, I designed the bench in 6 sections.  Each section is 39 inches long and 19 inches wide.  Five of the sections are identical (just oriented differently) and one section is unique. Once I have all of the sections on site, I will bolt 3 pipes from each section to 3 pipes in an adjacent section.

Pink, orange and green colors identify 3 of the 6 sections that comprise the PVC bench.  The bench will be made in sections for ease of transport and installation.  The Dayton’s Bluff Community Council will remove the bench in the winter to avoid damage from snow plows.

 Pink, orange and green colors identify 3 of the 6 sections that comprise the PVC bench. The bench will be made in sections for ease of transport and installation. The Dayton’s Bluff Community Council will remove the bench in the winter to avoid damage from snow plows.

 

The design uses PVC pipes of 5 different lengths with the longest pipes serving as the legs of the bench.  Standard bench height is 18 inches and each section of the bench has four 18 inch-long pipes.  Placement of these bench legs will be important for balance and stability.

 

This is a view from underneath the bench illustrating how many 18 inch-long PVC pipes there are in each section.  Only the longest (18 inch) PVC pipes touch the ground and, thus, it is only the 18 inch pipes that are displayed in this view.

This is a view from underneath the bench illustrating how many 18 inch-long PVC pipes there are in each section. Only the longest (18 inch) PVC pipes touch the ground and, thus, it is only the 18 inch pipes that are displayed in this view.

Please contact me at [email protected] to help build a bench for a better block in the Dayton’s Bluff community!

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!

IMG_4069

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.

Raspberry Pi Powered Cat Feeder

March 28th, 2013 by videoman

This post has been moved to here: http://drstrangelove.net/2013/12/raspberry-pi-power-cat-feeder-updates/

-David

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 »

Replica Movie Prop Party

December 27th, 2012 by Obi-Bob

Local members of The Replica Prop Forum will be having a Prop Party on Saturday, January 19 starting at 3PM at The Hack Factory.  Ever wanted to see what a “real” raygun, phaser or lightsaber from movies and TV looks like?  This is the time to find out!  Talk to the builders and collectors of replica movie memoribilia and have your deepest questions answered.  Feel free to bring any props, models or costumes of your own that you want to show off.

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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.

Forum Registration Temporarily Unavailable

November 16th, 2012 by mcsteve

Due to an overwhelming number of attempted spambot registrations, registration of new accounts on our forum is temporarily disabled. Also, if you tried to register in the last day or so, your registration may have been lost in the noise. Please try again when registration is re-enabled in a day or so. An update will be posted here when registration is back online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Twin Cities Maker Gets a Laser Engraver/Cutter!

May 10th, 2012 by wammie

The Hack Factory will be getting a laser cutter/engraver!

The tool has a 40 watt laser, sufficient for burning and cutting softer materials, but not something that will cut through thick metal. The unit is located in the lower level of the Hack Factory.  You must take the class in order to use this guy.  The class will be a few hours, and cost $40.  When using the laser it’s $1/10 minutes, or $5/hour.  We are only asking that you track and pay for the time that the laser is active and burning.

We will need to be careful when using this tool, observing applicable safety rules to prevent damage and personal harm.

For more information on our new acquisition, see our wiki article on the DC-KIII Laser Engraver/Cutter.

Monsters Under the Bed on Boing Boing

February 8th, 2012 by Paul Sobczak

Maggie Koerth-Baker, of Minneapolis, has an epic post on How to Build an Art Shanty up on Boing Boing. The art shanty featured, Monsters Under The Bed, was built in the the Hack Factory 2 months ago, and spent this last month out on Medicine Lake.

Congrats to the Monsters under the bed, we can’t wait to see what you will come up with in next time.

Not So Mini Minne-Faire @ Hack Factory, Saturday, April 14, 2012

February 5th, 2012 by Judeling

10,000V

 

Our third annual Minne-Faire is on the calendar for Saturday, April 14.

To reflect our explosive growth, this year’s fair will be bigger and better then ever!

Old favorites are returning and new friends coming.

 

 

 

We will have music, food, exhibits, and demonstrations.

 

Schedule for Saturday, April 14IMG_0573

12:00-5:00 PM: Open maker displays and demos

7:00PM: Music performances and socializing

We can use your help building this event.

 

Calling all makers!

It is not to late  if you would like to show at this year’s Minne-Faire. Contact us by sending email to [email protected]

 

Twin Cities Maker’s Mill

February 5th, 2012 by Paul Sobczak

Twin Cities maker just got a Bridgeport mill up and running in the space. If you are inerested in using it, you need to get checked out on it, and then you are ready to start milling.

This machine is seriously awesome, a big thanks to all of those involved in acquiring, retrieving it up to northern Minnesota, and to everyone else who quickly got it up an running in the space.

Here is a short video of the machine, and what one of our members, Andy, has been using it for.

Updated to better quality video

Meet the Maker and Learn to Solder

January 27th, 2012 by Paul Sobczak

Adam Wolf of Wayne and Layne, and Twin Cities Maker Member will be hosting a class on how to solder one of his popular kits the blinky POV.

If you’ve never soldered before, this is the class for you! This course teaches through-hole (90% of electronic kits) soldering and is recommended for the beginner. This is a hands-on class where the students learn techniques to help them solder through-hole components. Soldering can be daunting for the first solder joint, then the 2nd solder joint is not so bad, and by the time you’ve assembled the blinky grid, you will be quite confident and proficient in basic soldering skills.

Classes take place at The Hack Factory. We provide all the tools, irons, solder, parts, and seats for up to 8 students.

There is a minimum age requirement of 8 years old, but other than that, anyone is encouraged to sign up. We teach people all the time with no previous soldering experience! You do not need to be a member of Twin Cities Maker to attend.

The class is expected to take around 1.5 hour to complete, there is a buffer built in in case we go a bit longer.

Prerequisites: None! Just bring yourself. The class price includes the cost of the blinky POV kit.

What to bring: TC Maker will provide all the tools, irons and solder.

Proceeds above will go to help keep TC Maker, support the space.

Time and Place: Tuesday Feb 7th 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the Hack Factory

Cost: $16 (This is a great deal, the retail price is also $16, but with out the hack factory to solder at, and no Adam to be taught by.)

Sign up on Event Brite

2012 Membership Dues Update

January 27th, 2012 by orion

This is a reminder to everyone that the billing system has been updated to new prices but some automated payments are still at the old price. Please update your paypal subscriptions or bank bill pay to the new fees. For more information the updated dues please read the details HERE.‎

The updated membership options are:

$75 / month – Rockstar member ship you really love us!

$55 / month – Regular membership

$30 / month for students or unemployed

Links to update your paypal subscription can be found at our membership page.

 

Minnesota 2020: Inside The Maker Movement

January 13th, 2012 by Paul Sobczak

Part I and II are now up from Minnesota 2020.

Links to the full articles here and here.

TCM and Make:Blog, and books and other stuff.

January 7th, 2012 by Paul Sobczak

Some recent happenings of Twin Cities Maker that have made an splash on the outside world. This is not comprehensive but kind of neat to look at none the less.

Riley’s FoshayBuchay 2.0 was featured as the opening photo for this Zero to Maker piece.


Adam Wolf of Wayne and Layne, one of two Twin Cities Maker’s open source kit manufactures, was featured in Meet the Makers


John Baicthal and Adam Wolf wrote a few articles for Make:28, they are not online so you will need to pick up a physical copy. They wrote about making a Van de Graaff generator from a soda can making a wireless arcade-quality joystick-and-button-panel for playing video games.

Matthew Varas put up directions on how to make his chomping Pacman Suit.


We are also featured in John Baicthal’s Hack This! Yep, that is Twin Cities Maker is on the cover. John also has another book out Cult of LEGO, featured in the print edition of Wired!, and if rumors are true it will be on one of those in flight magazines on one of the major airlines, so look out for that.

Join today’s new revolution in creativity and community: hackerspaces. Stop letting other people build everything for you: Do it yourself. Explore, grab the tools, get hands-on, get dirty…and create things you never imagined you could. Hack This is your glorious, full-color passport to the world of hackerspaces: your invitation to share knowledge, master tools, work together, build amazing stuff–and have a flat-out blast doing it.

Twin Cities Maker co-founder John Baichtal explains it all: what hackerspaces are, how they work, who runs them, what they’re building—and how you can join (or start!) one. Next, he walks you through 24 of today’s best hackerspace projects…everything from robotic grilled-cheese sandwich-makers to devices that make music with zaps of electricity. Every project’s packed with color photos, explanations, lists of resources and tools, and instructions for getting started on your own similar project so you can DIY!
- from Amazon.com



Notropic Design, the other favorite open source manufacture of Twin Cites Maker, pushed out a new design, the defusable clock and has gotten an pretty amazing response so far, above is the Christmas Advert.

Matt Mackall, of Twin Cities Maker’s favorite open source code management tool Mercurial, is in the process of getting an Art Shanty built in the space. More on the Art Shanty project here.


And finally here is a short video of Twin Cities Makers Learn Arduino class performing on thier new noise machines.

Update: Twin Cities Maker also loves the kit business Crazy But Able, check out their stella amp.

 

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