July 19th, 2014 by Nemesis
The laser cutter has been realigned and is reported to be functioning normally. Thank you very much, Riley and Jon!
July 19th, 2014 by Nemesis
The laser cutter has been realigned and is reported to be functioning normally. Thank you very much, Riley and Jon!
July 15th, 2014 by Nemesis
My apologies for this blog post coming a few days late. There are some very important announcements that you should all read.
1) Quarterly clean up happened this past Saturday, July 12th. Thank you to everyone who showed up: Becca, Jon A., Riley, Pete M., Jeff S., Sebastian, Seven, Scott, Ted, Steve S., Bob P., Tim, Steven A., Barb, Nick T., Brandon, Frank, Bob G., Patrick, Ian, Tall Steve, Phil, Molly, Kevin, Zhifan, Cam’s friend Dave, Sarah, Andy, Justin, and Ben. All future quarterly clean ups are now on the TC Maker calendar. Please show up for them. It takes the efforts of everyone in the community to make our space possible.
2) The scary bathroom (bathroom off the wood shop) was cleaned as part of quarterly clean up. All storage lockers were cleaned out as part of this. Each locker’s contents were placed in a cardboard box. Nothing was thrown out. These boxes are located on the table next to the scaffolding. A policy regarding the storage lockers is in development.
3) ALL members should be using the member storage space, unless they have permission from an area manager to store a project elsewhere. This is a reminder that storage is for active projects only. A fully filled out parking permit must accompany anything that is being stored at the shop. Please organize and consolidate your project as much as possible. If you have anything in member storage, be sure to come in this week and clean it. Some items were found around the shop and in member storage without parking permits or with parking tickets or very old permits. These items have been moved to the scaffolding as a temporary measure. Some of these items have also been moved to the very top shelf of membership storage. Anything that has not been claimed and taken home or properly stored will be thrown out in two weeks.
4) Regarding the scary bathroom: this was cleaned out as the first phase of repairing and remodeling the bathroom to make it function as a bathroom. Please do NOT store ANYTHING in the scary bathroom. Steven Anderson has graciously agreed to get the toilets working again (once we figure out a few plumbing issues) and do the plumbing for a shower and large utility sink installation. We’ve talked about it for a long time, but it is actually going to happen.
5) Metal shop manager Steve (guy with the ponytail for those of you who don’t know) would like for everyone who has metal stored in the metal shop to put it into the new storage rack that he and Clara built. Anything that is not moved in one week will be assumed to be abandoned and go into the up for grabs. Thank you to both Clara and Steve for getting that done.
6) The main bathroom toilet is fixed. Thank you, Steven Anderson.
7) The upstairs refrigerator is now for beverages only. All food should be stored in the downstairs refrigerator. ALL consumables should be labeled with your name and the date they were put in the refrigerator. Any unlabeled food and beverages will be assumed to be fair game. The refrigerators are also going to be cleaned out weekly, as a heads up.
8) The ashtray has been moved to near the parking lot by the loading dock, along with the lawn furniture. We’d like to encourage people to smoke away from the main door as much as possible.
9) The front area will be undergoing remodeling from July 22nd to July 25th. The front door will be closed and everyone will need to enter the building through the metal shop door. Thank you in advance for your patience as we get a much needed facelift to the space. Also, we’ll be looking for a ton of volunteers to help with the remodel. If you are interested in helping, please contact Cam.
April 26th, 2014 by breakfastsandwich
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) programs are powerful sets of tools for designing anything from toys to furniture to mechanical devices.
CAD can speed up your work immensely and help you make sure parts are aligned and properly fitted. But these awesome features are often hidden behind unfamiliar terminology and confusing user interfaces. To help you wade through all this and make stuff faster, Graham will be running a CAD class at the Hack Factory next Saturday!
The course will cover:
To sign up for the class, head on over to the registration page on Eventbrite
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.
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.
March 20th, 2014 by Nemesis
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.
December 23rd, 2013 by metis
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.
Update: And a follow up post!
December 5th, 2013 by SLSolarz
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….
Here is the link:
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.
Here is the link, again:
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.
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]
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:
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.
November 14th, 2013 by danbackslide
So here’s what’s been happening so far:
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.
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.
Click on the GiveMN Donate Now button or go to http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Hack-Factory-Of-Minnesota to donate now.
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
October 26th, 2013 by Obi-Bob
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?
October 14th, 2013 by Orkraider
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!
September 19th, 2013 by SLSolarz
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.
September 18th, 2013 by danbackslide
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.
September 14th, 2013 by SLSolarz
Hello and thanks for reading my blog!
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!
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.
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]
July 29th, 2013 by danbackslide
We’re pleased to announce that Rob Bishop from the Raspberry Pi Foundation will be swinging through the Hack Factory on Monday, August 12th!
Rob Bishop was the first technical employee at Raspberry Pi and is currently one of two full time software engineers. Alongside his engineering responsibilities, Rob also acts as an “evangelist” and works to promote the educational mission of the Foundation.
Rob has given talks about the Raspberry Pi at various events worldwide, in venues ranging from conference halls to community meetings in garages.
Rob Bishop, an engineer and evangelist for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, will present a talk entitled “Raspberry Pi – One Year On” that will cover both the origin story of the Raspberry Pi as well as outlining recent developments. The talk will present technical information about the Raspberry Pi alongside a discussion of the Foundation’s educational aims.
Following the presentation, there will be an opportunity for an in-depth Q&A on both educational and technical matters.
Tickets for this event are free! But space is limited, so be sure to get your tickets early…
July 22nd, 2013 by SLSolarz
A couple of weeks ago I posted an invitation to join my effort to build a musical bench of PVC. Thank you to TC Makers Becca, Bill D, Bob G, Colleen, Jon, McSteve, Roxanne, Scott and Shawnuk for their generous help over the past 2 weekends.
Because of them I now have a paddle prototype, 4 sections cut, 2 sections in welding progress and one section complete!
My original plan was to have the bench finished by last night—not even close! Several complications arose as we started to build:
1. Two circles = 0 surface area
Fellow TC Maker, Steve M, pointed out to me that before I began solvent welding, it would strengthen the bond if I increased the surface area where each pipe intersects.
I tried using the band saw to shave off some of the pipe exterior and flatten the places where each pipe meets another but that was really messy and slow.
Bill D generously made a jig for me to use with a router which tremendously speeded the process back up.
2. Four inch diameter pipes are not musical
My friend Shawnuk stopped by the Hack Factory to help me work out details before I geared up to start building. As soon as he saw my 4” diameter pipe samples, he pointed out that they would have to be much taller than bench height in order to make a musical note.
We tested this out and he was right. Luckily, I had purchased only one pipe. Recognizing that a 2” diameter pipe would probably work, I had to re-draw my design in Sketchup. In order to keep the bench reasonably large, I now need to solvent weld 270 pieces!
3. Welding pipes takes TLC
TC Maker, Colleen, can solvent weld better than anyone else I know. She showed me that although bungee cords and rubber bands can be helpful to hold pipes together as they dry, as the welded section grows there is no substitute for just holding the pipes in place until they are dry enough to stand on their own. This really slows the overall process when I am working alone.
Please stay tuned for future volunteer opportunities!