December 5th, 2013 by SLSolarz
This weekend: ceramics and lasers and 3D printers!
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@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
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.
In this post, I will describe the bench design and invite you to help build it! Interested? Shoot me an email at email@example.com!
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!
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.
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.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to help build a bench for a better block in the Dayton’s Bluff community!
July 1st, 2013 by Nemesis
As I’m sure you are all aware, quarterly cleanup of the Hack Factory was this past Saturday, June 29th. It looks like we had a turnout of 24 people and we accomplished quite a bit, including some major reorganization of the metal shop and the artifactory, a pretty deep cleaning of the classroom, and even a demo from Chris on how to change the cartridge and blade on the Sawstop.
We had several new faces, including a few people who came to do projects and stayed to clean instead. Everyone worked really hard and you all demonstrated why TC Maker an awesome group of people.
We did not get around to very much of the project storage for cleaning. I’d like to ask anyone who has a project stored at the Hack Factory to take a few minutes (or many minutes) the next time you are in to go through your project and help to clean up the member storage area a bit.
At this time, I want to personally thank each and every person who showed up for cleanup: Jeff, Pete M., Tony, Jude, Chris, Karin, Brandon, Susan, Jared, McSteve, Ed, Mike, Blair, Scott, Steven A., Paul, Sarah, David (sword guy), Matt (NFM), Jen, David (green polo), New guy in the Blick shirt (helped in woodshop), and White hair guy in the woodshop. I appologize to those of you whose names I didn’t catch or forgot (so you got a description, because you are valuable and awesome — and I will remember your name in the future). Once again, you are all the definition of EXCELLENT.
June 21st, 2013 by Nemesis
June 16th, 2013 by SLSolarz
Hey, thanks for checking out my blog! Last week I promised to write about creating the exterior of my chair. Below, I describe my thought process around editing the seat shape, choosing a color and an exterior finish. I also discuss the mistakes I made and how I corrected them.
First, I needed to ensure that the ergonomic seat I had just carved from spray foam and covered in body filler would be comfortable for any adult. Minne-faire was approaching, so I decided to display my unfinished chair in order to collect some data about the comfort level of the seat and whether or not I needed to edit the shape. My carving mistake was quickly revealed: every woman who tried the seat loved it and every man found the back half of the center ridge too high! Oops! Luckily, that was an easy fix.
Second, I considered the color. I could not decide between bright orange and white so when I invited visitors to try out the seat, I also asked them to vote for a color. Their choice was clear: classic bright red!
Third, for a sleek, contemporary look I decided to give the chair a fiberglass finish. Most of the chair received one layer of fiberglass and 4-5 layers of resin. The seat and back were coated with 3 layers of fiberglass cloth and 5 layers of resin. Between each layer I sanded the resin from 80-150-220 grit which turned out to be a mistake. Each non-final layer of resin should only be sanded to 80 grit so that the next layer will easily adhere.
The extra sanding did help by yielding a perfectly smooth surface before applying the next layer of resin. However, despite the smooth application surface, each new layer of resin consistently produced substantial mars & dents. I seemed unable to pour a smooth layer of resin which made me wonder if I was ever going to be happy with the finish.
I thought that using fiberglass resin would negate the need to paint the chair because the resin can be tinted with universal pigments (the kind that your local paint store uses). The hardware store where I bought the resin threw in the pigment for free and I combined them in a plastic bucket. The resin color looked perfect in the bucket! But once on the chair I realized that resin is super translucent because it contains no opaque base. Therefore, the 2 different colors of body filler I used on the seat were very visible, even through 3 layers of fiberglass cloth and resin!
If I ever do this again, I will make sure that the color of my chair before laminating is consistent throughout. With an even-colored base, the tinted resin and fiberglass cloth would have been adequate coverage. Still, to get a smooth surface I would have to spray the resin rather than pour or brush it on.
The difficulty in achieving a smooth surface combined with the translucency of the resin made me realize that I must paint the chair. After pricing High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) paint spray guns ($180), primer spray guns ($50), paint ($100), and the rest of the equipment I would need to do the job myself, I decided to save some money and have my chair painted at an auto body shop ($250). But this will be my final step and there is a lot more to do before I get there.
Next time, I will discuss the influence of Converse All Star sneakers on my design.
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.
Northern 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.
May 22nd, 2013 by videoman
Hello 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!