TC Maker a hit at Artist Maker Day

September 14th, 2014 by SLSolarz

Today TC Maker President, Becca Steffen, Secretary, Bob Poate, and I represented TC Maker at Artist Maker Day on the Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza.

TC Maker President, Becca Steffen, and Secretary, Bob Poate, show visitors how to make their own Musical PVC Chair at Artist Maker Day.

TC Maker President, Becca Steffen (R), and Secretary, Bob Poate (far L), show visitors how to make their own Musical PVC Chair at Artist Maker Day.

About 700 visitors attended the event where they encountered “TC Maker presents Make Your Own Musical PVC Chair with Susan Solarz“. Although we had 4 work stations, there were people waiting in line for most of the 6 hour event!

TC Maker can provide artists with the space and equipment necessary to produce work.  And we met with a lot of enthusiasm from the arts community.

Thank you to everyone who helped out including Becca, Bob P, Bob G., Sarah B, Steve Skalko, Steven Anderson, Jude Dornisch and Mike N.

Susan L Solarz helps a TC Maker enthusiast finish her Musical PVC Chair.

Susan L Solarz helps a TC Maker enthusiast finish her Musical PVC Chair.

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Wash your TC Maker T-shirt–Saturday is Maker Day!

September 10th, 2014 by SLSolarz

TC Maker President, Becca Steffen says,

 

“I  want YOU to throw on your TC Maker shirt, help load up Big Yellow and head on down to Maker Day”!

“I want YOU to throw on your TC Maker shirt, help load up Big Yellow and head on down to Maker Day”!

WHAT: Creative City Challenge, Maker Day

WHEN: Saturday 9/13/2014 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

WHERE: Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza— yes, it’s outside!

WHO: YOU!

Help load up Big Yellow, make a cool project or talk to visitors about TC Maker.

Help load up Big Yellow, make a cool project or talk to visitors about TC Maker.

This is an opportunity to talk to a whole new audience about our maker space.

WE NEED HELP!

Unloading materials at the site;

Guiding participants through the process of making a musical chair from PVC pipes (like the one upon which our president is enthroned; see above photo);

Talking to visitors about our maker space!

Contact Susan Solarz at slsolarz@gmail.com

The Front Door Is Open

September 10th, 2014 by Nemesis

As an update: the front door is open. You may enter. There is still work to be done on the remodeling, but we’ve made some great progress and you may use the front door.

Cam anticipates that everything will be done before October 1st, except for new lighting.

Thank you all for your help and patience.

Cathy the Laser

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!

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS

July 15th, 2014 by Nemesis

Everyone,
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.

Computer-Aided Design: Saturday, May 3rd

April 26th, 2014 by breakfastsandwich

awingcreo

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:

  • Different CAD programs and their capabilities (which program do I need?)
  • Solid Modeling
  • Surface Modeling (complex curves)
  • Planar Material Modeling (for a laser cutter or waterjet)

To sign up for the class, head on over to the registration page on Eventbrite

Space: The Ongoing Quest

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.

floor.png

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.

IMPORTANT NOTIFICATIONS!!!

March 20th, 2014 by Nemesis

Hey everyone!

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 fair@tcmaker.org. 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 fair@tcmaker.org 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.

Love,

Madame President

 

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!

December 5th, 2013 by SLSolarz

This weekend: ceramics and lasers and 3D printers!

 

Our latest projects will be on display at the Hack Factory this weekend!

Come check out the 3D printer we just made!
Come check out the 3D printer we just made!

We’ll be a stop on the Seward Art Crawl and we want YOU to show off your projects!  Nothing to show right now?  No worries.  Come check out what others are working on, get some ideas or just socialize.  It will all be fun! 

Checking out new and in-process maker projects is fun!
Checking out new and in-process maker projects is fun!

Stop by anytime to pick up a map of the crawl, a poster or postcards with coupons from local businesses (good for Art Crawl weekend only)!

Ceramic Sculpture by Ann Meany

Ceramic Sculpture by Ann Meany

The Seward Art Crawl is December 7 & 8 (Sat, 10am-5pm and Sun, 12-5pm).  This is an important opportunity for us to show off the space and to promote Twin Cities Maker.  Stop by Friday afternoon to help get our space ready for the weekend!

To participate in or volunteer for the event email Susan at slsolarz@gmail.com.

Make Magazine and Ford Motor Company’s Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge

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….

VOTE!

Here is the link:
http://makezine.com/maker-vehicle-challenge/#view/19038/1651376

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.

527802c0-274c-4ab7-b1bd-70ab0a652ac7

Here is the link, again:

http://makezine.com/maker-vehicle-challenge/#view/19038/1651376

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.

Love,
Madame President

Seward Winter Art Frolic

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 president@tcmaker.org.

Give to the Max Day Update #3

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:

  • The skeeball playfield parts are being cut even as I type. Some problems with the cut files slowed things down for a while.
  • The yurt should be up Real Soon Now.
  • Art cars!
  • Steve’s smelter will be firing up shortly on its inaugural run. Come by and watch us melt stuff!

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.

gttm_smelter

gttm_yurt

Give to the Max Day Update #1

November 14th, 2013 by danbackslide

So here’s what’s been happening so far:

  • A yurt collar has been built
  • Lots of skeeball parts have been sanded (and lots of sawdust has taken up residence in my shirt)
  • The back part of the skeeball cabinet is standing
  • Cocoa has been forgotten

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.

The wood shop at 5am

The wood shop at 5am

Micro Minne Faire Begins At Midnight November 14!

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.

Treb4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUb0ZwKYXbg

Click on the GiveMN Donate Now button or go to http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Hack-Factory-Of-Minnesota to donate now.

 

Micro Minne Faire

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

Halloween Open House Wednesday, October 30

October 26th, 2013 by Obi-Bob

ElectricChairDeath Small

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?

Twin Cities Maker is going to Milwaukee Maker Fest 2013

October 14th, 2013 by Orkraider

aTreb
Click the pic to see it launch!

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!

Riley

Musical PVC Bench goes on display!

September 19th, 2013 by SLSolarz

Because I solvent welded each section upside-down, some PVC cement collected and dried on the seat.  Here you can see that I still have a lot of filing and sanding left before I can spray paint.

Because I solvent welded each section upside-down, some PVC cement collected and dried on the seat. Here you can see that I still have a lot of filing and sanding left before I can spray paint.

Volunteer worker Stephen VanDahm spent his Wednesday evening filing and sanding the bench in preparation for painting.

Volunteer worker Stephen VanDahm spent his Wednesday evening filing and sanding the bench in preparation for painting.

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.

Clean-up day approaches…

September 18th, 2013 by danbackslide

 

Cleanup

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.

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