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 »

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General membership meeting 6/26/2013

May 10th, 2013 by orion

This is a reminder that in order to be a member in good standing and be able to vote you must have your dues paid by 11:59PM 6/1/2013. If you have questions about your dues status please email treasurer at tcmaker.org More info to follow…

Reminder Bump

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.

IMG_3660

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:

 

Members to Exhibit at Minne-Faire

April 2nd, 2013 by skw33k

Dear Members,

Several of you have asked if there will be a table dedicated for our members to exhibit their completed projects/hacked hardware. Yes, there will be!

We still need you to sign up using our exhibitor sign up form — just make a note that you want to display on the TC Maker/Hack Factory table and be sure to include the size of the space it will consume. Space is limited and will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. Please do so by April 7th, as this helps us to plan our space appropriately. By signing up, you also get the advantage of exhibitor pricing ($5 for 2 admissions, which is a steal!).

Please note: you must pre-register or contact us prior to the fair to exhibit.

Go to the Exhibitor page on Minnefaire.org, and click on the signup form under “Open Call” at the bottom.

UPDATE (4/8/2013): We have closed the registration form, but we still have space for member projects. Please email fair at tcmaker dot org to reserve your space.

If you have any problems filling out the form, Laura, Riley or David would be happy to help you!

Thank you,
Laura
Minne-Faire Co-Chair

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.

Convergence Costume Countdown Camp

March 30th, 2013 by swinkdaddy

Ok, way too many “C’s” I know. But I am trying to gauge interest in creating a workshop/class that goes over creating “your” costume for this years Convergence convention in July. I know, I like to work with like minded artists while creating costume designs. Thinking this could be an interesting group to put together and at the end show off our collective maker-foo at this years event.

We could go over topics like:
Sewing (yes sewing is fun and guys can be good at it)
Pattern making
Making molds and copies
Fabricating appliances
Latex mask creation
Leather masks
Airbrushing
How to not pass out from heat exhaustion.

I’d like to put this together more like a camp. Where there is a topic and it starts with information, but the rest of the day is spent with as much or as little time “making” as you need. A lot of the time a person just needs direction to get from one place to another.

To give an example: You want to make a Mystique from X-Men costume. How would you make her signature skull belt? Well with silicone/latex molding of course. But were do you get molding supplies, and how does it work. Then how do you make copies? These were question I had and I am guessing there are a lot of people interested in coplay but do not know how to get the idea into reality.

Hey, if you are interested, leave a comment. Its never too early to start making a costume, but its often too late…

Shironuri No 96
Image is of the Maker (going by the name of No 96). photo taken by Tokyo Fashion

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.

PI!

Class Kit Includes:

Fix-It Clinic at the Hack Factory

March 6th, 2013 by danbackslide

ES_Fixit_Clinic

This Saturday, Twin Cities Maker is proud to host the Hennpin County Fix-It Clinic!

Remember that broken toaster you’ve had sitting in the basement for a year, waiting for you to figure out how to fix it? Well, now is your chance! Bring your broken household goods and clothing in need of repair to Hennepin County’s Fix-It Clinic.

Fix-It Clinics reduce the amount of stuff that gets thrown in the trash, teach valuable troubleshooting and basic repair skills, and build community connections. These are family-friendly events.

Volunteer fixers are needed to make this initiative a success. Volunteers have skills in soldering, electronics and electrical repair, computer repair, sewing and general tinkering.

Please contact Nancy Lo at nancy.lo@co.hennepin.mn.usor 612-348-9195 with questions or to volunteer, or see more details at hennepin.us/fixitclinic.

Arduino 101: February edition

February 6th, 2013 by danbackslide

Arduino microcontroller

 Sign up for the class at Eventbrite!

Ever wanted to make something blink or buzz, but don’t know where to start?  This is the class that will teach you the basics of what an Arduino can do, and how microcontrollers are awesome!

The February class is on Friday nights, Feb. 22 and March 1, from 7-9pm.

Cost is $50, which includes a parts kit we’ll be using in class (it’s yours to keep!). Students will need to supply their own Arduino board and laptop. 

  • The class focuses on the Arduino Uno model, but everything works with the Arduino Mega as well. The Arduino Leonardo is new and I haven’t had a chance to play with it, but I expect it’ll play nicely.
  • Arduino-compatible boards/Arduino clones might cause some issues — pin layouts may be different, and in some cases they’re not 100% code-compatible. If you already have one, feel free to bring it in, but if you’re just getting started I recommend buying an official Arduino board.
  • If you don’t have an Arduino, they’re available at most local Radio Shack stores, and also at Micro Center in St. Louis Park. Or you can check the Vend-A-Kit machine at the Hack Factory! (And of course you can mail-order one, but where’s the instant gratification in that?)
  • If you haven’t got a laptop, please get in touch. We can possibly work something out.

 

Arduino 101: January Hack Day edition

December 23rd, 2012 by danbackslide

Arduino microcontroller

 Sign up for the class at Eventbrite!

Ever wanted to make something blink or buzz, but don’t know where to start?  This is the class that will teach you the basics of what an Arduino can do, and how microcontrollers are awesome!

The January class is on Saturday, January 5, from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

The January class is our first Saturday Arduino class. We’ll be running both sessions in one day, with a lunch break. After class, feel free to stick around for Open Hack!

Cost is $50, which includes a parts kit we’ll be using in class (it’s yours to keep!). Students will need to supply their own Arduino board and laptop. 

  • The class focuses on the Arduino Uno model, but everything works with the Arduino Mega as well. The Arduino Leonardo is new and I haven’t had a chance to play with it, but I expect it’ll play nicely.
  • Arduino-compatible boards/Arduino clones might cause some issues — pin layouts may be different, and in some cases they’re not 100% code-compatible. If you already have one, feel free to bring it in, but if you’re just getting started I recommend buying an official Arduino board.
  • If you don’t have an Arduino, they’re available at most local Radio Shack stores, and also at Micro Center in St. Louis Park. Or you can check the Vend-A-Kit machine at the Hack Factory! (And of course you can mail-order one, but where’s the instant gratification in that?)
  • If you haven’t got a laptop, please get in touch. We can possibly work something out.

 

Give to the Max Day 2012!

November 12th, 2012 by metis

UPDATE:  A member has stepped up with a $500 matching gift!   As of 1PM today we still had $480 sitting on the table, if you weren’t sure, you can double your gift’s value.   We’ll loose that money if we don’t get donations to match it!

Give to the Max Day is TODAY!  Every hour you could help us earn a bonus $1000 donation even if you can only contribute $10!

It’s the season of giving, and that means that  GiveMN is running “Give to the Max Day”.  For those of you not familiar, GiveMN is a website that manages cash donations for many non-profits, including us, and Give to the Max is a massive fundraising effort for non-profits across our state.  It’s also our first year as an independent 501c3 charity and we’ve got a new page there.

 

 

Why should you give this Thursday the 15th over any other day of the year?   The big reason for us would be the chance to win a “golden ticket.”  Every hour throughout the day, one random donor that hour will have $1000 added on to their donation, and at the end of the day, there’s a $10,000 super-sized golden ticket.  Any donation gets us a chance to win that bonus, and the more times you donate throughout the day, the better the chances we have of getting a big boost to our budget.  They’ve even made donating on Give to the Max day easier this year by adding a pre-scheduled donation link to the top of the suggested donation list.  (It triggers in the first hour of the day.)  There are a few other great promotions going on for other non-profits in the state as well, so if you usually donate to other groups as well, it’s a great way to maximize your charitable gifts.

  

If you’re pondering giving financially to Twin Cities Maker before the end of the year, today is the day that we will get the most benefit from your generosity. We can always take non-cash and cash donations, but Give to the Max happens once a year. If you’ve got a maker who’s particularly hard to buy a holiday gift for, a donation in their name might be just what they were hoping for.  Membership dues cover our basic operational costs, and previous generous donations have gotten us some major improvements to our space, and helped us expand our shop. Help us keep our gears spinning! Your generosity will help to buy tools and equipment, improve the space, and offer even greater services to the maker community in the Twin Cities.

As always, feel free to email “development”  at our domain if you’ve got any questions about donations, or if you’ve got a project for the community that you’d like a project fundraiser page set up for.

Gremlins in the machine

November 6th, 2012 by orion

So it has been brought to my attention that invoices were not being credited when paypal got the money for the subscription accounts. I have found the issue and it should no longer be a problem. If anyone else is still getting incorrect invoices please email treasurer at tcmaker.org and it will be fixed.

 

The money guy

Halloween fun starts now!

October 30th, 2012 by Nemesis

Ladies and Gentlemen (and all other humanoids),
Tonight begins the Halloween celebration. Join us at the Hack Factory where the Women are hosting “Pumpkins and Powertools”. This title should be a fairly accurate description of the event. Bring a pumpkin. We have powertools. Enough said. Also, if you’d like to bring an extra pumpkin in case someone needs one, we are always greatful for people being excellent to each other.

Do not forget / neglect to join TC Maker at the Hack Factory for our open house and Halloween celebration tomorrow evening.
– Costume contest from 6-9 PM. You do not have to be present to win and there are prizes to be won.
– Rumor has it that there will be a reptile show happening early to mid evening.
– Mad scientist lab with props and decorations that will be making their debut tomorrow night.
– Trick or treating
– Pumpking carving
– There will most likely be edibles on the grill (donations encouraged)
– We have gotten permission to show the Transylvania Television Halloween Special at the shop. This will be happening after 10 pm.

The Hack Factory is the place to be for Halloween tomorrow night. If you find yourself with extra Halloween spirit, don’t forget that Pumpkins and Powertools is happening tonight.

Operation red tape

October 17th, 2012 by orion

Hello members,

I am doing an audit of our member database and and I am looking to get updated and current information from members (EG: you pay for a monthly membership). From my research I have found that I’m getting 15% bounces for official member announcements and some members are missing information in there file. If you are a current member paying dues, please help us out by updating in your information. We have setup a Google doc that will capture your info HERE.

Thanks for your time,
Brandon,
TC Maker Treasurer

edit for clarity

Halloween @ Hack Factory

October 10th, 2012 by Nemesis

Greetings to all makers, hackers, and lovers of all things spooky:

Make Magazine – How-To: Carve astounding art-pumpkins

As some of you have noticed, Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year.  Since Wednesday is open house night at the Hack Factory, we have decided to have an open house Halloween party. We will have trick-or-treating for children from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, along with food on the grill (donation based) beginning around 7:00 pm.  There will be pumpkin carving for all ages as a BYOP (bring your own pumpkin) event.  Twin Cities Maker will provide some child-safe carving tools.  A costume contest is being held, with more details later this week.

I hope to see you all there!

 

Quarterly Clean Up Saturday, September 29

September 23rd, 2012 by Obi-Bob

Saturday, September 29 will be the fall clean up at The Hack Factory. This is one of the perfect times of the year to get the shop looking all spic and span. If you are unable to be here Saturday, make sure if there are any things you have stored in the shop that have Parking Tickets on them that you have them moved before Saturday, or else it may wind up in the dumpster or recycling. Saturday is the best time to help clean, but if you can’t make it then, please try to help clean and organize beforehand.

September Board Meeting

September 12th, 2012 by Obi-Bob

The TCM Board had another triumphant meeting Tuesday night.   There was planning and discussion  for TCM (Twin Cities Monsters?) Halloween Open House Night and Minne Maker Faire 2013, and a report from the NAMAC Conference which many Twin Cities Makers participated in.  Quarterly Cleanup is on Saturday, September 29, so if you can’t participate, make sure anything you don’t want thrown out is labeled.

Upcoming events which TC Maker will be participating in:

  • Southeast Minneapolis Learning Carnival, September 29  www.semcol.org/carnivalregistration  Registration deadline is this Friday.
  • Pancakes And Booze Art Show, September 22 is looking for art and artists. www.pancakesandbooze.com
  • Students from Augsburg College will be at The Hack Factory on September 20th for a found art class.

Raspberry Pi too

August 27th, 2012 by Judeling

Alex has taken over one of Vending Machines.

 

Vendakit vending machine is the side project of Alex from GetLoFi, it is meant is a physical distribution outlet for geeky things that we normally order over the Internet. At the moment the machine stocks kits Minneapolis based Nootropic Design, GetLoFi, CrazyButAble, and soon to include more makers. Other items currently in the machine include Arduino boards, Raspberry Pi computers, Proto Shields, and USB soldering irons.To learn about the machine updates, changes to the inventory, and new products please follow us on twitter: twitter.com/Vendakit.

 

Now if you are looking for a quick project its right here.

This looks like just the beginning for Alex.  He is talking about another machine, stocking components. Cash only right now.

 

Finally

August 15th, 2012 by Judeling

The long quest is over. We have officially received our 501 c(3) non profit tax exempt status.

This means we can directly accept financial, equipment and in kind donations (sorry dues don’t count).

While donation have been possible for some time thanks to Springboard for the Arts and other great financial sponsors. Eliminating a layer will give us much greater flexibility.  We have already begun the process of seeking underwriting for our community outreach (Minne-Faire, Handmade Music, Women’s Night, Makers in the Park etc.). While we expect that our members will provide the majority of our support, our new status will allow us to enhance and expand our core mission of making sharing and learning.

 

I’d like to thank Metis, Becca, Brandon and Dave for all their hard work. Our lawyers certainly shortened the process. Springboard and our other sponsors made the transition as painless as possible.

Power Wheels Build Team Request

June 29th, 2012 by Judeling

Steve, Dave, Andy and I were generally pleased with the outcome of our recent build.  Considering we built it in a week and it finished and finished forth in the endurance test, how could we not be.  The drivers report good handling characteristics.

 

…. But ….

 
We really never had a good chance to tweak and baseline test and so we slightly exceeded our motor’s ability. So in addition to our other tweaks we are searching for a better motor.  We are limited by rule to battery power and a 12 – 36 volt RMS to the motor. The thinking is that a cordless electric lawn mower or other continuous duty motor would work.

 

So if any of you out there have such a motor squirreled away not in use we could use it.

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