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!

Share/Bookmark

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 [email protected]

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]

 

 

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 [email protected]

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 #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!

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

Basic Sewing 101 — new dates!

October 3rd, 2013 by danbackslide

sewing

Sign up for this class on our Eventbrite page!

Always wanted to learn to sew but don’t know where to start?  Have you been sewing on your own but feel you need some guidance?  In this class you’ll learn the basics for sewing of all kinds of objects; useful hand sewing stitches, how to operate a machine sewing, and construction techniques, etc.  In class you will make a simple tote bag.  It will act as a sampler, providing a set of basic construction techniques that should leave you ready to tackle your next project!

  • Owning a sewing machine will be helpful, but not necessary.  If you have one, leave it at home for the first class.  Do bring it for the second class.
  • Be ready to purchase some basic sewing supplies and fabric, if you don’t already own them.  See materials list.
  • This is not an industrial sewing machine class. 
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • When: This is a four class series that will be held on Sundays from 6pm to 8pm, November 3 – 24.
  • Instructor: Lindsey Strange

Musical PVC Bench in the News!

September 25th, 2013 by SLSolarz

A worker in downtown St. Paul takes a break on my bench during the September, 2013 display.

A worker in downtown St. Paul takes a break on my bench during the September, 2013 display.

Hey thanks for checking out my blog!

MPR aired a nice story today on the bench but cut out all 3 of my mentions of Twin Cities Maker at the Hack Factory.  Kind of a bummer.

At least in this short TPT piece you can see the back of my Twin Cities Maker T-shirt!

 

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.

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

Raspberry Pi Roadshow is coming to town!

July 29th, 2013 by danbackslide

raspi-in-caseWe’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.

Talk summary:

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…

Building a musical bench: a Twin Cities Maker effort

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.

Section 1 (of 6, foreground) is done!  Sections 2-4 can be seen in the background as well as one paddle prototype.

Section 1 (of 6, foreground) is done! Sections 2-4 can be seen in the background as well as one paddle prototype.

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.

There is almost no surface area at the intersection of 2 circles.

There is almost no surface area at the intersection of 2 circles.

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.

This is me using the jig that Bill D made for shaving a flat surface into the edge of the PVC pipe using a router.

This is me using the jig that Bill D made for shaving a flat surface into the edge of the PVC pipe using a router.

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!

My new bench design (foreground) compared to the old design shrunk along the horizontal axis to a 2" pipe diameter. The old design would have been too small if made with 2" diameter PVC pipe.

My new bench design (foreground) compared to the old design shrunk along the horizontal axis to a 2″ pipe diameter. The old design would have been too small if made with 2″ diameter PVC pipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

As the size of the section grows bungee cords no longer work to keep pipes in place as they dry.  Here, Colleen holds several pieces together until they can maintain their position on their own.

As the size of the section grows, bungee cords no longer work to keep pipes in place as they dry. Here, Colleen holds several pieces together until they can maintain their position on their own.

Please stay tuned for future volunteer opportunities!

« Previous Entries Next Entries »

google