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.

 

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Intro to CNC and CAM class

January 17th, 2013 by otto_pjm

Routing a skateboard mold

Learn how to use a CNC router to cut 2D and 3D objects out of a variety of materials.

The classes will be held on February 2nd and 3rd. CNC Introduction and Check-out on Saturday, and CAM / gcode creation on Sunday. The schedule will be 10am – 4pm both days. Intro to CNC Class Sign up here. It’s $25 per class / day or $40 for both classes.

VERY IMPORTANT! if you want to be able to generate your own gcode (so you can cut out something you want) you will need to take both classes, The CNC introduction class is just to demonstrate safe and proficient use of the machines, and everyone will be cutting a pre-selected file that I have prepared. To cut your own creations you will need to take both classes,


Intro to CNC
, CNC overview and safe use check-out

Attendees will be provided a 2D gcode file, and need to demonstrate proficiency, by safely cutting the part on the machine.

  • Saturday morning: Use and safety training on the machines ( class room, then with the machine(s) )
  • Break for Lunch
  • Saturday afternoon: individual user check-out on the machines


Intro to CAM
, 2D and 3D Computer Aided Machining (CAM)

Attendees will be given an overview on how to use 2D and 3D CAM software to generate the gcode or tools paths that the CNC machines use to cutout parts. Please see the important notice below on how to acquire the software before class so you are ready to go!

  • Sunday morning: gcode creation for 2D, and 3D objects.
  • Break for Lunch
  • Additional instruction, likely classroom and shop.
  • Sunday afternoon: individual help with gcode creation, user check-out for those who couldn’t Sat afternoon and cutting of files for the code creation group.

Project storage cleanup

January 9th, 2013 by videoman

Hey folks!  Q4 Clean up is this Saturday January 12th – 10am-3pm

We have moved our Q4 clean up from December to January as we know that many folks have stuff going on over the coming holiday season.  This time around we are going to focus on member storage.  What does that mean?  All items in member/project storage will be removed from the shelves (and the back bathroom/storage).  If you have a project that you don’t want us to move, talk with an area or shop manager.  We are flexible, but do need to get these cleaned out.  The goal is to have space available for active projects.  Any item that is not a work in progress or supporting a class function should be taken home.  We are trying this first, as we have a lot of stuff that has not been worked on in 6+ months to over a year gathering dust on our project storage shelves.  If this continues to be an issue, we will start charging for the use of project storage.  We also will be reviewing items bigger then a bread box/small appliance that are not part of an active project or is unavailable for communal use.  This review will happen after we  have completed the Q4 project storage clean up.

Going forward, we will request that all items in project storage are placed inside a 12-13 gallon “attached lid container” (Max of 24″ D x 16″ W x 12.5″ H).  We are going to standardize Read the rest of this entry »

Replica Movie Prop Party

December 27th, 2012 by Obi-Bob

Local members of The Replica Prop Forum will be having a Prop Party on Saturday, January 19 starting at 3PM at The Hack Factory.  Ever wanted to see what a “real” raygun, phaser or lightsaber from movies and TV looks like?  This is the time to find out!  Talk to the builders and collectors of replica movie memoribilia and have your deepest questions answered.  Feel free to bring any props, models or costumes of your own that you want to show off.

IMG_2949 s

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.

 

Last bow making class of 2012 on Sunday Dec. 16th!

December 10th, 2012 by Orkraider

I’ve decided to sneak in one last bow making class before the world ends on the 21st of December.

This class happens this Sunday, December 16th, from 10 am to 6 pm, at the Hack Factory.

If you want to be ready for the end of the world, prepare for the zombie apocalypse, have the perfect accessory for your Hawkeye or Archer costume, or fancy yourself as the next Katniss Everdeen, this is your chance.

Below is a link to the class:

http://bowyer.eventbrite.com

You can be like this guy: Archer at Lake Calhoun

All the details about the class:
Introduction to Bow Making

Learn to make a fully functional American flat bow!
Read the rest of this entry »

Annual Membership Sale! Dec 15th-Jan15th %27 Off!

December 10th, 2012 by videoman


We are having our annual membership sale/drive this year! What does that mean? If you want to save some $$, and plan to support our community, this is a good alternative to paying for a monthly membership. This sale discounts an annual membership by $180!

  • Who: Any member or new member can take advantage of this.
  • What: 2013 annual membership for $480! That’s %27.27 off annual dues. *
  • When: Only from December 15th, 2012 to January 15th 2013.
  • Where: Website or in person on a Wednesday night.
  • Why: Because we like you, and want to give long standing members a discount.

*Memberships purchased during this sale are non-refundable after Jan 16th 2013, this is a one time sale to raise funds for our space, and we need to count on those funds being available over the 2013 year.

Forum Registration Temporarily Unavailable

November 16th, 2012 by mcsteve

Due to an overwhelming number of attempted spambot registrations, registration of new accounts on our forum is temporarily disabled. Also, if you tried to register in the last day or so, your registration may have been lost in the noise. Please try again when registration is re-enabled in a day or so. An update will be posted here when registration is back online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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.

Arduino 101: November Edition

October 19th, 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 November class runs on Thursdays, 11/8 and 11/15, from 7:00pm – 9:00pm

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.

 

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!

 

CNC Lithophane, 1st try

October 5th, 2012 by otto_pjm

I’ve been wanting to try this for sometime, and finally had my setup mostly ready and the right materials. A Lithophane is an image etched into something translucent. In my case I used LinuxCNC, which runs my CNC router, and includes a script called Image-to-gcode, that creates a gcode height map based on the color or light to dark variations in an image. The material I used is 1/2″ Corian.
The original picture is this one of my son at the beach.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Welding classes

September 15th, 2012 by danbackslide

New classes posted!  Fun with metal Check out: http://tcmaker.eventbrite.com/ to register for the classes.

Fun with Metal – October 2012 Welding class

This is the beginning welding class.  If you don’t have experience, this the class to take.
October class: October 16th & 23rd, 6:30-9:30pm
November class: November 10th & 17th, 10am-2:30pm

OpenSlide Open House: Friday 9/21

September 14th, 2012 by danbackslide

This Friday from 6pm to 10pm, stop by the Hack Factory and meet Terence Tam, creator of the OpenBeam construction system. Terence is bringing along some OpenBeam pieces for people to play with and hack on. And if cool aluminum extrusion systems aren’t enough for you, there will also be pizza…

OpenBeam is an aluminum rail system designed to use standard M3 nuts and screws, instead of pricey T-nuts or specialized connectors. The slots are also designed to hang onto 1/8″ thick materials — a common size for laser-cut plywood or acrylic.

This looks like a really cool (and reasonably priced) building system. Come by on Friday and try it out for yourself!

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.

Arduino 101: September edition

August 27th, 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 September class runs on Thursdays, 9/20 and 9/27, from 6:30pm – 9:00pm

The class cost includes a parts kit, which will be used in class. 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.

 

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