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

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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.

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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.

 

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.

More laser classes!

August 1st, 2012 by danbackslide

Everyone loves lasers. Doug’s been proving that, he’s been filling up the laser cutter classes. So much so that he’s added two more classes, on 8/20 and 9/11.

This class will teach the basics on the laser, safety and all sorts of fun things!  Graduates of this class will be authorized to use the laser cutter at the Hack Factory.  Practice using the laser cutter will be provided.

For more background information on the laser cutter see the information on the TC Maker Wiki’s Laser Engraver page, and the TC Maker Forum laser cutter discussion.

Sign up for one of the classes at Eventbrite!

More bowmaking classes!

August 1st, 2012 by danbackslide

Holy cats, more bowmaking classes! Riley’s set up three more classes, on 8/12, 8/19 and 8/26. These classes have been pretty popular (I know my daughter had a blast!). Sign up soon before the tickets are gone!

The class covers:

  • A brief review of the types of traditional wood bows and focus on the American Flatbow, it’s origin and design (This is the type of bow that participants will be making)
  • An intro on the types of designs and modifications that can improve the look and performance of an american flatbow.
  • Types of wood used for wood bows, and their characteristics
  • The pros and cons of working with red oak wood.
  • Tools used for bowmaking, including hand tools and power tools
  • Each participant will be provided with all the materials and tools needed to make this bow.
  • Class materials will include exactly one red oak board per student, of dimensions 1.5″ by .75″ by 6′, selected by the teacher.

The class will include a brief description of what archery “tackle”, or gear, is needed to actually use a bow, including bow strings, arrows, forearm protection (vambraces), finger protection (archery tabs or shooting gloves), quivers, and bow cases. Sign up for the class at Eventbrite!

Class: Fire the Laser!

July 19th, 2012 by danbackslide

Get checked out and up to speed to “fire the laser!”  (As Dr. Evil Says)

This class will teach the basics on the laser, safety and all sorts of fun things!  Graduates of this class will be authorized to use the laser cutter at the Hack Factory.  Practice using the laser cutter will be provided.

Two classes are scheduled:

  • Monday, July 23, 6:30PM – 8:30PM
  • Tuesday, August 14, 6:30PM – 8:30PM

For more background information on the laser cutter see the information on the TC Maker Wiki’s Laser Engraver page, and the TC Maker Forum laser cutter discussion.

Sign up for one of the classes at Eventbrite!

Class: Introduction to Bowmaking

July 19th, 2012 by danbackslide

Learn to make a fully functional american flat bow! Two classes are being offered, on 7/22 and 7/29. The class covers:

  • A brief review of the types of traditional wood bows and focus on the American Flatbow, it’s origin and design (This is the type of bow that participants will be making)
  • An intro on the types of designs and modifications that can improve the look and performance of an american flatbow.
  • Types of wood used for wood bows, and their characteristics
  • The pros and cons of working with red oak wood.
  • Tools used for bowmaking, including hand tools and power tools
  • Each participant will be provided with all the materials and tools needed to make this bow.
  • Class materials will include exactly one red oak board per student, of dimensions 1.5″ by .75″ by 6′, selected by the teacher.

The class will include a brief description of what archery “tackle”, or gear, is needed to actually use a bow, including bow strings, arrows, forearm protection (vambraces), finger protection (archery tabs or shooting gloves), quivers, and bow cases. Sign up for the class at Eventbrite!

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.

Quarterly Clean-Up: This Saturday (6/30/2012)

June 28th, 2012 by danbackslide

It’s time once again to do some concentrated clean-up around the space. We’ll be doing our quarterly cleaning this Saturday, June 30, starting at 10:00 am. This time the focus will be on sweeping up the accumulated cruft behind machines and workbenches, along with the usual straightening up and throwing out. Remember, the more people that show up, the less any one of those people will have to do!

After cleaning up, the grill will be fired up and the goofing off will commence. See you Saturday!

MakerBot Industries! BBQ, Beverages, and MakerBots?

June 26th, 2012 by videoman

MakerBot Industries, who create awesome kits for DIY 3-D printing will be in town Wednesday June 27th to demo their latest and super cool MakerBot Replicator. This is open to everyone, if you can, RSVP via Facebook so we get a count for the food.

Their new printer has a much larger bed, heated build platform, and can print using two colors. They will be doing demos during our Open House (open to all every Wednesday) at the Hack Factory starting at 8pm. We will also be doing a BBQ with grillables and beer provided by Makerbot starting at 7pm, and showing off our hacked 3-D printer that had a previous life as a medical device sampler. This is a great opportunity for the community to check out their new products, and talk with MakerBot.

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