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We have a Cricut Machine

Leslie using our Cricut MachineA member has loaned us an older Cricut, which is a machine that can cut letters and shapes out of vinyl and paper. They are often used for scrapbooking, card and sign making, crafts, schools projects and many other uses. The Cricut is not hard to use but we’d like you to be 18 or older and to carefully read the instruction manual before using it.

Karin Staples, Artist In Residence

Karin_StaplesA native Rochestarian, Karin R. Staples, is the Rochester Makerspace’s December “Artist in Residence”. A self proclaimed “hobby artist” she has had shows at the CWC Gallery and the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery. Her favorite medium is acrylic paints and she often does landscapes of the Finger Lakes in a monochromatic style.

Her scholastic art training was throughout grade school and into college. Her favorite instructor is the incomparable Mr. Thomas O’Brien. Then there was period when she focused on work and everyday life. But in the past five years she has renewed her passion for painting and multimedia art. She just started an art blog which you can find at KarinSmiling.wordpress.com and she does commissioned work by request. 

We Have Two 3D Printers Now

solidoodle2We now have two Solidoodle 3D printers thanks to the generosity of Rick Aseltine.  He has loaned us a like-new 2nd generation Solidoodle that he bought a year ago and never really used.  His machine has a bigger 8×8-inch bed but it is otherwise identical to the one we have.

Rick’s printer did not work very well when he took it out of the box and we experienced the same problem.  Ours didn’t make really good objects until Kevin, Wyatt and Peter made a series of tweaks and modification to it.  We expect to make the same modifications to Rick’s machine.

By the way, I’ve been told that the Rostock 3D printer we built at the Makerspace will be fully operation in time for us to demonstrate it at the Maker Faire on November 22nd.  Afterward it will be back at the space and and we’ll have three 3D printers for everyone to use.  Kevin’s employer and new bride has been keeping him away from the makerspace so he took it home so he could get it working perfectly.

By the way, we started the Rochester 3D Printing Meetup Group to find people in the area who are interested in 3D printing and to organize events where they can meet and learn from each other.

Stained Glass Meetup Every Thursday Night

Stained Glass at Rochester MakerspaceWe’re inviting anyone who knows how to work with stained glass or who would like to learn to come to the Makerspace on Thursday nights from 6:30 to 9 PM. This is part of our weekly Community night and it’s free, although we wouldn’t mind if you put a few dollars in the donation can to help pay for grinding wheels and other consumables. You can stop in anytime and stay as long as you’d like up until 9:30.

Because of the generosity of Chris Manos, Patty Utarro and others we have enough tools and grinders for at least 8 to 10 people, and enough supplies so that beginners can get started without having to buy anything.

Mary Roll has been teaching beginners. She recently learned from Chris and is not very experienced, but she’s been getting lots of compliments about her teaching abilities and her students have been going home with completed projects, sometimes on the first night. Of course, everybody helps others when they can. We would like to find some more instructors to make certain we have someone every week in case Mary can’t make it and to teach advanced skills.

This stained glass group is part of effort to get more art and craft activities going in the Makerspace. We have lots of space and you’re welcome to bring in art or craft projects to work on. You can also use sewing machines, Cricut, our easel and all the other tools we have except for the woodworking and machine shops.

Upcoming Matlab Webinars

Mathworks LogoDid you know that Mathworks very generously donated about $10,000 worth of Matlab and Simulink software licenses to us? The software is currently only installed on the PC near the electronics bench. It will also be installed on the PCs that RIT donated to us. Those computer are not quite ready to use because we need to install Windows 7 on them and improve our computer network.

The following free webinars are taught by Mathworks:

Introduction to Geodesy with MATLAB

Wednesday, November 12, 9:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. U.S. EST

Explore the basic concepts of geodesy and examine the assumptions inherent in specifying position. If you currently work with position data, learn how MATLAB and Mapping Toolbox simplify geographic calculations with precision and robustness.

Face Recognition with MATLAB

Thursday, November 13, 9:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. U.S. EST

Face recognition is the process of identifying people in images or videos by comparing the appearance of faces in captured imagery to a database. Discover how to use computer vision and machine learning techniques to recognize faces in images and video.

 Thermal Analysis with MATLAB and FLIR cameras

Tuesday, November 18, 9:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. U.S. EST

Thermal sensing is a rapidly growing area of imaging technology. Combining FLIR infrared and other cameras with MATLAB provides you with a flexible environment to explore algorithms for multi-sensor systems.

Designing Displays using Model-Based Design

Wednesday, November 19
9:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. U.S. EST

Displays are experiencing explosive growth in functionality and complexity across industries. To stay competitive, you need to develop and deploy designs with increasingly short timelines. Learn how you can apply Model-Based Design for developing, testing and deploying displays software.

Soldering Class

Soldering Class at the Rochester Makerspace

We taught a sold-out soldering class today. Three of the students were young women from one of the Penfield School District’s FIRST Robotic teams. The girls seemed to have fun and they did great. Their parents and the adults in the class also thought we did a good job teaching it.

They assembled an electronics kit that came with a nice soldering iron, a set of wire cutters, and some other supplies that they could keep. The kit we used also them some basic electronics.

We will be offering this soldering class again and we may offer one just for kids

Our CNC Router is Nearing Completion

Rochester Makerspace's CNC RouterAlbert Mazzeo, who is a very skilled and experienced machinist, has been working almost daily on the CNC (computer controlled) router that we’ve been slowly building for a long time. As a result it may be operational soon. When finished, it will be able to cut intricate shapes out of wood or plastic, and do intricate 3D carving in the same materials.

Although the end of the project is clearly in sight there is still a lot of work to do. Albert will soon get us to the next phase which will require hooking up the stepper motor controller to a PC, installing Mach3 and other software on the PC, configuring the software, calibrating the motors, and installing limit switches and some other components. We could really use your help if you are someone with strong troubleshooting and computer skills, the ability to follow detailed instructions, and a willingness to show others how to use and maintain the machine. [We also need someone with a truck to help us get some more lumber to build a workbench for it.]

We also want to thank Bob Wagner for his help with this project. Bob also worked very hard on this project and many other around the makerspace. There has also been many others who have helped.

Basket Making at the Makerspace

Basket Making Class at the Rochester Makespace

The start of a basket making class at the Rochester Makerspace

Deborah taught a free basket making class at the makerspace on Saturday, March 22. She’s very talented and a great teacher. She has organized many events for the Rochester Artists & Crafters Meetup Group and now she’s volunteered to teach classes at the Rochester Makerspace and to help us find more instructors.

Some of the finished baskets

Some of the finished baskets

Stained Glass Demo & Upcoming Class

Stained Glass Demo

The Rochester Makerspace just held a stained glass demo with the Rochester Artists and Crafters Meetup Group.  The demo was given by Nancy Topolski, a very experienced instructor who will be teaching a 4-week basic stained glass class at our makerspace on Wednesday nights, from 6:30 to 9:30 PM, beginning on Wednesday, March 19.  The cost for the course is $90, plus a modest investment in materials which you can buy at local stores like Milestone Glass Creations, Classical Glass and Hobby Lobby.

The makerspace owns enough glass grinders and hand tools for at least 5 to 8 people to work together on stained glass projects.  Members can use the equipment whenever they want and non-members are welcome to use them during our weekly free community nights, on Thursdays from 6 to 9:30 PM.

Arduino group a hit with Makerspace members

Paul Flavin works on a remote control car that will run on the Arduino. Flavin moderates a group on the Arduino on Thursday nights at the Makerspace.

Paul Flavin works on a remote control car that will run on the Arduino. Flavin moderates a group on the Arduino on Thursday nights at the Makerspace.

Paul Flavin has always been able to spot a good bargain. That nose for an excellent deal has helped him become engrossed in a new hobby.

Flavin leads the Arduino group from 6 p.m. to 10 on Thursday at the Rochester Makerspace. The Arduino is an easy to use micro-controller with exposed I/O pins, programmable through a USB Cable.

Flavin started using the Arduino with remote controlled cars he bought at Savers and other discount retailers.

“It always intrigued me, on a conceptual and metaphysical level,” Flavin said. “It’s like measuring the progress of the child by when he can walk, balancing on two legs, it becomes automatic. The balancing is a beautiful example of a simple control problem.”

Group participants can use the Arduino in a variety of projects including designing and building robots and control theory. Learning the Arduino can help anyone’s knowledge in a wide range of fields including electronics, programming and robotics.

The “Raspberry Pi” board, which runs the Arduino, can be purchased for $35 at most electronic stores including Amazon.com and RadioShack. The Arduino Software is free, open source and available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

“I am kind of surprised, if you go to the library and just read it, you have to have patience and perseverance when you first use it,” Flavin said. “You can run into problems. It is good for anyone to learn.”

The Arduino’s popularity can be seen not only in the United States, but worldwide as well. The website arduino.cc features not only basic information on the technology, but links to groups from places such as England and Poland.

“The Arduino has been extremely popular worldwide, they have done everything possible to make it as simple as possible,” Flavin said. “You plug into a laptop and into a USB. There is no telling how big the thing can be.”
For more information on the Arduino group at the Rochester Makerspace visit the website rochestermakerspace.org.

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