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
Albert 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.
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.
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.
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.
We know an update is long overdue, but we do have a lot to say and show off! The past couple of months have been crazy, exciting, and busy for the Rochester Makerspace. We have a host of new members and our Open Houses have been packed each week. Because of that we’ve fallen behind on our blog and we have a couple of things we really want to share with you.
First off, our Open Houses are getting really exciting. Our Arduino meetup attracts new members each week and people are bringing in some really cool projects. This past week one of our members Dave brought in his Tesla Coil and got it running. Needless to say fun times with fluorescent bulbs ensued. Here’s the video:
Another interesting project was done by one of our members Mike who created a replacement part for our Bandsaw using our Solidoodle 3D printer. The following image shows the process, from the broken part, to the first revision, and second from left to right.
Replacement part created on our 3D printer.
And speaking of images, we have a ton of new ones of the space, our tools, and our wonderful group of makers using them. The following shots in the gallery were taken by Jeff Stalker. Thanks Jeff!
And the last piece of media we have for all of you is a short radio interview I did about a month a go. Thanks to Kathleen Borbee’s marketing and Sales classes this fall we were able to secure a lot of media attention this fall. The interview:
Now let’s get to our classes and events. Our team has been working diligently to get these classes and events running, so thanks to all of them! Here is the full event and class list:
Work on your Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone projects with other users of these small inexpensive computers. All skills level are welcome and you don’t need to be a member. There won’t be any formal instruction but others will be there to share their knowledge and experience.
February 4, Tuesday, 7 – 9 PM – 1st Tuesday Work Night – Please come help clean, organize, fix tools and improve the makerspace. You don’t need to be a member to help.
Learn to make a hovercraft from materials around the house or purchased from the hardware store. Great for kids 8 years and older. Hands on with a chance for the kids to ride the final project at the end. A parent needs to be present to sign the Makerspace waiver.
February 15, Saturday 10 AM – Noon - 3rd Saturday Work Session – Please come help clean, organize, fix tools and improve the makerspace. You don’t need to be a member to help.
When your favorite clothes get ripped or worn around the edges, there’s no need to throw them away. If you can find the sharp end of the needle, you can mend. You can also add decorative patches or trim to clothes and backpacks. It’s shocking how fast it can be, many repairs take only 5 minutes. All ages!
Learn basic human anatomy & make drawings from a live model which evoke a narrative based on costume, & props. Detailed handouts & explanation will be given along with step by step instruction through the drawing process. Expect to complete many sketches & about three more polished drawings per session, & to leave with a greater ability to accurate capture the human form. Total of five sessions. Save by signing up for all five, or see our Eventbrite for individual listings.
Learn to discern the aesthetics hidden in common objects around you. Working with instructor, you will explore your own creativity as you learn to work with found objects, wood, shop tools, paint, magazines, markers, glue, X-Acto knives, etc. You will make an abstract “painting” by blending media and using multiple tools to collage materials and make a vivid visual overload two dimensional work of art on the found wood.
In this six-week course, we’ll explore project possibilities with the Arduino microprocessor board. The Arduino enables anyone to make interesting electronic projects quickly and easily. The course will cover the basics of simple input and output devices: buttons, knobs, sensors, lights, buzzers, motors, and more. We’ll also cover the fundamentals of programming for Arduino, as well as circuit assembly technique. Previous electronic experience is not required. The last offering of this course sold out quick, so sign up today!
And as always we have our weekly Open House every Thursday night from 6-10pm. If you haven’t check us out already or want to visit again, please come out! We have a tone of more classes and exciting things in the works so stay tuned!
As most of you already know the Rochester Makerspace will be at the TEDx Rochester event this Monday (11/4). But we are also pleased to announce that the Rochester Makerspace location has also been chosen as a viewing party location for those who were not able to secure tickets. The entire event will be live streamed at the Makerspace, and the promoters have also arranged for a food truck to come during the day.
To register please see the organizer’s website via the following link. The TEDx Rochester event always has a great lineup of speakers that are working on awesome community projects and ideas. There’s no reason to think that this year’s group won’t be the best yet. So please join us on Monday an experience it yourself.
Also, we know that a communication channel between members and people interested in the space has been lacking, so we are experimenting with new ideas to solve this issue. Therefore we’ve created a facebook group outside of our business page for people to interact, share ideas, and schedule meet ups at the space. The facebook group seems the best choice right now, as notifications of posts push to members automatically, and most people use the service.
Also, we are scheduling a Safety Orientation for Thursday November 5th at 7:00pm. The class is required for all new members who want to use our wood shop equipment, so grab your tickets today.
Thank you all for your continued support, and please remember to stop out any Thursday evening for our weekly Open House!
Excited to share with you that we were recently featured in a global news story about our Makerspace and it’s impact on the city of Rochester. We’d like to share that video with you here. Please feel free to spread the word and share the video amongst your friends who may have questions about us! You may also watch the video by visiting the YouTube page.
Also, about two months ago some friends from RDM Makerspace (Rotterdam, Netherlands) visited us on their cross-country trip. The following video is from their stop. Again you may also view via YouTube.
Halloween might be called the “Maker’s Holiday” because many people make costumes and decorations for it. So the Rochester Makerspace is thinking about having a Halloween party on Saturday, October 26th.
If we’re going to do this then we quickly need to make some important decisions so those who want to will have enough time to make costumes. So we’re looking for volunteers to serve on a committee that will plan and prepare for the party. It will meet for the first time on Thursday, September 5th, at 7 PM at the Rochester Makerspace. If you can, please let us know if you plan to attend or if would interested in being the committee chairperson or serving in some other key role.
You don’t need to be a member to help. You also don’t need to attend the meeting to tell us if want us to have a Halloween party, or to make suggestions. Just leave a comment below.
Here are some of the things we quickly need to decide:
Date and time (tentatively Saturday, 10/26)
How many people can we safely accommodate?
Are we going to do this just for fun, or as a fundraiser?
Should we charge admission, and if so, how much?
Are kids are going to be welcome, and if so, how do we entertain them?
How much should we budget for food, decorations and entertainment?
Will we need to provide extra security in the parking lot, and if so, how?
Should we have a theme (Zombie Apocalypse, Sci Fi, Monsters, Fairy Tales, Comic Book Characters, etc.)?
Should costumes be required for admission?
Should we award prizes for costumes, and if so, what?
Should we try to encourage guests to make their costumes at the makerspace, and if so, how?
Who is going to be the committee chairperson and those in charge of key tasks such as advertising, food, entertainment, decorations, etc.
When and how often is the committee going to meet?
Woodworking, metalworking, electronics—these are all pretty standard elements of a makerspace. But Victoria Makerspace in British Columbia, Canada, has something few, if any, other workshops can claim.
The club has a working blacksmith shop, complete with a propane forge, a number of hammers and two anvils. It’s got the standard woodworking tools as well, like a variety of saws, a wood lathe and belt sander. It also has metalworking tools, including a drill press, TIG and MIG welding equipment and even the start of a casting furnace. For electronics enthusiasts, Victoria Makerspace has a Cupcake 3D Printer, soldering station and a Full Spectrum 40W laser cutter.
Victoria Makerspace has an interesting membership plan. It has the normal monthly rates–$51.50 for a regular membership and $103 for a key and 24/7 access—but also gives an option to drop in for the day for $20.
People who want to take a free look at Victoria Makerspace have ample opportunities as well. The club holds an open house every Tuesday night, and on Thursdays has a get-together where electronic enthusiasts can work with Arduinos. The night isn’t anything formal, the club says, just a chance to play with the electronics, get help on problems from other members and share a beer or two with them.