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Stained Glass at the Rochester Makerspace

Stained Glass NancyDid you know that the Rochester Makerspace has a large stained glass studio with enough hand tools, grinders and workspace for probably at least six people to work at once?  Did you know that we also offer free stained glass lessons almost every Thursday night from 7 to 9 PM during our weekly Community Night?

Our instructor, Nancy Topolski, is one of the area’s few active stained glass teachers. She’s a very talented artist who works in many other mediums.

Jenn’s Thursday Night Art Activities

Jenns ArtJenn, often with the help of Laura and others, usually leads some kind of interesting art activity every Thursday night that both kids and adults can do. Last week she brought in a bunch of “stuff” and the photo above shows what one of the kids made.

You’re welcome to join her or bring your own project to work on at our free weekly Community Night on Thursdays from 6 to 9 PM.

Our New Laser Cutter / Engraver

Fixing Laser CutterYou may have seen the 40 watt laser cutter and engraver we acquired a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, it’s not operational yet.  The laser tube doesn’t fire and we think the high voltage power supply is bad. The seller gave us our money back and told us we can keep it.  We will fix it if it can be done at a reasonable cost or order another one soon.

The laser cutter was a bit of a gamble, but one we thought was worth taking because it only cost about $500. Many others who have bought bought these inexpensive machines say they work great once you fix all the problems they usually come with because of poor quality control. It’s capable of cutting or engraving wood, acrylic plastic, fabric, leather and many other materials.  Its approximately 8 x 12 inch cutting / engraving area is smaller than more expensive machines but it’s big enough for many uses and projects.

We were able to buy it because the generosity of Leif Hardison, a strong supporter of the makerspace, who has been donating $50 per month to us for awhile. Leif wanted his donations to be used to buy on a laser cutter if possible.

We also want to thank Bob Walton, Leo Farnand and the others who have been working very hard to get the laser cutter working and to write some instructions on how to use it.

The laser cutter is potentially dangerous and it can be damaged or destroyed if it is used improperly. So you will need to get some training before you can use it.  The laser tube also wears out so we may charge a small fee to use it to help pay for its replacement and other maintenance costs.

Mayor Warren Visits the Rochester Makerspace

Mayor Lovely Warren with 3D Printed Logo

On May 18, the Rochester Makerspace was visited by Rochester City Mayor Lovely Warren, her Chief of Staff Jeremy Cooney, Commissioner of Neighborhood & Business Development Baye Muhammad, the city’s new Director of Innovation Neil Martin, a number of other city staff members and many reporters.

We were impressed by the mayor and other city officials. They were very friendly and they seemed genuinely interested in what we’re doing and very supportive of our goals. We’ve already had follow-up meetings with the city and we hope to find ways that we can work together to encourage making and learning.

We want to thank all the Makerspace members and supporters who came to help our visitors feel very welcome. We had a large turnout even though many of them had to take time off from their jobs.

We also want to thank Jay Perez who stayed up late the night before to turn the city’s logo into a 3D printable file. You can see the results in the photo above. In addition, Albert Mazzeo worked hard to design and make a beautiful name plate for the mayor’s desk that he carved on the Makerspace’s CNC router.

All the photos here were taken by City of Rochester photographer Ira Srole. You can also see more photos on our Facebook page.

Learn About Careers in Dentistry

Goodwill’s GoodGuides is a program that mentors teens and helps them explore career options. They’ve organized a free presentation on Tuesday, July 14th where Dr. Eleczko, DDS and Lisa Andreotta, RDH will talk about different careers in the dentistry field.

Youth, ages 12 to 17, are invited to attend with their parents or mentors. It will be held from 6 to 8 PM at the Geneseo Goodwill Community Center, located in the plaza at 4119 Lakeville Road in Geneseo NY. Please call 585-447-9015 or email [email protected] by July 8th to register.

By the way, the GoodGuide’s program has been around for a while but it’s new to Rochester and Finger Lakes area and they could use your help. Please contact them if you would like to be a mentor, talk about a career, or give a tour of your workplace.

3D Scanner Upgrades

For those that are unaware, we have a 3D Scanner based on the Microsoft Kinect. The 3D scanner computer is also host to our AutoDesk Fusion 360 CAD software. It’s been fun to watch the system come to fruition, scan faces and torsos, and entertain people. Recently we’ve had a couple generous donations that greatly expanded its capabilities.

Thank you to Ben Sima, who donated a high-end graphics card to help speed up the processing, as well as increase the resolution of the system.

In addition, Occipital donated a full version of its Skanect software, the backbone of the 3D scanner. Prior to the generous software donation, output resolution of the scanner was limited due to using a demo version of Skanect. Now we have the ability to output full resolution scans, which leads to high quality 3D models. Further down the line, 3D prints and CNC routed objects of the scans will have a better resolution and finish.

We are humbled by the amazing donations of our sponsors, members and volunteers. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to offer these great opportunities to the community. Thank you.

2nd Grade Field Trip

DSCN9538A few weeks ago a group of second graders from the Allendale Columbia School came on a field trip to the makerspace.  We demonstrated the 3D printers, CNC router, telepresence robot, 3D scanner, a Van der Graaf Generator and some of our other tools.  Afterwards, all the kids could choose something to make and take home, such a CNC cut name plate, an LED throwie, or a bookmark made using our Cricut.  They could also play with Legos provided by the Rochester Lego Users Group and “Squishy Circuits.” One of the kids said it was the “best field trip ever.”

Many makerspace members and volunteers helped and everyone seemed to have fun.  Here are some of the people we want to thank:  Jeff Faust, Paul Flavin, Jennifer Ghidiu, Leif Hardison, Janet Lipp, Leslie Macpherson, Albert Mazzeo, Jason Peppers, Jay Perez, Pat Rap,  Steve Verzulli and Bob Walton.  Many teachers, parents and volunteers from Allendale Columbia also helped.

We are going to be hosting more field trips and other school programs and we need volunteers who can help on weekdays.  Please let us know if you can demonstrate a tool, lead an activity, or help kids make something.


Maker Faire News

Rochester_Maker_FaireThere is going to be another Rochester Maker Faire! It will be held on Saturday, November 21st at the Rochester Convention Center again. Take a look at these photo galleries if you missed the first one.

There’s another nearby Maker Faire you can visit or exhibit at. The Buffalo Maker Faire will held be on Saturday, June 6th. Registration for makers is already open. There is no charge for exhibitors unless you want to sell something.



Maker Faire 2014 Photos

Rochester’s first Maker Faire was held on Saturday, November 22nd at the Rochester Convention Center, which was filled with almost 100 exhibits of all kinds and thousands of people. This nonprofit event was made possible by the New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education and many other sponsors, along with the help of dozens of volunteers.

Photos by Tharin Maddox

Stained Glass Heart Fundraiser


We want to thank Suzanne Morro for making almost three dozen stained glass hearts for us to sell to buy supplies for the makerspace.

Suzzane is a very talented person who only recently learned how to work with stained glass by coming to the free weekly stained glass meetups we have every Thursday night from 6:30 to 9 PM.

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