Pi Day Celebration This Saturday!

Pi Day Celebration This Saturday!

Makerspace and Py-CU Present

Pi Day Celebration!
Saturday
3.14.15
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We will be holding a Pi Day Celebration this Saturday and we want to invite you all to attend!

We have the following super fun Pi Day activities planned:

  • Pie Contest
  • Bake Sale
  • Calculate Pi
  • Pi Swag
  • Lightning Talks
  • Python Programming Contest
  • Raspberry Pi Programming Workshop
  • Raffle for Raspberry Pi 2 Starter Kit

Come and celebrate this mathematical awesomeness!

All proceeds from the event event will be donated directly to Makerspace Urbana so we can continue providing services to the community!

Check out the full schedule and details at the event page.

Read More

A look back…

A look back…

2014 was quite the year for Makerspace Urbana. We expanded our open hours, held more workshops and special events than ever before, and acquired many new cool shared equipment items that are now available to the public! We also had our first annual maker celebration under our new Heartland Maker Fest name and saw huge growth from the previous year.

Thanks to the amazing energy and dedication of Makerspace Urbana volunteers, we were able to organize, host, and attend over 40  special activities this year! (see below) And these are all in addition to our weekly Computer Help Desk, Open Hours, and Py-CU Hack Nights.

We also launched our Five Year Five Hundred Campaign aimed at increasing our monthly sustaining donation amount to over $500 per month. We’re on track to surpass our goal and it’s all thanks to the support of over 30 wonderful community members donating as little as pi ($3.14) each month! If you would like to help the Makerspace remain sustainable and support our growth, consider becoming a sustainer by donating here.

We can’t wait to see what 2015 brings and we hope you’ll join us in making cool things happen!

2014 Makerspace Urbana Special Achievements:

  • Py-CU’s first year anniversary event (Saturday, Feb. 1, 6-9pm)
  • Mitch Altman’s Cool Kits workshop @ MU (Saturday, Feb. 15, 2-5pm)
  • Electric Waste Orchestra concert (Thursday, Feb. 20, 7-9pm)
  • UIUC Fine Arts class visit @ MU (Friday, Feb. 21, 8-9:30pm)
  • Hardware Freedom Day Event (Saturday, March 15)
  • Open Hours & Arduino‘s 10th Birthday celebration (Saturday, March 29)
  • Family Science Day @ Redbird Arena, Normal, IL (Saturday, April 5, 2014, 11am-4pm)
  • Graduate School for Library and Information Science tour (Saturday, April 5, 2014 – 1:00)
  • MU table @ Champaign Public Library’s 2014 Home School Fair (Saturday, April 19, 10am-noon)
  • LED workshop @ Dr. Howard Elementary (Wed, April 23, noon)
  • AGORA Festival (May 2nd and 3rd)
  • Table at the Market (7am-noon) + Garage Sale (Saturday, May 10, 10am – 4pm)
  • MU participated in a Panel on Makerspaces & Illinois Emerging Technologies Report
  • PyCU’s Women’s IT and Computing Open House (Saturday, May 31, 1-4pm)
  • Martin Wolske’s Community Informatics Studio class (June 19 @ 2pm)
  • Art @ the Market (July 12, 7am-noon)
  • Bloomington Children’s Museum workshop (July 17 @ 3pm)
  • Outta mouths of babes workshop (July 26, 2-4pm)
  • Summer Make-a-tion 2014 workshops (Aug-Sept):
    • Knitting
    • Harry Potter Wands
    • Tablet Case
    • Cross Stitch
    • Soldering I
    • Soldering II
    • 3D Printing I
    • 3D Printing II
    • Arduinos
    • Beer/Mead brewing
  • Innovation Living-Learning Community workshop (Thurs, Aug 21, 3pm)
  • Pride Fest Table (Saturday, Sept. 6)
  • CUDO Plays launch party
  • Py-CU workshop hosted by Elizabeth at Univ of Illinois
  • UIUC NSBE “When I grow up, I want to be an engineer” Workshop (Thurs, Oct 2, 4-5:30pm)
  • MU hosts CIGG Workshop (Thurs, Oct. 9, 6-7:30pm)
  • Design For America workshops I & II (Oct. 4 & 25, 1-3pm)
  • International Day of the Girl Table (Saturday, Oct. 11, 9am-noon)
  • Organized 2014 Heartland Maker Fest (Saturday, Oct. 18, all day)
  • Urbana Free Library Zombie Prom and Costume Workshops (Friday, Oct. 24)
  • Sew-O-Ween 2014 Open Hours (Oct. 22, 25, and 29)
  • Society of Creating Anachronism Glass & Fire Workshop (Sunday, Nov. 23)
  • Chambana.net workshops on Constructing Technology and Computer Basics (Saturday, Dec.13, 1-3pm)
  • Makerspace Urbana 5yr Anniversary party and fundraiser (Monday, Dec. 15)
Read More

Open Hours New Year’s Day 1-4pm

Open Hours New Year’s Day 1-4pm

Thinking about making something in the New Year? Looking for ideas?

Stop by Makerspace Urbana on New Year’s Day!

We will not have our regular open hours on Wednesday (Dec. 31). The space will be open on New Year’s Day for working on projects, getting help with projects, giving help on projects, socializing, planning events, and just having a good time. The Shared Threads group also has open hours at this time so drop on in if that interests you as well.

No project needed! You can just come see the space if you’d like.

We’re located in the basement room #16 of the Independent Media Center in Urbana.

The space can be a little tricky to find but if you enter through the back bike project door (near the radio tower) and take your first left, we’re at the end of the hall. If the outside door is locked just call (816) 287-1717.

Read More

Happy Holidays!

Makerspace Urbana is closed for the week!

There will be no Py-CU hack night on Tuesday (Dec. 23), no Wednesday Open Hours (Dec. 24), and no Saturday Open Hours (Dec. 27).

Our regularly scheduled programming will resume with Py-CU hack night on Tuesday, Dec. 30.

All the best and keep warm!

Hey Ho Ho Ho Let's Sew (24 of 17)

Read More

Happy Birthday, Makerspace Urbana!

1920162_535760993193392_139725473847952676_n

Join us for our fifth anniversary celebration! As a part of this momentous occasion, we’ll host special open hours where we will make things, eat, drink, and be merry. With this milestone, we want to celebrate the past by looking forward to the next five years of Makerspace!

This anniversary marks the start of our capital campaign to support and grow the Makerspace into the future! We will share some of our history and discuss our plans for expanding and developing within the community.

Most of all, this celebration is for you: the awesome people who make Makerspace THE place to be!

Read More

Countdown to Heartland Maker Fest

Countdown to Heartland Maker Fest

Only days left until Heartland Maker Fest 2014!

The Heartland Maker Fest is Makerspace Urbana‘s annual event celebrating the amazing makers in Urbana-Champaign and the surrounding communities.

Come learn to spin your own yarn, create art from math, or perhaps design and print a 3D object. This year’s fest will be full of family friendly maker fun and showcase all kinds of local maker talent.

You will also have a chance to hear many speakers discussing the maker movement and DIY phenomena.

And thanks to River City Labs Makerspace we’re also planning a Quadcopter Obstacle Course with prizes! If you have a small quadcopter that can be flown safely indoors, bring it!

This year’s Fest will be be held on Saturday, October 18 from 10am to 4pm at the Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana, Illinois.

Interested in volunteering at the fest? Sign up here. We need you!

For more information, check out our
Website: www.heartlandmakerfest.org
Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/heartlandmf
or like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/heartlandmakerfest

Read More

Central Illinois Day of the Girl Rally

Central Illinois Day of the Girl Rally

We’re super excited to participate in the first (hopefully annual) Central Illinois Day of the Girl Rally!  This event will be happening on Saturday, Oct. 11 from 10am to noon right at our homebase in the Independent Media Center (202 S. Broadway Ave in Urbana).

You’re welcome to RSVP at the Facebook invite or simply show up.

If you’re not familiar with Day of the Girl, it’s a movement started by the United Nations to raise awareness of gender inequality around the world.

This event is free and open to the public and here’s the awesome stuff that will be happening (click for expanded view):

dayofthegirl_flyer

Hope to see you there!

Read More

Human-Centered Design Workshops on Urban Flooding


dfaWe’re very excited to announce that Design for America has chosen to team up with Makerspace Urbana for an exciting workshop series. This series aims to teach the human-centered design process to the members of Makerspace Urbana and the wider Urbana-Champaign community(all ages, all welcome). This will be carried out through 4 design workshops on urban flooding. In these sessions, DFA students will work in tandem with Makerspace Urbana members to conduct research using ethnographic techniques, reframe a design challenge, prototype, test their designs and re-iterate them based on user feedback from the John St Watershed Steering Committee. By the end of Spring 2015, DFA and Makerspace hope to deliver an installation type product to be handed over to the John Street Watershed Steering Committee.

The prototyping sessions will be a chance for Makerspace Urbana to mentor DFA members and members of the public in the art of making things through various media such as sewing, digital prototyping, 3D printing and other skills.

 So mark your calendars now! And if you would like to receive an email reminder closer to the first workshop date, sign up here!

The workshop series is funded by a grant from the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Public Engagement.

 

Schedule:

Workshop 1: Understand • Introduction to Human Centered Design

10/4/2014, 1pm-3pm
Digital Computer Lab Room 2320
1304 West Springfield Urbana, IL 61801
  • Talk on what human-centered design is and why it is beneficial in the context of making
  • Introduction of problem statement and key issues surrounding the problem (5mins)
  • Participants will view prior field research footage recorded by DFA students to get an idea of the surroundings and their problems and then craft questions (15mins)
  • John St Watershed residents come to the workshop and share their experiences and problems/ be interviewed. (40mins)
  • Develop insights into the problem (25mins)
  • Create How Can We Questions (20mins)

Sign up: Online or Facebook Event

Workshop 2: Reframe, Synthesize and Brainstorm

10/25/2014, 1pm-3pm
Digital Computer Lab Room 2320
1304 West Springfield Urbana, IL 61801
  • Brainstorming sessions (30mins)
  • Choose ideas (10mins)
  • Forming groups to prototype those ideas
  • Prototyping (40mins)
  • Users will be invited to critique ideas. (40mins)

*This workshop will be facilitated by Julian Bongiorno from DFA National HQ

Workshop 3: Prototyping

11/1/2014  • 11/8/2014 • 11/15/2014 (time flexible)
Makerspace Urbana or other TBD location
  • Consists of DFA students working with Makerspace members every week informally to re-iterate and build prototypes for testing

Workshop 4: Testing and Feedbackeframe, Synthesize and Brainstorm

12/06/2014, 1pm-3pm
Location TBD
  • Participants will learn to communicate their ideas in a compelling way through a pitching workshop. (20mins)
  • Show their prototypes to John St Watershed members to get their own feedback
  • Brainstorm ways to improve their designs (40min)
  • Devise ways to continue with their ideas if participants feel they want to continue with their ideas (30mins)

 

Read More

No Saturday open hours – we’ll be rockin’ CU Pride Fest instead

No Saturday open hours – we’ll be rockin’ CU Pride Fest instead

Just a heads-up, we won’t have the space open tomorrow morning for our regular Open Hours.

Instead, we’re super excited to participate in this year’s CU Pride Festival taking place in downtown Champaign!

Stop by our table in the parking lot by Kofusion, in front of the Orpheum kids museum.  We’re hoping to repeat the awesomeness that was last year:

mu_pride_2013

We’ll be there 3-9pm.  We’d love to see you!

Read More

Unity Community Center Workshop

Last year the Children’s Discovery Museum’s education coordinator (Bethany Thomas) invited us to do a workshop with their Maker Camp. This year we were invited back to have more maker related fun with the wonderful kids at the Unity Community Center. Seven of our Makerspace Urbana volunteers were able to attend and we set up 3 different maker activity  stations for the kids.  One station was our classic soldering workshop!

Maker Camp Bloomington Community Center (1 of 33)

Soldering is Easy! And kids pick it up really quick.

Maker Camp Bloomington Community Center (6 of 33)

This girl quickly became an excellent soldering teacher after finishing her own blinky badge.

Another was Led/Throwy/Origami.

Maker Camp Bloomington Community Center (3 of 33)

Light up origami time!

The new workshop station we were able to provide this time was sewing custom plush dolls! Huge thanks to Judy Lee from the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab for helping teach and put this workshop station together.

The kids cut out the patterns they created.

The kids got to cut out the patterns they created.

Learned to sew and stitch their pieces together.

Learned to sew and stitch their pieces together.

And ended up with some amazing creations!

And ended up with some amazing creations!

Thanks to the all the awesome kids who made this event a memorable one for all of us.

Full photo album here.

Read More

Coming Soon!

Stay tuned for information on Summer Make-a-Tion 2014 and the (newly named) Heartland Maker Fest.  Make-a-Tion will start at the end of July and workshops will be held every other Saturday from 10-12 and 1-3.  Heartland Maker Fest will be on Saturday, October 18 at the Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana.

Read More

Wondering how to start a print on our Solidoodle 3D Printer? This video is for you!

Click through to watch the tutorial. The short version is: switch on the power strip, open pronterface, hit connect, hit “Set” temp on the bed and the nozzle, and then open Cura, open your STL, choose your raft and support, hit “file > save gcode” and save it somewhere you’ll remember — go back to pronterface and open that gcode, then hit print! Too fast for ya? Watch the video!

 

Read More

New Kitz at Makerspace!

New Kitz at Makerspace!

1891280_10104903106447191_1743124750_nYou may not learn grammar here, but you will be sure to gain other excellent skillz at Makerspace with the purchase of one of our new kitz. Along with learning to hack, solder, and program you will get to take home a shiny new toy! We have:

TV-Be-Gone: Turns off almost any kind of television so you don’t have to watch Fox News at the pub anymore!

MintyBoost: A battery powered charger for any electronic device that uses USB. Charge your phone on the go! In the club! on a hike! Never be without Facebook again. NEVER.

Gemma started kit: Tired of the same old boring clothes with absolutely NO LEDs?? Suffer no more! This Gemma starter kit will get you on the way to the long term goal of being seen from space!

Atari Punk Console: This noisemaker will be sure to delight any parent or grandparent. What exactly does it do? Brings joy through noise. Get one today, kids.

Blinky Badge: The world’s most entertaining and affordable way to learn how to solder! Your new skillz will be accompanied home with a LED decorated robot badge, which is only appropriate.

Fonera Router: This ready to hack router is perfect for introducing you to the world of Open Source Router Software! With a few easy steps you can hack this router to do all kinds of things the large router companies routinely block you from doing with their locked down software.  More about OpenWRT and installing it on the Fonera.

Read More

Hardware Freedom Day ’14 @ MU

Hardware Freedom Day ’14 @ MU

Makerspace Urbana celebrates Hardware Freedom Day 2014!

arduino_robot

Join us as we get together and do some open hardware hacking. Bring your Arduino board and we’ll show you how to make and program your very own walking robot creation. No programming experience required (but do bring your laptop).

Or come and work on your own project and socialize with fellow makers.

When: 3/14/14 – 11am

 

Where: The workshop will take place at Makerspace Urbana located in the basement room #16 of the Independent Media Center in Urbana. The space can be a little tricky to find but if you enter through the back Bike Project door (near the radio tower) and take your first left, we’re at the end of the hall. If you have any trouble finding us, just call (816) 287-1717.

If possible please let us know you’re coming through one of the following methods:

*We will have some computers for people to use for programming but if you can bring your own laptop and pre-install the Arduino software, that would be great. Or feel free to show up early with your computer and we will help you install it.

Resources:

Read More

Mitch Altman – Variety of Cool Kits Workshop

Mitch Altman – Variety of Cool Kits Workshop

1625718_10151958188870918_236964817_n

What:  Learn to Solder, with a variety of cool kits!
You can easily learn all of the skills you need in a short time.
Make a project, and take it home with you!
When:  Saturday, February 15th, 2pm-5pm
Most projects take about 1.5 to 2 hours
Where:  Makerspace Urbana
202 S. Broadway Ave in Urbana
at the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (IMC).
Who:  You! All ages, all skill levels — It is fun to make things in the
friendly community of Makerspace Urbana.
Come join us. Everyone is welcome.
Cost:  Instruction is free! We ask that people pay only for the cost of
the parts used — kit prices range from $10 to $20.
 — No need to register — just come on by!

Learn to solder! Mitch Altman will bring kits to make cool, practical, intriguing, hackable things that you can bring home after you make it.

Plenty of cool kits are available to make, including:

  • TV-B-Gone (turn off TVs in public places!)
  • Brain Machine (Meditate, Hallucinate, and Trip Out!)
  • Trippy RGB Waves (interactive blinky lights!)
  • MiniPOV (more cool blinky lights!)
  • MintyBoost (charge your USB enabled gadgets!)
  • Hello My Name Is… badge (Geeky, blinky version!)
  • Arduino clones (make just about anything!)

More info on these projects is available at:
Cornfield Electronics (click on the “projects” tab)
Adafruit
Evil Mad Scientist
Analog Machines

Anyone can learn to solder! Even if you have never made anything in your life, you can learn this very useful and enjoyable skill. It really is fun! Mitch has taught tens of thousands of people to solder all around the world, and he can teach you, too! Add yourself to the ever increasing community!

Read More

Pewter Casting at Make-a-tion

Pewter Casting at Make-a-tion

This is the third year we’ve attempted a pewter casting workshop and once again the results were pretty wonderful. Our excellent volunteer/instructor Erich did an awesome job explaining exactly what pewter is and how easy it can be worked with even at home. Then we moved right along to playing with making molds out of silicone putty.

Pewter Casting (12 of 60) Pewter Casting (15 of 60)

Erich had brought in some some simple wooden carved shapes and objects he picked up at the local craft store that made for perfect items to mold the silicone around.

Pewter Casting (18 of 60)

Pewter Casting (21 of 60)

Many of the attendees also brought their own objects from home that they had decided they would like to create a pewter version of.

Pewter Casting (25 of 60)Pewter Casting (24 of 60)

 

After the molds were set (~10 min) it was time to head outside and start melting some metal.

Pewter Casting (31 of 60)Pewter Casting (35 of 60)

Once we had some liquid metal it was time to start the pouring and see how our molds worked.

Pewter Casting (43 of 60)Pewter Casting (38 of 60)

Turns out they worked great!

Pewter Casting (50 of 60)

 

Here’s a cast from a 3D printed pac-man ghost. We even managed to add a hole through it’s head so it could be attached to something.

Pewter Casting (48 of 60)Pewter Casting (63 of 60)

Thanks to everyone who came for making this a really fun event!

More photos from the event here.

 

Read More

Glowing Chucks at Make-a-tion

Glowing Chucks at Make-a-tion

Is it a bird?  Is it a plane?  It’s neither.  But everyone that attended our Glowing Chuck Taylors workshop (as part of our Summer Make-a-tion series) certainly gained the power of being awesome!

66741_364031497033010_1900763053_n      IMG_0170

Thanks to AdaFruit‘s excellent tutorial, we too were “light” on our feet by cutting out an EL Panel:

IMG_0169

adding an inverter for some much needed power (supplied by a simple coin cell battery):

996535_364031547033005_941368069_n

and sewing it to our shoe of choice (in this case, a Chuck Taylor All-Stars):

1003704_364031470366346_1974896254_n

Check out the finished product.  I dare you to say that doesn’t look cool.

IMG_0175

In fact, this workshop was so easy, we had time to pull apart some old wind-up toys and make these little guys:

IMG_0177

What does it do, you ask?  Stop by the space and find out :)

Check out more pictures on our Facebook page here.

Read More

Soldering and Post-It Speakers at Make-a-tion

Soldering and Post-It Speakers at Make-a-tion

We continued our Summer Make-a-tion series in true Discotech style by setting up several workshop stations which allowed everyone to move around as they liked.

IMG_0164     1076968_693136187380266_837144202_o

We had our classic soldering workshop which teaches the basics behind using a soldering iron.  The project revolved around putting together a small robot pin by attaching its eyes (LEDs) and a holder for a small coin-cell battery to the body.

IMG_0156     1072463_693136240713594_490696382_o

I’m not going to say people learned a lot, but I think people learned a lot.

1077355_693136577380227_1098501639_o     IMG_0157

And the finished product:

1073093_693136374046914_692679577_o

Pretty snazzy, right?

And if you think this isn’t the most fun you can have in 2 hours on a Saturday, we also taught people how speakers work by making our own mini versions using origami paper, speaker wire, and a magnet.

IMG_0166     1072489_693136610713557_267330110_o

We discovered this jem of a workshop at this year’s Allied Media Conference in Detroit.  Props to Mt Elliott Makerspace for being awesome.

IMG_0160

Check out the rest of the photos on our Facebook page.

Read More

Makerspace Urbana represents at Tandem

Makerspace Urbana represents at Tandem

If you don’t know what Tandem is, here’s a short description from the website:

Tandem: Champaign-Urbana’s Bicycle-Themed Poster Event allows the bicycle and design communities to combine their efforts in a way that will be mutually beneficial for both groups, and for the C-U community as a whole.  […] We’re inviting local and regional artists and designers to submit original pieces to be sold at reasonable prices ($20-40 suggested.)

The artists will keep 50% of the proceeds, and the remaining 50% […] will be donated to The Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign to help establish a cooperative bicycle shop in North Champaign.

Of course Makerspace Urbana had to enter.  A quick video of our submission is below: a mix of cross stitching, electronics, and touch sensitive thread. And it’s for sale.  Half the proceeds go toward the Bike Project and the other half will be donated to Makerspace Urbana! SO BUY OUR ART! It’s for two great causes.

Come check it out in action at Indi Go Gallery (9 E University Ave in Downtown Champaign).

Grand Opening is Friday, August 16th at 6pm.  The show will run until August 25th.

MU Tandem art entry.

MU Tandem art entry.

Read More

Here’s to the Third Annual Urbana-Champaign Mini Maker Faire!

Here’s to the Third Annual Urbana-Champaign Mini Maker Faire!

“Make, create, craft, recycle, build, think, play, and be insipred by celebrating arts, crafts, engineering, music, science and technology.”

Makerspace Urbana is proud to announce that we will be hosting the third annual Urbana-Champaign Mini Maker Faire located at the Independent Media Center in downtown Urbana. The Faire will be held this year on Saturday September 21, from 10am-4pm. Because the Urbana Arts Grant has graciously funded this event, it is free to all member of the community and participating makers.

215657_118214671592192_417d875_n_20130721173102238

Last year we had 19 makers participate in the event, and over 400 community members were in attendance! There was a diverse array of makers, including finger knitters, to soldering, a tube player, to (one of our favorite activities) 3D printing.

PhotoGrid_1374447707795_20130721180238945-1024x576

The Urbana-Champaign Mini Maker Faire takes after its enormous parent event, Maker Faire, which hosts 90,000 visitors in San Mateo, California every spring. It began back in 2005 by the people behind MAKE and CRAFT magazines. Since then, Mini Maker Faires have started to sprout up around the United States, including events in in Austin, Detroit, and New York City.

The Urbana-Champaign Mini Maker Faire will be a smaller, community-focused event, but will follow the Maker Faire model of celebrating do-it-yourself creativity and tinkering.

Featuring both established and emerging local makers, the UCMMF is a family-friendly celebration featuring rockets and robots, DIY science and technology, alternative energy, bicycles, unique hand-made crafts, music, and educational workshops and instillations.

We would like to see this the 2013 UCMMF be the biggest and best event yet! But we still need makers… we want ALL THE MAKERS. So if you or someone you know is inspired to inspire others, fill out our Call for Makers form. 

Read More

Makerspace Urbana meets a Children’s Maker Summer Camp

Makerspace Urbana meets a Children’s Maker Summer Camp

Yesterday ten Makerspace Urbana members made the trip to the Children’s Discovery Museum in Normal, Illinois to host a Maker Disco Tech for their  Design It, Create It, Make It camp! And just in case you are wondering, Disco Tech stands for Discovering Technology. Which instead of a dance party is more like a maker party where we set up different maker learning stations hosted by our Makerspace members that the kids could wander between.



Barry, Emily, Brian, Colten, and Jeff worked one-on-one with each child to teach them the tricks and safety tips of working with the soldering iron. Above we have a maker summer camp kid showing off that fashionable blinkie badge that she made!



Did you know that you can make a speaker just using some paper, magnets, magnet wire, and hot glue? And that anyone can do it? We certainly didn’t until Jeff attended the Allied Media Conference just last month and brought back this awesome workshop idea (Thanks to Jeff Sturges from the Mt.Elliott Makerspace). We had a blast with the kids making these and testing out each one to make sure they worked.

 

 

Gergana and George taught the kids some origami to create these LED magnetic throwies. And then some of the kids got pretty creative with the supplies…

 

And a few of these creations ended up on the metallic ceiling vent! (Some of us may have been enablers of this “extracurricular” activity).



When I asked some of the Children which workshop they enjoyed the most, a few responded with the t-shirt bag project. We are teaching a whole new generation of kids how to upcyle starting with this project, with which just a few snips and knots turns old unwanted t-shirts into bags the kids could take their creations home in!



Special thanks to Children’s Discovery Museum Education Coordinator Bethany Thomas for reaching out to Makerspace Urbana, and making this happen! And especially thanks to the 19 kids who made this event a memorable one for all of us.

Full photo album here.

Read More

3D Printing at Make-a-tion

3D Printing at Make-a-tion

Our first ever Summer Make-a-tion 3D printing work happened last weekend and we had a wonderful turnout. James and Brian put together a workshop aimed at introducing people of any and all skill levels to our 3D printer.

3D Printing (Summer Make-a-tion) (16 of 18)

With no previous knowledge required all participants were able to find 3D models to print online and personally customize them using free and easy to use online resources.

3D Printing (Summer Make-a-tion) (15 of 18)3D Printing (Summer Make-a-tion) (19 of 18)

After every group had customized and generated their 3D part we loaded them all up into the 3D printing software and printed them all together in one run.

3D Printing (Summer Make-a-tion) (25 of 18)3D Printing (Summer Make-a-tion) (23 of 18)

The Maker Space Urbana Solidoodle 3D printer  is free to use and available for people whenever the space is open (check the calendar or join our facebook group for times). Plastic and maintenance for the printer are payed for by a donation jar sitting next to the printer so please contribute if you are able.

3D Printing (Summer Make-a-tion) (24 of 18)

Now come print something!

More photos from the event here.

 

Resources from this workshop:

Read More

Living Letter Press Workshop

Living Letter Press Workshop

Summer Make-a-tion kicked off this year with a field trip to The Living Letter Press,  one of our favorite local maker friendly resources.  In this workshop we hand set original wood type and created two different one of a kind posters based on famous quotes that we picked out as a group.

Living Letter Press 2013

We all got to browse through their enormous cases of type to pick out the exact letters we wanted for every word. We searched through both their upper cases and their lower cases of type. Yes, that’s where those terms come from – how neat is that! In fact many of the terms used in modern word processing programs have their origins in the physical workings of letterpress shops. Visit the Living Letter Press and you’ll be sure to learn more examples.

Living Letter Press 2013 (18 of 44)Living Letter Press 2013 (24 of 44)

After the type was set we moved it to an an original Vandercook Proof Press.  We inked the press with red and blue ink so that they would merge together and print a red/purple/blue pattern. Then it was time to print!
Living Letter Press 2013 (37 of 44)Living Letter Press 2013 (28 of 44)
We all hand cranked out our own posters and ened up with some pretty beautiful results.
Living Letter Press 2013 (41 of 44)
Living Letter Press 2013 (35 of 44) (1)Living Letter Press 2013 (36 of 44)
Huge thanks to Molly for hosting us and being a wonderful instructor. Find out more about the The Living Letter Press at www.livingletterpress.com.
Full photo album here.
Check out our up coming Summer Make-a-tion workshops here!
Read More