Happy Birthday, Makerspace Urbana!


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!

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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.

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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.


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.


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. 

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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.

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3D Printing workshop session 2

3D Printing workshop session 2

3D printed catFor this workshop, we used Blender to create 3D models intended for printing.  If you missed this session, you can get up to speed by viewing the following online tutorials:

Additionally, the attached shortcut list is an invaluable resource while learning Blender.


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3D Printing workshop session 1

3D Printing workshop session 1

Thanks everyone for coming to the workshop tonight!  We covered the basics of 3D printing, including:3D Printed Pattern

  • Making 3D models in Tinkercad, OpenSCAD, and Blender
  • Editing slicer settings in Skeinforge
  • Understanding raw g-code
  • Printing on the Solidoodle
  • Finding cool projects on Thingiverse

Check out the presentation to get links to all the software we discussed:


More sessions to follow, providing hands on experience modeling and printing.  If you have anything you’d like to see in a future workshop, give us your comments!

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Lots of stuff happening today!

Lots of stuff happening today!

2-4pm – Help Desk open

Get help with your computer problems! learn how to fix stuff! donations encouraged, or donate your time to help others!
5-6pm – Solidoodle Workshop

We have a 3-D printer, yo! Learn to design, share, and print on our 3-D Solidoodle printer.
Join us for our Spring 2013 workshops, every 4th Sunday of the month:

February 24
March 24
April 28
May 26

6-7:30pm – Monthly Membership Meeting

Want to hear a bunch of things that we’re doing, have done & plan to do? Interested in learning how you can get involved? Maybe form a partnership with us on an awesome project you’re working on? Our Monthly Membership Meeting is the place to connect.

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 (south) bike project door (near the radio tower) and take your first left, we’re at the end of the hall. This map should get you there.

See you there!

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Arduino for Total Newbies with Mitch Altman

Mitch AltmanMitch Altman will be in Urbana for a Unit One residency in March, and will be coming to Makerspace Urbana for a couple events. We’re excited to announce that Mitch will teach a 3 hour workshop- Arduino for Total Newbies on Saturday March 3rd from 2-5pm at the Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center, 202 S. Broadway

Mitch has taught thousands of people to solder and make cool things with microcontrollers at his workshops at hacker spaces and hacker conferences and schools almost everywhere. He can teach you, too, if you like.

If you have ever had any curiosity about making something with electronics, then please join us. Anyone and everyone can learn to make cool things. And it’s fun. And easy! You can learn to make something cool with electronics in one workshop, and take your cool project home with you!

*Cost*: Instruction is Free! If you use any kits, $30 reimbursement for kit price is requested.

Space is limited! Reserve your spot today!


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Makerspace Urbana Help Desk in the news

Props go out to Brian Duggan of New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative! Great interview about Makerspace Urbana’s community help desk.



Get help at the Makerspace Community Help Desk, Sundays 2-4pm and Tuesdays 3-5pm, at Makerspace Urbana – 202 S Broadway suite 16, Urbana, IL

More info at http://help.ucimc.org

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Calling All Makers, Crafters, and Performers!



CMTK4Champaign Urbana Mini Maker Faire is happening soon (Saturday, April 14 to be exact) and we want you to be a maker!

Makers, performers, and crafters who have an awesome project or idea to share should fill out our simple online form and apply today!   We ask you a few questions about what you’d like to show at the Faire,your production needs, your contact info, etc.

The Call for Makers closes on March 20.

Check out the UC Mini Makerfaire website: http://ucmakerfaire.com

UC Mini Makerfaire 2011

What are we looking for?  Pretty much whatever you make or do that you’re passionate about, as long as it’s something you can share with others.  Maker Faire features a huge range of things:  robots and electronics projects, homesteading arts, kooky inventions, letterpress, screen printing, music making, crafts and hacks of all kind…  Anything Do-It-Yourself, and especially anything Do-It-Together.

Your Mini Maker Faire submission can be a display of something you’ve done, an activity or workshop you offer, a performance, or for a space to sell your finished work.  Take the leap, set yourself a deadline, and apply today!

Please help us spread the word to your friends, neighbors, enemies, and that girl who is always making sparks with her welding torch!

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