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!

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


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


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


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


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


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

Check out more pictures on our Facebook page here.

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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.

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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.

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

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And the finished product:


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.

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


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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Now come print something!

More photos from the event here.


Resources from this workshop:

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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.

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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!
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We all hand cranked out our own posters and ened up with some pretty beautiful results.
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Huge thanks to Molly for hosting us and being a wonderful instructor. Find out more about the The Living Letter Press at
Full photo album here.
Check out our up coming Summer Make-a-tion workshops here!
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