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
Full photo album here.
Check out our up coming Summer Make-a-tion workshops here!
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Art at the Market!

Art at the Market!

365 (115 of 1)After last years successful “T-Shirt to Tote Bag” workshop at Urbana’s Market at the Square  we were lucky enough to be invited back to do it again. And it was a huge success, we started with a massive pile of shirts and actually ran out. That means their are now more reusable bags in the world and less old T-shirts. It’s really a win-win for everyone. And the extra T-shirt scraps were even donated to The Bike Project to be used as rags. Here is a brief description of the workshop be did:

 T-Shirt to Tote Bag
Expand your collection of re-usable shopping bags by converting an old t-shirt into a tote.  No sewing skills required, pick a shirt and we will show you how to make the adjustments. Then, fill it with a harvest of Market goodies!


And a huge thanks to the Urbana Public Arts Program for sponsoring this event.


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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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Holiday Workshops – Unique Gifts to Keep&Share

Holiday Workshops – Unique Gifts to Keep&Share

Hey Ho Ho Ho Let's Sew (24 of 17)We are excited to have two exciting workshops happening for the holiday season. One focused on sewing and one focused on glass fusing:

Hey HO HO HO! Let’s Sew

Saturday, December 1, 2012   2:00pm until 5:00pm

With the Holidays right around the corner, forget about commercially produced junk and come make a keepsake ornament of your very own. In this workshop we’ll be focusing on sewn ornament design and construction and the sewing skills that go with it. All ages and skill levels are welcome. No need to bring anything but your love of making.

Ornament options from easy to advanced.

A- Sewn Paper Star
B- Sewn Felt Evergreen Tree with Decorative Hand Stitching
C- Sewn and Stuffed Candy Cane or Snowy Owl
$5 suggested donation.
Sign up online here or on facebook. Drop-ins welcome.
At Makerspace Urbana

Fused Glass Ornaments/Tchotchkes

Sunday, December 9, 2012  2:00pm until 5:00pm

We only have space for 8 in this workshop. SO YOU MUST SIGN UP ON THIS FORM:
Just joining the facebook eventwon’t guarantee you a space.
In this workshop you will learn the basics of glass fusing and slumping and how to cut glass and piece it together. We’ll all create a blue fused glass ornament/tchotchke with snowflakes and then design our own unique creations. No need to bring anything but your love of making.$10 suggested donation.

This event will not be at the Makerspace, it will be held at 602 E High St Urbana, IL 61801

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The Solidoodle is printing!

We got out new Solidoodle 3D printer up and printing. We hope to make a permanent place in the space for it and have it available for any members to use(after training). So come on by and play with it some time!

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Not done with your halloween costume? How unseamly! But don’t fret as Shared Threads and Makerspace Urbana have teamed up to help you. We’ll be holding a series of sewing-oriented open hours in the weeks leading up to Halloween. If you enjoy making your own costume, come work with others, get help, and share skills.

We provide: a room full of sewing machines and the expertise of an experienced tailor. Plus all the shiny LEDs you can get your hands on.
You provide: Your materials and a love of making.


And if you’re still thinking to yourself: To sew or not to sew? You don’t have a choice buddy because Halloween is 3 weeks away! So stop hemming and hawing and come by the Makerspace: Basement room #16 at the IMC.
All Workshop Dates:
Saturday, Oct. 13 2-5pm
Wednesday, Oct. 17 6:30-9pm
Thursday, Oct. 25 6:30-9pm



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End of Summer Make-a-tion Party (and Movie Night)!

End of Summer Make-a-tion Party (and Movie Night)!


We met a lot of amazing people over the summer. Words cannot express our gratitude to everyone who came to support us, including all of our awesome instructors.

And where words fail, pizza saves the day! I hope all of you will join us in celebrating the close of another excellent make-a-tion with some food, drinks, and a merry good time.

When: Saturday, Aug. 18 @ 4pm
Where: The Makerspace, UC-IMC basement, Room #16

This will be followed by a movie night. The movie is TBD right now, but keep an eye out.

Facebook Event Link

See you there!

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@maltman23 will be train hacking his way across the US! Hopefully he can stop by #chambana for a workshop at the Makerspace! :-)

@maltman23 will be train hacking his way across the US! Hopefully he can stop by #chambana for a workshop at the Makerspace! :-)

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Whew! What a day! 431 people came to the faire today. Stay tuned for photos and information about next year.

Also make sure you engage with the groups you found most interesting. If one of those happens to Makerspace Urbana you’ve come to the right place. We have open hours every Wed at 7pm and are always looking for new makers.


via Facebook Pages


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Looking for a student photographer to take pictures at Urbana-Champaign Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, April14. Job pays $100 honorarium. Send me a message if you are interested or spread the word if you know someone who might be interested.

via Facebook Pages

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We’re looking for a few good volunteers Friday night, April 13 for set up and all day Saturday, April 14. Are you available to help out? If so, comment or message us via the UC Maker Faire page and we will be in touch!

via Facebook Pages

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Arduino for Total Newbies Workshop – 3/3/2012 2-5pm @IMC




Arduinos for Total Newbies:

Learn Arduino
using TV-B-Gone
as an example project


Happy total newbie hardware hackers learning Arduino

You’ve probably heard lots about Arduino. But if you don’t know what it is, or how you can use it to do all sorts of cool things, then this fun and easy workshop is for you. As an example project, we’ll be creating a TV-B-Gone remote control out of an Arduino you can take home with you.

This workshop will be given:
      2:00pm to 5pm on 3/3/2012 at the Independent Media Center, 202 S Broadway in downtown Urbana.

Limited to the first 50 people to show up! please arrive early!

Full Description:

Arduino is an amazingly powerful tool that is very simple to learn to use. It was designed so that artists and non-geeks can start from nothing, and make something cool happen in less than 90 minutes. Yet, it is powerful enough so that uber-geeks can use it for their projects as well.

This workshop is easy enough for total newbies to learn all you need to know to get going on an Arduino.

Taught by Mitch Altman. Participants will make their own Arduino clone, and set it up on solderless breadboards to make their own TV-B-Gone remote control to turn off TVs in public places — a fun way to learn Arduino (and electronics) basics. Bring your laptop, if you can.

Big thanks to Ken Shirriff, who came up with the original TV-B-Gone for Arduino.

Workshop Itinerary

  • We will start by learning to solder. Don’t let this scare you! I’ve taught well over 30,000 people to solder, most of whom have never made anything before in their lives. It is actually a very easy skill to learn. It is also very useful.

  • Then we will each make our own Arduino clone from a kit made by Ladyada: BoArduino.

  • Now that we each have our own Arduino, we will set up the free and open-source software on our laptops (if you bring one) — Windows, MacOS, or Linux are all fine!

  • And then its time to make something and learn how easy it is to use Aruino! You’ll put together your own TV-B-Gone remote control using your BoArduino. We will use a solderless breadboard. These are really useful, and provide a fast, and very easy way to put circuits together without needing to solder.

  • Target practice after the workshop is conveniently located across the street


What: Arduino workshop for newbies, using TV-B-Gone remote controls as an intro
When: This workshop will be on Saturday March 3, 2012 from 2-5pm.
Where: Independent Media Center, 202 S Broadway in downtown Urbana, 1st floor Sun Room
Who: Anyone and everyone can have fun learning Arduino. Ages 8 to 100
Cost: Instruction is free,
parts costs (if you want to make along with us and bring your Arduino TV-B-Gone home with you):

Bring your laptop if you want to go home with the free Arduino software installed on it.
Arduino software runs on Windows, MacOS and Linux.


TV-B-Gone website
Ardiuno website
Ken Shirriff’s TV-B-Gone Arduino project page
Ladyada’s BoArduino page

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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

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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:

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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Robotics workshop

On the runFrom our robotics workshop! This is where we can fill in txt about how awesome something is that we did or didn’t do and show pictures blah blah blah


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