Mitch Altman – Variety of Cool Kits Workshop

Mitch Altman – Variety of Cool Kits Workshop

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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!

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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.

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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.

 

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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:

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

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

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

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

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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:

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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.

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

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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.

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