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:

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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.

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.

 

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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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