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.

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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.

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Many of the attendees also brought their own objects from home that they had decided they would like to create a pewter version of.

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After the molds were set (~10 min) it was time to head outside and start melting some metal.

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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!

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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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