Social Network Hackerspaces?

Hackerspaces have gotten pretty popular among makers across the world. They are a great place to borrow tools and share knowledge. But what about people that don't have local hackerspaces? The solution: social network. Digital hackerspaces! Great for people that don't have physical buildings, or can't afford to round one up.  If you think about it, that's what instructables is! The idea is to have video chat and forums to share knowledge for projects. If you guys would voice your ideas, that would be great!

Topic by Robot Lover   |  last reply


XinCheJian - A Shanghai Hackerspace

XinCheJian is a Hackerspace in Shanghai, China. XinCheJian provides a community environment with open hardware setup for hardware thinkers, digital artists, designers, DIY hobbyists and everyone interested in figuring out how things work and are happy to get their hand dirty to build some fun stuffs with some like-minded people. XinCheJian will provide workspace for people to work on projects, organize workshop and courses on various subjects ranging from electronics, embedded system, and programming and host speakers and workshop session. Also, XinCheJian will act as fund raising and supporting platform for people interested in prototyping their ideas and launching new projects.  Check out our website for more information: http://xinchejian.com

Topic by xinchejian 


Visiting the ATX Hackerspace

I decided to visit austin, TX on my most recent vacation. While i was there i decided to drop in on the ATX hackerspace. The hackerspace is just over a year old but already has a large community. The space is located in an office park which makes it almost hidden if it weren't for the wicked bat logo As i came into the space, they were holding their weekly meeting, Once the meeting was over the crowd of about 30 people broke into a cacophony of geeky projects. A few people bent over a mysterious box trying to determine it's purpose. Another used the industrial sewing machine to create professional looking leatherwork. There were many other "newbies" to the space, who were given the low down by the night's host, Martin. The space is impressive given they have been at the current location for only 2 months. It has a lot of potential to be a powerhouse of awesome projects. What is interesting, is that the hackerspace (unlike most) is a for profit. That means it can bring in money and make money. This means if they want to build kits and sell them to benefit the space, its perfectly fine under the law. I work a lot with non-profit entities so its interesting to see this model I must say though, ATX hackerspace has one of the coolest logos i've seen. Thanks ATX for your hospitality and showing me around! Hope you enjoyed the stickers! Go visit! Tuesday nights at 7:30 is the open house time. 1601 Rutherford Ln, Suite A200 Here is a time laspe movie of their mural being painted:

Topic by frenzy   |  last reply


Biological hackerspace in NYC

Yay! There's finally a hackerspace dedicated to biotech research...in New York City. I'm kind of sad I can't drop by to visit any time soon, but I hope (fingers crossed) I can get the ever so popular caitlinsdad to go and report on it. There's even a promising $12 usb microscope (with 170x magnification) project going on! (Photo: Dave Mosher of Wired.com)

Topic by The Ideanator   |  last reply


Wired article on Noisebridge and hackerspaces

Noisebridge, a new hackerspace in San Francisco that I've been heavily involved in since before its inception, has just been profiled in Wired magazine. The focus of the article is one of Noisebridge's cofounders, Mitch Altman, the inventor of the TV-B-Gone and an Instructables member himself. (Me, I'm mentioned very briefly in the caption to the last picture, which shows my hands full of components.)http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2009/03/hackerspaces.htmlThey call us "DIY Freaks"... but I can live with that!If this is up your alley, find or start a hackerspace near you. Hackerspaces.org is a great place to start.

Topic by rachel   |  last reply


What is the process to become a makerspace,or hackerspace,? ?

The March 2014 Build Night - Voltaic Systems Solar Panels states that to host you need to be a makerspace,or hackerspace. What is involved to qualify as a makerspace,or hackerspace,?

Question by Instructor-12   |  last reply


XinCheJian participation at The Great Global Hackerspace Challenge

XinCheJian (http://xinchejian.com), the first Hackerspace in China, is one of the 30 Hackerspaces across the globe that have been selected to participate in the Great Global Hackerspace Challenge (GGHC) competition. The objective of the competition is to create an electronics build that will make a real and positive difference in an educational establishment. The competition runs for six weeks, from Monday March 21st to April 30th 2011. The winning project is evaluated on the following: How reproducible is the final project? How easily can the parts be sourced in locations around the world? How low cost is the final output? How well are the plans documented? How relevant is the project to helping education today? How inventive and creative is the design and build of the project? The selection of our participation proposal includes a 5900 RMB (US$900) budget in electronic components (including the required microcontroller and portable power source) generously provided by element14.com. Every Hackerspace that completes their project receives 10 soldering setups while the three semi-finalist Hackerspaces will each receive over 13000 RMB (US$2000) worth of electronic tools. The Hackerspace with the winning project gets a Tektronix MSO2024 oscilloscope worth over 36000 RMB (around US$5,600)! As an extra incentive, semi-finalists will be invited at the California Maker Faire 2011. To address the objectives of the competition, XinCheJian will focus on getting elementary and/or high school students acquainted with the intellectual processes of cooperative problem solving with out-of-the-box thinking. This will translate into an interactive and intelligent educational toy that stimulates students into a variety of challenging experiences. Want to join or help our team? Contact us at: gghc@xinchejian.com. To reach the competition organizers, contact hackerspace@element14.com. About the competition: http://www.element14.com/community/groups/the-great-global-hackerspace-challenge About XinCheJian (http://xinchejian.com): this Hackerspace serves as a beacon of free spirited and unhibited creation, both artistic and technological, to serve people that hunger for intellectual and economic advancement. It is a community of westerners and Chinese, young and old, experienced or not, artistic or cartesian. The Hackerspace location is at Shanghai AnHua Road Number 76, Suite 301 in the Changning district, metro line 2 or 11 at the Jiangsu Rd Stop Exit No.4. 

Topic by xinchejian 


October Build Night with Dodocase at the Taipei Hackerspace

Hi everyone! We just had our recent Dodocase VR build night at the Taipei Hackerspace. I was a bit afraid beforehand because this is the first time we had a build night more around a complete product instead of a kit or parts, and was a bit out of ideas (beyond the ones mentioned in the announcement). It worked out pretty well, though, and a lot of people were interested in the kit and VR in particular, very useful for reachout. The projects made at the event: * Virtual Reality Kinetoscope Parlor * Low-magnification microscope * Recycling the packaging material for head mounts Attached some pictures from the results. We were also working on low-tech 3D viewing, such as printing images that could be used with the kit in the absence of a smartphone. Got some prototypes but they don't work reliably just yet. Need to figure out the field of view and positioning better. Cheers! Greg from the Taipei Hackerspace

Topic by taipeihackerspace 


Cool Neon Build Night at the Taipei Hackerspace

Hi everyone, Just checking in from Taipei Hackerspace. We have just finished out Build Night last weekend. It was 5-6 of us hacking away on electro-luminescent wire projects. Started in the afternoon, fortunately got dark by the time we had anything to try. The results are: [Hack] light into the night, and maybe even party Simple neon display, or pimped up to be light beats for music Galloping horse display Animated display, go horsie go! There are more photos on our Facebook page. It was fun, with some lessons learned: * I should have checked out the hardware we get before the event, had to scramble to find some example code for the Cool Neon Shield, how to use it * the Shield behaves a bit weird, when the driver is used in the "on" setting (as opposed to "blink"), the light "latches" - once the arduino turns it on, it won't turn off until the power is removed. Worked around this by using things in blink mode, but not idea * will have to use a wall-plug driver for the shield later, as the batteries are not powerful enough to make it look good when more than one EL wire is on (it's brighter on the pictures/video than with eyes). * people love things that light up :) Cheers! Greg

Topic by taipeihackerspace 


Silhouette Build Night at the Taipei Hackerspace

Hi, We just had our Silhouette Build Night in the Taipei Hackerspace yesterday. It was a blast, I was totally blown away by the many ideas people came with, even though we barely knew how to use the Silhouette paper cutter. We had participants of all ages, and many different backgrounds. The projects that came out of it, in no particular order: Dog silhouette cuts: apparently wiener dogs and corgis were the most popular, most just to keep, but there's an ongoing project to do a corgi-fan (hand-held fan in corgi shape) Custom cut name tags: because it's more fun than writing (Instructable) Cipher grille: because secrets are always fun, and it's easier than with scissors (Instructable); in the future might try circles instead of squares, that would look much cooler (hindsight...) Party props: most popular were lips and moustache, as usual... Flipbook: characters were cut and glued onto the flipbook, called "The missing piece" (Instructable) iPhone sicker: using some kind of 3D effect sticker, cut a it in the shape of the iPhone, perfect fit Pop-up word card: know the kind of greeting cards that you open up and there's a quasi-3D scene or text? That kind! Vitruvian man decoration: use transparencies with printed Vitruvian man, cut it out, then assemble into globes  for home decor (Instructable) Greeting card: creating a design with generous negative spaces, and use two layer of paper to assemble. Font selection is important (Techno Overload works quite well!) All in all it was good fun. I think we've ruined our mat by cutting too deep occasionally, running test cuts without pulling in the mat to the right position, sticking the printed transparency with the printed side down, and these little things. The biggest issues were the cut setting selection (lots of trial and error), and creating the design (now we have much better idea how to make JPEGs that work well in Silhouette Studio, but sometimes it was tricky using images grabbed from the net) Cheers! Greg

Topic by taipeihackerspace   |  last reply


Ohio Tool Racing Championship - Saturday, August 21st, in Columbus OH

The Columbus Idea Foundry, Central Ohio's own community workshop, DIY educational center and creative space, is hosting the 2nd annual Ohio Tool Racing Championship, Saturday, August 21st, from ~2pm~7pm. Quick link to YouTube video of last year's race, as well as registration and event details: http://www.eepurl.com/PlSz Visit the official site at: http://www.ToolRaces.com and visit our hackerspace at: http://www.ColumbusIdeaFoundry.com Email ToolRaces@ColumbusIdeaFoundry.com for more information about the race, our shop, or our other upcoming events!  Follow us on Twitter @ColumbusiF, or on FaceBook - search for "Columbus Idea Foundry".

Topic by AlexBandar   |  last reply


Sugru Build Night at Makers Local 256!

Hey Makers and Breakers, Tinkerers and... uh, Thinkerers! Tyler here, from the Makers Local 256 hackerspace in Huntsville, Alabama! I just wanted to share some of the projects and ideas we toyed around with on our monthly build night for July. Our theme was Sugru, thanks to some kind gifts from Carley and the rest of the folks at Instructables; you guys rock! We had a few different projects that were worked on, so I'll start with the ones with Instructables attached first! My project was to modify an AppleTV remote so that it would stop sliding between the cushions of the couch, but decided to allow it to stand up on its own as well. The mod was quick and simple and is described in my Instructable here. Another member grabbed a couple of those spinny whirlygig handcopter toys and set out to combine them into a single, more powerful, machine! Those of you who knit know the annoyance of losing stitches when transporting your works in progress. DeathRogue decided that enough was enough and fashioned some knitting needle endcaps out of Sugru! We also had other little projects, including adding a Sugru kickstand to a Galaxy Note 2 for watching Netflix, building a wooden spindle using Sugru for the kickwheel, creating rubber Sugru feet for a Raspberry Pi case, and even practicing the ancient Japanese art of breaking and mending pottery pieces: Kintsugi! Check out our pictures of the event, and if you're ever in the North Alabama region, come check us out!

Topic by tylercrumpton   |  last reply


Mitch Altman presents "Hacking Cool Things with Microcontrollers" in Shanghai

XinCheJian Hack Day: Hacking Cool Things with Microcontrollers! Start Date: Apr 17, 2011 Time: 2PM-5PM Location: No.76 Anhua Road Suite 301 (near Jiangsu Road), Changning District, Shanghai, China Fee: 30rmb/person Mitch Altman, Inventor of the famous TV-B-Gone, a remote control keychain that turns off TVs in public places. He is co-founder of Noisebridge, a San Francisco hackerspace, creator of the Brain Machine project in MAKE Magazine, gives workshops around the world on how to solder and make cool things with microcontrollers, and is CEO of Cornfield Electronics. We're very lucky to have Mitch visiting XinCheJian and give a talk on Hacking Cool Things with Microcontrollers! Everyone can learn and have fun making cool things with electronics! After the talk, there will be a workshop for interested people to experience fun making cool stuffs: http://www.tvbgone.com/cfe_mfaire.php?PHPSESSID=561f54cf995b8669a2dfa73339f86af2 TV-B-Gone (turn off TVs in public places!) Material cost: 130rmb Brain Machine (Meditate, Hallucinate, and Trip Out!) Material cost: 130rmb LEDcube (cool cube of blinky lights!) Material cost: 130rmb Mignonette Game (play fun games!) Material cost: 197rmb Trippy RGB Waves (interactive colored blinky lights!) Material cost: 70rmb MiniPOV (more cool blinky lights!) Material cost: 130rmb MintyBoost (charge your USB enabled gadgets!) Material cost: 130rmb The workshop is free, you only pay for the materials used for the project of your choice and you can bring it back home! Come join us on April 17th! Please register here for the event: http://xinchejian.com/event/?regevent_action=register&event;_id=5&name;_of_event=MitchAltman-HackingCoolThingswithMicrocontrollers! References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitch_Altman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TV-B-Gone https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/Noisebridge http://makezine.com/10/brainwave/ http://www.cornfieldelectronics.com/ http://www.tvbgone.com/cfe_mfaire.php?PHPSESSID=561f54cf995b8669a2dfa73339f86af2 

Topic by xinchejian 


Open Day at Hackerspaces in the Netherlands (and elsewhere!)

This weekend is a great time to visit your local hackerspace, especially if it's participating in the Hackerspaces Open Day. Most hackerspaces in the Netherlands will be and it's worth checking one out. More information on this here: https://hackerspaces.nl/2015/03/28-maart-2015-jaarlijkse-open-hackerspaces-dag/ (in Dutch) Our local hacker- and makerspace, Hack42 in Arnhem, will be open from 10:00 to 22:00 and we have a great programme with something for everyone: lockpicking, computer security, a fun kids activity, free books, lasercutting, 3Dprinting, and soup. All hackers, makers, tinkerers and crafters are very welcome to visit! https://hack42.nl/wiki/Open_dag (in Dutch)

Topic by Moem 


Nottinghack, upcoming Hackerspace in the middle of the UK

After the recent Makers Faire, I added both Mitch Altman, and Jimmie Rodgers to my Twitter follow list, I noticed they had been doing rounds of various Hackerspaces in the UK. My first thought was 'Wow, I did not realise there were hackerspaces over here', I knew of Noisebridge over in San Francisco, and a few others. Both Mitch Altman, and our very own Rachel were both founding members of Noisebridge. It sounds like a cool place to be involved with. My second thought 'I had better google, and see if there are any near me!'. I googled, and eventually found one near to me, in Nottingham, called Nottinghack. It would seem Nottinghack is very new, and has only had one preliminary meeting so far. The first proper meet up is this Wednesday 24th March. I am hoping to go along! As the group is fairly young, I thought I should put a topic up, incase anyone nearby could also make it. From the Nottinghack website, What is Nottinghack? A Nottingham based group for hackers, makers and crafty creatives! What Hacking isn't! NOT to be confused with network hacking, identity theft and computer virus' spreading etc.... Nottinghack does not condone anything illegal... Hardware Hacking is a creative, educational hobby! Who is it for? You'll probably be interested in electronics, robotics, DIY, hardware hacking, photography, computing, reverse engineering, prototyping, film making, animation, building RC vehicles and other creative challenges and projects. You'll be looking for a group who can share tools, techniques and time... pool resources for bigger projects, get funding, discounts on kits and components and start classes... maybe rent a space for you to use! Where? Meeting at a Nottingham City Centre venue with WiFi and plenty of space... initial meetings for planning. Get in touch now and be one of the founders! Nottinghack's Meet-up page Nottinghack on Twitter

Topic by gmjhowe   |  last reply


The Middle East and the Global Hackerspace Movement

Please follow me and imagine this. You're in a city and are taking a rattling train somewhere to the edge of town. The buildings get shorter as they get wider. You are entering the industrial area where the jobs dried up long ago. Where there are more broken windows than whole ones in each building. You pass the streets your parents warned you about and a street covered in "DO NOT CROSS" tape. Two stops later you get off at the stop your friends told you about questioning your sanity and wondering why your friends brought you out there. The graffiti is beautiful though, and somewhere in the distance you can hear the thump of heavy bass. The address your friend gave you can't be right, you look up and see a massive complex thankfully this one seemed to have more of it's windows intact. You push the rusting door noticing the rough texture and surprising heft. You walk in and see a roughly refinished hallway. The drywall isn't yet painted but it appears that this massive factory has been transformed on the inside. You pass a few drywalled off artists studios on the first floor and they smile at you with plaster in their hair. It smells like lavender and you notice you just passed an artist making candles. The "hackerspace" your friend told you about is on the second floor. So you walk to the cargo elevator and push the call button. It makes a horrifying rattling sound as it descends to meet you, instead of a door it has a grate. You take it up and as it slowly moves you can see concrete, then wood and suddenly the thumping bass get's louder - Hello Skrillex. It's too much to take in at first, you only notice the chaos. There are tools everywhere and in every state of operation. A wall of computer monitors lines the back wall. There's someone binding books in the corner, and what appears to be a viking with knitting needles sitting in what appears to be a lounge, he looks up and smiles at you and says "welcome to Scrumspace*!" you've arrived at your first hackerspace. Notice an open basket of dollar bills and place a 2 dollar donation in the basket near the fridge and grab yourself a drink from the fridge in the kitchen. You walk into a common area painted like a scene from Super Mario with what appear to be server racks painted as the tubes. Finally you see your friend. He walks in with a scorched shirt and you see his eyes twinkling through the welding goggles. "Told you this place is awesome!" he says. Hackerspace Values and Culture Hackerspaces like this exist almost all over the world. These places collect (and perhaps helps inspire) people who are passionate initiators. Walking into one you might find someone who wants to share a new iPad application which monitors the GPS on the weather balloon they've released -"It's over //CHINA// right now!!". People in hackerspaces are happy to share, it's a part of the culture! Interacting with them is often uplifting and inspiring. They are building and creating things they think is amazing. They may be playing with technology or science or art without concern for the categories. The only apparent question they ask themselves is how AWESOME is this!? It's a contagious atmosphere of capability where people learn from each other constantly. They can't help it! People are so passionate about what they are doing, they inadvertently teach. The other feature of a hackerspace which is more important is that they give people a venue. It's an open space that is owned by the members. Need a place to host a workshop on hat felting, it's yours! Need a place to build the first prototype of your product? Just make sure you pack it in the lockers when you're done working on it! The atmosphere is fundamentally collaborative. It can't be anything except participatory because of the way the spaces are most often organized and run. There is no single owner. Everyone pays for a portion of the rent, and more importantly everyone brings something new to the table. They might bring with them a new tool, their coffee machine, a desire to set up a program to run a STEM program for children. The spaces become a snapshot the local community of amazing people and their projects. Many of these people started developing their projects during their final years in university. But their is a gap between a school project and feeling capable to take it and turn it into something yourself. I'd love to start here. With these fresh graduates. These young people who (perhaps not coincidentally) are also the driving force behind the revolutions of the middle east. This is a great place to start. These are the young people changing their countries today. They feel empowered to change long standing traditions and the culture of oppression in their governments. Perhaps it's also time to give them the tools to do the same for their local communities. Where they have the ability to have a more direct impact. Who the heck cares about the government if you are free to repave your roads, create alternative energy from solar power, clean your own water and start your own online webstore distributing products that are rapidly prototyped and drop shipped to other places around the world. Sure you might call this line of reasoning anarchistic. But when the systems around you are falling apart, banding together to pick up the pieces is the admirable thing to do. Social entrepreneurship in the states often focuses on countries outside the states. They basically act as for profit NGOs. Non profit organizations as they operate in America don't exist in the middle east. Thus I'm beginning to think that the concept of social entrepreneurship might just be a great way forward for these countries. Doing well by doing good! This concept is a development hack, and one that could possibly have it's roots in the Hackerspace scene. There are features of hackerspaces that I see can give rise to more DIY social entrepreneurship in the middle east. They are: 1) The culture of good. Make something wonderful. Share it with others online and off. Be inspired and inspiring. 2) The availability of tools along with the docracy culture. If you want to see it, do it. 3) A supportive global and local community which has within it stories of other successes to emulate. Where does this culture come from? It appears to be derived from the open source movement. Open source technology is often spearheaded by a few individuals but is maintained, built and supported by a global community of makers who want the tech for themselves as well. Do you want to see that feature? Write it? But don't edit the program and keep it to yourself! Share! That's a doocracy combined with the culture of sharing that the internet helps so much to support. All of this seems to be directed by the common value for people of all ideologies. The golden rule. Do for others as you wish to have done for yourself. Do you want free tools. Freedom. Access to clean water? A cheap space to build projects? Free vector drawing software? Be a doer. Be a part of the change. And then share with others. Your vision is what makes the future. These are some of the amazing features of these spaces. This is why I am in love with hackerspaces, open source technology and makers of all types. They are beautiful people who come from all types of backgrounds who get together to create a culture of sharing and collaboration that enhances their local communities and connects them globally. If you have not visited your local hackerspace yet, visit it. If you live in a place without a space, put your name up on hackerspaces.org, I'm sure you will find like minded people who crave this type of community. Hackerspaces in the Middle East Now that we have described hacker culture and hackerspaces can a space like this become a the hub and home of amazing people in the Middle East? Does the west have a monopoly on awesome. Absolutely not. Are middle easterners creative Heck yes! Are they inspired to work collaboratively? Heck yes! Are they educated? Heck yes! Do they want to fix the problems they see around them? Heck YES! Are they powerful? Heck YES! Again and again I've seen example after example of the young people in the middle east (yes, those that are 30% unemployed) showcasing example after example of incredible projects. And talking to them a message I hear over and over is that they want to show the world that in Beirut, Baghdad, or Cairo things other than violence is created. They want to create positive news that goes out to the world. They want to reach out to the world and participate in sharing! Here's a short list of incredible people I've met personally in my two short trips to the middle east: Bassam Jalgha Tarek Ahmed Ahmed Tohamy Salma Adel Rami Ali's Smart Breadboard Marc Farra Maya Kreidieh Cairo Hackerspace Book Scanner Project An awesome home automation system in Baghdad Iraq Mustafa Elnagar Furkan Alp Pehlivan Hind Hobeika's Butterfleye Project Jad Berro's Tank Robot Mounir Zoorob Octocopter! Here's a video of Munir's octocopter: Beirut is beautiful:   One incredible graduation project by Cairo Hackerspace organizer Salma Adel is one that focuses on the very heart of the maker movement and looks at the artisan as the creator of value. How do you take new design, match it with old technology and create amazing new products. I'm proud to know she's an active memeber at Cairo Hackerspace:  I hope I have shown you that there are already "hackers", makers and entrepreneurs there in the middle east. People with the open source attitude Arabs with the culture of sharing and collaboration. There are many here that work with the Google Technology User Groups or other open source initiatives. Linux user groups. Tons of coworking spaces. And some incredible incubators and entrepreneurship cultural development projects. Android phones are more popular in Egypt than the iPhone from my own small survey. It might have initially started as a cost issue has turned into a passion with Ubuntu, firefox, Android and other open source technologies really taking off. A few things were missing though. If you read hacker news you will begin to think that anyone with a desire to make foursquare mashups is an entrepreneur. In the middle east we have incredibly skilled people languishing after college while their counter parts in the west are out attempting to recreate Facebook. Why?! I think it has to do with the lack of proper story telling about entrepreneurship in the Middle East. Wamda seems to be helping greatly in that regard, but we need more publications talking about this issue! This also comes in concert with an inability to find cofounders. Why? A lack of collaboration? Why? A lack of self initiated projects? Solution? Do stuff. Just do it. Where? Here. At your local hackerspace. Do you have an interesting idea you want to try? A drone to take ariel pictures of the pyramids? Or a service like Utlub which delivers soap to bathers who are wet and realize they ran out of soap. Well in a space like a hackerspace you can do it! The tools are there. But more importantly you will find collaborators! People who are willing to jump on board to help!al Patterns of Propagation The Arab world is not just ready for Hacker culture, hacker culture is already there. My work with GEMSI is simply to connect the right people together and showcase the awesome possibilities hackerspace afford their communities and attempt to create the right environment to allow these amazing people to take their own future into their hands like they already are, but to do it not only politically, but financially, and with direct community education and organizing. Before I went to the middle east I was privileged to participate in the rise of the hackerspace movement in the United States. In 2007 there were very few (if any self identified) hackerspaces in the United States. That same year Mitch Altman, Bre Pettis, and Nick Farr went on a trip to Germany visiting the hackerspaces that were there. Being filled with inspiration and the realization that these spaces were created by PEOPLE who wanted to set them up. They came back to the states and started Noisebridge, NYCResistor and HacDC respectively. Due to the culture of sharing, they started putting up projects online. They shared the process of creating these spaces. And slowly at first people started noticing that they too could start their own local community spaces for creation and we started seeing them grow rapidly. The mathematical name of the function that describes this type of growth is exponential. The more spaces that existed that have this culture of sharing the more people heard about them and wanted them in their own cities. Then something wonderful happened. The economy collapsed in 2008 which had two very positive effects on the development of hackerspaces:  People were freed from their jobs  Space was becoming cheap as tons of manufacturing facilities were abandoned. Check out this chart which shows the rapid growth of hackerspaces and the acceleration around 2008/9. Hacker culture is an attitude that anything can be done by any resource available. MacGyver will make you a mouse trap from your sunglasses and your underpants. A hacker would use it to make a one way privacy screen for your cellphone. But how do you transmit a culture? This is why a space is so important. Having a place where people can sit with others and recognize the possibilities. To see the value in the stuff they know, to share it with others and to build together. The first few hackerspaces that are being set up in the middle east have the same property of viral transmission as we saw in America. Istanbul Hackerspace and Base Istanbul are both hackerspaces in Turkey. Istanbul Hackerspace being in the European part and Base Istanbul in asian section. As widely spread apart as they are, they both have something in common. Both founders had visited a hackerspace, one in Japan and the other in Germany before coming home and deciding they wanted to start one there. It's kind of incredible to see the same pattern repeat in the middle east. This appears to be a universal need, the need for community, creativity and having a open space to build your future. The pattern has been proven in Egypt as well. Alexandria's hackerspace initiative was galvanized after a delegation of students visited  Cairo Hackerspace two hours to the south. It's exciting to see the very same forces at work that took the hackerspaces from being a concept barely known to having a large impact on the American Entrepreneurial and cultural landscape in five short years years at work in Egypt. Cairo Hackerspace currently is without their space but is actively seeking a new one and it's one of my current goals to help in any way I can. Let's conclude with the list of hackerspaces just starting up in Egypt and Beirut. This is just the start. Keep an eye on these guys and know that there will be many many more to come: Egypt: Cairo Hackerspace El Minya Hackerspace Alexandria Hackerspace Mansoura Hackerspace Egypt Fablab (Same idea ;) Lebanon: Beirut Hackerspace (link coming soon) If you'd like to talk more about the global development of hackerspaces. Let's continue talking online at GEMSI's facbebook group. *Scrumspace does not exist as a hackerspace. If you like the name take it!

Topic by lamedust   |  last reply


Hackerspaces and Makerspaces - your opinions, please.

I'm thinking about persuading my new employer to start a hackerspace or makerspace. As an aside, do you think the two terms mean different things, or are they interchangeable? If they are different, what is that difference? If they mean the same thing, which is the better term? Why?

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Build Night with littleBits at the Taipei Hackerspace

Hi everyone, Just reporting from the Taipei Hackerspace regarding the littleBits build night last month. It was a very popular event, a lot of people were brought in by littleBits. It was the first time I myself tried them, and it was amazing to see how many things people have built, from kids to grownups, everyone was hacking. Haven't really happened such thing many times before. The event had a requirements that the resulting projects need to use the Arduino module. While it was awesome tool, most people were just doing analog electronics. Needed some time after the build night to hash out some projects that would be eligible for us to submit. Fortunately did come up with a few, and it was a lot of fun. In the process I think we have fried one Arduino module, but the rest of it is still being used every time we have visitors to the Hackerspace. Here are our projects from the build night: littleGoal: world cup notifier littleTea: robotic tea brewing littleWork: working hours notifier Cheers, and thanks for this opportunity! Greg

Topic by taipeihackerspace 


Jameco Build Night at Taipei Hackerspace

Greetings from Taipei Hackerspace, I'm Greg, one of the co-founders, and the organizer for the August Build Night (well, afternoon) in out space. First of all, thanks for Instructables and Jameco for this, this was our firstit was a really fun opportunity, and surely learned a lot from it. :) We had a relatively small turnout, partly because our Hackerspace is dual-language (Chinese and English) and I can only speak/write one of them, and also because next time we'll need some more preparation and engagement of the community. Still, we had very interesting folks, from ex-NASA engineer, through business guy and biomedical major, to journalist. Everyone seemed to have learned some new things and had a great time. We haven't built anything really fancy, but had good time figuring out the basics, and the 555 timer is simple enough to get started with, and in the same time complex enough to puzzle us with strange circuit bugs :P Our instructables from the event: -> Annoying screaming light -> Ticking bomb package (any bonus points for reusing the package we got the build night components in?:) -> Thankful donation jar As some feedback, the grab-bag of electronics was in general interesting, there were some parts that the more knowledgeable members told me to "hide it away because it's highly sought after". Had a big load of LEDs too (more than we would have ever used for the build night) and the big variety of resistor was a good idea. I was missing one thing: since the build night is centered around the 555 timer, maybe a larger number and variety of capacitors would have been useful (there were about 5 pieces in the entire package, while had at least 60 LEDs), since pretty much every 555 circuit uses a bunch of different caps. More photos from our event are at https://plus.google.com/photos/100085911445404984901/albums/5913287340991955185 (no login required). Cheers!

Topic by imrehg 


Build Night with Chibitronics at the Taipei Hackerspace

Hi! We have finished the Chibitronics December build night last week (khm, in January), and it was actually a lot of surprising fun! First of all, we have received the parts for the night about 2 months ago, and I've just put it in our storage, without checking the packing list, because it looked like everything is there, and there were plenty of things! When the build night started, imagine my horror not finding any of the copper tapes, not a single piece... Not sure when it disappeared, but there were a bunch of people who came for the hacking, so had to figure out something.... In the end, those "somethings" became our first build night instructable. People really seemed to enjoy prototyping, and learning about simple circuit ideas. Interesting experience explaining the workings of LEDs to completely non-technical people so they can get the "whys" of the circuit wiring - and they did get it very well! Since it was only LEDs for output, the projects were all light based, a hairband and a gift card. We had plenty of pieces left that people can use for projects gradually, and I think everyone left a bit smarter and more excited than they have arrived. Cheers! Greg

Topic by taipeihackerspace 


MEH! :D A Build Night at Montana Ethical Hackerspace!

Instructables is sponsoring a Monthly Build Night at Montana Ethical Hackers!  Stop by our Open Hack Night to make your own 3D circuit board with Bare Conductive paint provided by Instructables!  We'll have a bunch of fun stuff and Instructables is providing pizza as well! I wanted to embed images in this... but the forum here only allows them to be grouped at the end.  This has certainly made the merry month of May merrier! Big thanks go out to Instructables.com for the equipment and a decent shot at recognition.  It can be hard when your state is as sparsely populated as Montana. Meet us at the North entrance to the downtown walking mall! We're in the US Bank building on the 3rd Floor. May 30th @ 7 PM Check out the details of our event here: http://groupspaces.com/Meh/item/429872

Topic by saintmeh   |  last reply


What activities to do in a Hackfest?

We are going to do a Hackfest in my town, for the promotion of our hackerspace. So, basically, we'll put out posters and invite people and we're going to have some soldering workshop, we'll be making PCB's and we'd like to also do other activities, like, creating something. We thought of LED throwies but I was wondering if the amazing community of Instructables would recommend some other stuff to do as well :) Any ideas? What can we do that is cool and will inspire people to want to take part in our community? We're still trying to get our hackerspace up and running so we don't have big budget unfortunately. Thanks for any tips! ;) Dimitris

Question by powerfool   |  last reply


Arch Reactor Member Projects

A forum to discuss the personal projects of members of Arch Reactor. These can be individual or collaborative works.

Topic by GeekTinker   |  last reply


Makers in Northwest Arkansas

Hello all I am trying to organizing some makers , hacker, and tinkers that live the in northwest Arkansas. I would like to start some meetups and eventually start a makerspace.  If interested check out this

Topic by JoeMurphy   |  last reply


September Build Night with Lumi

No more spaces available Check out these resources for hosting a build night! SEPTEMBER BUILD NIGHT We are partnering with Lumi, the creator of a new DIY alternative to screen printing which uses photographic print dyes on textiles and natural materials, for our September 2013 build night. Sign up and we will ship you a package that includes: (1) Print Fabric with Light kit (color tbd) (1) 16oz bottle of Inkodye (color tbd) (1) Inkofilm (sufficient materials for 15-20 people) HOW TO PARTICIPATE: Host a Build Night: pick a night in September (any night) to host the workshop. Since Lumi needs light to work - we suggest hosting your workshop during a time with daylight. At the event create projects using materials from the Lumi kit. Post 2 Instructables: post 2 step-by-step Instructables using the Lumi products. Anyone from your space is welcome to post an Instructable that counts towards the 2. (Not posting these Instructables will affect your chances to participate in future build nights). Brownie Points (not required): after the build night post a forum topic on Instructables about your event. Include pictures, stories, etc... Here are two examples from the May build night: Noisebridge and Makers Local 256. We may even feature your photos on the homepage. RESOURCES: Lumi Instructables Lumi.co Instructables App (for documentation during the build night): iOS and Android JOIN OUR ANNOUNCEMENT LIST If you are interested in being directly notified about future build nights fill out this form. You will receive an e-mail when the events are announced in the forums. If you have signed up for a past build night or this build night you are already on our announcement list. ABOUT BUILD NIGHTS Instructables is sponsoring monthly build nights at makerspaces and hackerspaces around the world. Each month is a different theme and we will send you materials to run a workshop at your space. In return your space posts Instructables from your build night.

Topic by Carleyy   |  last reply


Robots that Draw Circuit Scribe Projects and More @ Knox Makers February Build Nights w/ Circuit Scribe

We had fun for a couple of Instructables Build Nights in February with Circuit Scribe at Knox Makers. We kicked things off with an Intro to Circuit Scribe night so that everyone could get familiar with the kits, go home, and get some ideas on projects they would like to make. We had one guest who showed up and tinkered with the idea of adjusting motor speed by switching back and forth between short and long conductive ink paths in a unique way, and this led to a later project by another participant that we documented and uploaded as an Instructable. We also had a member of our group who wanted to see if they could get our polargraph drawing machine to draw a Circuit Scribe project. This led to a Featured project in Technology >> Robots! This is a list of the Instructables we came up with: Circuit Scribe Drawing Robot Adjustable Speed Circuit Scribe We also created a 123D Circuits sketch here: Masked Hero Blinkeneyes Overall, we had a great time tinkering with the kits. We may have some more ideas floating around, and we were able to get some basic electronics experience into the hands of new learners who needed the exposure to some foundational basics of electronics. The kits helped with that as a kinesthetic approach, because learners were able to follow through exercises and see with their own eyes what happens when they manipulate electronics with their own hands. We ended up adding the kits to our technology outreach cart, which we share with local libraries, museums, and schools in our area. This was an excellent opportunity and a blast.

Topic by smalltortoise 


Build Night Resources

BUILD NIGHT OVERVIEW Instructables sponsors monthly build nights at makerspaces (and hackerspaces, fab labs, student groups, libraries, etc...) around the world. Each month we partner with a different company to send materials and/or tools to run a workshop at your space. In return your space posts Instructables from your build night. If you are interested in being directly notified about future build nights fill out this form. You will receive e-mails when new events are announced in the forums. IMPROVE INSTRUCTABLES + FIRST TIME AUTHORS: Naturally with such a large participation in the build nights (2000 people globally for sugru) there will be some first time authors. Here is some important information to share with your community before (or during) your build night. How to Use the New Editor: this is a handy guide to help you get the hang of the new editor. How to Choose a Title and Keywords for your Instructable: learn how to pick a great title that will give your project as many views as possible. You don't need to include the sponsors name in the title of your project, but I'd recommend including it somewhere in the first step. Feature Checklist: this is the checklist we use to decide if an Instructable should be featured on our homepage. It is a great resource for writing high quality Instructables. How to Take Great Photos with your iPhone: these are some great tips for photography with an iPhone. Basic Photo Editing: improve your images with a few simple tips. It is especially important to have a great main image to improve the quality of your projects. English as a Second Language: If english is your second language check out this series of forums. We encourage people to post Instructables in their native language. If you would like to post in both English and your native language you can use a translator. Author Rimar2000 is a great example of this. MOTIVATING MEMBERS TO POST INSTRUCTABLES: The most common question/issue that came up was how to motivate build night participants to post Instructables and take photos during the build night. I came up with a few tips and solutions. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and if you have any other ideas on how to encourage your members to post projects during their build. Planning ahead of time. Take suggestions from your community on what projects you can make at the build night. This will focus the workshop and motivate people to actually execute on projects. Post projects ahead of time: For spaces that are expecting more beginner/intermediate participants (especially young students) organizers will post Instructables before the event for participants to follow during the event. Demonstrations at the beginning. Have a short 20-30 minute demo at the beginning of the event and use the rest of the time to make projects. Breaking into groups. Split the attendees into groups pairing beginners with experts. Each group can work on a different project. This is especially important for more advanced build nights that have electronics. Designate a documenter. Have a designated ‘documenter’ for each group. They will be in charge of taking pictures during the project build. If someone has an iPhone or Android they can download the Instructables app for free and upload their photos from their phone directly to the website. PUBLICITY: One of my goals with the build nights is to get publicity for makerspaces and individual makers. Here are some ways we’re working to promote y’all! Homepage Promotion: get pictures of your makerspace on the homepage of Insructables. Take excellent pictures from your build night and we just might feature it on our homepage. Your space must also have a group page that we can link back to (see below). Tweet at us: tweet to your followers that you are hosting a build night and we will re-tweet you! We will also encourage our sponsor to re-tweet you as well!! GROUPS: I’m working to get a group page for every makerspace on Instructables. Check out all of the makerspaces with groups (here). The requirements to get a group for your space: You must have 5-10 Instructables published by members of your makerspace before we build you a group. It doesn’t matter if they were published 5 years ago or yesterday. You must agree to post projects on a regular basis. This is just to confirm that the group doesn’t go dead. 1-2 projects every 1-2 months will do! If you are participating in the build nights this should be easy. Contact me at carley@instructables.com if you think your makerspace is ready for a group. EARN A FREE PRO-MEMBERSHIP: everyone that publishes an Instructable will receive a 3-month pro-membership. SUPPORTING MAKERSPACES: Build nights were the result of a conversation I had with Josh from All Hands Active. He was looking for ways to get new people to his space and create new events. What other ways can we help achieve your spaces goals? Here are some suggestions from the hangout. Please let us know if you have more ideas! Live Stream Build Nights - spaces that are hosting google hangouts on the same day could connect via google hangout. Live Instructions: host a series of “how to” google hangouts where we teach you basic skills like soldering, basic electronics, etc...

Topic by Carleyy   |  last reply


Build Night Dodocase en The Inventors House Hackerspace Mexico

Hola a todos!! El fin de semana pasado celebramos la Build Night de Octubre patrocinada por Dodocase e Instructables en The Inventor's House, nos la pasamos genial iniciamos desde las 10 de la mañana y terminamos hasta las 8 de la noche armando dodocase, realizando modificaciones y haciendo instructables, estos son algunos de los instructables que realizaron los participantes: Modding Dodocase Guía completa en español de Armado de Dodocase Dodocase manos libres Como convertir un videojuego para Dodocase Ademas realizamos un video donde hablamos de los Dodocase y su armado para promocionar el evento Muchas gracias a Dodocase e instructables por la BuildNight, saludos desde Aguascalientes, México Atte: Staff The Inventor's House  

Topic by sabas1080 


How do I search for groups and how do I create a group?

I would like to create a group for a hacker-space in Indianapolis. First I want to figure out how to search for existing groups (I'm a member of several groups and might find more that I want to join) so that I can verify that there hasn't been a group already created for an Indy hacker space. Once I verified there isn't an already a group that exists, how do I create a new group?

Topic by KRA5H   |  last reply


JULY 2013 Build Night with SUGRU

NO SPACES AVAILABLE Instructables is sponsoring monthly build nights at makerspaces and hackerspaces around the world. Each month is a different theme and we will send you materials to run a workshop at your space. JULY BUILD NIGHT We are partnering with sugru for our July 2013 build night. Sugru is the exciting new self-setting rubber that can be formed by hand. It molds like play-dough, bonds to almost anything and turns into a strong, flexible silicone rubber overnight. Sign up for the July build night and we will ship you several packages of sugru to experiment with. Details below (please read all the information). HOW TO PARTICIPATE Host a Build Night: pick a night in July (any night) to host the sugru build night. At the event experiment and play with sugru. Post Five Instructables: post 5 Instructables using Sugru. This can include: making products more ergonomic, simple fixes, or more advanced uses. You have 1 week after your build night to post these projects. Anyone from your space is welcome to post an Instructable that counts towards the 5. (Not posting these Instructables may affect your chances to participate in future build nights). Brownie Points (not required): after the build night post a forum topic on Instructables about your event. Include pictures, stories, etc... Here are two examples from the May build night: Noisebridge and Makers Local 256. We may even feature your photo on the homepage. INSTRUCTABLES SPONSORSHIP Use the build night as a launch pad to bring your makerspace towards Instructables sponsorship. Individual projects can be included towards the sponsorship AKA get people to post new Instructables to count towards sponsorship. SIGN UP We have 100 spaces available and it’s first come first serve. Please only sign up if you are able to complete the requirements listed above. You must be associated with a formal makerspace or hackerspace to participate. SIGN UP HERE. RESOURCES Sugru.com Instructables Sugru Projects Instructables App (for documentation during the build night): iOS and Android JOIN OUR ANNOUNCEMENT LIST If you are interested in being directly notified about future build nights fill out this form. You will receive an e-mail when the events are announced in the forums. If you have signed up for a past build night or this build night you are already on our announcement list. Questions? post in the forums if you have any questions

Topic by Carleyy   |  last reply


Leaving China and Taking a Part With Me.

My time was short, it seems my time is always short. Groggily I was pulled from bed the day after the Maker Faire. Spending the night at Eric's place was so wonderful, it was my first nights sleep since leaving America a few days earlier. We loaded Eric Pans car with gear and headed out to pick up a 3D printer. 3D printing technology is booming in the states, nearly every hackerspace in America has a Makerbot and design firms have Shapeways to turn to to get their rapid prototyping. But elsewhere in the world these things are still fresh! Sharing tools is something I love to do because you never know where people's creativity will take them. You never can know all the problems in the world, but all the people know all their problems! One of my missions then is to share low cost and open technologies to people I think can make awesome use of them! The night before after the Shenzhen Maker Faire all the Makers were invited to a gathering. Beer, frogs on skewers and peanuts were all provided free of charge. We ate, drank, wheeled and dealed. Wiess Tech is a filament company in Shenzhen and they have started noticing that more and more of their customers were 3D printers. Especially DIY 3D printers. So they've begun to make Makerbot replicas with some modifications. And there I was - I wanted a 3D printer to bring with me to Beirut and they wanted… Well, I wasn't sure. The language barrier between us was strong. Somehow Eric and I convinced them that it would be a good idea to give me a machine, and perhaps I'd pay them back when I got to the states. At this point I was at $244 dollars and dropping and I couldn't even afford the incredible hackerspace price the company was offering of $500 dollars! They agreed, and that's how I found myself rushing off to their head quarters the next morning before catching my ship. But first. We must go to Seeed Studio to buy a cup of coffee from the robotic tweeting (QQ) coffee machine in their break room. Hahaha! We headed out to Wiess Tech and on the way there we drive by construction zone after construction zone. Aparently Shenzhen didn't exist 30 years ago, and now you can still see the signs of a rapid expansion. Everything here is growing at an incredible pace, and apparently even maker culture. We arrive at Wiess HQ, which is housed in a 30 story complex decked out with multiple confusing entrances, cafeterias and dual elevators for the odd and even numbered floors. After spending a bit of time wondering how to get to floor 22 and circling the building, we found ourselves face to face with a small crew of about 8people. A few people managing papers, a secretary, some of the marketing team, and one guy sitting at a table putting together Wiess Tech versions of the thingimatic. After speaking with them we find that they also sell a machines based around the Reprap project, one of the earliest open 3D printing projects and have in the works a few models of their own designs. I'm excited to see how Weiss Tech bootstraps itself off of open sourced designs and starts producing their own versions! I hope to see a whole new generation of better, faster and cheaper machines that stay open! Go Weiss Tech! Heading out to take a 3D panorama from their deck Eric rushes and tells me that my ship leaves in 20 mins and that the time is now. After an awkward moment or two talking about paypal and me giving them advice on staying open we undo all their packing (too bulky) throw the machine into my luggage and run. In the car Eric and I discuss the future of Chinese makers. It really seems this is just the start of something much larger. It's an exciting time, his company is building great products, more Chinese companies are looking at open source technologies and more people are calling themselves makers. Perhaps it's through Maker culture China will be able to become more than the King of manufacturing, but also participate in producing quality designs and solving serious problems. Leaving China, the baggage handlers on the ferry were rough handling Adriana, my 3D printer, and it really cut deep. But as I watched Shenzhen bay slowly recede, I knew the next time i came back, again, everything would again be different. This is the pace of China and yet it seems softened by the fog falling over the rolling green hills. +Bilal Ghalib

Topic by lamedust   |  last reply


MAKERSPACE COMPETITION

We are hosting our first makerspace only competition! This is a great way to build up a collection of projects that can be submitted in a build night application. The competition is open to all project themes, but we are looking for feature worthy projects. Rules: The entry must be a featured step-by-step Instructable. See below for more information on what it means to be featured. You can submit an entry before it has been featured, but it must get featured by the time judging starts to be considered (I would recommend doing this!). All entries must be published between 11/11/2014 - 1/19/2015 Only makerspaces are allowed to enter - not individuals. Although, individuals can submit projects on behalf of a makerspace. A makerspace may submit as many Instructables as they like to the competition! If an Instructable has been submitted for a build night it cannot enter the competition. Featured Instructables: This featuring checklist explains everything we look for when we feature an Instructable. Please only pay attention to the step-by-step section. Here are some other resources for posting great Instructables: How to Use the New Editor How to Choose a Great Project Title Take Great Photos with an iPhone Basic Photo Editing Prizes: We have two categories of prizes: Living + Outdoor and Technology + Workshop. Check out the categories to know what section your project fits into. Living + Outdoor Grand: Sony Alpha a5000 Mirrorless Digital Camera First: Dremel 200 Runner Up: 5 Instructable Prize Packs (t-shirt + stickers) Technology + Workshop Grand: Sony Alpha a5000 Mirrorless Digital Camera First: Digital Storage Oscilloscope Runner Up: 5 Instructable Prize Pack (t-shirt + stickers) Dates: Submit projects between November 11 - January 19th using the form below. Winners will be announced on January 26th. SUBMIT ENTRY HERE

Topic by Carleyy   |  last reply


Hydrophobic music, dubstep windchimes, Smash Smash Revolution and etc @ Knox Makers Build Night w/ MaKey MaKey!

Wow, what a month at Knox Makers! We were absolutely invaded by MaKey MaKeys at our hackerspace all throughout January. To start us off, we released a freebie project a little early to help out members and guests get some ideas, to drum up local support for our events, and to offer a fun + easy starter project for the other spaces participating: Oversized Music Chest This ended up getting featured in Electronics! It leaves a lot of room to add extra components and tote the MaKey MaKey around, and we turned ours into a musical advertisement for our first Build Night, a mystery hack night about music. Mystery Hack Night: Music! What a blast! Talk about a weird time.. One family brought a theremin and a circuit bending kit for kids; another group brought an amp and speakers, a suitcase of effect pedals and circuit bent instruments, and a 4 channel mixer; we had a random component table for open hacking; an acoustic and broken ukulele was converted into an electronic instrument; we had painters painting music instrument for the MaKey MaKey with conductive paint; there was a table with our hydrophobic drum pad, bananas, an eggplant, flowers, and a grappling hook all controlling a set of browser based drums through the MaKey MaKey; we had members hooking up tactile buttons and levers to MaKey MaKeys; and we closed with the weirdest jam session this side of Alpha Centauri with all the things playing all the sounds at the same time. Mystery Hack Night: Video Game Controllers! This was a fun night, and we had a few new people show up. We tinkered with a platformer adventure game called Fancy Pants Adventure, where we assigned each person one button. At one point, the whole table was controlling the game's protagonist. Somehow, we made it pretty far into the game, considering. A few people commented that this type of exercise seemed like a really useful team building exercise, so we might look at creating some tutorials with this in mind. We also had individuals and small groups testing out their own inventions and games, again revisiting concepts like conductive ink or simple conductive objects. A two person team tinkered around with some simple fighting games that only use one button for each player, there were people playing Tetris and other games with their inventions, and we again offered a random hack table with an assortment of items and components to rummage through. MaKey MaKey Build Night I: When MaKeys Attack.. We had a nice turnout for this event. This was an introduction to the basic concept behind MaKey MaKey, how to remap the beta v1.2 boards using the web remapper, different applications that make a MaKey MaKey naturally awesome to use, and a few sample projects. We opened up the floor to open hacking, and that day our Adafruit group buy had just come in. We were able to add to the random hack table some awesome components, such as: male/male and female/female jumper wires, various diffused LEDs, slow and fast cycling LEDs, conductive thread, flat LED panels, sewable LEDs, tactile buttons, and other items. We wrapped up and one of our newest members stayed late to craft a thin copper wire into a flat copper instrument using a mallet. He ended up using a breadboard with the MaKey MaKey and Wolfram software to write his own music program. As with our other Build Night events this month, we also had people working on side projects in the background which added to the creative energy of the room. For this event, one of our members tested out a Gocupi that managed to draw Rear Admiral Grace Hopper and Albert Einstein on the whiteboard in dry erase marker using continuous lines. MaKey MaKey Build Night II: Big Projects! We had a decent turnout for this event, but mostly the attendees were there for their own big projects unrelated to MaKey MaKey. We got a few MaKey MaKey projects in around good company, though. We had members working on a large geodesic Airolite boat, someone showed up to work on their 3D printer and print out their first scale model of a scanned person, our Facilities Director was able to get some critical inventory done, a couple members mounted new shelves that had been donated that day, and one member's daughter wanted to play around with hydrophobics. We also were able to get electronic musical wind chimes made that work very nicely with the MaKey MaKey, and the same member who tinkered with Wolfram software at the prior event made more progress on some of his own MaKey MaKey ideas. MaKey MaKey Build Night III: Advanced Reprogramming! This was one of the build nights I was most excited about, and we had a nice turnout. We walked members through reprogramming the older MaKey MaKeys using the MaKey MaKey sketch for Arduino IDE. We bested Windows and its infernal resistance to unsigned 3rd party drivers, and we advanced onward. We looked at basic reprogramming of the settings.h key bindings, and we also looked at other Arduino programming such as delay, Keyboard.print, Keyboard.press, Keyboard.release, and some other concepts. A father team duo that are also involved in a local high school robotics club showed up and schooled us a little on Arduino with some tricks they had up their sleeves, another father son duo showed up to experience the MaKey MaKey for the first time together and it seemed to blow their minds, and we talked about the new web remapping tool for the beta v1.2 boards. Mad Science Bingo For one of our educational outreach events, we attended hijacked bingo night at a local senior citizen community center. We let everyone have their bingo fun without interruption, but as bingo concluded we invaded with a MaKey MaKey, our hydrophobic drum pad, fruits and veggies, and some flowers. The senior citizens loved it and have invited us back. At one point, we had three participants record themselves singing into a Scratch program that we mapped to the flowers. The room erupted with laughter when the community center manager went to touch the flowers and they sang at her in her patrons' voices. She even lent her voice to be recorded, which sent the room into mad howls. We also made a chain of about dozen people between ground and the triggers. We didn't really invent anything unique here, but it was a fun bonus event for the community center patrons. We ended up tinkering around a little with hydrophobics and electronics. So far after all our events, we ended up with a few more Build Night projects: Hydrophobic Drum Pad (featured in Science and then Homepaged!) annoy friends with this party game: Wonky Pong Smash Smash Revolution ... black acrylic, conductive paint, and conductive thread Electronic Windchimes sewable Cardboard Feet DDR (featured in Video Games!) We've also set out our MaKey MaKey kits for space use now that our January Build Nights are over with. We have a few members with projects they are still working on at the space, a few projects that are still being documented to upload to Instructables, and a few people batting around their own ideas. If we come up with anything else, we'll be sure and update. A couple "lessons learned" here: Random hack tables are awesome. But.. if they are too chaotic and without the right presentation, these can be intimidating to beginners that may want more direction. Multiple Build Nights rule! But.. it is probably best not to hijack every Saturday of a shared workspace like a hackerspace. This could have been orchestrated a little better (my fault). Overall, this was a blast to participate in. Thanks to Joylabz and Instructables! PS.. with two features and one homepage, that gave us 1 and a half years of Pro. One got used, but we're giving away the remaining year of Pro and 3 months of Pro. The bounty: quick connect projects for MaKey MaKey. Ends 3/1 EST. You know what to do..

Topic by smalltortoise 


China's first Maker Faire !

April 6th was a long night that would be followed by an even longer day. Hours stretched like taffy as the Airplane pulled me across time zones. I was on my way to the Shenzhen Maker Faire which was being put on by Eric Pan, the founder of one of the largest open sourced businesses I know. Eric is a visionary, and his vision to inspire more makers in China connecting them with a global maker movement through the concepts of openness, sharing, and innovation inspires me and hundreds others to come to Shenzhen to share in the first Maker Faire in China! Hours ago I was at Instructables cooking my Last Breakfast for the office and gaving my Last Hugs. Qarly, my new friend, had helped my stay up all night organizing my tickets and suitcase. She went with me to the Payless shoe store on her bike as I walked barefoot. Yes, I started my journey shoeless. I had traded in my Vibrams at REI for a large backpack so I could cram as many arduinos and 3D printers into it as possible before leaving to go spread the good words. Here are the good words as I see them right now: "It Can Be Done." Yes, with a solid mission, a relentless attitude and accepting being shoeless (or jobless, or hungry, or ...) it's possible to accomplish the things you dream. Boom, back in that tin can flying over the Pacific. My schedule starts with a trip to Hong Kong to meet up with instructable's member Prank. Alex Hornstein and I had recently completed an adventure in 3D printing called the Pocket Factory in which we traveled across America seeking the business models behind low cost 3D manufacturing. He is now back in east Asia being the revolutionary philosopher engineer he is. I land at 8pm and head out into the city of the future. Hong Kong is a city of millions, beautifully lit tall buildings, zippy public transportation, and the largest pay inequality in the world. Looking out the window I keep wondering if this is the rich part, or the poor. Then I was there. I made it to IFC - a gigantic mall in the heart of Hong Kong. The metro stop inside it is called "Hong Kong Station". Yep, shopping is big here. We hung out on the roof of IFC talking projects. Without giving too much away too soon let's just say Alex is on his way to revolutionize the micro solar industry. We took the familiar ferry route home and I spent the night organizing and updating the social world since I knew in a few hours I'd be in China... and in China, no one can hear you tweet. Before I knew it I had to be off! It was 6:20am (HK time) and the ferry leaves at 6:40, I had a long day ahead of me and I haven't slept yet. Holy crap! I ran and got right back on that ferry from Lama to the mainland. Passing all the tall buildings once again and rushed onto the MTR. As we sped along the Hong Kong landscape of tall towers slowly turned into green rolling hills and the people on the train spoke less and less english. I crossed the border into Shenzhen and it was there I met Ani, the Monk. What a beautiful lady! We had a great conversation involving LOTS of smiling, drawing and almost no words. She was from Hong Kong and we were now friends. We traded bracelets and now I have one more reason to learn Mandarin! I finally made it all the way to Xi Xiang, the metro stop which was walking distance to the Maker Faire! I was getting pretty excited, I had lugged all this stuff across the world, and finally I was going to meet the makers of China! After a long and potholed walk I finally made it to the gate where a nice young Chinese lady helped me carry my stuff, we walked down a long outdoor hallways at F518 the "First Experiential Sharing Space in China" which was filled with sculptures and art. Billboards around me advertised hip hop dance classes and robots peeped from the windows. I knew I was in the right place. Right near the entrence of the Maker Faire was a strange robot. It was the size of a small house and it served books. They have robot libraries in Shenzhen. Wow! The more I learn about this place the cooler it seems! The faire is a large three story space with a media space on the first floor where people can buy "chinese make" a magazine called Radio that has been teaching people how to make stuff since 1955. The publishers of this magazine are also the ones who do the translation for Makezine! The second floor is filled with long tables of makers, a huge hall filled with running robots, dancing droids, DIY laser 3D scanners, touchless IR interfaces, octocopter (no, not tacocopter) and all the awesome stuff you'd expect to see in San Francisco, except this is Shenzhen. There are makers everywhere! Upstairs there are people making clay figurines, another instructables user - Star - runs a workshop around Canidu (yes, you can do!), her company which makes an electronics learning tool. This movement is obviously global and the Shenzhen Maker Faire has pulled makers not only from all over China, but all over the world. Eric Pan, the founder of Seeed Studio employs 70 people through an open source project and through this faire has inspired hundreds. At the after party, you can really tell how proud Eric was to have brought amazing makers like Mitch Altman and David Li from the Shanghai hackerspace together. Eric has a new project in the works right now. He's soon to be a father! I can only imagine how proud he will be when baby Eric Pan picks up his first blinky LED kit. Now that's some serious making! +Bilal Ghalib PS. Eric in the last picture is not dead, only extremely exhausted!

Topic by lamedust   |  last reply


Arch Reactor Hackerspace At Critical Mass & Moving

Be a part of Arch Reactor's Move. Help our Hackerspace Double in Size & Increase Our Community Impact Come & help us to grow through our crowdfunding campaign! Learn more about the exciting things the educational non-profit, Arch Reactor is doing in St. Louis, Missouri. http://igg.me/at/archreactorstl/x/11766633 Arch Reactor is Moving Welcome to Arch Reactor, the St. Louis community educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit hackerspace (sometimes also referred to as a makerspace). We are the oldest and largest organization of it's type in the St. Louis area. We specialize in collaborative learning, a DIY attitude, and inspiring interest in S.T.E.M. related fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics). Our focus is on education and teaching classes in electronics, programming, manufacturing, robotics, woodworking, and arts that are open to the general public. We are currently in the process of relocating to a much larger building about one-and-a-half miles away, at 2215 Scott Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri. Where we will be breathing a new breath of educational maker life into an old building and local community. This gem of a building at our soon to become new location has a rich history of being home to the Dixie Cream Donut Flour Company for several decades. The building has basically been used as storage for almost 20 years.  However, the expanse of the first floor interior is in need of a complete overhaul in order to be transformed into the new and updated Arch Reactor. Our members and supporters have been planning, procuring, cleaning, and doing everything we possibly can in order to complete this move project. In order to make such a large undertaking possible, we need your support too! Also, please help by sharing this post on your social media! #education #hackerspace #makermovement #community #building #moving #makerspace

Topic by GeekTinker   |  last reply


uStreaming Tuesday night eTextile Hackerspace Meetings

Starting tonight at 8:08PM I'll be hosting the global eTextile hackerspace meetings! Log on to uStream to chat, ask questions and banter ideas with the innovators, trend setters and wide-eyed novices.  Meet your colleagues, see their spaces and share resources.  I'd say help build the 'community'  and find your 'tribe', but that's hippy talk and I'm a scientist at heart. Do it tonight so you can say 'Back in the day when the very first episode aired on uStream we talked about....." because even back then you were so in th eknow. lbruning uStream channel Tuesdays 8:08PM or 20:08 Denver time Calendar of upcoming schedule of giveaways, guests and locations. Tonight we will be starting at the beginning with eTextile paraphernalia you should have in your tool kit, work bench and sewing kit. Watch the video so you'll be prepared to share your ideas tonight. 29 March I'll giveaway a 1 year membership to Instructables Pro! 5 April its Live from New York with Despina and Zack of Studio 5050 Log in - I'll be looking for you!

Topic by Lynne Bruning   |  last reply


Tuesday nights - The eTextile Lounge - a global hackerspace

Are you eTextile Curious? Creating your first wearable tech project? Then please join us in The eTextile Lounge  Tuesday 8PM MST log into Lynne's uStream channel to chat with the creators, innovators and trend setters. Ask questions.  Find sources.  Get help.

Topic by Lynne Bruning 


What hackerspaces should I visit in San Fransisco?

I'm about to head off to San Fransisco to visit some family, and I'd like to visit some hackerspaces and similar places. I went to Noisebridge when I went to Maker Faire two years back, but I only went in for a brief (but very cool) tour. So, what else should I visit? Also, are there any DIY/building/hacking related stores I should go to? AUGUST 22ND UPDATE: I just got back from San Fran. I went to Noisebridge's new place. It's pretty cool. Thanks, Noahh

Question by noahh 


Help with mobile makerspace

I work at a technology center. We teach a variety of skills at our school such as welding, culinary arts, and animation. I am trying to get a program started where we go to various schools in the community with a simple project for students to build. We walk them through the process and at the end they have something cool and have learned something. In time I hope to get a sort of mobile makerspace started, but that is further off. I was thinking that I could get community sponsors to donate surplus materials or funds. The students at our school could help in the creation of these kits. We could have kids putting together birdhouses that have been cut and predrilled, or created a simple flashlight with an led, some batteries and a roll of duct tape. Do any of you know of any programs similar to what I am describing? What sort of problems might I encounter? Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated. This is a project I am very excited about.

Topic by ehudwill   |  last reply


January 2014 Build Night with Cool Neon

10 SPACES AVAILABLE Deadline to sign up: Wednesday, December 11 This is NOT first come first serve. We will be reviewing your application + past build night participation (does not apply if you’re new to build night program) to determine eligibility. We will follow up with you by December 13 to let you know if your space has been accepted. You must be associated with a formal makerspace or hackerspace to participate. Check out these resources for hosting a build night! JANUARY BUILD NIGHT We are partnering with Cool Neon, a great online source for EL wire, for our January 2014 build night. Sign up and we will ship you a package that includes: (1) Cool Neon Arduino Shield (10) five-foot strands of Cool Neon wire of varying colors, soldered (1) Driver HOW TO PARTICIPATE: Host a Build Night: pick a night in January (any night) to host a project build night using EL wire + arduino shield. You can host multiple build nights during January to work on your projects. Your space must have access to an Arduino and a soldering iron. If you don’t have access you can still Post 2 Instructables: post 2 step-by-step Instructables using the EL wire and Arduino shield. The projects MUST use both elements. (Not posting these Instructables will affect your chances to participate in future build nights). Brownie Points (not required): after the build night post a forum topic on Instructables about your event. Include pictures, stories, etc... Here are two examples from the May build night: Noisebridge and Makers Local 256. We may even feature your photos on the homepage. SIGN UP - Please only sign up if you are able to complete the requirements listed above This is a 2-step sign up process.  YOU MUST COMPLETE BOTH TO FULLY SIGN UP. Fill out this google form. You will then receive a private message in your Instructables inbox by December 13 asking for your shipping information. You cannot receive the cool neon materials without completing this step. RESOURCES: Cool Neon Instructable EL Wire Projects Instructables App (for documentation during the build night): iOS and Android JOIN OUR ANNOUNCEMENT LIST If you are interested in being directly notified about future build nights fill out this form. You will receive an e-mail when the events are announced in the forums. If you have signed up for a past build night or this build night you are already on our announcement list. ABOUT BUILD NIGHTS Instructables is sponsoring monthly build nights at makerspaces and hackerspaces around the world. Each month is a different theme and we will send you materials to run a workshop at your space. In return your space posts Instructables from your build night.

Topic by Carleyy   |  last reply


Integrating Access Control System with Hackerspaces Passport and Membership Software

Jigsaw Renaissance are looking into integrating Nadine and Hackerspaces Passport with our door locks. If you are able to commit time to help us designing or building, please post to: Inscape Access Control System - If you are interested in the project, please go to the group and sign up. - There will be opportunities to work on embedded firmware, electronics, mechanics, encryption, and the membership software application. - You can then control whether to get each email separately or receive a digest once a day. About the project: This project will provide an electronic door access for our new building. The project will involve providing several badge readers (probably RFID), and door lock controllers as well as a car park induction loop. Finally there is a need for software that manages the keys and access privileges. This software must be easy to use as the building landlord will use it. -- Jigsaw Renaissance is a learning and making community, a collaborative community dedicated to collective education and creation. Our mission is to create an environment in which success, failure, and most of all discovery are celebrated. Our vision is that this environment will foster an enduring sense of wonder and a drive to effect change in ourselves, our communities, and the world. For more information about JR (www.jigsawrenaissance.org), please visit our wiki page at wiki.jigren.org/Starting_Classes or this page: www.element14.com/community/groups/jigsaw-renaissance/blog/2011/03/25/who-we-are Contact us, so we can chat about scheduling something cool together. Thanks!   Ultimate Regards, -- Budi Mulyo +1.206.571.8430

Topic by Wise Cricket   |  last reply


Nottingham Hackspace - Grand Opening Party ALL INVITED

Dear Fellow Makers of Instructables.com You are cordially invited to the Nottingham Hackspace to help us celebrate moving into our new workshops in Nottingham UK. There will be an open day (from 11am) and Party (bring-a-bottle from about 2pm) on Sunday 29th May 2011.  Nottingham Hackspace has on street FREE parking and is just 10 minutes walk from either the Old Market Square in Nottingham or the Midland Train Station. Many of our members are PRO members of Instructables.com and we're very likely to share an interest with you. We're keen to meet makers from all over the UK so if you can make it why not come and see the Hackspace.  There will be representatives from London Hackspace, Northackton, FizzPop Birmingham, Leeds Hackspace and HACMan (Manchester) to name a few!  We hope also to have presentations, hands on projects you can try as well as lots of nifty things to see and do!  We look forward to meeting you and if you are reading this and can make it... you are invited!  Find out more about us at nottinghack.org.uk  We think that makers Should make a point of visiting other people maker spaces... 

Topic by ChickenGrylls 


Arduino Workshop Nottingham UK

More information at www.nottinghack.org.uk Arduino-Sundae - An all day workshop from 11am 3rd October 2010 Station Street Nottingham. £40 - Includes Oomlout Arduino Budget Pack. An introduction to Arduino for beginners. Step by step introduction to working with the Arduino prototyping board and an introduction to microprocessors in general. In addition to on-screen step-by-step instruction, experienced hackers will be there to help you. Includes an Arduino Kit or bring your own for a discount. A day filled with Arduino using the www.oomlout.co.uk Budget Arduino Kit (included in the cost of the workshop or buy and bring your own for a discount).  Schedule for the day: 11:00 - Settle in get your kit open it up and have a play around meet others etc  11:30 - "Hello World" Arduino 101 basic Arduino introduction including setting up external LEDs, Motors and sensors etc  12:30 - Show n' Tell - Arduino-Projects-Show-Case a number of projects including - Drawbot, Arduino Tank, 3D Printer RepRap, Addressable lights and many more (bring one too if you like) will be available for inspiration, discussion and tuition.  13:30 Lunch (bring your own or pop to a local place we are very central)  1400 - Use the pool of parts to try your own project. Helpful and experienced hackers want to help you learn more and will circulate to answer your questions. At Nottinghack there are no stupid questions.  16:00 - Close (but your welcome to stay until 18:00 then we'll probably go for a coffee or beer). Have a think about what you'd like to learn. We have a few suggested projects to help people who aren't sure and there will be lots or electronic bits n' bobs to help you get stuck in. Make sure you bring your laptop and download the Arduino Open Source environment and install it before the workshop http://www.arduino.cc... The cost of the workshop is only £40 including the Oomlout Budget Pack for Arduino and a day of tuition and hands on help. If you already have an Arduino and the required equipment the cost is £20 only.

Topic by ChickenGrylls   |  last reply


Instamorph Build Night at Arch Reactor Hackerspace, St. Louis, Missouri

On Tuesday, April 21st we held a build night at Arch Reactor (in St. Louis, Missouri) with Instamorph. There was a very excited turnout of over 15 people being introduced to the moldable plastic product. Some members incorporated their creations into existing projects, such as a loop to hold a weather balloon safely onto the quick release pipe during the pre-launch filling in order to measure the total lift without losing any of the gas. Another member created a diffuser for a LED project that used RFID tags to cause different combinations of colored LEDs to turn on when a tag was scanned.  Others experimented with the product to discover ways they might use Instamorph in other projects in the future. The big discoveries of the night were that any unused portions or failed creations could simply be placed back into the hot water and reshaped into version 2.0 or something new entirely and that once it cools Instamorph is virtually indestructible. See the photo of a flat sheet of it being bent into a taco shape. Process: We used an electric kettle to heat up our water to the correct temperature of 140 degrees F / 60 degrees C, and then poured it into small bowls. I had initially thought that each person could start with 3 ounces of the pellets, but the measuring cup that I brought only held 2 ounces. After heating that portion up in the water, we discovered that 2 ounces was plenty for most projects being considered. The member in charge of our workshop had asked those who did not have an idea for the Instamorph to consider making a hanger to hold individual shop safety glasses. He molded a piece into a design for that. Later it was discovered that the hearing protection holder dome in the shop was exactly the size to hold shop glasses. Attempts may be made later to fashion a "nosepiece" and "earpieces" from Instamorph and attach them to the dome to hold several pair of safety glasses on it instead of on the wall. It was also discussed to place a safety glasses holder at various stations throughout the shop to make them more accessible for users in the shop, and thus more likely to be worn.  Problems encountered:  The bowls that I had brought were plastic, so if the heated pellets were pressed into the bowl hard enough they would stick a little, but could be pushed off with just a little effort. In retrospect, I would use glass bowls the next time.  I would also consider using a crock pot to keep the water at a near constant temperature for any personal projects, but the electric kettle and bowls worked well for the build night. We also had an issue with the warmed Instamorph sticking to an acrylic roller and a plastic mold meant for cake decorating. It worked fine if the Instamorph had been allowed to cool while flattening it out by hand, then rolled. However, when it was removed from the water and immediately rolled, it cooled quickly and adhered to both the acrylic roller and the plastic mold. Much scraping, reheating, and elbow grease were applied in order to remove the Instamorph from those tools. Tools made from other materials might work better for this process. 

Topic by GeekTinker   |  last reply


Spark.io NOV Build Night @ Cairo Hackerspace : Introduction to The Internet of Things (IoT)

Introduction to The Internet of Things (IoT) Cairo Hackerspace always used to introduce the latest cutting-edge technology to Egypt and sharing this knowledge with everyone since 2009. Arduino/open-hardware workshops since 2010 , the first open source 3d printer , the first 3d printing services and workshops , Virtual Reality workshops and different workshops in other areas of life. THIS month we are introducing for the first time in Egypt a new promising trend in technology that involves everyTHING around us , everyONE and every AREA in our life from agriculture, manufacturing, arts, business, technology, education to health and environment . It is called “ The Internet of Things ! ” In this Practical course you will learn : -What Is Internet of Things? -What can the Internet of Things Do for Us? -IoT around us -Issues Around IoT -IoT enabling technologies and Architecture -IoT opportunities in Egypt for startups and entrepreneurs -Getting started with IoT using Spark Core Cairo Hackerspace IoT competition : 1st place : Spark Maker Kit *worth 99$ 2nd place: Spark Core *worth 39$ 3rd place: Surprise! *worthless!! *Gifts are supplied by Spark.io and Instructables About Spark Core: https://www.spark.io/ Registration: http://goo.gl/forms/OjfVDjGGan Prerequisites: Laptop. Registration policy: We are applying first-come-first serve basis , therefore early registration is encouraged. The course maximum attendees is 10 persons. The Course will be REPEATED for TWO WEEKS to give everyone a chance to attend , our registrar will respond to you within one week to confirm your final date. Time: 2 days course: -Early reg.: 20/11/2014 from 5:00 pm till 8:00 pm , 21/11/2014 from 2:00 pm till 6:00 pm. -1st repeat : 27/11/2014 from 5:00 pm till 8:00 pm , 28/11/2014 from 2:00 pm till 6:00 pm. -2nd repeat: 4/12/2014 from 5:00 pm till 8:00 pm , 5/12/2014 from 2:00 pm till 6:00 pm. Place: Cairo Hackerspace ,Townhouse building, 2nd floor Address : 10 Nabrawy Street, off Champollion Street, Downtown Cairo, Egypt Contact: Email: cairohackerspace@gmail.com

Topic by ToutHackAmon 


Artisan's Asylum - craft classes & workshop (hackerspace, maker space, etc.) in Somerville, MA

I'm working with a fantastic group of Boston-area people to get a community craft workshop/maker space/hackerspace,called Artisan's Asylum, up and running in Somerville, MA. We have a small space where we will be teaching classes requiring quiet and clean space, and a big - 9,000 s.f.! - space we are working hard to get set up as workshop/studio (and use for noisy/messy classes). Our goal is to offer tools and instruction in as many craft areas as we can. We already have equipment for sewing, welding, wood working, metal working (we have an awesome CNC mill!), and electronics. Our first set of classes is scheduled and will be starting July 5. You can read the whole list here. A few of the subjects are: Building Art Bikes MIG Welding Introduction to Knitting Introduction to Sewing Clothing Modification Introduction to Robotics Learning by Building the Asylum Arduino for Beginners Advanced Photography We have a long list of instructors interested in teaching different topics in the future, and as our big space gets built out, we will be able to offer EVEN MORE classes at a time. AND BUILD ENORMOUS ROBOTS. Or, you know, small ones. To learn more, you can check out our website, subscribe to our lovely and classic - and low volume - announcements mailing list, or check us out on Facebook. If you have questions, you can leave a note here or email me at jfeathersmith at featherforge dot com.

Topic by jfeathersmith 


Silhouette June 2015 Build Night at Arch Reactor Hackerspace, St. Louis, Missouri

On Tuesday, June 9th, the Arch Reactor Hackerspace (in St. Louis, Missouri) hosted a Build Night with the Silhouette Portrait. There were an excited dozen people who showed up for an introduction to the device. Many members were seeking to discover ways to use the device for current projects.  Others were eager to learn which materials the Portrait could cut, the limitations of the Silhouette Studio software, and how they might go about using the Silhouette Portrait for other projects in the future. Process: I already had the Silhouette Studio software downloaded to my laptop and had the Silhouette Portrait out on the large at the front of the our classroom space.  Those in attendance gathered around as I ran down the features of the device and software and we discussed the use of the cutting mat and how to set the depth of the blade. We then watched the introduction movie and a few others before attempting to use the device to cut a file.  The Arch Reactor already has a large vinyl cutter in our space, however it shares a keyboard, mouse, and monitor with our very popular laser cutter. Due to the popularity of the laser cutter, it is sometimes difficult for members to even learn how to use the vinyl cutter without making a special trip in on a day when few members are present. Plus, being a larger device, the learning curve seems a bit steep for those who have yet to learn how to use it. It can also only be utilized in our space. One advantage that was quickly noted for the Silhouette Portrait is that anyone can download the free software and design their project at home, save it to a flash drive or the cloud, then arrive at our location to complete their project using one of our computers or their own laptop. A second advantage is that being so small, the Portrait could be moved to any desk in our 2400 square foot location temporarily, or even checked out of the space by a member to be used at home for a few days. We can even bring it along with us to local demonstrations and interactively challenge others to be creative while introducing them to our hackerspace.  The Silhouette Studio software seems intuitive and one member remarked that it reminded her a lot of Inkscape, which several of our members are already familiar with. The portability of the unit is not something to be overlooked.  I can see this being very useful for projects that require the same print to be created repeatedly. Such as wedding invitations, or multiple t-shirts. The versatile amount of material that can be cut with it had many present talking about how they might use the Portrait. Troubles we encountered: The night wasn't without problems though. Aside from having trouble playing some of the videos, I had forgotten to bring my pack of white cardstock to the event. This prompted us to rather foolheartedly attempt to cut a file with a normal sheet of printer paper. We eagerly stuck the paper to the cutting mat and inserted it into the Portrait. A member attempted to send a file to it from his computer, but nothing happened with the device and he received a message that the cut was complete. I'm not sure if this was a driver issue, a software issue, or an issue with the cutting mat not having been installed properly. We then connected my laptop back to the Portrait and sent a test file to it. The cutting mat was pulled into the device and it began to cut the paper. The problem occurred once the Portrait was finished with the cut and we attempted rather unceremoniously to remove the cut paper from the mat. Normal printer paper sticks to the mat very well, especially with the first or second use. Of course it ripped the paper as we attempted to remove it from the cutting mat and we realized that a thicker cardstock would be needed. This was more naive beginner user error than anything else.  I do not recommend that you attempt using thin paper. A second issue was the discovery that the free Silhouette Studio software does not allow the import of .SVG files. Many members of our hackerspace are familiar with and use these files for projects. In order to import .SVG files, we would need to upgrade to the Designer Edition for $50 or the Business Edition for $100.  If the Silhouette Portrait gets used as much as I believe it will, this upgrade will likely be a no-brainer for us.  Once the paper had been carefully scraped from the cutting mat using a former plastic gift card, some of our members set out to make a cut from the Vellum that had been sent with the printer.  This proved to be easier to remove from the cutting mat and the members were very happy with the the lace designs they had cut. Additionally, some members used a few sheets of cardstock they already had to cut out some borders from the files that came with the Silhouette Studio software.  We are already looking at purchasing some accessories for the Portrait, such as Pens and additional cutting mats. The later would be a huge advantage because it would allow us to prepare a second material for the next cut while the first was being cut or removed from the mat.  Should the Portrait see as much use as I expect it will, we may be looking at other products from Silhouette, such as the Cameo, the Curio, and the Mint. Being used in a hackerspace by over 50 members, the size and additional versatility of Curio definitely would seem to fit our needs better. The additional thickness and variety of materials that could be used with it are of great interest to the creative tendencies of hackerspace members and makers.  We are also looking forward to Silhouette Link, a new feature coming to Silhouette Studio® that allows customers to send a cut job from any device directly to their Silhouette machine, remotely, through the use of a mobile device app. What I would have done differently:  Not only would I have tested the videos we watched on our projector prior to the meeting, but I would have remembered my cardstock on the night of the event. I also would recommend that anyone else hosting a Build Night use the Portrait to cut out several test files in a variety of materials. Definately take a look at the limitations of the Studio Software and decide if you want to upgrade to the Designer's edition for the importing of .SVG files or not, too. Conclusion: Overall, the night proved to be a successful introduction for several of our members to the Silhouette Portrait. I think all of us were inspired by what it can do for us as individuals and as a hackerspace.  We already have ideas to make a few t-shirts for an upcoming event using heat transfer vinyl and a logo.  I'm sure many projects will be sporting vinyl stickers and other materials that are cut with it. 

Topic by GeekTinker 


About the drone contest:

I read in the desciption for this contest: Individuals and small groups (from universities and hackerspaces) will be creating projects around airborne autonomous and radio controlled vehicles. So does it only count if you enter with an instructable for a flying autonomous vehicle or does any kind of radio controlled project count (like a car or a boat)?

Question by Bauwser   |  last reply


Maker Meetup in Colorado Springs Anyone?

I would like to help organize a meetup of makers and DIY types in the Colorado Springs area, to discuss making stuff and perhaps move toward putting together a hackerspace/fab lab. I have been posting notices on Craig's List and at the Makezine forums but no responses (yet). Surely there must be some like-minded folks between Denver and Pueblo.

Topic by ndpmcintosh   |  last reply


How to moderate new submissions to a Community Group Workshop?

I am the owner/moderator for the Community Group Workshop, Arch Reactor Hackerspace. I am currently am able to moderate who becomes members and I can edit the Workshop page.  https://www.instructables.com/group/archreactor/ I have added my own new Instructables to the Workshop and received a message that the moderator would need to approve them.  However, there is no place that I can find to moderate the submitted Instructables from myself or other members of our hackerspace's Workshop. Under "Admin Features" the only choices I have are: "Manage Admins" "PM Group", "Edit Group", and "Categories". If I turn off the "Moderate New Instructables", it will allow submitted Instructables to post, but I'm not able to moderate the new submissions individually. There also seems to be a second bug that does not allow me to add more Categories to my Workshop. Typing a new Category name on a second line will only add the second category to the end of the first one.  It is as thought I'm only allowed to have one Category. Any assistance would be extremely helpful. Sincerely, Gene

Topic by GeekTinker   |  last reply