New Projects

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Al is always coming up with some new creations to dazzle us. This time, he used the laser to build a toolbox/tote that uses no glue or fasteners. It’s held together just by the fit of the tabs and a couple keys. Really clever, useful, and beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

He also recreated an old Jenga-style game he call Piranha Pile-up. The pieces- in the shape of fish- roughly fit together enough to keep from falling when stacked on the base. The object is to add your piranha and not make the pile-up crash down. Colorful and fun.

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Halloween Projects

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Phil did his annual Pumpkin etching- this time a series of Sugar Skull designs. And, other Makers created some ghoulish LED signs. We’re open Halloween night. Come in and make something scary.

 

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Maker TV Show

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Make48 is a exciting and informative PBS show for makers. In every episode, teams compete to design and make a new product within a 48-hour time span. Only an idea is necessary as competitors get help with prototyping, etc.

MAKE48 is an exciting look at the entire invention process from idea to store shelf. In this unique series, teams compete to develop a new product idea, plan it, make a prototype and pitch it – all in just 48 hours. In the first four episodes, the viewer is immersed in the action as the invention process unfolds. With the constant pressure of the ‘ticking clock,’ the teams brainstorm, design and build their ideas in order to pitch a working prototype to a team of industry-savvy judges. Industry A-listers roam the competition floor and give advice on all facets of product design and development, and a panel of industry experts weigh in on the prototype’s function and marketability.

Unlike other maker competitions on TV, viewers and teams learn much about the process and tools. Additionally, the show’s website (https://make48.com/) provides many resources for inventors and makers.

You can even apply to have your team compete!

You can view past episodes on the website (https://make48.com/) or locally on WTTW on Fridays at 6:30pm and 11:30pm.

 

 

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Summer Saturday Open Lab Hours

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SouthWorks will be open earlier on Saturdays during the summer. Beginning June 2 through August 11th, the Lab will be open from 9am to 1pm. From August 18th until Labor Day, the MakerLab will be closed for maintenance and vacation.

 

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Give Your Mother A Personalized Vase for Mother’s Day

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Mothers love handmade items. Express your love with a beautiful vase etched with the sentiment or image of your choice. Learn the simple design software and etch with our programmable laser etcher to create a lasting memory.

We’ll supply the 3 1/2 inch diameter and 8 inch high round vase. Bring your design idea. Images, even photos from your phone, can be etched.

Cost: $25

Limited to 8 participants

REGISTER AND PAY ON EVENTBRITE

 

Tuesday, May 1st, 5:30pm to 9:00pm

 

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SouthWorks Robotics and Engineering Olympics April 14th

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This year, we are again involved in the SouthWorks Robotics Competition.  Thirteen local high schools and their corporate sponsors/mentors participated in last year’s inaugural event. This year we have 21 teams! 

See some great high school students compete in sumo robot battles, VEX robotics challenges, Pathfinder, Autonomous Racer, Catapult accuracy, and more.

The MakerLab will be closed on April 14th as we all volunteer as judges and other support staff. We hope you’ll be able to attend -even better- please sign up here to volunteer.

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Laser Cut Cards

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Lately, we’ve had a lot of interest in laser cut cards- from birthday cards and wedding invitations to pop-ups of scenes and even people.

 

 

 

Working with paper, primarily card stock and heavier coated papers, is a lot of fun. Such papers come in a multitude of colors, but also textures and patterns. Faux leather, wood, and metal coatings provide many ways to express yourself with paper.

Because of the thickness of the paper, you can also etch designs and text onto the pages. See the white designs and text on the examples above.

 

 

 

 

Or, you can print something on the paper first and then create cutouts later using the laser cutter as we did with the Chicago skyline cutout.

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Etsy and pinterest are full of examples of laser cut cards, especially wedding invitations. You’ll see how expensive they can be to purchase, but with a little time and effort at the makerlab you can make your own unique versions for a fraction  of the cost. We’d be happy to help you get started.

Because the papers vary so much, laser cutting the paper is a bit trial and error, so bring a few pieces to experiment with.

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