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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Valentine Keepsake Box Class

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The Valentine Keepsake Box workshop this past weekend produced some creative designs. Some experimented with inlays- cutting out hearts or roses from the top of the box and filling those cuts with deep red acrylic cutouts of the same pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t worry. If you’re still looking for a creative gift, our laser etch wine glass class is Saturday, February 3rd . Visit eventbrite to register.

 

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Happy Holidays- Resolve to Make in 2018

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The MakerLab was humming over the holidays as makers were creating hand-crafted gifts and decorations. Everything from LED decorations, gift boxes, smartphone accessories, and more. Personalized glassware and metal insulated mugs were especially popular. One maker had a set of glassware etched with the name of each of her holiday party guests, and they were thrilled to take them home!

Hope you were able to stop by to get one of our Holiday decorations.

   

 

 

 

 

if you didn’t have a chance to create handmade gifts for Christmas, remember that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Open Lab hours continue – Monday and Wednesday evenings 5:30pm to 8:30 pm and Saturdays from 1pm to 5pm.

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LED Message Board

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Make an LED lit message board by etching a permanent design onto clear acrylic, then use neon chalk or dry erase markers to add a custom message. Great for messages, menu boards, and more.

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Floating LED light workshop

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We had a great workshop this past Saturday. Makers created beautiful night lights, gifts, and holiday decorations.

The item is constructed so that the clear acrylic sign is removable, so you can create additional signs and switch them out with the season, holiday, etc. Besides laser etching the image on the clear sign, we assembled the LED elements and nailed small clamps into the base to hold the LED strip. 

etched sign
sign with neon marker message added

We also found that neon dry erase markers and chalk shine when the LEDs are on, so you can have a permanent design on the sign and add messages with the markers. You can create message boards, menu boards and more with such a system.

 

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Special Event- Create Your Own Flexagon- The Next Gen Fidget Spinner

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Tired of Fidget Spinners? Want something unique? Flexagons are the next evolution of fidget spinners. Every time you fold them you get a new pattern.

 

 

The Flexagon Zoo for Makers – A Geometric Paper Artwork Design Workshop

 

Workshop
They’ve entertained Nobel Laureates with their blend of art and mathematical secrets. Learn the history, construction, and beauty of flexagons from a world-renowned expert as you design your own.

This hands-on workshop introduces Flexagons for Makers.  Participants will learn how to create Flexagons from Triangles, Squares, Trapazoids, and other geometric shapes.  Flexing a Flexagon reveals numerous different faces hiding within the paper model and decorated with creative artwork of your choice.  This Workshop introduces the history, geometry, and construction for hexaflexagons, square flexagons, dodecaflexagons, and many others.  Participants will make flexagons from paper templates and will be able to use their own creativity to design the faces for a hexaflexagon and a square flexagon. The instructor will have numerous flexagons of all variations for participants to view.

Instructor

Robin Moseley is the creator of the “Flexagon Portal” which has been the number 1 ranking flexagon website for over 10 years on Google search.  Robin has been referenced in numerous flexagon publications, videos, and books for his ideas and research on flexagons.

 

Register at: https://southworks-makerlab-flexagon-17oct28.eventbrite.com

 

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Halloween Decorations at the MakerLab

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Besides the usual holiday decals and stickers we cut with the vinyl cutter and the various cutouts and displays you can do with the laser cutter and the ghosts and goblins we 3D print, Phil found a way to etch Halloween designs into pumpkins using the rotary attachment! After etching, a coat of pottery glaze seals the deal.

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