Vote For Us: SouthWorks Robotics Competition Is A Finalist For the Chicago Innovation Awards


After only one year of competition, our regional High School robotics and engineering competition is a top contender for the 16th Annual Chicago Innovation Award. The awards celebrate the most innovative new products and services in the Chicago region. Over 1500 business and civic leaders will come together on October 30th at Chicago’s Harris Theatre to celebrate the winners.Out of 530 nominees, we have been selected as a finalist for Neighborhood Award and Peoples’ Choice.

Please Vote for SouthWorks Here

(look for the name “Chicago Southland Economic Development Corp.)

Voting Deadline is October 5th



Join SouthWorks at Maker Faire August 19th; Kids Free


STEM Education, Vintage Military Trucks, 3D Printers, and Local Crafts

Chicago Southland Mini Maker Faire is even bigger than last year! Looking for something to do with your kids? Want to see the latest in tech? Interested in meeting local crafters? We have something for everybody, and with tickets free for 18 and under, how can you pass it up?

Get Tickets TODAY!

Near Space, Augmented Reality, 3D Printing, and More.

Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these “makers” to show hobbies, experiments, projects.

We call it the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth – a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness.

Glimpse the future and get inspired!

New Exhibitors


Exhibitor: Veteran’s Garage

Veterans Garage is dedicated to the restoration, preservation, maintenance and display of Historic Military Vehicles.



A 3D printer manufacturing startup from the Chicagoland area, has been working for the last year and a half to bring the next level of open-source hardware to market.

Read more here »


Purdue Northwest’s Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center Adds Co-Working Space


Purdue Northwest just off the Tri-State on Indianapolis Blvd. in Hammond will open a co-working space at its CMEC. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be August 8th at 10am and open house tours will go on throughout that week.

Amenities include fast wi-fi, coffee, access to meeting space, 24/7 keyed access, workshops and networking events, access to the enterpreneur-in-residence and more.

CMEC also provides access to Purdue business, engineering, and manufacturing students and faculty to help you produce your physical product. Once you’ce developed a minimal prototype ( at SouthWorks, of course!) CMEC will be able to guide you through the production design process.

Find out more at



Etsy Crafter Business Gets Going in MakerLab


Larry Banach, a grad of our most recent Etsy class, has found a great niche re-purposing finely-crafted cigar boxes into marketing opportunities for local businesses. The boxes have interesting shapes and wonderful finishes and grains. Larry adds logos and non-cigar related enterprises love the impact.


How To Get Your Product Manufactured




You have a great idea. You have a prototype. What issues do you need to consider in order to get your product most effectively manufactured and delivered?

Learn from Adam Cook, engineer and co-founder of AlliedStrand Corp. and Director of SME Chicago Chapter 112:

  • Find and effectively interact with suppliers
  • Design for manufacturing– materials, design, packaging, and more
  • How to get your product in the hands of customers

  DATE: Tuesday, August 1, 2017

            TIME: 6:30pm to 8:30pm

             LOCATION:  Moraine Valley Community College

                                         Southwest Education Center

                                          17900 S. 94th Avenue

                                         Tinley Park, IL 60487

Free Registration at :



SLA Printer Demo


Thanks so much to Henry Locke for doing a presentation on 3D printing and the SLA printer that he built. (See brief video excerpt) It’s always a great treat when Henry stops by the MakerLab and we get to hear the vast knowledge and experiences of someone who has been a maker since well before the label was coined. He has built many machines found in our MakerLab in his home workshop! He’s created a business making and selling the resin vats for commercial brands of SLA printers, and counts research facilities, universities, dental labs, and tinkerers as clients who choose to replace their OEM vats with his designs. You can find out more info about SLA printers and other projects like GPS-controlled robots at his website at .

SLA printers use light to cure a vat of resin layer-by-layer until the 3D object is formed. Henry’s version uses a standard video projector as the light source, a Z-axis and stepper motor attached to about $30 of electronics to allow movement, and open source software to make the slices and control the process. The leading SLA printer brands, FormLabs and Carbon3D , are more expensive than the typical PLA filament printers that most makers have, Henry’s version can be made in a weekend for a couple hundred dollars.

We’ll be building one of Henry’s machines at SouthWorks later in the summer, and all are invited to participate.


On The Right Foot: This 3D Printing Incubator Is Liberating Engineers (And Much More)



 Source: GE Reports

Jimmie Beacham is in charge of a futuristic laboratory in Waukesha, Wisconsin. His team of a dozen engineers is helping 70 GE Healthcare factories sprinkled around world explore 3D printing, augmented reality, robotics, big data and other software and technologies. One group, for example, is looking for ways to quickly and efficiently translate image files of organs from computed tomography (CT) scanners and other imaging machines so they can be printed. “Today, when people print organs, it can take anywhere from a week to three weeks to manipulate the data,” Beacham says. “We want to do it with a click of a button.” Read more.


Here at SouthWorks, we’ve actually done this with some free software named Invesalius. Using CT scans, we printed out a complete head. We cut it open, and you can see the ear canals, tonsils, nasal passages, and more. If we cut it in a different place, we could see even more internal details. The 3D version provides a much better way to view and assess the body than going through 2D slices one-by-one. And it’s free!