Closure on 4/13 (Sat)


UPDATE: Thanks to the gracious assistance of one of our members, the MakerLab will be be open on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 for Open Lab.

We still will be closed on Saturday, April 13 for the SouthWorks Engineering and Robotics Olympics. Join us from 9:00 a.m. until noon at the fieldhouse of South Suburban College, 15800 State St., South Holland, IL.

Please check Meetup and Facebook for any changes.

We regret any inconvenience this may cause our Makers.

Phil & Don


Closure on Mon. 3/25


Due to a staffing shortage, the MakerLab will be closed on Mon. 3/25. We will reopen on Wed. 3/27. We also apologize for any Makers who attempted to attend Open Lab on Sat. 3/23.


Add Welding To Your Maker Skills


Welding Workshop- March 30th

This class covers principles involved in equipment, material, and procedures, combined with demonstrations and supervised practical experience, using standard industrial equipment. Students will be exposed to Arc, Gas, MIG and TIG welding. Students in this 4-hour workshop will be introduced to the theory of welding and how to safely work with the tools and equipment. Students will also receive hands-on instruction and have the opportunity to create some basic welds.

Prairie State College is an accredited American Welding Society Educational Institution Member.

Only 8 slots available


COST: $75 

DATE: Saturday, March 30, 2019

TIME: 8:30am to 12:30pm

LOCATION:       Prairie State College

                            Welding Lab, Room T165 (Technology Building) see map

                             202 South Halsted Street

                             Chicago Heights, IL 60411


Bookbinding and a Beautiful Lasered Cover

Hand-bound book with wooden cover using laser kerf for spine

Jackie is a gifted self-taught bookbinder who has been coming in to use the laser. The picture above is one of her creations- a roughly 3 inch by 5 inch book of thick card stock that could be used for autographs, notes from guests at a special occasion, and more. See the video of the entire book.

She cut and laser etched the cover on our laser and added the beautiful medallion and elastic. The intricate design of the spine allows the solid wood to bend enough to serve as a cover. We have several designs for the spines that are both beautiful and have different amounts of bend.

We’re hoping to have Jackie in to demo her bookbinding techniques. Let us know if you’re interested in that. Plus, if you already have a book, phone, laptop, etc. that could use a cover, stop in and discuss how to make a personalized cover out of wood, plastic, leather, and more.


Model Railroading and Miniature Builders

Al’s outhouse

If you’re into model railroading, you’ve probably purchased kits to build extremely authentic replicas of buildings, scenery, vehicles, and other objects that make your layout come to life.

Why not easily create your own one-of-a-kind pieces? Al quickly designed and laser cut the sample outhouse above. He added the amazing details of the weathered paint and vent stack, and it makes it realistic enough to use!

You can also start with a kit/design you have, and we can show you how to modify it to make it uniquely yours.

You can also use the CNC router in the lab to “carve” your own logs, create non-linear/non-flat details on your creation, and create other details. 3D designs are out there (free and paid) to 3D print layout pieces. Those design files can also be used to CNC your item out of wood, plastic, Corian, soft metals, foam, cork, etc.


Make Your Own Conversation Hearts


Can’t find Conversation Hearts this year? The ones you find don’t have quite the message that you want to convey?

Phil has created the solution. With the laser, he has created his own conversation hearts. They’re about 1 inch in size and, while they’re not edible, they can get your message across in fine detail. These hearts really show off the amazing detail that the laser can deliver. They’re only 1 inch but the text and background come out amazingly clear.

Stop by and create your own!


Learn About 3D Printing And Doing Intricate Castings

3D printed original
Silicone mold

You can 3D print objects, primarily in plastic. However, you can also create 3D models which you can then use to make castings in other materials- jewelry in precious metals, figurines, miniatures, railroad and other collectibles, and even chocolate.

Henry Locke, Maker extraordinaire and creator of Flex Vat 3D printer components, built one of his 3D printers for us. SLA printing uses a vat of light sensitive resin cured by a video projector to create amazingly detailed forms- think Terminator with the alien rising out of the vat of goop!

The main focus of the presentation will be how to make silicone molds from 3d printed masters and using those molds to make castings:

  • Learn how the SLA printer works
  • Tips for designing and printing your 3D object to be casting-friendly
  • We’ll have one or more 3D prints to demo
  • We’ll make a silicone mold and make one or more polyurethane castings but also discuss how to work with other materials.

Watch a video of the SLA printing a heart! (

This event is free.

DATE: March 9, 2019

TIME: 1pm to 3pm


Learn To Solder Workshop


Learn the art of soldering electronics. When you build electronics, you solder the wires and components together or to the board so that the electrical connections are made. Learn a steady hand to make those solders while you build a sound sensor machine.

No experience necessary

DATE: Saturday, March 30

TIME: 10am to 1pm

COST: $25

Register Here


Special Electronics Workshop – February 9th


Only 4 spots are left.

Our most popular workshop is back! Attend while Robin is still available!

Learn the basics for micro-controller coding and project design in our workshop hosted by Robin Mosely, Great Lakes IT, Inc., CEO and a former Bell Labs board designer. Robin has lots of examples- from robots to music synthesizers to motion detectors and machine controllers- to get you interested in your next project.

The workshop provides basics for creating and programming your own projects using Arduino. And Robin can answer ANY question you have about electronics!

Lunch is included.

WHEN: February 9, 2019 from 10am to 2pm

WHERE: SouthWorks MakerLab, 208 Forest Blvd., Park Forest, IL 60466

Cost: $40 at the door. We accept credit cards.

Since we only have 4 open spots, you must RSVP to in order to attend.


Special Drop-In Valentine’s Workshop

Valentine’s Day card- etched

Not sure what to do for your Sweetie for Valentine’s Day? Have an idea but you also want to get extra points for making something?

Saturday, February 9th, during our regular Open Lab Hours (1pm to 5pm), Phil is going to be demonstrating how, and helping you, to make one-of-a-kind Valentine’s cards. Cutout cards, personalized etched messages and images, picture frames, and more are all possible to complete in one visit.

Of course, you’re also welcome to come in to make many other Valentine’s gifts- personalized wine glasses and accessories and more.

Custom-designed box makes gift of wine even more special.