OAI Summer Campers Visit SouthWorks


Nine middle school and high school students whose parents participate in OAI’s workforce training programs spent four afternoons recently building things in the MakerLab. They learned 2D design and the capabilities of the laser cutter to create a backup hanger.

Next, they spent the afternoon in a virtual world with game designer Malcolm Williams. He brought in his Virtual Reality setup and the students were able to draw in 3D- moving around what they had created as if it was hanging in the air. They also had fun exploring the insides of the Great Pyramids and then dodging zombies.

They learned about 3D printing and created 3D designs (below) using Sculptris. We 3D printed their creations so they could take them home.

Lastly, they build a table top robot which learned to scramble around a table but always turn around just before it looked as if it was going to fall off. They designed stickers for the robots to personalize them. Below is an angry rabbit/robot crab!


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 https://centers.pnw.edu/cmec/



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 : https://southworks-howtomanufacture.eventbrite.com



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 http://projectsinterestsandetcetera.com/ .

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.