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.
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.
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.
This past Saturday, workshop attendees had fun learning circuit design and micro-controller programming using Arduinos. Students programmed flashing LEDs in various sequences, sounds using a piezo speaker, and more.
Flashbacks to the ’80s and 90’s occurred as the theme songs of PacMan and Star Wars came from the Arduino boards.
Our instructor, Robin Moseley, a former Bell Labs scientist who designed microcontrollers and other hardware and software, explained what a microcontroller is, circuit design, and the many uses of Arduinos and similar boards. He brought in many of the projects he has built with Arduinos, including drones, robots light displays, sound synthesizers, music samplers and connected devices (Nest, Alexa, etc.) sorts of things that can be easy DIY projects.
Students left with a full development kit including the Arduino, breadboard for wiring circuits prior to soldering permanent connections, sensors and resources to find and make more projects.
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.
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.
Pictures and maps really don’t give you a full idea of the scope of geographic and architectural features. Such 2D tools can’t show height or depth well.
Now you can 3D print any place on earth to get a greater sense of the terrain. Plus, many important buildings and other man-made structures are now available to be downloaded and 3D printed.
I’ve never been to the Grand Tetons, so I used a free STL mapper to print it out:
i could have done my neighborhood or even Antarctica if I wanted.
I found Fallingwater- one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpieces- on a website and printed that out, too. The great thing about it is that it includes the terrain around the house. You can see how FLW located the house on the lot and how it fits into its surroundings. I had known that a stream ran through the building, but only with the 3D model was I able to actually figure out how.
Come in and we’ll be happy to show you how you can use this software and locate models to use in your class or as conversation pieces.