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.
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.
A recent trip to the beach on a blazing hot, end-of-September weekend turned up several relatively flat, smooth sandstone rocks. The only thing missing was a fossil, so Phil fired up the laser and with a few tweaks to the settings produced our own fossil. He has etched into granite and marble before, but this turned out even better. The bluish tint of the etching really adds to the effect.
We don’t have a lathe yet, but we’ve found a great resource for those of you who are interested in learning about and using lathes.
We were visited by a member of the Illiana Woodturners, a non-profit group in South Holland who provide workshops and equipment (5 lathes of various sizes) for individuals to do amazing woodturning projects from bowls to baseball bats.
Workshops provide the opportunity to create a bowl you can take home.
Monthly meetings are the 2nd Monday of the month, 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Looking for a way to test the market and your pricing?
Yuri Gallegos contracted Dengue Fever from a mosquito on a trip to Brazil. That painful experience was motivation enough to create Elimifly, a better way to control mosquitoes to spare others from the many awful illnesses they spread.
Meet Yuri and learn how he succeeded with crowdfunding and how you can use it to raise startup funds, validate your idea, and launch your business.
Yuri will share the lessons he’s learned building a business, Quasar Designs. In this presentation and Q&A, Yuri will also share his entrepreneurial journey with us- from developing ideas to building prototypes to finding funding, suppliers and customers.
Henry Locke, Maker extraordinaire and creator of Flex Vat 3D printer components, will be at SouthWorks to demo his SLA printers and talk about the technology and uses. 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!
Henry will share his vast Maker expertise and show us how to inexpensively build our own using an old video projector and other miscellaneous parts. At a later date, we’ll do just that in a group build of one for SouthWorks!
A full class of 20 crafters/makers have been attending the official Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship Program offered by SouthWorks MakerLab Network. Twenty crafters- some are experienced crafters who have sold online or at local craft fairs and others are thinking about turning items they’ve made for family and friends into a business venture- gather on six consecutive Tuesday evenings at South Suburban College’s Oak Forest Campus to learn from Daphane Taylor, an experienced Etsy seller how to turn their “making” talents into a business.
Participants’ products range from unique works of art to homemade rocking horses to jewelry, clothing, beauty products, and household furniture and décor. See the attached photos (Continue Reading, below) for the beautiful pictures professional photographer Larry Burrows (Photography by Larry Burrows) took for workshop participants. Even e-books and music are sold on Etsy as long as they are designed or hand made by the seller. Vintage items and craft supplies are the only exception.
SouthWorks is the only Etsy-certified training provider in the Chicagoland region. The program provides prospective and current Etsy sellers with an understanding of the process to start a business and to create an online Etsy store. Much time is spent on online marketing tools and techniques, product pricing strategies, and operations and customer service. A professional photographer even teaches them how to take the most inviting photos of their items to post in their Etsy store using only their smartphone camera and items they already have at home.
MakerLabs are a natural opportunity for people to develop products that sell on Etsy. Laser cutters and engravers, 3D printers, vinyl cutters, computer-controlled carvers, woodworking, metalworking, electronics equipment and more provide ample inspiration and opportunity for creativity. Tools have become much easier to master, so that anyone with a design idea should be able to quickly produce a prototype. In addition, much of the design and operating software has become free, so users can access it from their own computers at home. The MakerLabs provide training as well as consultation and open shop time for individuals to work on their own project ideas- whether a new product to sell, a one-of-a-kind gift, or the home repair project.