At Large in the Community

We had a busy weekend recently…

Friday 18 Nov, at Beau Sejour for the States’ Services exhibition/showcase thing and Sunday 20 Nov, at Beau Sejour again for our first Charities Faire.

Friday was numerically quiet but we did get some excellent conversations with people interested in the Makerspace.  Sunday was a very different affair producing hundreds conversations with the public.

Our stand showed off three 3D printers, a 3D scanner, our homemade laser etcher, a couple of our spirograph machines and a plethora of pick-up conversation starters.

Happily, the two events back-to-back spurred us into completing our ScreenTotem™ which now has six(6) screens and new video content!

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…big thanks to some of the boys from the homeschooling community for help in rewiring the ScreenTotem™!

What is Makerspace?

 

A makerspace is a community workshop with all sorts of tools and equipment that can be used by members.  Many exist around the world and we think Guernsey needs one.

Beyond the basics of a workshop, we believe there is a lot of crossover with other activities which we want to embrace.

Here’s an illustration of things we want to be connected with.  It is by no means exhaustive.  Add your suggestions as a comment.

 

Digital Greenhouse and the Half-term Make-A-Thon

As some of you already know, the Digital Greenhouse is kindly letting us use their facility as a base for operations as they prepare to open our first full-time community workshop. We’re extremely grateful for the support and encouragement from DG and we’re looking forward to more collaborations going forward.

To celebrate, we’re intending to host a series of open events in the new Digital Greenhouse facility. The first event will be held over the week of half-term, Monday 22nd to Friday 26th February. Over the course of the week we will be attempting to build an open source BQ Ciclop 3D scanner, using BQs electronics package and parts printed on the Ultimaker. The scanner will then become permanent Makerspace equipment. If you have any ideas for other build projects for future events please tell us.

It’s an open event, all week. Come along and chat, help out, bring along stuff you’re working on.

BQ Ciclop Electronics
BQ Electronics kit for the Ciclop comes with a purpose built Arduino compatible control board, motor drivers, laser line modules, webcam and power supply.

Designing MakerSpace with LEGO Play

Do a few things well to encourage evangelism

The idea for a maker-space in Guernsey has been building for some time.

Inspired by five months of travels around North America on his motorbike, Adrian Ritchie came back to Guernsey with the idea of setting up a community space for makers, bike enthusiasts and creative people.  Person by person he has been inspiring and getting others involved.

The vision for the maker-space is to create an innovation hub, merging hardware and software to enable the Maker Movement revolution in Guernsey.  The mission is to create a diverse maker community that will help Guernsey become a player in the 3rd Industrial Revolution.

Sounds like a great plan but how do we go about it?

Continue reading Designing MakerSpace with LEGO Play

Homemade Arc Furnace

I was sent the link to this video by Marcel Lenormand, one of the wonder people that’s working on MakerSpace with me.  When I started watching it I thought it was pretty cool but by the end my jaw was on the floor:

It’s incredible what you can do with an AC arc weld, a 6v lantern battery and a fire brick.  This really does raise the roof on the possiblities in MakerSpace (or your own garage)!  Here’s the video on making the AC arc welding rig from an old microwave oven if you want to give it a go at home:

Royal Institute Christmas Lectures: How to Hack Your Home

The Royal Institute Christmas Lectures are all about inspiring children, as they are the future scientists, engineers, artists, entrepreneurs.  This year the lectures are titled Sparks Will Fly: How to hack your home. This evening was the first of the 2014 series of lectures.  This one was about lightbulbs and showing how these can be combined to create screens:

Danielle George looks at the light bulb to show how to hack, adapt and transform technologies found in the home to have fun and make a difference to the world.

If you missed tonight’s episode, you can still watch it again on BBC iPlayer: http://bbc.in/1xtBB6e

There are two more episodes in the series:

30/12/2014Danielle George looks at how to hack, adapt and transform using a phone’s technology.

31/12/2014Danielle George attempts to use simple motors to construct the greatest robot orchestra.

 

123D Circuits from Autodesk

I’ve been reading the (audio) book The Maker Movement Manifesto by Mark Hatch.  This book is pretty much a blueprint for workshop that we’re in the process of setting up in Guernsey.  Many of the case studies are taken from Techshop, a chain of maker workshops across the USA, of which he is CEO. Throughout the book he makes reference to Autodesk software, which is used for designing products to be machined on CNC and laser cutter machines, etc.

My experience of Autodesk is of AutoCAD and, at £1500, isn’t really designed for the hobbyist maker.  However, what I was reading indicated that Autodesk may have a range of software aimed at makers.  That’s exactly what I found in the 123D apps.

This evening I’ve been playing around with 123D Circuits.  This is a web app that allows you to build virtual electronics circuits.  It’s even got support for Arduino boards!  To test this out, I took a simple example project for Arduino, an electronic die, and tried to build it in 123D Circuits.  This is the result:

This is a really great way to get started with Arduino, without having to spend a penny on buying one for yourself.

Rest assured, once Make Space is up and running, we’ll have Arduinos available for playing and prototyping.  So get a head start with testing out your ideas in 123D Circuits now!

Makey Makey: An Invention Kit for Everyone

Ever played Mario on Play-Doh or Piano on Bananas? Alligator clip the Internet to Your World.

Banana Piano
Makey Makey: Banana Piano

MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It’s a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything inbetween:

http://makeymakey.com/

Hack a Banana, Make a Keyboard!

Why can’t two slices of pizza be used as a slide clicker? Why shouldn’t you make music with ketchup? In this charming talk, inventor Jay Silver talks about the urge to play with the world around you. He shares some of his messiest inventions, and demos MaKey MaKey, a kit for hacking everyday objects.