Sector67 is a non-profit collaborative space in Madison, WI dedicated to providing an environment to learn, teach, work-on, build, and create next generation technology; including software, hardware, electronics, art, sewing, metalwork, apps, games, etc.
Build Madison had a great turnout and a wide variety of ideas pitched at the start this year:
At the end of the event we had a lot of great presentations (2 hours worth!), here’s a summary of “completed” ideas. We had a great turnout for the finale:
Olivia and team were up first to demonstrate their augmented reality game that you can find here:
They spent their 24 hours building a working app using GPS gates/targets to only allow players to advance when they were in the right area. They had some trouble with the GPS accuracy but were working through it. They were able to demonstrate a working website with a storyline and rewards at the end of the game!
Next up was Joe and Ethan to demonstrate their progress with the YAG laser:
They were able to get a 100W Unitek Miyachi LW100 YAG laser and a Newport LaserWeld Series 4000 cabinet up and running in 24 hours. The next step is to mount the laser head to an old CNC machine we have so we have a metal cutting CNC laser.
After the laser team, Bob, Brian and Casey talked about setting up a kegerator dispensing system using a Raspberry Pi and a simple LED indicator:
They were able to 3D print a custom top of the existing tower, program the RPI, and create the electronics needed to interrupt flow to the tap on demand.
Next up was Jeff, never one to be too ambitious:
Jeff worked through a custom made bat signal (LED flashlight projector), a LEGO Rubiks Cube solver, and a custom patch. He didn’t quite get started on his caged robot prop, maybe next year!
Joe took the floor next to show off his glued up skateboard deck artwork:
He used the CNC wood router to “plane” down the edge-glued panel of deck sections and the hydraulic press to make an easier-to-work-with larger block of skateboard decks.
Jesse and his friend showed up with an ambitious goal of building a bluetooth phone-app controlled greenhouse system:
They delivered with a nice looking application (visible on the projector in the background) and a humidity/temperature/air/light controlled environment – next step is to install some plants and see how it works!
Rob and his son delivered a jaw dropping performance:
with their Arduino controlled, sound reactive, skull. They used a Sparkfun sound module wired to an Arduino to gather in ambient sound level. They then mapped the sound input to a servo that was connected to the jaw, so every time the controller heard a loud sound the jaw would react. Their next step is to tune the jaw response and experiement with a variety of microphone set ups.
Xavier decided that vertically challenged folks should be able to see if the top of your refrigerator is clean or not:
While a relatively simple build – total build time was tightening 3 zip ties to an Oculus, a stereo webcam, and a stick, the software took a little longer to iron out. He used the Oculus as an external monitor and just full-screened a Chrome browser window to update the images on the browser, but it turned out a browser wasn’t designed for the abuse to piping the images in was a bit of a challenge. Having personally tested it, I think it may double as a nausea tester 😉
Xavier and his friends also doubled down on a second project – Don came in with an early 1900’s telegraph key and sounder – these would have been state of the art communications devices about 100 years ago. Don came into service as his town’s telegraph operator at the onset of WW2 and spent the next 17 years as a full time operator. Needless to say, he’s more than a little attached to his hobby! He wanted to create a telegraph sounder that could play back a recording or a pre-determined message:
They succeeded in building a model with a case to contain a 6V battery, an Arduino, and a relay to allow the sounder to play messages or use the telegraph key to key-in input for playback. Don’s enthusiam is contageous and everybody had a lot of fun helping out with the project.
Elizabeth and her family spent most of the weekend alternating between the LEGOs and the hot glue guns. With some help from Shira, their vision of an Arduino controlled RC car built from LEGOs came together over course of the event:
Ultimately they were able to build out a chassis, mount some gearmotors to it and set up an Arduino and a battery pack to make it stand-alone. Now that it’s running they’re looking to add steering, remote control, and sensors to it as a great project to learn Arduino development from.
Antonio and his daughter set out to create something on the 3D printer this weekend:
They looked around on Thingiverse and found a cool branching tree with snap-lock segments and printed off about 10 sections. They realized they didn’t have a base to hold it up, so they recruited Jeff to mashup a few things and made a trumpet-like base with the correct joint to hold it to the branch sections.
Continuing on our LEGO theme, Brett and his son spent some time putting together a lot of bricks:
Lovingly coined “The Poking Machine” it featured a reciprocating bar powered by a small DC motor and plug in power supply. Planned improvements hopefully feature a Saw-Z-All blade and a pitch to LEGO’s sales department.
Nate and Antonio partnered late on Saturday night to prove out a portable shelter concept:
Working from a cardboard prototype and starting at 3AM they managed a conduit prototype as a proof of principle. They’re going to continue to work on it and see if they can get it out to help someone through the winter.
Shira wanted to build an interactive game based on “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes”:
She spent a few hours digging through the junk bin to find the parts and several hours with the hot glue gun to build out a functional game. The cardboard box certainly adds to the “this isn’t a bomb, maybe. . .” factor.
Serial Build Madison alumni Brad (of cat exercise wheel fame) needed to construct a door to his porch to prevent one cat from eating the other cats food. Originally headed in the direction of a facial recognition system and a lot of electronics, it turned out a more elegant solution was in order:
He ended up using the sewing machine (for the first time) and some balsa wood to make a simple cat door. One balsa wood rod can control flow (to allow or lock out access from the porch) and ultimately keep the cat off the porch during feeding time.
Aaron was in need of a mannekin to hold his latest Halloween costume:
So he was wrapped up in saran wrap and then duct tape was applied liberally. Once the form was cut off, he stuffed it with paper and inserted PVC pipes to hold the form. Now he’s got a stand in to support his Halloween creations in the off season.
Elizabeth’s goal was to repurpose some wood significant to her friends’ weddings into cribbage boards. Starting from having little experience in woodworking and vector graphics she was able to make some quick progress this weekend:
Ultimately she used Adobe Illustrator and VCarve to create the patterns for the laser cutter and CNC wood router to follow. She varied from the CNC wood router and table router to laser marked and hand drilled depending on the appearance of the wood and surface quality.
Laser extraordinare Kate whipped up a laser cut cryptex puzzle with the help of an Instructables project:
As is typical, the “looks easy” project turned out to be lacking details in all of the assembly steps, and the instructions were way out of date compared to the design interations resulting in a substantially harder build than expected. It didn’t help that each ring had every character individually glued on. Some say they can still hear the glue bottle wheezing and the quiet swearing as the glue lands in the wrong place. . .
Our second to last presenter was Jamie, he spent the weekend in the exact same pose:
He had to be prodded occasionally but he was indeed alive, he’s just that focused! He spent a lot of type pulling together a responsive e-mail template for Nerd Nite and ultimately was successful. E-mails resize automatically depending on screen size and the message drops features based on compatibility so phone readability is just as good as a desktop environment.
Lastly, Mark moved from concept to reality on a pellet stove hopper:
He used Solidworks to create a template for a folded version of the box, but ultimately decided that plywood would be a lot simpler and worth prototyping with first. He used a sheet of 3/4″ plywood on the CNC router to cut out a pattern and then mitered it on the table saw. The box went together afterwards and is ready to be stacked on top of the existing feeder to add another bag of capacity. This means going away on the weekend won’t result frozen pipes.
Thanks to Capital Entrepreneurs for the event sponsorship and great pizza that was throughly enjoyed!
Overall everyone had a great time! Build Madison is intentionally a low structure event, meaning participants are free to explore their projects and help one-another through out the 24 hours. We hope to see you next year and hope you enjoyed the projects people were able to make in a short period of time.
The September Madison SOUP event is THIS Sunday! This is the LAST SOUP event for this year!
We are reaching out to our networks today to ask you to PLEASE purchase a ticket to our Sunday event. We know that our community is interested in supporting local projects which make Madison such a wonderful city to live in. Take this chance to vote with your feet and be part co creating our vibrant community! Walk-ins ARE NOT POSSIBLE – you must purchase a ticket AHEAD of time.
Meadowood Neighborhood Center Recording Studio. Joe Schlesing, the director of the Meadowood Neighborhood Center, will present a proposal for converting the center’s current game room into a recording studio. The center serves low-income kids of color in the Meadowood community and many of the participants have a keen interest in producing their own recordings. The Center is making progress in teaching participants the fundamentals of recording and music production. Now, a dedicated space, more serious equipment, and a skilled instructor to help the kids fully realize their potential in terms of performing and recording music.
Quiet Santa. Julie Sheldon will present a proposal for funds to expand their offering of Santa visits for children with various special needs. Quiet Santa has hosted events since 2012. The events were first aimed at giving kids with autism the experience of a visit with Santa. The project’s outreach efforts now welcomes children with various forms of special needs looking to have a magical experience with Santa that may not otherwise get. The project began with no budget, but a group of dedicated planners, and now seeks funds to expand their program.
Call For Peace. Dawn & Art Shegonee will present a proposal for seed funding for “A Traveling Cultural Exhibition An Educational, Interactive, Multi-Media Experience! Call For Peace Drum & Dance Company….A Timeless Journey,… Celebrating the Diversity of Humanity!” Now, more than ever in history, time is of the essence for the re-emergence of the Call For Peace, providing people with a Vision of Hope which embraces diversity, unity, peace, and justice in the Madison Community. The Exhibition is an effort, to encourage collaboration in the community to embrace, the concept of the International Network of Peace Museums to create “Cities as Living Museums for Peace.”
Soup and bread will be provided by Underground Butcher & Batch Bakehouse!
We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
Jenina & Heather
Sector67 provides many avenues for students to learn more about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). This year we were fortunate enough to be supported by a grant from the Zendesk Neighbor Foundation and the Alliant Energy Foundation to provide instructor time, materials, and equipment. We support an Afterschool Science Club at O’Keeffe Middle School and a Sector67 Club at Sherman Middle School, these clubs are open to any students at the school and had over 100 participants this year for various activities:
Arts and Words Night (demonstrated 3D printers and taught soldering to build a flashlight)
Liquid Nitrogen (thanks Airgas!)
Field Trip to Sector67
Thanks to Alex, Shira, and Nate for your help too!
Field Trip to Sector67
3D Printing for Family Engagement Night:
At MG21 we helped the students with the selection and construction of a new CNC wood router through an MG21 course and used grant funds to cover some incidentals:
and we had a blast at Tormach’s open house:
Saturday Science at The Institutes for Discovery:
and countless other events in the prior year.
We’d like to acknowledge and thank Zendesk and Alliant Energy for their support of these programs, without their contributions we would be unable to offer these programs for free to the schools and broader community.
Sector67 was proud to host the 6th Annual Build Madison event the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. This event offers community members the opportunity to take action on a project they’ve been thinking about, working on (or procrastinating) and allows participants access to all of the equipment and collaborative expertise Sector67 has to offer.
There were twelve teams and over 50 individuals participating in this year’s event. Participants, young and old, started Day 1 with a short presentation on their project idea and what they hoped to accomplish in the 24-hour timeframe. Others, without a team or project, attend the event to support these teams. These individuals share their knowledge, skills, and expertise in programming, voice recognition, welding, electrical engineering, or tinkering in general.
Introducing the Projects and their Teams:
|Repair an RC car
|Build a Christmas Tree with voice-command LED lighting||Erica, Di
|Replace existing delorean taillights with LED ones
|Build a table base from copper pipe||Kate|
|Make updates to the Sector67 website||Bob|
|Build a self-homing telescope stand/gantry system||Brian|
|Create a campaign to convince their friends that Jamie and Rob should be ushers in their friend’s wedding||Jamie, Rob|
|Create a DIY game controller
||Xavier, Thiru, Robert, Tyler|
|Build a motorized skateboard
|Assemble a high-altitude balloon tracking device||Chris|
|Build an electric car
||Mike, Danny, Nate, Alex|
|Modifying a cat exercise wheel to make it more FUN-ctional
|RC car repair
complete in 3 hrs
|Using a part from the car as a pattern, Scott and RJ fabricated a replacement part from a small aluminum rod and a paperclip. They used the lathe to create the replacement “dog bone” component.
Here’s a video of RJ test-driving the repaired RC car on the newly modified cat exerciser
|Christmas Tree with Voice-command LED lighting
complete in 16 hours
| The “Dancing Lights Team” (Erica, Di, La’Shawna) laser cut 2 pieces of plywood which were then put together, painted, decorated, then laced with LED tape lights.
The Tree tech-team, Jack and Davi, programmed, tested, programmed and tested voice recognition and control.
Here’s a video of the final creation!
|Delorean LED taillights
|Dennis wanted to replace the existing taillights in his Delorean with LED lights. A follow-up presentation was given at Sector67 December meeting.
|Build a table base from copper pipe.
complete in 10 hours
| Kate designed, cut, soldered and polished the copper table base
|Make updates to the Sector67 website.
|Bob successfully completed his mission to clean up behind-the-scenes functionality of the website.
|Build a telescope stand/gantry system.
|Brian gave a follow-up presentation of his project at the December meeting
|Laima completed one of the three panels and the results were stunning!
|Save the Ushers campaign
|We checked in on Rob and Jamie’s quest in mid-January. Here’s what we found:|
|DIY game controller
|The team completed their mission and showed off their final product. Only they know which button does what…Or do they?
|Build a motorized skateboard
|Jessie had a nice protoype at his presentation and continues to work on the skate board. So far, so good!
|Build a tracking device for use when locating high-altitude balloons after they’ve landed
|Here’s a cool video of a balloon launch, imagine how helpful the tracking device is in finding the balloon when it travels up to 90,000ft high and lands where it wants to!
|Build an electric car.
|Watch a couple of test-drive videos here:
At the event VIDEO
Two Weeks after the event in Madison’s Central Park
Thanks to Jim for Tab-synthing the battery box
|Cat exercise wheel
| Brad and Andrew made the following modifications to the wheel:
Please come join this fun, community event in 2016! Bring your ideas and let’s build, Madison! And if you’ve made it to the end of this post, here’s a little reward for you!
Liam kicked off the presentations with his Arduino audio synthesizer project. In essence, Liam used an Arduino Uno running many clock dividers to emulate tones. He programmed the Arduino to accept MIDI serial commands so it’s effectively operating as a MIDI tone generator with really limited resources. Liam’s presentation engaged many interested audience members – great job, Liam!
Sound’s like a great movie, doesn’t it?
Lon has been a metal artist for many years. He always wanted to create a cool metal-sculpted gargoyle for his former home in Minnesota but never got around to it. After moving to Madison, Lon started tinkering with the idea of a metal-art dragon.
The metal “Dragon Bell” is still a work-in-progress; created with a recycled argon gas tank, various types of metal, glass beads, guitar strings, and of course stained glass wings. Modification are still being considered… flame thrower nostrils maybe?
Lon also shared a book of some of his other creative metalworks. Thanks, Lon!
Joe needed a light solution for use in photographing some very shimmery (and difficult to photograph) nail polish products. Rather than having to move the product multiple times to get just the right lighting, Joe used Neopixel LED lights and an Arduino to control the lights. Joe can encircle the subject and control individual lights rather than having to move the product. In addition, Joe can control the brightness, hue, and color of the lights necessary for capturing the perfect image.
Bright idea, huh?
Eric gave a talk on surplus plug in conversion Prius packs that were originally sold by Hymotion (cells from A123) to take a standard Toyota Prius and turn it into an all electric (most of the time) electric car that plugs into the wall to charge. The advantage of these packs is that you can get about 20 miles of almost all electric power, the problem is that Hymotion was sold to A123 (who subsequently went bankrupt) so there’s no longer any service available unless you talk to Eric as he owns and operates EVPowers hybrid vehicle repair and is a battery/EV wizard! He walked us through what’s inside the battery and how to go about diagnosing them.
Three teams from Sector67 recently entered a makers competition sponsored by Infymakers. All three teams were selected as finalists for a $10,000 award. The teams were:
They’re still awaiting news of who takes home the top prizes, but either way we’re proud of their creativity and accomplishments! Great job!
Congratulations to Bob, who has recently been selected as an article writer for Hackaday! Bob shared some information about the project selection process and some tips for getting articles published and making it easy for the writing team!
While they didn’t make the cut for Season 3 of Battlebots, the Sector67 Battlebot creation team shared a fascinating video of their bot, Bad Penny and got to the final cut. Unfortunately the video is still underwraps but we’ll post it at some point!
Heather from Madison Mini Maker Faire stopped by to share information regarding the upcoming Mini Maker Faire at Monona Terrace. The Faire is still accepting exhibitors and would love to have interested Sector67 community members join in the event. There’s still room for participants in the following areas as well as others found on the Faire’s website. Registration for Makers will be accepted through April 15th, 2016.
Ready to accelerate your startup business idea? Here’s your chance!
Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs.
Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and pitches. Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurs.
The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education. Whether you are looking for feedback on an idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.
A limited number a participants are allowed, registration prices vary by level of participation.
For more information, visit the Startup Weekend website.
To register, visit the event Registration page.
If you have addition questions, contact the organizers at email@example.com or chat with Chris.
If you missed the live Twitter feed of the meeting this month, here’s the long version of the meeting notes. Thanks to all who came out in the snowy weather to see what our community of creators have been up to.
Nate showed us a 12-foot CNC router he’s built from scratch from hardware store parts.
Shira shared her experience working with a high school student to construct and program a robot arm.
James shared his experience of making speakers out of gourds and the difficulties in working with a very organic material/shape!
Brian has spent the past month building his own “supersized” 3D printer. Brian plans to utilize the new printer to print very large objects – you can check it out on Thingiverse.
David gave a follow-up presentation on his experience(and lessons learned) importing a CNC router from China. See December meeting notes for information on David’s original presentation – his machine has arrived and he learned the hard way about “death by a thousand papercuts” on import and duty charges, port fees. . .
Larry gave a presentation on the history of home animation, some current IoT (Internet of Things) technology he’s been using, and some items that are being incorporated into today’s homes.
Chris shared a presentation on a matching oak bench that he made for a table at home.
Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 1 at 7:00 PM. If you have something you’d like to share, please do! Use the “contact us” button at the top right to get on the March agenda.
See you soon!
Finally, Winter in Wisconsin! The snow and 28-degree weather didn’t keep inquiring minds from attending this month’s meeting. January topics ranged from robot controllers to laser cut pinecones to tire pressure monitor hacks to building your own CNC router. More info below!
EJ, one of Sector’s business incubator residents, is a software engineer by trade. EJ has been watching the progress being made on Jeff’s WALL-E and offered to share his expertise in controlling WALL-E’s robotic arms.
In staying within his 7-minute presentation time, EJ demonstrated how quickly and easily the EZ-B WiFi Robot Controller (~$79)”black box” (actually white!) could be programmed using EZ builder software. Unlike an Arduino, the WiFi controller doesn’t need a physical connection to the computer running the software. In addition, the programmed commands can be saved to the cloud and transferred to another device (i.e. iPad) for use.
There were tons of “ooooos and ahhhhs” from the audience as EJ brought the robotic arm to life during the presentation. Here’s a great video about the capabilities of the EZ-Builder software, which include voice recognition, servo control, vision recognition and tracking and so much more.
Inspired by nature and on a quest to create some unique holiday gifts, Kate set out to build a laser-cut pinecone. Because she had some unique features in mind, Kate created her own design. The final pattern consisted of twenty uniquely-shaped slices of wood, which when stacked would simulate the shape of a pinecone while also having the interior space to hold a battery-operated votive candle.
After “many hours” of laser time, it took Kate “a long movie” to carefully stack and glue all of the slices in the correct order into the desired shape. The result is quite beautiful, don’t you think?
Here’s a link to Kate’s full presentation which includes some additional pictures and video of her project.
Doug’s presentation walked the audience through his quest to explore the use of SDR (Software-Defined Radio) to build a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) for the new wheels he put on his truck that didn’t have enough rim spacing to fit the sensors on them. Doug captured the signal on a TV tuner, and then used a SDR transmitter to create a radio dialogue with the TPMS to fool it into thinking the tires were all inflated properly. Doug was able to successfully complete his mission, shared the results, and generated lots of interest from inquiring minds at the meeting. The audience had lots of questions and Doug had all the answers! All just to eliminate a chime when his truck was started and a light on the dash.
For more information about SDR, try these resources:
Chris has been working with Monona Grove Alternative High School (MG21) students to build a X-Carve CNC Router from a kit purchased from Inventables (~900). While the students built the physical portion, Brian took on the task of finishing up tuning the controller. Chris and Brian demonstrated the router and answered questions from the group about capabilities of the device compared to the more robust CNC we have onsite at Sector67. There was also discussion of purchasing US vs China models (see related article from December meeting) from a cost, time, and customer service perspective.
Software discussed during the presentation was:
Alisa Toninato from FeLion Studios joined the meeting to tell us more about the 6th Annual “Pour Yer Heart Out” Iron Pour Collaboration event which will be held in the Sector67 parking lot on February 6. Chris and Alisa shared tips and tricks for success in designing moulds for the event. Even if you don’t choose to participate by creating a heart mould, stop by Sector67 on Saturday, February 6th to watch the event!
Most of us have watched a TED Talk or two. In the spirit of TED Talks, self-organized local events have popped up across the country. TEDx-Madison is one of those events – highlighting local leaders, entrepreneurs, creators, engineers and more. If you weren’t already aware, two of Sector67’s members Robin Lawson and Bob Baddeley have been featured presenters. Take a few moments to watch their videos!
A self-proclaimed “standard overachiever” and 4th-generation mechanical engineer, Robin shatters the perception that engineering is masculine by comparing elements of the creative process to conceiving, bearing, raising, and nurturing a child. Robin’s talk reflects her evolution from being “one of the guys” to the empowered woman engineer she is today and how becoming that person has benefitted her and others around her. Robin and her brother founded Lumen Electronic Jewelry.
In 2012, Bob Baddeley spent three months in China working to manufacture his prototypes and make manufacturing and sourcing connections before launching his company. Bob’s 2013 Tedx-Madison talk offers insights on manufacturing products in China compared to the US. He offers tons of tips on living, working, communicating, and manufacturing in both China and the US. Definitely worth a watch!
The iron pour is coming up, get your moulds today and make your own unique Valentine’s Day gift or otherwise. Moulds should be purchased online through FeLion Studios website, and picked up at Sector67. Please call to schedule a time or stop by any Friday from 1-7PM when we’re open for tours.