Welcome

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.

If you’re in southern Wisconsin feel free to get involved; come by for a tour on Fridays, sign up for meeting announcements, or check the calendar for upcoming events.

Iron Pour Moulds Available – Through 2/6/2015

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.

Opportunities available:

More information on carving hearts or otherwise is here and over here.  YOU MUST DROP OFF YOUR PATTERNS ANYTIME BEFORE 11AM SATURDAY FEBRUARY 6TH!

Posted in Uncategorized

January Monthly Meeting

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!

EZ-B WiFi Robot Controller Demo

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.

IMG_9166  IMG_9165

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. IMG_9169

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.

 

Hi-Tech Pine Cones

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.

IMG_9172 IMG_9174

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?

IMG_9179    IMG_9177

Here’s a link to Kate’s full presentation which includes some additional pictures and video of her project.

Using SDR technology for DIY Tire Pressure Monitoring

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:

IMG_9181 IMG_9182

Build Your Own CNC Router Kit

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:

Easel (available through the Inventables website)

 

“Pour Yer Heart Out”  Iron Pour Collaboration Reminder

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!

IMG_9191 IMG_9189

For information on the event, click here and here.

 

Posted in Meetings, News Tagged with: , , ,

TEDx Talks featuring Sector67 Members

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!

 Robin Lawson – Engineering is Actually Girly

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.

 

Bob Baddeley – Made in China

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!

 

 

Posted in News, Uncategorized

December Monthly Meeting

Build Madison – Project Follow Up

Brian presented a project that he built during the 24-hour Build Madison event hosted by Sector67 in November. Brian’s self-homing telescope stand was almost completely built during the 24-hour event.  Brian used several of the tools housed at Sector67 to build his project:  the panel router for cutting the base, laser cutter for a very large belt driven gear and the machine frame.  OpenSCAD was used for the design and digital prototyping.  As he already had belts to use for the project, Brian cut corresponding teeth out of acrylic rather than wood.

IMG_9036 IMG_9035

Components/features of the project include a magnetometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, Arduino Mega board, and 9 Degrees of Freedom chip.  Brian hasn’t connected a telescope to his new creation yet so hopefully we’ll hear more at a future meeting.

Creating a simple AOI (Automated Optical Inspector)

The company Bob works for, Quietyme, is ramping up in-house production of their circuit boards. Every board is checked by a person, which is time consuming and an eye strain. Bob wanted an AOI (automated optical inspector), but they are typically in the tens of thousands of dollars.  Bob decided to try building a miniature version using a webcam and some computer vision software. The hardware is a laser cut enclosure with the base of Quietyme’s product enclosure glued to the bottom. 12V white LED strips covered with a diffuser to reduce bright spots make the PCB evenly lit. A camera is positioned so that the PCB occupies the entire frame. The webcam video is fed into a custom python application which uses the OpenCV library to match patterns of known good soldered components against the video stream. When it finds a match it blacks out (masks) the component on the display. Any unmatched components are shown (as potential errors) and must be inspected by the person. This masking means the technician must look at only a few components instead of the entire circuit board.

IMG_9048IMG_9051 IMG_9047

This Family Bakes Together and Makes Together

Scott & Laura, along with their sons Luke and Levi (and Scott’s Mom, Cindy) tackled a big family project for the holiday season.  Rather than creating a traditional gingerbread house, the family aspired to bake and build a gingerbread version of the Notre Dame Cathedral.  Scott was inspired by a papercraft version of the Cathedral he found on Canon Papercraft.

IMG_9028 IMG_9062 IMG_9029 rosewindow

Scott wrote a great article about the design, testing, baking, and building of this project.  He also shares information about the challenges faced along the way!  Scott posted directions on Thingiverse for making one yourself next holiday season.

A timelapse video of the process process can be found here: https://youtu.be/vcZdZHOcefo.  Check it out!

 

Personal CNC Machine – Build or Import?

After doing a good amount of research and pricing, David decided that the best decision for him was to import the CNC machine of his dreams (via Alibaba) from a manufacturer in China.  Based on his experience, David shared some tips with the group.IMG_9063

  • Plan ahead –  No door-to-door overnight shipping when you order from China!  The process has taken three months… and counting.  At last report, the machine is on a boat from China.
  • Forms, forms, forms – From ISF to CSF there’s alot of paperwork involved.  Be prepared
  • Show me the money – There is the potential to save some money by ordering from an overseas manufacturer, but there are other costs to factor in.  For example, import fees, port storage, port maintenance fees, inspection fees to name a few.  Of course, there are also costs to getting the machine from the U.S. port to the Midwest. Dave had to put 30% down at the time of order and pay the remaining 70% when the order was loaded onto the ship in China.
  • Customization available, prices negotiable – David was able to order his CNC with some custom features and get quotes from a few different manufacturers.  All manufacturers gave him their best price…and when one of the manufacturers didn’t get his order, they presented David with a new best price.

We’re hoping David will have his new machine in-house before the January meeting so he can give us an update!

Posted in Meetings

Pour Yer Heart Out 2016 Iron Pour – FeLion Studios Collaboration

FeLion Studios and Sector67 are proud to announce our 6th annual partnership on a community iron pour, taking place on February 6th at Sector67 – you can RSVP on Facebook here

You can purchase heart moulds online now and pick them up; or pay cash or check when you pick them up – we have two hearts for $30 which can be customized to your liking and forever cast into iron:

Pile of Hearts

Creating your own heart is easy, you can modify any aspect of the mould:
Scratch Demo 2
Scratch Demo
Just remember a few rules:

  • Mould modification is messy, so lay the mould on a cardboard box or plastic bag to dispose of the excess sand.
  • Remember to draw everything backwards, it’s a mould, not a finished product, so everything will be reversed when it’s poured!
  • Sharpie your design first and carve following your lines
  • Use any pointy implement you’d like but we’d advise against using any power tools as they can create dust that you don’t want to inhale (AKA: wear a mask with power tool work)
  • Return your moulds a few days before the pour up until EARLY the morning of the pour (late turn ins will be turned away this year – SORRY!)

If you’ve read this far, you might be interested in the sand mould workshop at FeLion Studios headquarters on January 24th 2016.  Get more info and pre-register your spot early here, SPACE IS LIMITED TO 6 STUDENTS!:
http://www.felionstudios.com/felion-workshop/

This workshop will allow you to create more complicated artwork and full patterns (as opposed to a face mould only).

Even if you aren’t interested in making your own cast iron artwork, please join us for music, great company, and a fun spectacle while the iron is poured:

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Here’s some cool videos/pictures from prior years as well:

2012 video and image summary

2013 video and image summary

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Laser Cut Gingerbread Notre Dame Cathedral

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Inspiration

Growing up every year my family had a tradition of gingerbread house making. We always tried to out-do the previous year’s effort. This year my family decided we would try to achieve my lifelong dream of making the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral out of gingerbread, but with a twist: we’d use the laser cutter at Sector67, our beloved local hackerspace, to cut out the pieces. We’d done simple gingerbread structures before on the laser cutter so we knew it was feasible, but we weren’t sure if we could pull off a much more complex structure.

Design

We were lucky enough to be able to start with a Canon papercraft model. That gave us a starting point for
dimensions, but the papercraft designs are meant to be made out of paper which can bend around corners and has basically no thickness. As a result we had to significantly redesign a model, removing lots of detail, segmenting curved parts and generally accounting for a material thickness, in our case 3/16”. It took about 20 hours using Inkscape to make a workable design, and the final SVG file is available at:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1174128

That SVG file was made using Inkscape and so assumes 1″ = 90px. You may need to scale appropriately if you use different tools.

Testing

After completing the design we cut and assembled a complete prototype from 5mm luan plywood. This let frontus not only confirm fit (there were problems that needed to be fixed!) but also get a feel for how the actual structure would go together.

We also had to test many iterations of stained glass windows. Our vision was to melt colored sugar for the windows, but we went through about six iterations or different processes before we settled on something that really worked well.

Even baking the gingerbread required testing, to find the right thickness and to make sure the recipe worked well.

Mixing, rolling and baking

I’ve included the recipe we used below along with some instructions. We needed 10 sheets of 12″x18″ gingerbread, and each sheet took about half an hour, much of which was rolling it down to the desired thickness.

Cutting

Every laser cutter is different and if you are interested to try this you’ll have to figure out your own settings. I had to cut the gingerbread a bit slower than a similar thickness of plywood.

Stained glass windows

As mentioned above, we melted sugar to make the stained glass windows. We tried several approaches:

Brushing the sugar into the window openings and then baking the whole thing was not as consistent as we would have liked and resulted in the cut pieces of gingerbread shrinking and warping.
rosewindowUsing a cooktop/griddle with the sugar brushed in caused similar problems.
We made sheets of “stained glass”, and thought about frosting them to the backs of the windows, but with the fit of some of the pieces this was not feasible.
Aluminum foil, parchment paper and Silpat (silicone) mats all worked well enough to stop the sugar from sticking. In the end the process we settled on was to sprinkle sugar onto a silpat mat in the pattern needed to fill the windows. We pre-mixed a bowl of different sugar colors to provide a rainbow effect. We then baked the sugar on the Silpat at 350F for about 15 minutes, watching for when the sugar is just fully melted but not caramelizing. Catching it at just the right time left the colors well separated. We then pulled the Silpat mat with the melted sugar out of the oven, lined up the window openings and pressed the gingerbread pieces into the melted sugar. We then left heavy flat pieces of metal on top of the gingerbread pieces until the sugar cooled, as otherwise they would warp.

As you can see in the pictures, this process resulted in an accurate stained glass look that can be nicely lit from behind.

Building

The time lapse video shows the assembly process. It took about 10 hours total as a two adult/two kid process. We used a simple royal frosting recipe that provides lots of holding strength and dries relatively quickly.

Lighting

We used a 16′ string of RGB LED lights to light the inside of the whole structure. The lights need to be strung while the structure is being built, and the design includes holes for routing the lights.

Challenges

Gingerbread can be a tough medium to work with. It can crack, warp and shrink. Even with our post-bake rolling process pieces were often not exactly 3/16″ thick and so for certain parts we needed to sand or grind to get a good fit. We ended up using an xacto knife, dremel cut-off wheel, hack saw and bench grinder at various times to make the model fit well.

This is an achievable family project but it was fairly time consuming.  In the end we were all very happy with how it turned out!

More information including a complete recipe for the gingerbread sheets can be found at:

https://hackaday.io/project/8660-laser-cut-gingerbread-notre-dame-cathedral

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November Meeting Highlights

About 50 members of the community attended our November meeting – what a great turnout! As usual, the room was filled with a mix of familiar faces and new friends!

Recognition from Madison Science Museum

Terry Sivesind, one of the founders of the newly opened Madison Science Museum and esteemed member of the Madison entrepreneurial community, stopped by the meeting to thank the Sector67IMG_8926 community for its contributions. Terry provided a brief overview of the highlights of Museum’s exhibit halls and asked each Sector67 contributor to speak briefly about their role in the process.  The Wisconsin State Journal recently published a great article, “New Museum Shines a Light on Science” which provides a great overview of this much needed addition to downtown Madison. Check out MSM soon and watch it grow!  The Museum is seeking volunteers for a variety of tasks, so if you or someone you know is looking for an opportunity, please contact Madison Science Museum.

 

Winged Victory

Shira shared her experience with 3-D print replication of a historic sculpture.  The original sculpture, entitled “the Winged Victory of Samothrace” is a 2nd-century BC marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (aka Victory). Shira found the pattern for her replica on Thingiverse, an online collaborative community for all things 3-D. IMG_8912  IMG_8938

The sculpture, 10 pieces in all, was printed over the course of several days and countless hours. The hollow sculpture was then assembled and its base was filled with silicone to keep it from tipping.  After assembly, Shira chose to apply a copper overlay and she’ll eventually apply a patina finish.  In looking at Shira’s 3-D model, it seems like “Winged Victory” is a perfect description of her final piece.

After the meeting, Shira had this to say about Cosmo Wenman (the designer of the file) and the concept of digitizing art.

“Cosmo Wenman scanned in the plaster cast of the original as part of his fascinating project Through A Scanner, Skulpturhalle. Not only are his scans the highest quality scanned artworks on Thingiverse at the moment, the whole concept behind digitizing art is also about making ownership and viewing of art more accessible to the public. Museums are dragging their feet on this and showing extraordinary closed-mindedness, and that makes Skulpturhalle and Cosmo’s project quite unique for this moment in time.”

For the Birds

In sticking with our unplanned “Wings” theme, Eric showed off his newly completed project, a lightweight, portable blind which he stitched together in the Sewing Studio at Sector67. EriIMG_8918c, whose day job is a computer programmer, enjoys photographing birds.  In the past, Eric used a stationary blind structure to capture images of his subjects. Obviously, this presented significant limitations when it comes to following birds.  In talking with a fellow community member, it became apparent that building a portable (perhaps wearable) blind could provide a great solution to his problem. Now if only he knew how to sew!  Fortunately, Sector67 has plenty of problem-solving resources – from heavy-duty sewing machines to in-person sewing expertise, coaching, and advice (a.k.a. Jim).  Eric shared a great story surrounding the photo of this Northern Harrier.   For a look at some of Eric’s photography, check out his website.
IMG_8922    IMG_8925

Boba Fett Helmet Project

Josh is a huge Star Wars fan, and ever since he was little he’s dreamed of having a Boba Fett helmet of his own. Inspired by a community member’s Ironman costume project, Josh decided it would be cool to realize his dream and replicate a Boba Fett helmet for Halloween.  Josh found file on Thingiverse and printed a 34-piece prototype that presented some fit challenges and was quite painful to wear.  In exploring other options, Josh found a papercraft model online and used Netfabb to cut the model into a 3-D printable pattern for his helmet. After about 120 hours of total 3-D printing time (for both the prototype and final product), Josh completed his helmet in time to wear it for about 10 minutes at a Halloween party!  Josh plans to continue working on his helmet to make it fit better, allow it to be more comfortable, and to add the essential range finder.  Josh will bring his finished helmet to a future meeting.

Boba-Fett-Helmet-Papercraft  IMG_8930   Boba-Fett-Helmet

Helicopters of all Shapes & Sizes

Drones are certainly making the news lately! Chris showed a variety of helicopters/drones which had a variety of uses.  

  • Mini “play-at-home” versions (~$30) are an inexpensive way to enter this market
  • Midsize drones/copters, equipped with GPS and GoPro cameras are gaining popularity as their technology and durability increase and price decreases
  • Powerful multi-propped versions are used for heavy-lift challenges such as this

IMG_8932  IMG_8937   IMG_8935

Upcoming Classes

If you’d like to learn something new, get inspiration for an upcoming project, or brush up your skills, there are some new classes posted in the website – check them out!   New classes are added regularly, so keep checking in!

Posted in Meetings, Uncategorized

Build Madison Returns to Sector67 – November 21-22

Build Madison

Build Madison is back!

The 24-hour community “create-a-thon” returns to Sector67 on November 21 at 11am. Project presentations begin at 11am on Sunday, November 22.

We’re excited to announce the 6th annual Build Madison event coordinated by Capital Entrepreneurs and hosted at Sector67.  Build Madison is a 24 hour hackathon that gives you the opportunity to set aside some time over the weekend to finally get to that project you’ve been thinking about for a long time!
The weekend starts out on Saturday, November 21st, at 11am, when we’ll host short (noon on Sunday swings around we’ll have short project presentations and/or sharing of lessons learned (aka: why my project didn’t quite get done in time!).
That’s as simple as it is – take the 24 hour period as seriously or as inquisitively as you’d like. In the past, projects have varied from very sophisticated to very basic, software to hardware, art to engineering – so don’t feel like your concept isn’t going to fit in – it will.
 
For more information, please register at the Build Madison website: http://buildmadison.org/
Who: Anyone interested
What: 24 hr hackathon
Where: Sector67 – 2100 Winnebago St, Madison, WI – short ride on your bicycle, hop on the bus, or take advantage of parking in front of the building for your car
When: November 21st at 11AM through the 22nd, with project presentations starting at 11AM on the 22nd
Why: A great excuse to focus on a project for a weekend and meet with other interesting folks too
This is a FREE event. Check out the prior project summaries at: http://buildmadison.org
We hope to see you on the 21st!
Posted in News, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

Huge Thanks, Tormach!

Tormach, located in Waunakee, Wisconsin is a leader in the PCNC (Personal CNC) industry.  Their high quality products are a maker’s dream.  Many at Sector67 are already familiar with Tormach and thankful for their generous donations of tools and equipment over the years.

tormach-logo-478x180This Fall, as Sector67 reached its 5-year anniversary, Tormach presented Sector67 with an impressive donation – a PCNC 1100 Machine.  Wow, what an anniversary gift!  This machine will enable the Sector67 community to tackle a variety of mediums from wood to metal, plastics to pumpkins, and everything in between.  In thanks for the awesome gift, Sector67 will in turn be documenting twenty projects created on this piece of equipment; allowing other Tormach users to quickly learn how to use this machine.

Tormach recently stopped by Sector 67 to take a tour and check on the new addition to our community.  The Tormach group created a great video of their visit – check it out! If you’ve always wanted to learn about CNC, learn local!  Tormach offers a 3-day CNC Fundamentals hands-on workshop in which attendees will gain experience in CNC programming, machine control, and machining.

Tormach, thank you so much for your generosity, we can’t wait to share our projects with your community!

Tormach thank you collage

Posted in Thank You!, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Sector67 “Robotics and Makers Playground” exhibit at Madison Science Museum

There’s a new museum in town and Sector67 is proud to be an exhibitor.

Madison Science Museum opened their doors to the public on October 22.

The Robotics and Makers Playground, built and sponsored by Sector67, is a room filled with activity and inspiration. The room offers visitors many hands-on opportunities to explore robotics, engineering, generating energy, and electronics.

S672

“this has been a really popular room.  Once kids go in, they never come out”              

 -overheard

A few of the exhibit features are:

  • The Periodic Table of Motion –  Put simple machines, gears, drives, and levers into motion. This display, which currently features 16 moving elements, will expand as Sector67 makers design and build them.  
  • Pedal for Power – Explore energy generation by using your own pedal-power to light up a variety of lightbulbs. How many lights can you illuminate? Do some take more power to light up than others?
  • Experiment with Circuits – A table filled with Snap Circuits® makes learning and understanding electronics fun, safe, and easy!
  • Robotics – Drive a robot around a map of Madison. An overhead vision system allows a computer to track the robot as you drive it. Can you drive the robot up and down the isthmus without falling into either lake?

Kudos to the Sector67 community members Bob, Sean, Shira, Jim, Chris, Kate, Nate and Scott who put in countless hours to bring this exhibit to life.  As you know, we couldn’t have made this happen without your collaboration and contributions!

Here’s a sneak peak at some of the Sector67 exhibit, but you’ll want to go see it for yourself.

  MSM2

Of course, there are many other things to see at the Madison Science Museum so check it out soon – and often.  The museum will be adding new displays regularly.  The Museum has a Facebook page too – check them out!

Madison Science Museum is located at 211 N. Carroll St., on the 6th floor of the Madison College building in downtown Madison.

 

Posted in Projects Tagged with: , , , , ,

Sector67 October Monthly Meeting Recap

Perfect weather and interesting presentations made the October meeting a great success!

You Built a What?!

The evening kicked off with an introduction to “Joliet” (Jim’s Overbuilt LED Interactive Entertainment Table).  The table’s primary function is as a digitally enhanced version of the “adult beverage game.”  Our first presenter built the table in less than two weeks, just in time for the Maker Faire – Milwaukee held in late September.

Joliet  Joliet - a look

Top features of the table include:

  • 3584 LED lights including a scrolling message board
  • Automatic scoring via an embedded IR sensor in each scoring pod
  • Wheels for portability
  • Ball dryer on each side
  • Internal AC, onboard battery, and external DC power sources
  • Micro SD card for custom animations

 

The Stronginator

The “Stronginator” was the next creation on display.  This device is the builder’s take on the classic carnival game.  A player hits the center foam pad and a row of lights displays the measured strength; or does it?  Is the game rigged?

Stronginator - How strong are you?   Hulk power

 

Solving a Lighting Problem

When Kate and Jeremy moved into their new home, they immediately recognized the need for more lighting in their main living space.  The lighting needed to be sizable, functional, and flexible.  Kate had an idea for a tree-branch “chandelier” of sorts and found a 15-foot long x 8-foot wide cottonwood branch about a mile from their home.  The couple agreed it was “the one” and Jeremy carried it home.

After four months of hard work, the branch lighting fixture is now a fully functioning part of the house.  Kate documented the entire design-to-done process and shared it at the meeting.  The fixture features 11 Phillips “Hue” bulbs that allow Kate and Jeremy to customize the room lighting with an app.

Tree Branch - Concept drawing of lighting plan      Finished product lights up the room!

 

The Periodic Table of Motion – Coming soon to Madison Science Museum

As Madison Science Museum prepares to open to the public on October 22, Bob is building the components for a “Periodic Table of Motion.”  This hands-on, interactive, and microprocessor-powered display will show how simple machines (screw, inclined plane, lever, wheel and axle, pulley, wedge) and their derivatives, operate.  With the opening of this display at the end of the month, Bob is looking for help in soldering, building acrylic cases, laser cutting, and designing.  If you can help, please use the contact us form at the top right and let us know.

components for the Periodic Table of Motion displays        building the units for Madison Science Museum display

Are There Other Uses for the Amazon Dash Button?

Wondering if the Amazon Dash button can be used for more than just reordering laundry detergent?  Josh shared his recent experience in understanding more about the Dash. Through some experimentation and online resources on the topic, he is experimenting with alternate uses for this device.  With built-in features like integrated Wi-Fi, what do you think?

Amazon Dash

Amazon Dash in the news:

 

Building a Better Night Light

Aiming to learn more about both electronics and programming, Francis imagined the possibilities of building a better night light.  He started by looking at current functionality and imagined what features his “dream night light” might have.

What's wrong with night lights?   Features of the reimagined night light

Beginning with concept sketches, then learning more about electronics and programming from Sector67 community support, Francis built a prototype that utilizes an embedded Arduino Nano housed in a case printed on the 3D printer.

showing the prototype  side view of the prototype

Other features Francis included in his device are:

  • motion sensor
  • bright/dim adjustments
  • flicker feature
  • flip-down plug

Francis is already working on refinements for the next version of his even better night light.

 

“Lightning in Lumber” demonstration

What happens when you run electrical current through wood?  Jesse, Josh, and Jeff have recently been experimenting and learning more about this.  The results are varied and often quite beautiful!

electricity as it travels through wood  Lightning in Lumber - many pieces, many patterns

“Sometimes it starts fire, and sometimes we end up with something like this,” stated Jesse.  While the results have varied, the learnings and collaborative efforts of the group have certainly made this project interesting.  With the addition of some safety features, a project such as this could be featured at an event in the future.

 

High-Tech Halloween Carving

Tormach, a CNC manufacturing company from Waunakee (and friend of Sector67) has generously provided us with a new piece of equipment.  This new machine has the skill and power to take on many big projects, but we thought we’d start with a small one… a Jack-O-Lantern.  We’ll have many more projects and news about this generous gift in the near future, but for now here’s a look at one of its many capabilities in carving gourds!

IMG_8828    IMG_8830

 

“Here for Inspiration”

In addition to current members, the October meeting brought many first-time visitors.  During introductions, there was a resounding theme of “I’m here for inspiration.”  There is no doubt that this collaborative space will get your creative juices flowing.

If you’ve been thinking about stopping in to Sector67, there are two ways to do so.  Our monthly meetings are free and open to the public.  The next meeting is on Tuesday, November 3 at 7:00 PM.  In addition, there are Open House/Tour opportunities each Friday from 1-7PM on the hour.  Check our calendar for more details.

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Maker Faire Milwaukee – September 26-27th

Maker Faire Milwaukee
Maker Faire Milwaukee is coming up quick – the event is part of the Wisconsin State Fair, Saturday September 26th (9-6PM) and Sunday September 27th (10-5PM). The best part about MF Milwaukee? It’s free to attend!

We’ll again be hosting a lockpicking table, and demonstrating some projects from our members and the community.

For more information have a look on their website.

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