Build Madison 2018

Build Madison

Build Madison is back!

The 24-hour community “create-a-thon” returns to Sector67 on November 17 at 11am. Project presentations begin at 11am on Sunday, November 18.

We’re excited to announce the 8th annual Build Madison 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 17th, at 11am, when we’ll host short (11AM 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:
Who: Anyone interested
What: 24 hr hackathon
Where: Sector67 – 56 Corry St, Madison, WI – short ride on your bicycle and not far off the bus route
When: November 17th at 11AM through the 18th, with project presentations starting at 11AM on the 18th
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:
We hope to see you on the 17th!
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2018 – Latvian Summer Camp 3×3

For the 2nd year in a row, Sector67 has supported budding makers from across the US by lending equipment for use at a week long, all ages summer camp in Three Rivers, Michigan.
Every August since 1981, the Latvian Center Garezers hosts 3×3: a week long Latvian language immersion experience.  People of all ages, from all over the US and abroad convene at Garezers to strengthen their ties to the Latvian culture, improve their Latvian language skills, and learn new things about Latvian culture, past & present. Garezers isn’t the only place that hosts a 3×3 camp, but it is the closest one to Madison.  Most classes offered during that week fall into one of two categories: the “talking” classes (think more like a guided discussion on topics relating to Latvia, often with guest lecturers from abroad) and the “doing” classes (silversmithing, the Latvian kitchen, pottery, and more).


In 2017, Laima pitched the idea to offer a new class where we’d use new technology to create Latvian art. To make this work, Sector67 lent several 3D printers and a 40W laser cutter to supplement the vinyl cutter that Laima had access to. Chris has also been kind enough to also be “on call” whenever we run into problems that need extra technical help.


The focus of the class is:
  1. To introduce folks to new technology:
    • Show them how to use open source software to create files that these machines can interpret
    • Learn how to run the basic machine functions
    • Become more comfortable searching for online answers to problems encountered while using these machines
  2. THEN use this new technology to make Latvian-inspired items
  3. And finally, to help those who are interested learn where/how to purchase similar machines and/or to find resources that are more local to them so they can continue learning about and using this new technology

This class is capped at 8 students, and each student typically wants to try a little bit of everything. Once they get over the initial shock of having to learn at least 2 new software programs in a short amount of time, the class takes off and starts to think creatively and play with the materials on hand. What follows are the 2018 results of this class – fun stuff!


And just bc photos are fun (and Laima failed to post these in a timely manner in 2017 – WHOOOOPS), here are the 2017 class projects:
Posted in Classes, Projects, Thank You! Tagged with: , , , , ,

FIRST Robotics Competition Machine Shop

Sector67 is proud to partner with Tormach (Waunakee, WI) to provide a mobile machine shop for the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) in 2017 and 2018 for the Seven River’s WI Regional Championship as well as the World Championship in St. Louis (2017) and Detroit (2018). We’re generously supported in this effort by Alliant Energy, Tormach, Zendesk, Miller, Dremel, Milwaukee Tools and King Trailer Company – who have worked together to provide cash, equipment, tools, and resources to make our mobile workspace a reality!

In March, 2017 Alliant Energy donated an old F550 service truck and money to purchase a suitable trailer to house our equipment:

This provided us with a capable platform to haul a lot of equipment and weight anywhere we needed to be.  The next step was to figure out what could fit in the trailer and to sort out what size workbenches made the most sense:

Tormach committed to providing a 440 milling machine, staff, and finances to help with other equipment to fill the trailer.  We decided to build dedicated workbenches that would house equipment only used on the trailer.  The first step was to weld up frames and build durable wood workbenches that would hold up to the abuse of riding in a trailer all over the country:

Most importantly they seemed to fit as planned!

We’d been collecting a lot of smaller equipment that wasn’t a good fit for our shop, but would be a great asset on a mobile work platform where you couldn’t afford the footprint of larger tools.  Other equipment was purchased or were timely donations, Madison Kipp Corporation was able to contribute a portable welding exhaust collector that was just collecting dust around their shop (yep, that’s a pun folks):

Which was a nice match for a pair of MIG and TIG welders and plasma cutter contributed by Miller:

Ultimately we split the equipment into cold working tools we could keep indoors, and a hot working table that could be placed wherever was appropriate for the venue.  We’ve had to weld and work inside the trailer, inside a loading dock, and outdoors depending on the situation but it works out well with the fume extractor and light weight welders.

We attended the 2017 La Crosse Seven River’s Regional FRC and had a great time working out the bugs and testing out the equipment:

We ended up with some jobs that were well beyond the capability of the equipment, but in the right hands no job is too complicated:

Teaching all of the kids how locks work is an added bonus for the teams who were out of the competition:

At the end of April 2017 we geared up to head down the St. Louis for the world championship and many many more teams to support:

The magnitude of the competition is tough to grasp, but we’re looking at roughly 20,000 students around for the contest!


and lots of broken robots to help repair:

A bird’s eye view of the machine shop:

We had a great time partnering with some local volunteers who brought in a bunch of their own machine tools to lend a hand with repairs as well.


This year we’re just finishing up at the Seven River’s Regional Competition and are excited to head to Detroit for the world championship:

The process is pretty simple, student participants stop over and ask for help, the request is documented in case we need to follow up/etc:

and then we do the best we can.  Sometimes we’re working from a napkin sketch, other times teams have a fully FEA’d (Finite Element Analysis, effectively a computer simulation of strength) part that’s been worked on for months but just broke:

Overall we could never run these outreach opportunities without generous support from our sponsors – Alliant Energy, Tormach, Zendesk, Miller, Dremel, Milwaukee Tools, and King Trailer Company.  We’re always looking for more contributors to help cover our costs and improve services.

Alliant’s contribution of an old service truck has been invaluable in many other ways, we’ve been able to pick up and move tons of iron for the iron pour:

and many piles of salvage materials to allow us to build our permanent home:

And we’re looking forward to more All Hand’s On metalworking activities a little closer to home!


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

Opportunities To Get Involved

Thank you for your patience while we’ve had a tough year!  We’ve had a lot to look forward to but many challenges in getting thereIf you’d like to help us build our permanent space at 56 Corry St please sign up on the construction mailing list (just click request to join group, will say “group members only” on the page) and stop in to volunteer when you can.  Tasks range in experience levels, so you can put your expert skills to work or help out where needed and learn as you go.

We’re still raising money for our permanent home, you can donate (without fees) here, every bit counts!

We have a deadline to move by April this year, which has unfortunately meant we’ve been unable to keep up with membership requests and building construction.  If you’re interested in signing up to use the workshop, please use the contact us button at the top right to send in an e-mail and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can, regrettably this may take some time.

Posted in Uncategorized

2018 Iron Pour – February 10th!

FeLion Studios and Sector67 are proud to announce our 8th annual partnership on a community iron pour, taking place on February 10th at Sector67 – you can RSVP on Facebook here

You can purchase heart moulds online now and pick them up any Friday from 1-7PM at Sector67; – 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!)


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.  FeLion is always looking for supporters to help make the event happen every year.




2018 Timelapse Videos:

Video from the bicycle rack
Video from the front of the building

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

2012 video and image summary

2013 video and image summary

Posted in Businesses at Sector67, Projects Tagged with: ,

Help Sector67 and Chris Meyer

On September 20th, 2017 Chris Meyer, the founder and driving force behind Sector67, was seriously injured in a freak accident caused by a propane explosion while working to help build out the new Sector67 facility. Now Chris and Sector67 need your help!  Please see our Go Fund Me page for more details of the accident, the project and how you can help.

Posted in Uncategorized


As an intern, I had the pleasure of attending, recording, and editing the February Iron Pour for Sector67. It was an exclusive backstage pass as a Social Media Manager into an event that had the feel of genuine American culture. Experiencing the energy of it was similar to attending a festival.  The cultural atmosphere was great for capturing footage and images that was impressionable. There was chili, hot drinks, and beer (BYOB) as well as classic American Rock music playing. For mid February, the weather was a little mild and the sun shined right into the parking lot of Sector67, in which we were able to enjoy.


As I walked with my camera among the crowd of people seeing life through a lens of an idea, as a community resident-who had finally come out of the house to mingle with my neighbors, it gave me that eerie feeling-perhaps, I was just nervous. I was doing something I had never done. The pressure of wanting to give Sector67 the gift of a great video consumed my whole being at the time. So I was looking through a scope of a million views, 100,000 comments, and 100 customer feedbacks. Professionalism was on me, but the event itself brought out the child in me.  Excited as the first time I rode the Eagle at Great America, I recorded video and snapped away with my phone camera. My intentions were to create a video that would be one of the most memorable. So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and asked workers and volunteers of the Iron Pour for interviews. Actually, you could hear my nervousness as I asked questions in the video. In fact, this is the first video I ever recorded and edited for real viewing purposes. There was hours upon hours of editing involved with making the Iron pour video. Funny thing is, it only runs for about twelve minutes. The interviews are the best parts of the Iron Pour for me personally because I was able to learn about the people who make it happen. They were all from different states and all knew each other through professional and personal networks. The interviews took me beyond the idea of an event, and more into the realms of service and lovingkindness of people. The February Pour N’ Yer Out Iron Pour with Felion Studios and Sector67 is honestly a life experience I will never forget.



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The March meeting held on 03/07/2017 was another interesting affair held at Sector67. Presenters and attendants alike seemed to enjoy it. As I took pictures, I noticed that they all were picturesque. Each image I captured singed a memory in my mind. Inspirational creativity. Reason to challenge myself more. The experience of Show and Tell gives me a deeper understanding of how people makes the world go round. The humility at the March Meeting was the highlight in my opinion. For instance, Shira presented a talking caliper for the blind and visually impaired. Pardon me, Shira presented a talking caliper (which is a project she is working on) for the blind and visually impaired. Yes, that is very selfless and fascinating. But enough for my opinions, Lon brought his metal sculpture named “Fireworks” that he worked on during the winter. Kate and Brian presented their plaque that was the trophy for Isthmus Beer and Cheese Event. It’s all here for you to read more about and much more.


The night was eloquently started with Shira presenting a talking caliper for the blind and visually impaired. The caliper comes equipped with a SD card, speaker and audio jack.

Shira explained that the caliper she is working on will be able to improve on the price of talking calipers in the market and will be open source and available to anyone who would like to make one.

Shira is a Electrical Engineer as well as a member of Sector67 who has also created MOARbots, which we featured in 2015. The modest engineer spoke passionately about being able to do something beneficial for others.


Attendees of March’s Show and Tell surround Shira as she answers questions about her talking caliper for the blind and visually impaired.


Lon’s sculpture kept the momentum going. It is a winter art project he affectionately called; “Fireworks”. The sleek and unique design is really difficult to photograph. Fireworks are always better seen live. However, I was able to capture Lon detailing some of the detailed work he had to put into it.




















Kate and Brian presented the trophy they made for the winners at the 8th annual Isthmus Beers and Cheese event. Trophies went to the best beer, booth and cheese. The design of the plaque actually comes from artwork from a previous Isthmus Newspaper Beer and Cheese event. As you can see in the plaque’s design, the artwork consisted of the shape of Wisconsin in all things cultural to Madison.


Trophy designed by Katie and Brian using art in vector-based format.





Joe showed up to talk about a cool gadget called a “Tourbillon” that makes the ticking sound in clocks and watches.

Joe showing the design of the Tourbillon he made on a 3D printer at Sector67 during Show and Tell.

















Scott ended the night with the introduction of Sector67’s adult metalworking class and the youth metalworking class. This quarter’s class for adults will be 04/17/2017 and youth class will begin on 04/22/2017. If you are interested in the class you can reach Scott using the contact us button at the top right.








Another informative meeting at Sector67. The show and Tell Monthly Meeting takes place the first Tuesday of every month and is open to the community. In fact, if you would like to come in and present something feel free to get in touch using the link at the top right.

Posted in Meetings Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Hands on Metalworking Class reflects American Values

Sector67 is also an American community who have a committment of preparing children for everday life. I have the honor of seeing this firsthand. For instance, Scott and Quincy’s Metalworking class isn’t just about metalworking. “It is about teaching children a life long skill,” says Scott who instruct the class with Quincy. During a sit down with the guys, I learned that teaching a particular skill aides in the development of a community on a broader scale. Quincy, who also taught education in Chicago, Illinois and Houston, Texas said,”this is a great opportunity to offer the next generation of mechanics and children who want to get their hands dirty some early experience on using tools.”

After going over some safety precautions, brief history of metal working, and description of the tools of the trade, Quincy and Scott began demonstrating the usage of the tools. Soon after, the students began handling the tools by themselves. They also got a lecture and example of shop etiquette.

As the class went on, I found myself drawn to the significance of the class. A father attended the class with his son, some parents wanted their daughter to learn something different, and the children as a whole seemed genuinely into the course. Watching them gain confidence in handling the tools compelled me to another level of understanding. Perhaps one of these children will become an innovator in the field someday? Maybe even own their own shop as an adult? Exposing the youth to something new and giving them such experience as metalworking can change ones perspective.


The Metalworking class is a quarterly program here at Sector67. Coming next month in April, we will be starting an adult Metalworking class. Click on the link for more details.



Posted in Classes Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

February Meeting ’17

Sector67’s February Show and Tell was a night of genuine professionalism and raw talent. The night was as social as it was informative as members and affiliates took turns showing their interests and creations. This month’s Show and Tell covered Sector67’s and East High school’s collaborative effort of creating a robot to compete in FIRST’s Techology Challenge, there was a very important live feed from Portland (from another hackerspace) and much more. Don’t worry, we got it all for you right here.

Liam, a junior from East High School, demonstrated the robot that Sean and Shira from Sector67 coached him and some of his schoolmates to build, program and operate for FIRST’s Tech robot challenge this past january. Liam and Shira showed off some of the robot’s capabilities to kick off February’s Show and Tell.



Here is Liam’s robot in action as Liam describes how it shoots balls up the pictured ramp and down the side.


Joe comically, yet thoroughly told us about an early model of the Unitek Miyachi laser cutter that is able to cut thin metals. As he was giving his presentation, he passed around a couple of pieces he cut to show how it works. Below is the logo of Sector67. The Unitek Miyachi also has spot-welding capability.

Joe holds hackerspace’s attention as he naturally entertains and describe how to program functions into the laser cutter using the joystick and camera.

Evan presented his Solid State Tesla Coil he made for his capstone project while attending MSOE. The coil actually transforms power through a couple coils before it shoot out some plasma arcs at the top of it. Here is an image of a Solid State Tesla Coil that I uploaded from

This model is nearly identical to the one Evan presented. Since Evan didn’t bring a live model I used this one to give you an idea of what he did present.



Here is Evan explaining how he decided to keep the stored energy low in case a child ran up to the table and touched his Solid State Tesla Coil during his exhibition at MSOE University. The rating of it ran at about 20 volts.


Kelly and Alisa presented the process of pouring iron.

During their presentation, Alisa explained that a sand mold is essentially a “negative” of what the iron will be once it is poured into the sand mold.








If you are ever interested in volunteering for future iron pours, you can contact Alisa Toninato at FeLion Studios and express your interests.

Jesse presented a gorgeous slab he made to custom fit a Green Egg Grill. The cost of a table would have cost Jesse a $1,000. So he decided to take $200 bucks and brought the slab. He told us how he sanded it down and finished it. The hole seen at the center of the lab was jig-sawed to hold the 300lb. grill.





Jesse took A quick moment to give us a visual of what a Green Egg grill looks like.













Next up Quincy informed us about the All Hands on Metal Working Class instructed by him and Scott Hasse. The goal of the class is to teach young kids between the grades of 7th though 12th how to use tools that is used in metal working, as well as how to be good stewards in a shared space. Quincy announced that the class would now run once a quarter. Announcements will be made soon for registration for the next session. Here is some cool shots of Quincy teaching students of the class about drillbits, where to find them, and the need for shop safety. The bottom picture shows the students assessing some of their learned work.


Davie came to talk about some magnets he made for his daughter. He started making the magnets using sketch art them moved on to CAD (computer aided design). Davie also used non-toxic paint to color the parts once they were cut. Besides, toy planes, trucks and cars, he also designed some cupcakes.








A close of a dump tuck magnet Davie passed around.


A wedding scene magnet shown here. Nice detail.
















Jenina came and talked to us about the Madison Soup event. The event is a great way to network, get out of the house, give back, and share your talent with the rest of the community. Tickets go for about $10 and need to be purchased in advance. Madison Soup has been around since 2011 and partnered with Sector67 to host 18 events in which $7,000 have been raised to put back into the community.









Mike and Dana came and introduced us to Sam, from portland who presented Eco-recycling to us via a livefeed. During their presentation, they spoke to us about finding better solutions to preserving our environment. They are currently working on a project that is an experiment at Standing Rock to create a recycling program. Sam told us about an initiative that they took on to remove trash at Standing Rock. In fact, Sam is a member at a hackerspace in Portland. There at their hackerspace, he assembled a stainless steel recycle bin. His concern was to remove an excessive amount of card board taking up space there. In addition to removing the trash from Standing Rock, they began a project to recycle trash and use it as fuel instead of fossil fuels.

Mike and Dana cueing up Sam’s presentation via a live feed.

A livefeed of Sam. In the background you can see some of the materials he is using to build recycling bins.















The Show and Tell is a montly meeting that Sector67’s membership enjoy. At the meeting, presenters share some of the projects they are working on, or either just share some really useful information. I encourage everyone to come out and check it out for yourself. The monthly meeting is held the first Tuesday of every month. Starting at 7pm. Next meeting is on March 7th.

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Caught a Minute of Jim’s Time…..

I sat down with Jim to complete an old interview that Margie, a past Sector67 social media intern, had started but didn’t quite finish.  I found out Jim is a member of Sector67 since 2011 and has invented multiple products here. He is an Electrical Engineer by training and has artfully drafted his way into the character of our community.

Starting with some notes from Margie:

Margie: “What toys or tools did you play with as a kid?”

Jim: “Erector Sets. I loved building with them but often found they did not have enough pieces. Having to make do with what was available, I found myself creating additional parts/pieces I needed from other kits, materials, or toys.”

Margie: “What kinds of projects have you done?”

Jim: “Mostly projects to learn to be a designer. I started with 3-D printing. Mechanical designs were quick and easy.”

Margie: “What are your current projects, products, or prototypes?

Jim: “Enclosures for Lutzbot 3D printers”

Margie: What should an inventor avoid?

Jim: Don’t get to attached to your idea because it will blind you to the reality of the situation.

Margie: What are your current projects, products, or prototypes? 

JIm: I’m working on some enclosures, containers, and some furniture.

Margie: What have you learned in terms of marketing your product and getting it into stores? Who is your target market? 

Jim: I haven’t tried stores. Amazon is king online with eBay coming second. And it is a challenge to get people to visit your website. I am focusing on a niche market style of advertising because broader style advertising would be ineffective in targeting  potential customers.

Margie: Can you remember the first time you used a tool?

Jim: Yes. A hammer smashing things with a hammer (laughs) I guess.


Jim launched a company called TabSynth Design Works from Sector67 and has made a wide array of objects found around the shop.  He has a pending patent on his tab and slot construction system seen on the parts below.

A planter made by Jim for the Open Seed Project in 2016. See Tesla being the best model.


The enclosure for the Lulzbot 3D printer in use featured below. The enclosure  stabilizes the temperature inside the printer to improve the quality of printing.

A chest of drawers designed by Jim and cut with the laser cutter.










An observation dome made by Jim using the laser-cutter. The dome is placed in an upper door panel that serves as a place for Tesla to overlook the makerspace. Here Tesla looks at Jim as he takes a picture of her.

Jim also designed the safety glass rack where members and visitors can store their safety glasses.













His best selling product is the Lulzbot Mini enclosure which has sold hundreds primarily though his Amazon and eBay stores but can also be purchased directly from his storefront.

Posted in Businesses at Sector67, Laser Cutter, News Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Isaac Powers Troop 173 Eagle Project

My name is Isaac Powers and I’m a Boy Scout from Troop 173 in Sauk City. A few months ago, I started work on my Eagle Scout project. My project was making and installing signs for Moely Prairie in Prairie du Sac. This involved getting lumber, designing 4 signs, and installing them with the Scouts and members of The Prairie Enthusiasts. Through a small amount of research, we decided it would be best to use a CNC router to cut the words into the wood. I worked with Chris to learn about how to design, make, and paint the signs. They were installed at the beginning of November, 2016.
Posted in Hardware, News, Projects Tagged with: , , , ,


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