March monthly meeting

The Sector67 monthly meeting was held March 3rd 2015.




1.Mike presented a vacuum table insert for the CNC Router



This allows flimsy or lighter weight pieces of material to be secured with out the use of clamps which may compromise the consistency of a cut.



2. Larry presented a base-camp power box consisting of multiple USB ports connected to a battery.


Tentatively called “The Big Juice Box” it is ideal for camping or road trips or situations where USB power supplies are limited or non existent. Providing power for several devices to be used simultaneously such as lighting or music sources, cooking devices, or cellphones that need charging.



3. Alex took us all back to our days of math class, where survival depended on the games your calculator had. Taking it one step further and programming his own!

alex1 has some great resources for these programs.


4. Eric presented his latest version of the theremin inspired Ondes Martenot


This latest version features moveable tube lighting that indicates where the major and correlating minor notes of a scale are located along the “keyboard” surface. This new feature is a a great learning tool, providing visual reference for scales and is capable of being repositioned for different scales.


5. Shira gave an update on her MOARbots


Read more about her MOARbots here


6. Heather gave a presentation on the upcoming Madison Soup event being held Sunday March 8th 2015 4 pm-6 pm at Sector67.   Only a few tickets are left so get them while you can!

For more information head over to

Tickets available here

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Meet Shira, and her MOARbots



Shira is focused on three large themes presently: robotics, re-thinking traditional education, and a project to create a graphic novel in a 2D style but using 3D CGI techniques. “For the first one, I’ve created MOARbots. For the second one, I teach for two months over the summer at intensive academic camp programs for middle and high school students. For the third one, I’ve been learning Blender(a free and open source 3D animation suite.).” says Shira. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California in 2012 she attended graduate school for a year before deciding it wasn’t for her at the time. “I came to Sector67 and decided that now is the time for me to work on all the projects I put on the back burner while I was in school.” One of those projects being MOARbots (Modular Open-Source Affordable Robots ). “MOARbots is about providing resources to people who want to build a bunch of robots on a budget. Typically costing under $50 with some designs costing much less.”






MOARbots are designed to be made with 3d printed plastic, along with easy to source parts, such as nails, rubber bands, marbles, hot glue, and heat shrink. MOARbots feature a wireless radio, so that robots can be used in a variety of ways such as: overhead camera based autonomous navigation, distributed multi agent systems, or remote control. “The main application this framework is designed to work for is a situation where you want to run experiments with multiple robots that get data wirelessly about their position from an overhead camera using vision tracking algorithms. This means instead of focusing on the robots doing processing on raw data, which requires computational resources, additional sensors, and time, you can get started right away doing higher level stuff, like making the robots play tag.”

“What makes MOARbots possible is rapid prototyping, and that is what makes Sector67 so integral to this project. Most of the parts for the robots are 3D printed and others are laser cut, all using the tools at Sector67. I also got a lot of suggestions and answers to my questions from Chris Meyer and Sector67 members. There are also lots of tools and parts I didn’t realize I needed until the middle of the project, and Sector67 provides me with immediate access to these things”





Shira has been a Sector67 member since January 2014

For more information about MOARbots or info on building your own visit

To keep up with all of Shiras amazing projects follow her blog:

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Thank You Tekton



In the last year Tekton went on a mission to talk to and visit with several makerspaces. After all these conversations something became clear : They like makers. They like the inner drive inside every maker to continually design, prototype, make, tinker,refine, and make some more.

This led to Tekton wanting to play a role in the expansion of the maker movement. Through this desire they developed the Makekit, by taking their tools (which themselves have gone through a maker-like process of designing, prototyping,tinkering, and refining) and creating bundles suited to the needs of the makerspace. These bundles allow makerspaces to procure a vast arsenal of essential tools without breaking the bank.

To take their involvement in the Maker Movement to the next level Tekton they held a contest open to makerspaces nationwide, selecting 15 winners: 5 receiving the Makekit collection, and 10 others receiving the General Makekit.

Sector67 is proud to announce that we were selected to be one of the 5 recipients of the Makekit collection.


The Makekit collection from Tekton

Sector67 plans to utilize this generous prize at events that take us away from our shop. Events such as the Wisconsin Science Festival, the maker fairs we participate in, as well as the after school clubs we work with that we provide tools for. These tools will allow us to ensure that everybody can fully participate at these events, and enhance the learning experience that the makers of tomorrow can experience!


At the Wisconsin Science Festival


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Made by Maggie Modena

Designer, Maggie Modena attended both the UW Madison for Textile and Apparel design and New York City’s FIT for Accessory Design. Since Graduating she has gone on to design handbags for brands such as Nicole Miller, Lucky Brand, Jessica Simpson and Franco Sarto. After living in New York City Maggie moved back to her hometown of Madison, WI knowing that the cities support of local and sustainable art and entrepreneurship would fit perfectly with her focus on launching her own line.


Sector67 was a natural fit for Maggie’s ambitious new endeavor. But first she felt there was a real need for a sewing studio in which you could access as you needed it. After establishing the space at Sector67, she got back to working on her true love: handbags.


Maggie debated working with a formal factory to produce her handbags but ultimately felt that with her knowledge of leatherwork and construction, as well as having access to Sector67, that maintaining having a heavy hand in production was the best option. “I do all of the pattern making, laser cutting, gluing, embossing and other prep work and have it sewn in Milwaukee by a lovely couple who works out of a basement studio” says Welsh.

backpack1 bigbag1


Sourcing her material was a bit of a quest, her leather is made in Milwaukee, the hardware from Ohio, but other harder to find materials she had to get crafty to find. When she could not locate a source for the “Stay Paper” she used as an internal reinforcer in the bags, she found a YouTube video that featured the material she needed and commented on it, and through that conversation secured a supplier for the evasive material.

laser cut maggiesew

Maggie has already accomplished her first goal, which was to “make the product with quality materials and with kind people which feels great.” Adding, “I hope to someday make a living off this” This may not be far off as she as just reached another milestone in her career. February 14th will see the launch of her line of handbags at local boutique Iona. A Valentines Day Trunk Show will be going on from Noon until 3 o’clock at Iona (807 East Johnson Street). Maggie is currently working on expanding her product to other cities.



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February Monthly Meeting

The Sector67 monthly meeting was held February 3rd




1. Bob presented an edge lit display that lights up when he receives a notification from Reddit.

Bob presenting

Bob presenting

Built on the Spark Core, it connects over WiFi every minute and checks the Reddit API for new messages, then the LEDs “breathe” when he receives a notification


Final product lit up

Final product lit up

2. Next Xavier gave a presentation on a prototype for a digital table top gaming system


Xavier giving his presentation

Using a mounted camera, projector and OpenCV, a checkerboard pattern is projected and then calibrated through the camera to create a playing surface where blank shapes are placed and once recognized an image is projected to the shape


3. Jim created a prototype for a cord reel designed to unravel as you pull and uses no slip rings which degrades signals and cause wear issues


Jim demonstrating the reel

The handle is selective laser sintered “SLS” stainless steel


Jim’s Prototype


4. Doug, an Army veteran, embroidered a replacement of a patch he had lost while serving in Afghanistan


Doug showing the machine embroidering a patch


Test run of the design


5.Marty and Robin, a brother and sister team called Lumen Electronic Jewelry, showed off some electronics-inspired blinking jewelry.

Robin and Marty presenting their electronic jewelry

Robin and Marty presenting their electronic jewelry

6. Brian explained his plan for using RaspberryPi and Screenly displays at the Iron pour to provide visual information for attendees. Chris described the process for casting iron, as well as providing information about the Iron Pour


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Save the Date! Pour Yer Heart Out – 2015 Iron Pour

COME AND PICK UP HEARTS IF YOU’RE INTERESTED – we’ll have limited availability the day of the event. Carved heart tiles must be returned by 11AM on Saturday February 7th to be poured. Hours for pickup are posted on the calendar/hours above.

FeLion Studios and Sector67 are proud to announce our 4th annual partnership on a community iron pour, taking place on February 7th at Sector67:

2015 PYHO Flyer


You can purchase heart molds 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 mold:
Scratch Demo 2
Scratch Demo
Just remember a few rules:

  • Mold modification is messy, so lay the mold on a cardboard box or plastic bag to dispose of the excess sand.
  • Remember to draw everything backwards, it’s a mold, 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 molds a few days before the pour up until EARLY the morning of the pour

Special new opportunity for this year – Alisa will be hosting an advanced mold making class at her studio, more information is available here and they’ll be partnered with the Madison Children’s Museum for two days (including an adult swim evening).  Make sure you sign up for these opportunities if you’re interested as space will be limited.

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:




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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StartingBlock Madison announces plans for an entrepreneurial hub


WISC-TV News 3 aired a segment on StartingBlock Madison.  You can view the segment at

On September 2, Mayor Paul Soglin released the City of Madison’s 2015 Executive Capital Budget. The City’s proposed budget includes a commitment of $1.5 million for a new initiative planned by StartingBlock Madison, Inc. to create an entrepreneurial hub and ecosystem to help Madison’s entrepreneurs succeed.With additional support from American Family Insurance, who have pledged a major investment,  StartingBlock Madison Inc. plans to build a 50,000 square foot entrepreneurial hub in the heart of Madison’s Capitol East District where entrepreneurs, investors, advisors, and community members can connect, share innovative ideas, and create next-generation businesses.

Pending additional funding from the private sector, construction of the  building would begin in the fall  of  2015.


About  StartingBlock  Madison: Starting Block Madison (SBM) is dedicated to supporting  entrepreneurism, education and economic growth in the Madison region. SBM’s origins date back to 2012 when a group of entrepreneurs and technology and civic leaders began to pursue the idea of a single location that offered the critical components needed by entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses, create jobs and stimulate the regional economy. In late 2013, the  group officially formed StartingBlock  Madison,  Inc. as  a Wisconsin non-­stock corporation.

The entrepreneurial hub will provide the space and resources needed to get started, literally finding the “starting  blocks”  needed  for success:

  • Affordable, flexible office and co-working space
  • Peer networking and mentoring
  • Access to peers, mentors, investment and professional  advisers  (sponsors)
  • Accelerator programs (i.e.  gener8tor)
  • Collaboration, meeting and conference space
  • Educational programming, workshops and community building  events
  • Sector67  community  maker/hackerspace
  • Home for Capitol Entrepreneurs, a 300 member organization of founders/leaders of Madison area start-ups.
By growing a vibrant, interconnected ecosystem from our existing entrepreneurial community, StartingBlock will be a place where entrepreneurs can:
• Turn innovative ideas into profitable businesses and accelerate job creation
• Grow our innovation culture into a start-up hub
• Propel our technology,  healthcare and creative digital sectors
• Spark our next generation of dreamers and inventors

We need your support to raise the remaining funds to begin construction by the end of 2015. Please contact us using the “contact us” link at the top right if you’re interested in supporting this project and we’ll get you in touch with ways to help.

Posted in News

Bruce’s Futon Plans Come to Life

Bruce signed up a few months ago with the grand intentions of building his own futon from some plans in an old woodworking magazine – his rationale was that futons are built like crap and he could do it better and end up with something that would look a lot nicer and last a lot longer than what was available from a big box store.


Completed build

Working from the plans, he purchased rough lumber and obtained free wood flooring cutoffs and worked on joining and planing them to the necessary dimensions.  Because most of the pieces were futon length, they couldn’t fit on the smaller 36″ x 25″ router, so he needed to use the 4’x8′ wood router.  Using OpenSCAD, he laid out a lot of pockets and stacked the boards together to save time, the mortise joints would otherwise have been a huge amount of work even with a jig:

Photo on 7-28-14 at 6.28 PM

A man and his machine.

He used CamBam to take the DXF from OpenSCAD and turn it into code for the CNC router (which runs a Linux CNC controller), this tells the router how to cut the patterns and which order to cut them in:

Photo on 7-28-14 at 6.04 PM #2

One of the hardest parts is transferring the alignment around the legs of the futon, because it’s made from 4 sections of frame and numerous slats that all have to be lined up, it’s amazing how nice it looks assembled:


At the end of the day, building a futon takes a lot of time and focus:


The best part about his work, is he made it into our spot on the Big Ten Network.

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Fixing a Greenhouse and Learning How to Use a CNC Router

Guest post from Mattias about a recent project:
Sometimes, things break. As my grandparents recently discovered, injection molded nylon has a special affinity for this behavior after many years of use.

The “T” shape at the top of the part slides up and down an aluminium channel, part of a greenhouse door assembly. The rest of it bolts into the door itself. When these parts broke, my grandparents asked me if I knew of any way to make more. My first thought was 3D printing, but I didn’t think that the layers would hold together well enough from repeated sliding.

I contacted Chris, and we decided that the best option would probably be cutting them on the wood router out of a solid block. Chris had some HPDE left from another project, so we used that. We cut them in three batches of four.  We had multiple identical pieces of this scrap, so that made it a much more simple task. A picture of our setup on the table is below:

Here they are being cut:

And of one of the three batches of parts after they were cut.
Chis would then cut the tabs apart on a bandsaw and give them to me so I could remove the tabs using the belt sander. Here’s a picture of me trying not to lose my fingernails.
A picture of the finished part is at the top. I did a bit more sanding on it before sending them off to my grandparents. All in all, it was a great experience, and the people at Sector67 were very nice and happy to help.
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WiscoWood and its first Kickstarter Campaign

Over a year in the making with a lot of blood, sweat, and laughs with my Sector67 peers and this is what you get:

WiscoWood Minimalist Cycling Wallets


We can’t even begin to thank the list of people at Sector67 who have helped make this project possible. Thank you Sector67 and all of you who have helped us along the way. 

We’re delivering by December 15th! These make a perfect present.

Posted in Businesses at Sector67, Laser Cutter, Projects, Thank You! Tagged with: , , , , ,

5th Annual Build Madison This Weekend!

The community “create-a-thon” returns to Sector67 on November 8-9.

We’re excited to announce the 5th 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 8th, at noon, when we’ll host short (<1 minute) pitches from anyone who has a project they’re contemplating working on.  This will allow people who don’t have their own project to work on to collaborate with others; and also to get a general idea of the kinds of projects to expect for the next 24 hours.  After that, you can spend the next 24 hours working with others or on your own project, and when 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:
Who: Anyone interested
What: 24 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 8th at noon through the 9th, with project presentations starting at 11AM on the 9th
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 8th!
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Madison SOUP This Sunday!

imageMadison SOUP is coming up this Sunday – this event is an opportunity to support projects that will benefit the Madison community. Sign up and stop in at 4PM to enjoy soup, salad, and bread as well as your vote on which project should receive the proceeds from the meal.


We will have 3 Projects Presenting:

1. Madison Community Discourse-An organization that will connect community through experiences and art. Through hands-on art workshops, events, youth development, and an annual interactive art exhibition, we challenge both artists and audiences to new levels of discourse, creative pursuit, reflection, and connection. Programming will include children’s art workshops, family story times, storytelling, spoken word, film, screen printing, photography, and an annual multi-media art exhibition.

2. Atwood Tool Library-Working to help the community through: 1. Reducing unnecessary consumption of tools and equipment, thus reducing our carbon footprint. 2. Consumers often buy a tool only to use it once or twice before possibly storing it in their basement or garage. 3. Educating community members in proper use and maintenance of tools, thereby enhancing community self-reliance and resilience. 4. Fostering an increased sense of community and mutual support. 5. Encouraging community members to repair items they might otherwise throw in the trash, and to make products for themselves locally instead of purchasing items made far away. 6. Laying a foundation for a sharing economy.

3. Brentwood’s Gardens for Empowerment (G4E) Community Gardens-Throughout the summer neighborhood youth learn valuable skills around job readiness, teamwork, environmental sciences, nutrition education and community service. Fresh produce from the gardens is distributed to the youth and other residents living in the rental properties in Brentwood. We plan to offer individual garden plots to residents living in rental units giving them the opportunity to garden with the support of G4E partners. In addition, we hope to engage community members more fully during the season ahead as we look to expand and institutionalize the garden into the community further. It is hoped that community members will be engaged more fully this year.

As well as the three projects that are pitching, we will be hearing from March’s Madison SOUP winner, Brandon Lang, about progress on Lang Family House of Terror.

1. Sweet Potato Cauliflower (Vegetarian)
2. Thai Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato (Vegan)
-Green Lettuce Salad with vegetables and dressing
-French Bread
-Lemonade, Water or BYOBeverage

Cost of the meal is $10

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