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!
Posted in Uncategorized

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

Posted in MadisonSOUP Tagged with:

Sector67 at the Wisconsin Science Festival

We had a lot of fun over the last 3 days at the Wisconsin Science Festival talking with kids from across the state (and from adjacent states!) about science and technology through a variety of projects that our members have worked on.  Big thanks to Bob, Eric, Jesse, Mike and Shira for volunteering a significant portion of their days to help out, either running the booth or keeping the giant bicycle rolling and thanks to the festival sponsors for creating the opportunity.

We brought over the InMoov robot that was created on our 3D printers:


that garnered a lot of attention from the kids:


As well as a few unusual bicycles including a penny farthing, an electric chopper, and our giant bicycle (that kids could take a ride on around the building):



We also had Bob, Shira, and Eric hosting a table in the robotics zoo behind Union South:
Eric brought along his thermin-based-keyboard that’s always a hit with the kids:
And Shira shared a lot of information about 3D printing, programming, and building robots for 2 days straight:

We 3D printed a cool skull and tried to get a refill on brains but they only had half a brain on sale:

Thanks to our members for adding tremendous value to our community and inspiring a new generation of youth to pursue a technical field of their interest

Posted in Field Trip, News, Thank You!

Go Visit Lang Family House of Terror – Last MadisonSOUP Winner!

We’re excited to see how the Lang Family was able to use $488 they earned from the last MadisonSOUP for their 6th annual House of Terror coming up at the end of the month:

If you’re interested in supporting more local projects, please consider attending the upcoming MadisonSOUP on Sunday, October 26th – get your ticket here today.

Posted in MadisonSOUP Tagged with:

Learn How To Fix Your Bicycle – Class Series

S67_Demystified_General Maintenance and Tune up-sq

Sector67 member Matt Poster is offering an awesome set of upcoming classes so you can learn how to service every aspect of your bicycle, from basic maintenance to truing a rim and everything in between.  Classes start this week Tuesday (10/14) and run for 8 weeks, you can choose to attend a single session (sessions repeat on Tuesday and Thursday each week for 8 weeks to cover 8 different topics total) or come to all sessions to become a bike repair wizard.

Visit the class page to read more about specific offerings and sign up for an upcoming session.

Posted in Uncategorized

Sector67’s NSA Away Project

A team of Sector67 members (Bob, Chris, Kate, Liam, Nate, Peter and Scott) recently passed a milestone in submitting their NSA Away project to the semifinals of The Hackaday Prize, which offers a chance to win $200,000 (all proceeds donated to Sector67) or send Chris to space!  (Hahaha, if only it were that easy to get rid of me).  The project consists of a hardware key generator and one-time-pad-based encryption/decryption device designed to allow you to send short messages securely and was selected from a field of around 800 entries as one of 50 semifinalists.

You might recognize the garage doors and some of the scenery in the video below, which explains the project:

NSA Away was conceived and developed collaboratively at Sector, with (roughly) weekly code jams and video filming sessions.  Let’s hope it has the right stuff to make it to the finals!  You can help by voting us up on the project page.

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A Gift for Steve – Wisconsin Trivet

In case you haven’t heard, Steve Case is in town (Former CEO of AOL though more recently a startup evangelist and adviser to the president) and we were tasked with making him a parting gift to thank him for his commitment to bringing attention to entrepreneurship in Madison through his Rise of the Rest tour.

We partnered (as we often do) with local entrepreneur Alisa Toninato, founder of FeLion Studios to make a great gift. She provided one of her celebrated Wisconsin state shaped skillets, and we hand-made a fancy trivet with each company’s logo engraved on it who is pitching today for a $100,000 investment from Steve.

We first started with a wood blank, composed of padauk (vivid red), maple (light), and walnut (dark) wood, fixtured it in the router, and having scanned (on a regular flatbed scanner) and vector traced the bottom of the pan we can cut out a shallow pocket:

Next up we pulled the vector image of Wisconsin and routed out the perimeter, leaving some tabs so it wouldn’t rattle around as it completed the cut:

Then we cut the tabs free on the bandsaw, and used a spindle sander and hand sanding to clean up the external tooling marks, the inside pocket was sanded with a mouse detail sander (not shown here):

And after a quick test fit (which was already done on the router to before it was cut free) and we’re off to some finishing steps:
image (2)

We used a walnut oil finish, which really makes the colors in the wood come out, gives it a food safe coating, and if properly cared for (no using the dishwasher! 😛 ) will last a very long time:
image_1 (2)

After finishing, the laser bed is covered to protect the wood from sucking up debris from prior cuts, and the piece is engraved:
image_2 (2)

Partway through:


After engraving, there’s a lot of pitch/resin/smoke deposited on the surface that can be wiped away to give very crisp edges (not done yet in this image):
image (3)

We went for a quick scavenger hunt to find some cat toys ribbon we could use to tie things together, Alisa was nice enough to run over a boxed up skillet late Sunday evening:
image_1 (3)

Then we realized Youtube is great for learning how to tie a ribbon:
image_2 (3)

But fortunately we had a grizzled veteran ribbon-tier at hand who just finished up her wedding projects here to save the day: (Thanks Kate!)
image_3 (2)

Posted in Hardware, Projects Tagged with: , , , ,

Milwaukee Maker Faire This Weekend – 27-28th


From the website:


Maker Faire is a fun, family-friendly show-and-tell festival celebrating innovation, invention and creativity. Maker Faire Milwaukee will feature makers showing off technology, art and craft making, electronics, pyrotechnics, engineering, gardening, and other projects created by the makers themselves. In addition to displays and exhibits, Maker Faire will feature a Power Racing Series event, FIRST ROBOTICS teams and special performances, speakers, demonstrations and workshops featuring 3D printing, laser cutting, microcontrollers, learn to solder, science experiments… and much more.


We’ve attended Maker Faires in New York, Chicago, Kansas City, and Detroit and will be hosting a lock picking table as well as a number of member-built projects.

Saturday, Sept 27th from 9-6PM
Sunday, Sept 28th from 9-5PM
FREE ADMISSION – $5 for parking
Hosted at Wisconsin State Fair Park


Hope to see you there!




Posted in Uncategorized

Better Late Than Never – Celebrating Vera Court’s Arcade Console Repurpose!

This never quite made the blog, and has been languishing in the bottom of my e-mail inbox (among a few hundred other e-mails to get to! – sorry).

Sector67 partnered with our near north neighbor Vera Court Neighborhood Center to re-purpose an *old* Make Trax video game console that was no longer working, but was too cool to throw out.  We wanted to take things in an educational game direction, but with something that the kids would still enjoy playing as a reward for getting their homework done!  Crayon Physics was decided on, and the next step was to get to tearing out the old video game console electronics (which still booted right up after 33 years in existance).  We had the kids at Vera Court start by taking out the old screen, electronics, power supply and the video game badging adorning the outside.


After the old contents were pulled out and properly recycled, the next step was to clean up a few decades of dust:


Once the dust was out, we spent some time sorting out a LCD monitor mount that would fill out the original glass:


We were able to repurpose a computer donated to the center by Epic Systems, and had it up and running in no time with Crayon Physics (after a few registry changes to support a vertical orientation and full screen) – check out the nice top banner graphics:



The old console had a lot of outside graphics that were going to be very difficult to remove, so rather than peel the old off, the kids painted over it with chalkboard paint and made it their own:


Posted in News, Projects Tagged with: ,

PDMA Fall Social – Crowd-Sourced Financing



PDMA Banner

To connect with the Madison chapter of the PDMA group, head over to their Facebook page – otherwise to register for this event, click here.
PDMA Wisconsin
Fall Social
Members & Non-Members WELCOME!
Why I Failed at Kickstarter and My Friends Didn’t
Speaker: Bob Baddeley
Date: Thursday, September 18, 2014
Location: Sector67 (Madison)

In 2012 two separate companies founded by friends launched their Kickstarter projects at the same time. One month later one failed and one succeeded.

Hear the story of these two companies to understand the process leading up to a launch, the campaign, and the aftermath.
Learn what it takes to run a successful campaign and all the juicy statistics and facts about the crowdfunding successes and failures. Learn when crowdfunding is appropriate, what it can do for you, and some of the problems it causes.

Bob Baddeley earned an Honors Bachelor Degree in Computer Engineering from Oregon State University in 2004. He then started working at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state for the next seven years, doing cutting edge research for the government. He left the lab in 2011 to follow his passion with Portable Scores and have an impact on people’s lives. Tired of forgetting the score, turn, and time, he built something that helps with all his sports. In 2012 he spent 3 months in China working on his prototypes and making manufacturing and sourcing connections before launching his company on Kickstarter.

In 2013 he started BlueTipz, and was able to bootstrap and develop a product from an idea to retail shelves in under 6 months. Bob lives in Madison, WI and is developing his products and companies, as well as contracting his services in hardware and software development.


5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Cocktails, appetizers and networking
6:00 – 7:15 p.m. Speaker: Bob Baddeley, Q/A at end
7:15 – 8:00 p.m. Networking, and cocktails

Event Prices:
$30 for non-members
$20 for PDMA members
$15 First-time PDMA event attendees, students or unemployed

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