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

Posted in Uncategorized

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

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.
Posted in Uncategorized

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

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: , , , ,


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