Event Cancelled! – Attend the Product Development and Management Association Meeting on July 17th

Sorry, this even has been cancelled by the organizers, look for another event in the future!


Sector67 is hosting the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) summer social meeting on July 17th starting at 5PM. Cost to attend is $30 for non-PDMA members to defray the costs of refreshments. Hear from Sector67 member Bob Baddeley in his talk “Why I Failed at Kickstarter and My Friends Didn’t” and meet with other product development and management professionals. More information on the PDMA website.

Posted in Uncategorized

Dark Stars

Using tools at Sector67, Nyika Campbell was able to transform her drawing of a sword in a notebook into a full-size, steel sword that looks like it could do some very serious damage. Before coming to Sector67, Nyika had already made a few full-size wooden swords with steel edges, leather wrapped wooden handles, and doorknob pommels–but after taking a class on metalworking at Madison East High School, Nyika decided to take it a step further.

Nyika’s original drawing in her notebook, which served as the inspiration for her new sword

Nyika’s original drawing in her notebook, which served as the inspiration for her new sword, Dark Stars

Nyika started off by ordering a flat cutout of 1080 steel, which she then shaped using the mill and smoothed out with a file to form the blade.  She then sand-cast a bronze cross-guard and ring pommel.  In addition, she cut and shaped a wooden sheath to safely contain the sword during transport.  Although Nyika already had experience with sword making and metal working when she first came to Sector67, she has also learned a lot at the space.  “Chris, Tim, and other Sector people have helped me with the various stages of this project, from research to welding.  I could never have done this without their help.” says Nyika.

The blade, cross-guard, and pommel in their positions, along with her sheath and gauntlets (made with friend at Madison East metal shop) in the background

The blade, cross-guard, and pommel in their positions, along with her sheath and gauntlets (made with friend at Madison East metal shop) in the background

Sand casting

Tim helped out with the sand-casting and Chris with the milling

Although the sword looks nearly finished, there is still a lot Nyika plans to add before calling it complete.  Other than welding together the parts she’s already made, she plans to add a butcher knife style wooden handle and a labradorite stone to the pommel.  She will then wrap the handle and sheath in leather.  Finally, she will engrave a quote from Shakespeare’s 12th Night on the cross-guard.  This play is where the sword gets its name, Dark Stars.

Nyika holding the blade of Dark Stars at Sector67

Nyika holding the blade of Dark Stars at Sector67


[Editor’s Note] Some more information on the process (boring sword machining steps to follow):

Making swords is very difficult and takes many many many many many hours!

We started with a 1080 steel blank that was laser cut from a Solidworks drawing at Engineered Metal Products.  The rationale for using 1080 is that it can later be heat treated for increased hardness to hold an edge, but in practice it’s pretty darn sharp as it is as long as it’s not being used in battle (remember, the zombie apocalypse will arrive someday!).  Machining a blank seems relatively straightforward, but we needed to taper all 4 edges as well as machine a fuller (blood gutter sounds a lot cooler, but Wikipedia is helpful with the real reasoning behind the fuller, weight!).  We started with the blank flat on the table and tilted the head of the mill to give it the correct angle:


Getting the blank straight on the table (hence the two yellow HSS cutters used as dowels)

Once the blank was straight on the table, the cutter was zeroed on the edge of the blank and we calculated the desired depth (at this point a cutter translation into the table at the angle of the head).  The cutter was run back and forth until the depth was achieved (during which long discussions ensued about why sword makers prefer to use giant grinders, forges, and sanders to remove material – it’s much quicker).  We used up lots of oil to keep the cutter cool:


Perpetual cloud of oil coming off the cutter and slow removal rates are typical of machining steel.

Once we had the first corner (of 4) cut down, we started to realize how difficult clamping it was going to become.  The tip of the sword ends up a 4 way taper at the middle of the blank, meaning that we’re removing the flat face of the blank, not an issue yet until we flip it over.  What is an issue, is that we don’t have any flat surfaces from the midway point of the blank towards the tip to clamp down on without putting a side load on the blade and causing it to displace in plane with the table.  As you can see in the next image, we ended up using 4 clamps to keep the blade stable, as we cut further to the left (towards the tip) we had to clamp and unclamp the center or end of the blade to avoid running into the clamps with the cutter (IE: we’re cutting the full width of the blade, we can’t clamp anywhere until the cutter is clear of the area being cut, meaning a lot of moving the clamps as the cutter takes passes).


The middle (3rd from the right) clamp and the end clamp (very left by the oil container with the blue handle) were swapped as the cutter cleared center moving left and returned right

The next step was machining the twin fuller on this edge, we decided to wait until after cutting both angles on the top face because we weren’t sure where it should stop to avoid thinning the blade too much.  This could of course be modeled, but then we’d have to machine accurately to the model to get the same results, something we weren’t ready to commit to!).  Once the fuller was machined to the desired depth on the front, we had to flip it over and address the fact that the blade was no longer flat on the new bottom, which turned out to be a major PITA.  We decided to machine the second twin fuller on the other side, so we’d have a pair of grooves opposite one-another on each side, this would allow us to clamp the sword vertically across two vices (which both had to be squared, with the sword edge indicated parallel to the table to a few thousandths of an inch) shown here:


Using a dial indicator off the spindle to indicate parallel to the table (note the dowels in the fuller on each vise) as well as a set of 1-2-3 (swiss cheese looking) blocks in the middle of the frame as a vertical reference off the table.

We then used a rougher to trim down the blank on the two remaining faces:

Roughing end mill doesn't chatter as badly on the vertical surface.

Roughing end mill doesn’t chatter as badly on the vertical surface.

We weren’t able to solve the tip of the blank, leaving it instead for a hand filing finish (which was found to have a surprisingly high material removal rate), leaving Nyika with a substantial chunk of hours to invest in finishing it off:

Note the far right end of the blade is unfinished on the mill.

Note the far right end of the blade is unfinished on the mill.


Posted in Projects


At last month’s meeting, Kemper Smith presented his kinetic installation, Mirror, which he constructed at Sector67. The work was recently on display at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the Design MMOCA program, where architects and designers build spaces or objects based on an existing work in MMOCA’s existing collection.

Mirror on display at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Mirror on display at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Mirror is based on an Ellsworth Kelly sketch of leaves.  “The moving mirrors are designed to mimic leaves on a tree as a breeze brushes over them, and the reflected light pattern that shows up on the floor is meant to mimic the light’s pattern of sunshine through a tree canopy”, says Kemper.  Check out the videos on Kemper’s website to see Mirror in motion!

Section view of Mirror

Section view of Mirror

2 in. by 2 in. acrylic mirrors are attached to the mounting board by a double headed nail connected to a folded duct tape flag.  Ten tower fans behind the mounting board blow on the duct tape flags and move the mirrors.  Since each double headed nail and duct tape flag is slightly different, the fans create a very random motion, not unlike leaves on a tree


Posted in Projects, Uncategorized

July Monthly Meeting

Another monthly meeting with great presentations.  Big thanks to Bob Baddeley for the photos and to Liam for filming!

0:00  Bob gives intro

1:03  Alec and his floppy disk orchestra he constructed using step motors


11:21 Kate and her creative laser-cut wedding invitations


20:15 Joe Kerman talks about his new job as the artist in residence at the new Madison Public Library.   He also talks about classes taught at the library that Sector67 members may be interested in taking or teaching.


27:14 Josh presents his bicycle with an added motor and thermos muffler


35:35 Levi, Luke, Laura and Scott present their lightweight and clean burning rocket stove


44:00 Larry Walker and Robin Lawson talk about their new project with 7th and 8th grade students in partnership with UW-Madison and the College of the Menominee Nation


51:33 Inspired by his childhood musical teddy bear, Bernard created a modern Bluetooth enabled teddy bear made with 3D printed parts that plays the song of your choice after squeezing its nose


59:00 Scott and Bob present their project for The Hackaday Prize, NSA Away

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 12.57.02 AM

1:11:50 Meeting wrap up


Posted in Meetings, Projects

Lumen Jewelry

“We always have the same conversation with our circuit board supplier”, says Robin. “After every order, they call us to say that the circuits are exposed, and to send them back once we fix the drawing”. However, the drawings are correct. Being able to see how the electronics work is part of what makes Lumen so unique.

Siblings, Robin and Marty, have been working on their LED-laden, solar powered, circuit board jewelry for about four years. Now, Lumen offers a total of 58 blinking and non-blinking pieces of jewelry, including necklaces, earrings, bracelets and cufflinks. For the more technically curious, they also offer kits that still need to be soldered.

Both having master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Marty works for the Atmospheric Sciences department at UW-Madison and Robin is a former engineer at Trek, who now works for Lumen full time. They hope that their jewelry will spark the interest of young people in science and technology.

Blinking White Retro Owl Necklace on a laser-cut mounting card

Blinking White Retro Owl Necklace on a laser-cut mounting card

They complete much of the soldering at Sector67 and use the laser-cutter to make jewelry mounting cards.  As fourth generation engineers, the say the smells and sounds of the shop at Sector67 remind them of their father’s workspace back home.

Check out their website for more information about Lumen and their Esty store for a full list of their jewelry.

Posted in Businesses at Sector67

EV Powers Hybrid Battery Service and Repair

In 2002, Eric Powers quit his full-time job to found and organize the Green Drive Expo, a car show focused on green innovation in the automobile industry.  After seven years and ten successful expos held in Madison, Wisconsin and the San Francisco Bay Area, Eric spotted a gap in the market, and got into the maintenance and repairs of hybrid electric cars by starting EV Powers Hybrid Battery Service and Repair in April 2013.  Also the founder of Madison Hybrid Group, a community organization of efficiency-focused hybrid owners, Eric knows the hybrid industry inside and out.


“Because many mechanics don’t do hybrid repairs, EV Powers Hybrid Battery Service and Repair provides other options to hybrid car owners who would otherwise have to pay a premium to have their battery serviced by the dealer”, says Eric.  In addition to offering new and refurbished batteries to replace failing hybrid batteries, EV Powers Hybrid Battery Service and Repair is the only shop in the State that will re-balance your battery.  Rebalancing will not fix the battery long-term, but can significantly extend the life and capacity of a failing battery.

Eric travels around Wisconsin to make repairs on site and works out of Sector67 to service Madison’s hybrid vehicles.  In addition to batteries, there are other specifics related to the transmission and cooling systems in hybrid cars that EV Powers Hybrid Battery Service and Repair can provide.  Make sure to check out your hybrid repair options before spending a fortune to have your battery replaced at by dealer!

Check out EV Powers Hybrid Battery Service and Repair’s website for more info: http://www.evpowers.com/  

This is the third of a series of posts about businesses working out of Sector67.  Check out the previous posts on Wiscowood and Adrian Pereyra.

Posted in Businesses at Sector67

June monthly meeting video

Check out all of the great presentations at June’s Monthly meeting.


Posted in Uncategorized

Creative wedding invitations!

The creations coming out of Sector67 truly come in all forms—from woodworking, to electronics, to sewing—there really is a bit of everything. Kate Baldwin has been pushing innovative limits in yet another area, wedding invitations. Originally, coming to Sector67 to learn how to weld, this project quickly took over her free time in preparation for her and her fiancée’s special day.  Each one of the cards and envelopes was individually laser-cut, then folded and glued into the artistic invitation shown below.  To get a better idea of what all was involved (because there are A LOT of steps!), take a look at the great videos and photos on Kate’s wedding website.  Can’t wait to see what she welds!

Dr. Kate Baldwin earned her PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Cellular and Molecular Biology and currently works as a freelance scientific visual communicator.  Check out her website: K8Baldwin.com

The finished product

The finished product

Posted in News, Projects

Adrian Pereyra

Argentinian designer, Adrian Pereyra, moved to Madison about two years ago without any tools, “not even a screwdriver”.  As a freelance designer, who has designed everything from a small-scale wind turbine to displays for Heineken, this could have been a huge problem.  “Sector67’s space and collection of tools not only allowed me to continue building my designs, but also to network with a community of makers that I could learn from”, says Adrian.


Noto, a wind generator resulting from a group project Adrian worked on while studying industrial design at the University of Buenos Aires


Not only does Adrian use green building materials but also transports himself and his materials in sustainable way

Adrian is an avid biker and an advocate for more greenly produced and longer lasting products.  “I like to save as much as I can before it heads to a landfill”, continues Adrian.  Many of the materials for his work are salvaged from construction scraps and old furniture that is left outside.  Adrian also aims to use as little plastic, glue, and other chemicals as possible.  Almost all of his projects are constructed at Sector67.


The work of Adrian can be found at Change on Willy Street

In those two years, his work has already become visible around Madison at Change (above) and Iona, clothing stores where Adrian designed the interior and built the displays.  He also aided in the design of A Place To Be, a meeting space to encourage dialogue about relevant social issues.  In addition, Adrian is working on a few smaller products, including TiTO (below).  Sector67 provides space that allows Adrian and other makers and designers to work on projects visible throughout Madison, contributing to what makes our dear city so great.

TiTO, a wooden toy bike made from wood without the use of glue or other chemicals

Check out Adrian’s website to learn more about or purchase TiTO:


 This is the second of a series of posts about businesses working out of Sector67.  Check out the previous post on Wiscowood here.

Posted in Businesses at Sector67

June monthly meeting

Every first Tuesday of the month, Sector67 holds its monthly meeting.  The meeting is at 7pm and is open to the public.  Big thanks to Bob Baddeley for the photos!

Chris presents the new blow molder. Big improvements on the coin barrels have been made in the last few weeks!


Lucy with her awesome handmade shoes and insoles.


Jim Lattis, Director at UW Space Place, talks about future plans for the solar system scale model along Madison’s bike path.


Kemper presents his kinetic artwork, “Mirror”, recently on display at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.


Davi Post and Tanya Cunningham present and explain some of the steps necessary in commercializing their new release of img2track, software which reads images into a knitting machine.


Chris presents his new creation, Raspiado, a USB hub that fits onto a Raspberry Pi micro-computer.


Mike from Hackaday presenting his rotating LED display.


Joe Kerman presents the new Sector67 bar bike (somewhat visible on screen), which just made its maiden voyage at Ride the Drive this past weekend.  He also showed off the first run of Sector67 patches fresh off the Sector67 embroidery machine (credits to Jim for his work getting the machine running and making the patches). Get yours now, only $7.99!


Posted in News, Uncategorized


Bike enthusiasts, Dylan Hughes and partner, were able to combine their passions for biking, recycling, and quality products with their new business WiscoWood. Together these entrepreneurial craftsmen hand make bike-related products from reclaimed wood and other scrap materials.

the process-4

A WiscoWood “Chain Link Wallet” made with reclaimed wood and a blown bike tire inner tube

The duo first came to Sector67 to learn woodworking and laser cutting, but without a specific project in mind.  After a few experimental laser-cut puzzles and tic-tac-toe boards, the thought of starting a business based on their love for bicycles and sustainable principles emerged last November.  WiscoWood now offers an array of unique products including wallets, earrings, and coasters for sale on their website, and is currently working to fill its first corporate order.  They heavily credit Sector67 for making their business possible by providing access to tools and processes that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive to buy or have done.

the process-11

The process starts with waste wood, which is crafted into WiscoWood’s one-of-a-kind products

“Many of the items we use in today’s society are made too cheaply and we throw too much away.  This is simply not sustainable”, says Dylan.  WiscoWood’s products are made almost completely from recycled materials, including all recycled wood and an assortment of used bike parts, including used chains and tire inner tubes.  Not only are their products made from recycled materials, but they are also built to last and have the character that encourages their long-term use.

Check out their website for more about WiscoWood and a full list of their products:


Posted in Businesses at Sector67

Absolutely Art Final Exhibit – June 6th


Our neighbors around the corner are closing shop with a final exhibit coming up on June 6th from 5-9PM featuring work that received some assistance from one of our members. Swing in to check it out, more information check out their Facebook page or see below:


Madison, WI – Absolutely Art & Café Zoma are proud to feature a group show entitled, “A Discourse on Love.”  This exhibit, featuring over 45 artists, is the final culmination of a 9 month project by local artist Mallory Shotwell, called the “Study of Love.”  This is a eclectic evening will feature fine art, interactive projects, performance art, live music and much more!  Join us on Friday, June 6th from 5p-9p.  Enjoy meeting the artists; view their work, participate in a project, share your story of love, catering by Bunky’s Cafe & live music!  This is a very special reception for Absolutely Art.  After 9 years of First Friday Artist Receptions, June is our final event.  We are thrilled to have hosted over 100 receptions and events over the years.

A Discourse on Love is an artistic and philosophical discourse on love in Madison, Wisconsin.  The mission of the project is to connect community through collective experiences of love and explore the wide spectrum and many expressions that are within it.

A Discourse on Love is a three part project: 100 interviews, monthly community arts workshops, and the finale of the project is an exhibition featuring over 40 artists each creating new pieces that explores love of all kinds.

The interviews are the foundation of the project – where community arts facilitator Mallory Shotwell interviewed people in the city of Madison.  Visiting a hospice, schools, many coffee shops around, and many more locations, she was able to gather wisdom from all backgrounds and ages. Asking philosophical questions on love, it created a discourse where it allowed the participant to explore their own answer.

The community arts workshops invited participants to create either art or an experience together. Inspired by PostSecret, there were dropboxes placed around town, collecting love letters that were written, but not given.  This idea was well-received, as there was an outpouring of letters of all kinds.  There has also been a storytelling night, Valentine’s Day card making, a day exploring the gifts of love, and a variety show with comedy and music.

The opening reception to the project will be Friday, June 6 at Absolutely Art from 5-9pm. Join us for an immersive experience that encourages the community to connect and engage with love: its expressions, and its spectrum of experiences.  There will be many interactive elements available, including a robot that writes love letters, a listening booth, and materials from the many community arts workshops, tables with typewriters and cards from local card-makers to write to loved ones.  There will also be events throughout the evening of the reception: performance artists, music, a tarot card reader, and much more.  The art will be displayed June 6-28th.

Participating Artists include: Alex Costakis, Andrea Zehner, Ashley Rouillard, Audrey Mahlie, Rebecca Katzenmeyer, Kristin Joiner, Brett Stepanik, Briony Morrow-Cribbs, Char Devos, Claire Kellesvig, Danielle Lee, David Williams, Eli Quinn Elizabeth Oner, Enid Williams, Holly Meyers, Jackie Harrison-Jewell, Jaroslava Sobiskova, Jenni Leaver, Jennie Nuese, Jentri Colello, Joel Starkey, Joe Kerman, Laura Szumowski, Maggie Denman, Margaret Durow, Matthew Coen, Megan Mcmahon, Megan Monday, Melissa Ozel, Miranda Smith, Onga Dehniger, Paul West, Phil Porter, Phillippa Bergmann, Rob San Juan and Annie Sweer, Robin Lee, Ruth Manning, Ryan Robinson, Christine Rebhuhn, & Tami Dettinger.

For more info on the project: please explore the website: http://adiscourseoflove.wordpress.com/ or like it on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ADiscourseonlove

For interviews and more information, please contact Mallory Shotwell at studyoflove@gmail.com

Posted in News


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