In the Maker Lab…. May

Since I haven’t posted in awhile, here’s what was in the Lab for May.

Here’s what we’re doing for May:

Sewing 101: PincushionsPincushion

This month I decided that it’s time to bring back an old project. We did this one in October of 2014 so it seemed like a good time to bring it back. We make a tomato and a strawberry and actually attach them. We do have emery sand so you will be able to use the strawberry to sharpen pins and needles.

Intermediate Sewing: Zippered Pencil Pouch

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This has become a stand by in the Lab. It’s a simple pouch with a zipper and we add pockets to the outside with buttons. This allows us to teach people how to put in zippers, add buttons and make button holes. I teach how to make the button holes manually so it can be done on any machine.

Intro to Raspberry Pi

This is a class that hasn’t proven to be popular. It’s supposed to be an intro course to the Raspberry Pi that would teach patrons how to use it as a desktop computer and touch on what the GPIO pins do and how to connect to them. We’d maybe touch a little bit on Python, but not too much in terms of how it works.

Vinyl Cutter 101: Sign Making

This has proven to be another standby in the Lab and it is popular. In September/October we did small tote bags with heat transfer vinyl. We use the same machine to make disposable, custom stencils for signs. The signs are on the small side, but the nice thing about this project is that the process can be scaled up. I have had a few people return to use the vinyl cutter to make larger signs. It’s pretty awesome to see.

Minecraft Club

This is something we started at the beginning of the year and seems to finally be hitting its stride. One of the things we added to the lab after August of last year was a set of 6 Raspberry Pis. On the Pixel/Raspbian Operating Systems there is a small version of Minecraft in the Gaming folder. The nice thing about Minecraft Pi (as it is called) is that you can code in Python to do things in Minecraft. This allows us to teach or introduce kids to coding.

Upcycling Cardboard

This is a class that I keep trying but may have to give up on. The idea for this class was to be a kind of intro class for those who may be afraid of the technology or those who wanted a crafty style class. We supplied cardboard and art supplies, patrons were supposed to bring their ideas and imagination. We did a similar one with CDs that went fairly well, but this one seems to struggle.

3D Printing 101

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This is another standard. Same as what we do any other month; try to take over the world via 3D printing. We stick with keychains because they are easy, applicable anytime of the year and, most importantly, they don’t take too long to make. Even if we have someone who is slow to design, we still get theirs printed during the class time.

Intermediate 3D Printing: Creature Mash Up

This is one that was introduced in October. The idea is to take two files from a website called Thingiverse and mash them together to make a new thing. We’ve mostly been doing it for creatures, but it can be done for functional objects too. Unfourtunatley, we don’t get to print everyone’s because it takes about an hour or so to print one unless we make them really small.

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