Days At The MakerSpace

the entries below chronicle a 4 month period that started in Sept. 2017 when I was the Maker-In-Residence at the Central Resource Johnson County Library
manattypewriterturned in W9 so i can get paid for this project & get reimbursed for materials. talked to Nick, Thomas, Brian, Meredith, and Bryan Voell at the front desk. Nick suggested i start by learning TINKERCAD so i can 3D print. i can get my head around some of it, but after an hour my vision starts getting blurry. that will be the toughest part of this 4 month project: working longer times on the computer. went home after 3.5 hours, came back to log in some more time– but not on the computer. I wrote down non-computer related stuff i can do tomorrow.

finished making my 3D nametag in TINKERCAD. Brian and Thomas helped me get it in the right file to 3D print. it’s gonna take close to an hour. i scanned one of my cartoons for the teeter totter page i’m going to debut on the blog.handfootteetertotterthe possibilities here are overwhelming. it’s 4:00 & i’m wearing my MIR (maker in residence) lanyard that i made myself. i left for a couple of hours to eat & run a couple of errands. in about 10 minutes i’ll meet my time requirement for this week (8 hours each week). i made a teeter board in TINKERCAD, next week i’ll make the bottom part.

scattered two boxes of knobs, switches, and cables to see what would look good or interesting attached to a real sized teeter totter. Liza & Eric came in! i used to serve Liza at Homer’s Coffeehouse. they were exploring the makerspace for the first time. Then Meghan Rowswell came in specifically to meet the maker in residence… me! we exchanged business cards & told each other about projects & ideas.knobsswitches

10:00am Sally Jadlow was recording audio in AUDACITY, but the playback was skipping like a vinyl record. i thought there was something wrong w/the computer. she’s another customer i remember serving @ Homer’s. i tried to help, but couldn’t find the problem. 10:15am went back home to get phone, coffee, and a notebook. on the way there i was listening to a pledge drive and they were talking about the late Walt Bodine & conversations w/healthy opposition. i got another idea for the TALK AND LISTEN TEETER TOTTER: with each up and down motion, an attached fireplace bellows could inflate a balloon that represents a third idea being born. came back to the library @ 10:30 to update journal & log time for the week. talked to another maker, Leo, about his 3D printed AA to C cell battery converter & answered a couple of questions about the Ultimaker 3D printer. also talked to Seth about his gear box puzzle, which is kind of like a rubik’s cube. now it’s almost 3:15 & i just finished working on the laser cutter. it uses Corel to engrave & cut designs on wood, cardboard, and other flat surface materials. Meredith showed me how to get started when i asked how to use it. i made a doctor who “card” for Ian Mull.celebrate Thomas helped me finish & let me learn from my mistakes: a line drawn image is better than one w/solid colors. the solids don’t transfer well. i also met Corey who is going to make a Back To The Future design. he told me that he has 3 flash drives full of Doctor Who images for the laser cutter. talked to Tina right before i left for home. she’s an architect who asked if i knew the dimensions of a pencil box. i suggested she google it.

dropped by for a few minutes to pick up my first teeter totter. the dimensions weren’t right. talked to Richard Boyd for awhile. he’s using the laser cutter for family photos!

shortened width of the double triangle support. the first one was too wide. also adjusted the circumference of the teeter board pegs so they’re NOT elongated. printing new support & teeter board now… it should take an hour. still need to make opposing objects to fit in teeter board holes. met Alex King. he is retired, and interested (and knowledgeable) in 3D printing! the new double triangle support fits the teeter board! next up, opposing objects! took a lunch break, and when i came back i made a square for one side of the teeter board.

circlesquareTTwith the steps written on the back of the notebook, i now know how to get the designs from the computer to the 3D printers! which means i don’t have to ask for help… as much. blocky 8-bit ends on the teeter totter might look cool… but how recognizable would they be? i’ll still try ‘em out. now to offset the square, i just need to make a sphere. Nick suggested i print it upside down & use the ‘brim’ feature in CURA. everyone’s using a 3D printer now, so i have to wait. Oh yeah, i can stretch the nut thread by increasing “rotations” (4th thing down under “solid” and “hole”) after ungrouping & clicking on “ISO metric thread.” talked to Chris and Christine about my project. they asked! finally got the opposing objects printed with right sized dimensions for threading nuts on each one.

got an idea for my workshop: students will laser cut 2D images that contrast & mount them on 3D teeter totters, then take them home. Thomas outlined his hand & showed me how to save a scanned drawing to be laser cut using COREL software. i drew a few other things to scan, and should be able to do it on my own. still need to “dress up” my full-sized teeter totter w/knobs & switches before the fundraiser on oct. 14. also need to make a prototype 2D-3D teeter totter to figure out how the laser cut images will attach to each end. talked to Dan Torchia, Corey, and a young family who was 3D printing dinosaurs last week.

cartoonFOOTThomas showed me the BIG TABLET. it has a stylus for drawing! it’s just like using a pen or pencil, but i can draw (and erase) right on the tablet screen. i can even rest my hand on the screen w/o affecting the picture. i can save drawings in PNG or TFF files & import them into COREL for laser cutting. today i made a two dimensional cartoon foot w/help from Meredith, Brian, and Thomas… and it fits on the 3D printed teeter board!!!  the 2D3D workshop will be a reality now. met Roger who was laser cutting a cool engraving on a sizeable piece of petrified barnyard wood that was 3 inches thick. Penny dropped by to use a straight edge paper cutter. we had a good visit & i showed her the laser cutter, the 3D printers, the BIG TABLET, and both recording studios. edited the 2D hand in COREL after a short lunch break & saved it on a flash drive. met Jeff Newhook. he was the first maker in residence here in the summer months of 2016. he asked me about my project & i asked him what he’s doing now– he’s a maker instructor at science city! also met Jenna Tomlin from Airship Noir & we talked about steampunk decorations/attachments for the full sized teeter totter.

20171005_115204dismantled a vectorscope today. i bought it (and a tubful of gauges and cranks) from a guy who told me it was used to fix color TV’s. when i said i could use some coffee Thomas said “we’re going to scooter’s, wanna come along?” so i walked to the hardware store w/him and Nick & got coffee at scooter’s. bought some metallic paint for the teeter board handles. they are yellow right now. found some wood back at the makerspace that i can use for attaching gauges, knobs, and faucet handles. the next purchase will be fasteners & screws. met a couple of people who are laser cutting, and also a woman who is making a black cloak for the renaissance festival.

20171006_135836walked in w/a group of kindergartners! they were taking a tour & being told “look w/your eyes and NOT your hands!” i started eating my breakfast burritos, and showed them my 3D printed teeter totter with the cartoon foot on one end. talked to Stella, and answered questions about the makerspace and my project. she’s here w/her husband, Robert, who is making something on the laser cutter. when things quieted down, i attached knobs and gauges to wooden panels for the big teeter totter. also helped Sally Jadlow w/an audio project she’s doing on AUDACITY.

10/12almostfinishedreattached a green gauge to one of the wood panels (it had come out of the bracket). there will be 6 of them hanging on the full sized teeter totter which is almost ready for THE LIBRARY LETS LOOSE. i showed the maker staff pics of the teeter totter on my smartphone. re-drew a 2D hand on the BIG TABLET imported the PNG file over to COREL… then i started losing the ability to concentrate so i went home to drink coffee and eat food.

10/24DriveInSpeakersOpener-8this was my first time back since THE LIBRARY LETS LOOSE happened 10/14. my big teeter totter is still in the Carmack room @ the library. no one (including me) is in a big hurry to move it. the things i’m thinking about now include: forming my workshop, emailing podcast hosts, and figuring out how to make a table top teeter totter cooler w/lights and sounds… word association exchanges maybe… finding some good dialogue for future scripts. i talked to the maker staff about their recent colorado trip, and read an article in MAKE magazine about how to make an amped up drive in speaker.

10/26overhead shotgot reacquainted with arduino today. Brian & Thomas helped me figure out where the wires go & how to change the programming code. i’ve messed around w/this software at home, but only on the bare conductive touchboard. it’s an arduino based product that helped me move away from using a laptop for beep goes the weasel in 2016. later Corey showed me some more of his laser cut projects.

10/27picked up the arduino kit again & hooked up a little servo! talked to a couple of people who are working on laser cutter projects and 3D prints.

11/23in1picked up Celeste Headlee’s book, WE NEED TO TALK: How To Have Conversations That Matter. i saw her on a Ted Talk video. her presentation was one of the inspirations for my teeter totter project. fleshed out the structures for 3 workshops at the library (with help from Thomas). they will include more table top teeter totters, paper cup telephones & a phone booth, and a giant Simon game with audio visual add-ons. i spent the rest of the time drawing cartoons for laser cutting purposes.

11/3FirstVersions_CorelDRAW-1989-Bspent today working exclusively on COREL, and converting images. the software doesn’t look like it did back in 1989 (above). if it did i could have gotten my head around it faster. thanks to the staff at the makerspace i learned how to use it well enough to get 3 images ready to lasercut.

11/7reporters-in-telephone-booths-in-white-everettthe library is closed this coming friday, so i dropped in after work today. i added some content to one of three upcoming workshops, in which we’ll play the telephone game. we’ll talk about the importance of expression and how well we listen to each other. we may or may not have a phone booth facsimile… but i really hope we do!

11/9drawing to woodi drew the image on the left directly onto a computer tablet using a screen stylus a few days ago. the fact that there was NO paper involved still blows me away. i saved the image on an SD card, converted it on COREL software, and then laser cut it today.

chipboardpicscame to the makerspace yesterday when it was closed to the public. Thomas & i mapped out dates for 3 workshops. they will be the first three thursdays in december. between now and then i’ll use my stipend money to purchase wood, aluminum foil, and walkie talkies. today i worked w/COREL again and laser cut a few more cartoons that i drew on the big tablet a couple of weeks ago. i met a guy who was laser scanning a 3D object to save it as an .STL file. when i asked if that was the same way a 3D object gets created on tinkercad, except that it’s more tactile, he said “yeah.”

70s-kidsone of the coolest things about being the maker-in-residence is talking to kids about maker related stuff. yesterday a mother brought 5 kids to the library and i met draven, emory, eden, zion, and asher (i hope i spelled the names right). they were 3D printing a half skeleton half robot, and when they asked me what i was doing i showed them my laser cut cartoons & 3D printed teeter totter.

eli n josepheli and joseph drawing on the big tablet as they wait for a 3D printed fox!

High-Fidelityafter going out of town for thanksgiving, i spent a couple of hours in the makerspace hashing out plans for december. i ordered 8 walkie talkies from amazon for a workshop that will include phone booths, speed drawing, and a game of telephone! also talked to a couple who hadn’t been in the makerspace since the remodel.

thesetupthe walkie talkies came a couple of days early! i unboxed and installed batteries at the makerspace. also tested indoor to outdoor capability. brian talked like a trucker and said things like “breaker one nine, what’s your 10-20?” we’ll do a few more tests with more multiple channels before using them on the telephone workshop.

thekidi was creating a facebook event for one of my workshops when this little kid came up and asked “whatcha doin’?” her name was eden, and she came to the makerspace with her dad and big brother. she was around 5 years old. i answered her questions, and then i showed her the tabletop teeter totter. when i talked to her dad, david, it turns out we knew each other from homer’s. he comes in almost every monday morning for a shot in the dark. the world is smaller than we know.

OriginalSimonplayed the classic simon game today with makey makey controls. i wanted to approach the game like a conversation & show participants how we need to actively listen and respond accordingly. five people attended and played. i talked to a couple of them about my project & communication goals. i also brought the bare conductive touchboard. i connected it to tweezers, keys, and other metals & showed people how to play smoke on the water & the star wars theme. earlier i met a guy who was 3D printing a part for a magnetic motor. it was going to take 8 hours to print.

dog punkspent the first hour laser cutting 2D heads for the 3D teeter totter. i’ll give these away to people who attend the workshop on 12/14. on that day i’ll show folks how i used the 3D printer to make teeter totters, and how i used the laser cutter to make the cartoon heads.

auntnancywent back to the makerspace for a little bit to do more laser cutting & met nancy. she was making an ornament on the laser cutter for the first time!

libreoffice5just discovered i have LibreOffice5 on my laptop! i was going through images for the talk and listen teeter workshop, and found out i can open CorelDraw files with this software! after being here (the makerspace) 30 minutes, i already talked to a couple of makers about their 3D printing projects. later i read and took notes from celeste headlee’s book: we need to talk. big thanks to sarah, joseph, chrisy, rachel, ethel, pilar, and jenny for coming out to the workshop! rachel made a mountainscape through clouds on the laser cutter, and pilar made a christmas tree! i gave away two teeter totters and six heads.

makecoversspent the afternoon mostly reading more of celeste headlee’s we need to talk, and projects in make magazine. a couple of interesting ones include how to make a microbial fuel cell out of mud, and creating a little laser show w/3D printed parts & a laser pen.

numberedmanwomanelephantcame in around 10:30 this morning to get things ready for the Speed Sketching Telephone Game/Workshop this afternoon. work included powering and sequencing walkie talkies, doodling, and making lottery numbers for the free walkie talkie giveaway! Corey gave me an eggnog flavored pastry to fuel the project.

FRANKthis afternoon i picked up amir’s 3D printing project in which he tells the world “i am no longer accepting homework” followed by seven exclamation points. amir is a 10-year-old boy who came to the Speed Sketching Telephone Game last night with 9 other people. after the event he wanted to try his hand at 3D printing, but the piece he created (see above) took 3 hours to print, so i told him i would pick it up the next day for him.

father timewow. 2017 is almost over. my time as the maker-in-residence is down to a few hours that i will use today and tomorrow, then someone else will take over. thomas asked me what i was going to work on today, and i asked “what do you think i should do?” when he suggested that i review my project, and write about my experiences, and the future of the talk and listen teeter totter, i said “that’s what i was thinking!” i wrote a few revelations here. one of the cooler things about coming to the makerspace was meeting all sorts of people & talking to them about THEIR projects: the most recent one was the guy who was 3D printing a magnetic motor (scroll to 12/7)

846-02795081i found out that the next maker-in-residence is laura spencer! i used to work with laura at KCUR. that was 20 years ago. i guess if you stay in one place, and don’t move around, it’s a small world after all! they tell me that she is going into the recording studio to work on audio projects. what are my plans? i will develop an interactive talk and listen teeter totter presentation for schools and training facilities. i would also LOVE to work w/people who have inspired this project: celeste headlee, robb willer, krista tippett, and ira glass. talked to theresa and jack before i left the makerspace. it was their first time here.

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