Printing in the Third Dimension

Additive manufacturing, or 3-d printing, has been getting lots of press for the past few years. It’s not particularly new technology, with patents granted for various 3-d printing methods more than a quarter century ago.  But, with the prices of these printers getting lower and lower, and the   software to control them becoming easier and easier to use, the time is right for for these devices to find a place in many homes, workshops, and public libraries.

View of the 3d Printer Farm

Scene of the 3D Printer Farm at the 2013 Akron Mini Maker Faire

The 3-d Printer “Farm” at last November’s Akron Mini Maker Faire featured 9 different 3-d printers, all going at once, demonstrating the many configurations available for these printers, and the variety of objects which can be made.

TechTuesday3Recently, Joanna Schofield, a children’s librarian at the Akron-Summit County Public Library, along with staff from the Library’s IT and Electronic Services division, demonstrated the Library’s MakerBot Replicator 3.  Judging by the enthusiasm from  the children, their parents, and the grownups who stopped by the program to see the printer in action, this device will be getting lots more exposure.

Electronic Services manager Larry Schaffner explaining how the 3D printer works

Electronic Services manager Larry Schaffner explaining how the 3D printer works

 

Childrens' Librarian JoAnna Schofield sharing with some young library visitors

Childrens’ Librarian JoAnna Schofield sharing with some young library visitors

 

 

 

The 2014 Akron Mini Maker Faire is …

… returning to the Akron-Summit County Public Library this Fall.

Our inaugural event on November 2, 2013 was a big hit.  We had over 800 people attend in just three hours! We had robots, 3-d printers, drones, soldering, science, and arts and crafts. You can catch some of the excitement with this YouTube video, but 2014 promises to be even more exciting, and probably a bit longer than three hours.

Keep watching this space for a post about our date and time.

And, Make on.

Cleveland Mini Maker Faire is Saturday

CaptureHey, kids.  Don’t forget to make some time this weekend to visit the Cleveland Mini Maker Faire at the Cleveland Public Library on Saturday, March 29, from 10 am to 6 pm.

It’s free. You can sign up for workshops and meet over 100 Makers.  There should be something for everyone. See you there!

OSC Tech Lab Entrepreneur Event

OSCOSC Tech Lab is hosting a dinner meetup for entrepreneurs tomorrow evening, Wednesday, March 26 at 6 pm.  Nick Petroski hopes to make this a  monthly event  to get together, eat some good dinner, and talk startups. It’s open to anyone interested in starting a company regardless of how far along you are. Even if you have no interest in starting something and you just want to hear ideas, come along! Cost is $9 and covers food and drink.

Heres the Meetup page for details and to learn more and to RSVP:  http://www.meetup.com/Startup-Akron/events/168442822/

Greater Akron Robotics Club is Forming

Don’t miss out — the following post comes to us from the Syn/Hak mailing list.

Rover

Probably NOT making this robot, but it is cute (Courtesy of morguefile.com)

“The club is open to all with an interest in making machines that compete and do things.

Parents and responsible adult mentors are welcome join in the fun. The main goal is to provide High school and junior high students the opportunity learn skills and tools in a fun way.

This will be accomplished by prototyping, designing and building one or more robots.

The remote controlled robots will first manipulate objects on the playing field then shoot ping pong balls into remote targets. The two person robot driving teams will compete for the highest possible score in three minute rounds.

Club meetings will be two Saturdays a month at noon. The first meeting will be March 22nd. The meeting locations will at SYN/HAK at 48 Summit St. Akron OH

For additional information, please contact Tim Seeley 330-858-1719″

So, Makers, build some robots, and then bring them to the Akron Mini Maker Faire this Fall.  For more information about the Akron Mini Maker Faire, contact Science & Technology at the Akron-Summit County Public Library: 330-643-9075 or email the Akron Mini Maker Faire team at makerfaire@akronlibrary.org

Makers – Do You Need Patent Protection

You’re probably Making some really great things, but is a patent really the right way to protect them all?  That could run into some money! Are there other ways to protect yourself?

Dominic FrisinaThe Patent & Trademark Resource Center at the Akron-Summit County Public Library will host patent attorney Dominic Frisina for an informational program this coming Wednesday, March 19, at 5:30.  All Makers are invited to meet Mr. Frisina, who  will discuss the factors to consider whether a patent makes sense for you and your inventions, including assessing the prior art and patent landscape, performing an economic analysis, and evaluating your ideas for trade secret protection.

Come to this FREE class at the Main Library, 60 S. High Street, in downtown Akron at 5:30 pm this Wednesday.  Contact the Science & Technology division at 330-643-9075 or  stdiv@akronlibrary.org reserve your spot.

Fabric artists finding inspiration AND instruction

Sometimes the most difficult part of making a transition from artist to Maker is just getting started.  Electronics, programming, that’s some hard stuff!

Sew ElectricOr is it?  In Sew Electric : A Collection of DIY Projects that Combine Fabric, Electronics, and Programming , Leah Buechley and Kanjun Qiu demonstrate how anyone who has wielded a needle and thread, or even glued some fabric together, can incorporate LEDs, conductive thread,electronic sensors and even tiny computers called Arduinos  which the artist programs herself into projects ranging from a simple light-up bookmark to a flowered bracelet or a one-eyed stuffed monster to a fabric piano keyboard on which you can really play a tune.

By demonstrating the how easy it is to incorporate a little high-tech into basic needle arts projects, and by showing that computer coding is often no more complicated that reading a sewing pattern, this book will create Makers who never thought they could do something like that.

Make on!

Synhak Open House Saturday March 1

synhakRemember Synhak from the Akron Mini Maker Faire?  They were the super-cool soldering station staffed by energetic and creative Makers.  Now, the public are invited to the 2014 Spring Open House of SYN/HAK, The Akron Hackerspace on March 1, 2014. Please join the SYN/HAK community at 12 p.m. at the new downtown location: 48 S. Summit St., Akron, Ohio to learn more about their space.

SYN/HAK provides an environment for people to educate, create and share amongst themselves and others within the domains of technology, art and science. Through talks, classes, workshops, collaborative projects and other activities, SYN/HAK encourages research, knowledge exchange, learning, and mentoring in a safe, clean environment.

Hackerspaces are community-operated places where people can meet and work on their projects. SYN/HAK is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation in the State of Ohio. Donations are always appreciated, and will be tax-exempt.

For more information on SYN/HAK, please visit the Syngak website at http://www.synhak.org, or e-mail them at hello@synhak.org

Looking for inspiration

Now that the word is out, and 2014 will see an Akron Mini Maker Faire (although the dates still not set), it’s time for Makers to start planning their projects.

Need some inspiration? Look no further than other Makers.  The staff of Make and Maker Faire producers award Editor’s Choice Blue Ribbons to Makers whose projects at the big Maker Faires exhibit great ingenuity, creativity, and innovation.  Click here to see the latest winners.

Need more inspiration?  Check out the Library As Incubator Project. This blog highlights the ways that libraries and artists across the country can work together, and works to strengthen these partnerships by showcasing projects undertaken by artists and Makers in a library setting as well as librarians who double as artists and Makers.

Need more inspiration?  Check back next week when we will feature some material from the collections of the Akron-Summit County Public Library.

SparkAK this weekend

SparkAKHere’s an idea to get more ideas, or even launch a startup this weekend: Office Space Coworking, the downtown office location for startups and entrepreneurs, is hosting a startup weekend this coming Friday through Sunday, February 7-9. Attendees will be placed on teams with other tech or business folks, and spend the weekend developing a business.  Sunday afternoon each team will make a pitch.

Nicholas Petroski, who heads Office Space Coworking and its new spinoff OSC Tech Lab, promises a fun weekend and great prizes to the top teams.

 Click here to go to their website for more information.