Blog What am I making now?

Knitting Machine 1

Woo Hoo! I am working on a Brother CompuKnit III programmable knitting machine. With many a grand idea about connecting to a raspberry pi etc, I have been trying to learn the basics, human style first.

I can hand knit. Usually. It’s been a while. I can crochet for about 15 minutes before carpal tunnel flares up.

Today I finally “mastered” the Tuck stitch instructions on the Brother. By repetition I have also learned to cast on and bind off pretty well now. I can now make hundreds of wash cloths…

Blog Newsletter

Pivoting, Focusing, Starting Small

January has come and gone, time is flying! Once I was done with my first public pitch, and received fantastic advice while surrounded by women who are also innovating and scaling their businesses, I did some reflection. The idea we have is timely, appropriate, beautiful and looks to the future. The finesse is missing in the messaging, and perhaps the audience. I have enthusiasm for all of the amazing things that can be made in a maker space. That vision will come to life someday and I will be a part of it.

During the accelerator I kept colliding with the words pivot, focus, start small. I have a grand and glorious vision for the Maker Space of my dreams, and when I am able to fully articulate what I am thinking, there is a resounding agreement. Those of us immersed in the Maker experience understand the need and infinite use cases for a maker space. Explaining that to someone from the outside will make you (me) sound a tad un-focused. I am not a patient person, when I finally decide upon something I want it is very hard for me to let go and save it for later. It has taken years for me to take this leap, years of conversations with others about our frustrations in needing more space, needing tools that are out of reach for a sole proprietor. This last six months I’ve been carefully looking within, crunching numbers, and learning as fast as I can. This space is viable and going to happen, but it will take laser like focus. I am also a Creative person… Which means that focus happens in bursts of inconvenient timing and intensity.

To get to the grand and glorious, big maker space, I am starting with a smaller version. A co-working, tool-sharing, robotics lab where I will work on my robots and will share the building and tools with two other small businesses in need of access to prototyping tools, office space and a small conference room /classroom. We will still have community rental access to the laser cutters and other tools as well as rental access to the conference room, when they are not being utilized by the co-working group.

If you know a small robotics/STEM company in need of more laser time, please contact me ASAP to set up a meeting and see if we are compatible!


Exciting Times

This week I am pitching the Maker Space idea to a group of friendly but serious people who might be able to help us make the connections we need! It is so very exciting, I can hardly breathe sometimes. This is it Friends of the future Maker Space, are you ready to jump in and get this space filled with tools, classes, and good times? After recovering from Thursday night’s excitement we will have a get together of the interested parties and see where everything is coming together, and where we need some extra help. I’m looking forward to sharing everything I’ve learned from this business intensive.

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Happy New Year 2019!

Something about a fresh start makes me want to document my year. I am working to start a Maker Space this year in my neighborhood! For the last three months I have been super focused on the business side of opening a brick and mortar shop. This year I am trying to strike a better balance between making the things on my wish list and getting the shop opened. Hopefully by documenting my efforts I can multiply the number of makers out there who are helping others to become makers, it’s all very meta. My intention is to post a weekly update, but to document my daily efforts. I know a word and picture blog is very old fashioned for a tech girl but I am really uncomfortable with video… Maybe I should make an effort anyway since it seems to be the thing to do.

Day 1: Day one of making in 2019. I tried to print a Thorminator with permission from Joel a super nice multiplier of makers and helpers. Then took a step back to try to calibrate the 3DPrinter again… Calicat is an awesome little print that shows me very quickly where things are wrong with my calibration. You can find her on Thingiverse <click here>. I can see in this print that the retraction is probably turned off… At least that’s the theory. The other big issue is that the bridging is really horrible. I need to look into my past notes to figure out how I fixed that in the past.

Day 2: Calibration (it will probably be the theme for the whole week). Patience and documentation will pay off, right?. I have a notebook full of each incremental change I made to try to get a good print. I should point out I am using Octofiber bronze and a 0.6 mm nozzle, it’s a new material for me and a new nozzle size. I could not get the bronze to work with a 0.4 at all. Maybe when I get the calibration worked out I can try again with the 0.4 mm nozzle. The manufacturer recommends 30-60 mm/s speed and 210 degree temp. I am up to nine Calibration Cats… This is my favorite trouble shooting guide

Day 3: Business meeting day, the only thing I made was the Cyclops in Subnautica… It’s totally awesome though and reminded me to add and underwater UAV to my goals for 2019. I also made progress on official business stuff, so that is a kind of Making, right?

Day 4: I think I should make a score card of making for the year. I’m also going to make a mini Thorminator keychain out of the stl file with permission. I think the kossel will print it better that way. For the larger size I am not getting the strength I want unless I print the handle in two parts and glue them together, which is not as cool as single print. 🙂

Days 5 – 11 : Well.. So daily blogging is going to be very hard for me! I made it 4 days… I still do not have a mini Thorminator and I am disappointed. I was able to finally print a super cute owl and it’s base which will hold a tiny light. Many failures were had, lots of learning happened. Sparks were released, breakers were tripped, nuts fell off the machine…

Blog Workbench

Sometimes you just have to build a robot is one of my favorite kit makers.  I am very behind on my kits from them, so I decided to jump into Robotics Kit 1 today.  It is a cute little wifi car with two wheels and a front balancing bearing.  With distractions and not fully charged batteries causing issues I was finally able to get ThimbleBot01 rolling around with it’s basic web interface on my phone in an afternoon.  I had to take some parts from previous kits as intended by the kit designer they all build on each other, and run to the store for a 9v. 

The kits have all been Arduino based so far, and I just noticed they have a Thimble Blockly coding section on their Learning pages which will really help our youngest and newest coders.

Next build day, I will be continuing to follow the tutorials for modifying the web interface. I love the way the bright orange boxes build on each other, explain the science behind what they are doing, and have great support direct from the designers, there is also a supportive community forum and great instructions (if you read them)…

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Craft+Sip Wood Embroidery Ornaments

That, was a really fun event.  I am including here the instructions in case you attended and lost yours.

I learned that makers will follow the directions literally so that I need a test case person to try to follow my directions.  For instance there were a lot of red and green snowflakes because I used those colors to code the directions.  Updated directions coming soon(tm) in the meantime…

I will be posting these kits for sale, contact me directly for now if you need them soon.

Place setting for the Craft+Sip, 2 hour session might be enough time to finish one, but guests got to take home the set.
Blog Workbench

Wood and Embroidery

Coming soon December 2018, Wood Embroidery Ornaments!

Join us locally to make three of these ornaments! Get Tickets. The Event will be held at our first pop-up make and take benefiting the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.  Come eat, drink, make and be merry.  December 6th, 2018

This month I made custom designed ornaments using Adobe Illustrator, a Laser Cutter, Eagle Works, needles embroidery floss, and lots of Netflix…  Turns out these little guys take a long time to stitch up after a long time of designing the color patterns.  They really turned out nicely though.  These are the samples, now that the proof of concept is done I get to go churn out a whole lot of these, fine tune them a bit and make them into kits.  

Here is a great link to a tutorial on  How to Cross Stitch. She also has an amazing Etsy Store of projects!