April Events (Special Guest, Forge, and Rockets 2.0, and more!)

Arduino Classes continue on Thursdays, with a the exception of April 2 and 9.

The space will be open for making or visiting every  Sat and Sun from 12 to 5.

All events are at the Makerspace–200 Waiehu Beach Road, unless otherwise noted.

Special events

April 2,  Open Public meeting (Free and Open to the Public)–6 to 9 PM

Meet other makers, talk story, brag on your projects, get and share advice and check out the space.

April 9,  Special Guest Speaker–6 to 9 PM

Design a Raspberry Pi HAT using KiCAD running on the Raspberry Pi 2

A step-by-step guide to creating a Raspberry Pi HAT using the KiCAD suite of EDA tools running on the Raspberry Pi 2 itself.

The KiCAD project is an open source suite of EDA tools. KiCAD runs on Linux and the new Raspberry Pi 2 now has enough processing power to run KiCAD. KiCAD includes tools for schematic capture, netlist creation, printed circuit board (PCB) layout and a gerber viewer.

This presentation will cover:
– What is a HAT?
– Requirements for a HAT to be called a Raspberry Pi HAT
– Installing KiCAD on the Pi
– Drawing a schematic in KiCAD
– PCB layout in KiCAD
– Creating gerbers files
– Get your HAT PCB built

This is a great opportunity to preview a talk that will be given at the Bay Area Maker Faire.


Eric Thompson is an Electrical Engineer and the founder of Low Voltage Labs

Low Voltage Labs designs and sells Open Source Hardware for Arduino, Raspberry Pi and easy to solder kits.

April 11, Fire up the Forge–noon to 2 PM

During this class we will fire up our forge and melt some aluminum cans. Learn about forge construction, operations, and safety. This class is a precursor to a metal fabrication working group. (Free for members, must be a paid member at at least the friend level, see our Membership page).

April 18, Maui-makers Rocketry–9 AM to 2 PM

This month the Maui-makers rocketry group is offering an advanced rocketry class. This includes the activities of our Basic class, but adds larger motors Starts with straw rockets, followed by building and launching an Estes Rocket with various motor sizes. The final project the working group will assemble a loadstar rocket and hack a key-chain camera to take video of the flight. (Open to the Public, Class fee is $80 per family, members get a $10 discount)

Loadstar Rocket

Previous Rocket Class


April 18, 3D printing day–noon to 5 PM

Drop in and see the 3d-printer in action, learn how to find pre-made designs, and use the 3Doodlers –a 3D printer that you hold in your hand to draw in 3D!

3Doodler creation by Brian Isdale

3Doodler creation by Brian Isdale


April 25, Tinkering for kids–10 AM to noon

Introduce children to electronics and electricity in a fun and simple way. Activities are based on curriculum from the Exploratorium, and is great for all ages.

The instructor (Laura Ulibarri) has a Certificate in Tinkering Fundamentals: A Constructionist Approach to STEM Learning.

Maui Makers is Open for Business

Eat your heart out Ikea. Table folds down for painting and other “messy” work. Folds up and out of the way the rest of the time.

Got workbenches installed in the electronics shop. Thanks Pete and Cole!


20150301_152151 20150301_124029

The space is shaping up nicely. Watch for the Grand Opening soon.

In the meantime, we are open every Sat and Sun from noon to 5 PM. Drop on by.

We have Basic Arduino every Wednesday from 6 to 9 PM.

We’ll have activities every Thursday. We’ll continue to work on the Forge, build Gameboys from Raspberry Pi, print using the 3D printer, experiment with electrolysis, build robots, and just plain Have Fun Making Stuff in Paradise!

And don’t forget Pi Day: March-14. We’ll be having a special celebration. In honor of Pi, we will open the space at 9:27 AM, and will feature contests and events around all things Pi.

If you like the idea of a Makerspace in Paradise, please support us by becoming a member or donating at the links on the website.

3D Printing–November 13, 2014

We had a great turnout at the monthly meeting with some exciting show and tell. We also have some fun items on tap for the rest of November. All events are suitable for Family and free to paying members ($10 for nonmembers, make out checks to St Anthony Jr-Sr High School):

November 13, 2014 will be 3D Printing Night.
6 PM–set up the 3D printers
7 PM–Steve Griffin, a mechanical engineer from Boeing will be on hand to discuss how to get the best build quality

November 20, 2014 will be a return to the Art of Tinkering
We’ll build Paper Circuits.
–Coin Cell Batteries CR-1220
–Scissors/exacto knife (age appropriate please)
–Scotch tape

Both meetings are 6-9 PM at St Anthony Jr-Sr High School, Maryknoll Building, Rm 21.

What Happened at the November Public Meeting
Membership and a Permanent Home
Maui Makers discussed plans for leasing our own space. We have a strong contender in Wailuku, but are exploring alternatives, in case that falls through. With the space comes extra bills, so we are rolling out a paid membership structure. Once the bank account gets linked to Paypal, you can pay by credit card on the website. You can also pay by check at a meeting, or contact info@mauimakers.com. For a limited time, memberships will be discounted. Lorayne Lipps had the honor of being our first paying member. We anticipate being in St Anthony Thursday evenings through December.

Show and Tell
Sevan brought the 3D Printed Air Brush Nozzle he’s been working on:

3D printed airbrush nozzle

Shannon Williams has built a an “oxyhydrogen generator”. It uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. This converts electricity into a clean burning fuel, and unlike gasoline the only emission released is—water!

Oxyhydrogen generator

magnetic paper

Steve Jenness brought his tricked out motorcycle light:
skull headlight

Lasers and Bots : Thurs Nov 18 2010

I’m going to host a Maui Makers meeting at my home on Thursday November 18, 2010 from 5:30-11pm. I’ll show the Epilog Laser cutter, Makerbot 3d Printer, and some of the other tools and toys I have here. Festivities will start in late PM (5:30) and continue until everyone (but me) leaves. I’ve got a grill if you want to cook something, or bring something pre-cooked. BYO drinks, art, projects, questions, answers, friends, etc.
Email me for directions. Jerry Isdale

Bronze Casting from Makerbot Printed Original

One project I hope to undertake at Maui Makers is doing some metal casting using originals made on our Makerbot 3D Printer. This is something that has been talked about in the forums since inception and at every demonstration of the ‘bot that I’ve given/seen. Mostly it was about how cool it would be if you could do this but rarely has anyone actually said they did it.

Well FINALLY someone has come forth with detailed information on bronze casting using ‘bot made originals. The great folks at theband new (sept 2010) Quad Cities Collaboration and Hackerspace (QC Co-lab), of Davenport Iowa, have been making their hackerspace coins using their ‘bot and bronze casting. Back at the beginning of October 2010, MBI posted a blog report interview with David Hinkle and QC-Cola. It had lots of info and nice pics. Now MBI blog brings us two videos from QC Co-lab, showing how they prep a ‘bot made coin, make the sand mold, cast it, and a bit of cleanup. Very Cool!!

Here is Part 1, the mold preparation:

and Part 2 where they fire up the furnace:

Ok. I’m going back to refitting the Mk5 printruder onto GoldBot! Hopefully it will be operational later today.

Makerbot Video from NYC Maker Faire 2010

The Makerbot folks were out in force at the Maker Faire NYC with their new Thing-O-Matic printer, frostruders, unicorn plotter and regular Cupcake bots (total around 20 bots!) all printing out and giving away sample printed objects (and snacks!).  Check out the video (about 5 min), and more at the Makerbot Blog.

Desktop 3D Printing – Makerbot, RepRap et al

One tech of the Fab Lab/Hackerspace is the 3D printer, where an object is created by adding successive layers of material. There are a wide range of materials used – from frosting and clay, to various plastics, ceramics and even metals. Professional 3D printers started back in late ’80s with 3D Systems Stereo Lithography, which uses a laser to harden layers of liquid plastic. Today there are multiple vendors selling machines (StratasysObjet, Z-Corp, Dimension), with various technologies (laser sintering powders, etc).  All of these start with a 3D computer model of the part, slice it up into layers and then draw the layers with or onto the medium.   Sometimes the medium is a homogenous layer on which the machine draws (eg laser sinter metal/plastic, laser plastic curing, etc.)   other times the machine extrudes the medium.  The part takes shape as successive layers are created.  Some tech allows for ‘support material’ that supports overhangs and small parts while higher layers are built. The support material is removed later using a solvent wash or mechanical means (cutting).

All those neat commercial machines cost a fair chunk of money.  The ‘low priced’ HP branded DesignJet sells for about $17,500 (in europe). High end machines run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not what small shops can afford!! There are a variety of service companies (eg Shapeways, RAPID Tech HI) to which you can upload designs and they will send you completed parts.  There is at least one directory of such service companies Rapid Today to help locate one nearby. (RAPID Technologies is our closest in Honolulu.)

On the other hand, there is the whole world of DIY hackers.  The granddaddy of the DIY 3D Printer is the RepRap – self replicating rapid prototyper.  They are currently on their 2nd generation design (Mendel) and are completely free and open source.  All designs and software are downloadable from the web.  There are a variety of child projects such as Fab@Home and Makerbot CNC.   I own a Makerbot Cupcake CNC, known as Goldbot.  It was built during a 3 day ‘Make-In” at CrashSpace in December 2009.  It will be one of the first machines available at Maui Makers.  The advent of these DIY tinkerer boxes was recently reported by the LA Times in the May 29 “These ‘printers’ make 3-D stuff” by Nathan Olivarez-Giles.  The article opens with Jay Leno’s use of a commercial machine to create parts for his antique car collection, and then moves quickly on to Sean Bonner of CrashSpace and Bre Pretis from Makerbot.  It closes with a quote from yours truly!  It also includes photos from Nathan’s visit to CrashSpace.

GoldBot and friends, (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times / February 23, 2010)

At present I am not the best evangelist for DIY 3D Printers. The current batch are definitely a tinkerers machine.  They take a lot of care and fussing to get good consistent results.  Some people have lots of success and I know some who actually make commercial parts with their machines. Alas, I am not in that category.  Goldbot suffers from a common malady of Makerbots – poor plastic feed.  The Makerbot uses a plastic wire (ABS or PLA) that it pushes down into a heat chamber and out a nozzle (a Plastruder).  One of the common failure modes is for the drive wheel to fail to properly grip the wire and slip, stopping the feed.  There are several reasons this happens and the Makerbot designers are all over the problem.  The new MK5 Plastruder has a new drive wheel that can be used in a MK4 Plastruder.  This, along with the redesigned heater and barrel of the MK5 should greatly reduce errors.  I am looking forward to installing one on Goldbot later this year, after I complete the move to Maui.

Design of parts is also an issue for all 3d printing.  You need some type of 3D CAD program – and these can be very expensive.  There are low cost/free alternatives, such as Google SketchUp and Blender, but all of them carry a learning curve – sometimes its pretty steep, more of a learning cliff.  3D Scanners exist (including DIY ones!) that can scan an existing object to create a 3d model.  After creating the raw model, the objects must be converted to proper format for the 3D printer.  This includes cutting it in layers and designing the tool path (speeds, geometry, etc).   The Makerbot tool chain includes several alternatives that are free.  The primary tool is SkeinForge which is really more of a collection of tools that handle various steps in the process.  SkeinFox is a Mac OSX application that simplifies control of SkeinForge.  There are LOTS of parameters to consider – some of which make a big difference in printing success, others dont seem to have much effect at all.  It takes a fair bit of experience to know what to tweak.  Then again, I have been fairly successful using some of the pre-canned parameter sets.

3D Printing will be a feature of Maui Makers.  Goldbot will be available for tinkerers. I plan to get some more experience with it myself so I can help others learn about the process and create.  There will, in time, be a wiki page tree for using our 3D printer.  I’ll update this post with links then.

A Visit to NYC Resistor

A week ago I posted that I was going to visit NYCResistor and take a class on April 10 2010. Sorry it has taken a week to update but life intervened.

I took the subway out from midtown Manhattan where I was staying and arrived about a half hour early.  NYCResistor is located a short walk from the subway station in a non-descript brick building on a not too busy/not too quiet street. The doorway is barely marked and might be easily missed. Visitors may need to call to get the front door unlocked.  Once inside there is a cool LED light directing you up four flights of well worn wooden stairs to the space.  The space itself is has nice high ceilings and is HUGE.  I briefly visited their previous digs back in December and this new space is much bigger. They have a big open room up front for classes, a couple side offices (one is home to their Epilog laser cutter), and another even bigger room back through the arches that houses ongoing projects. There were a few folks working on projects in the back room when I arrived, and some others puttering about, doing improvements on the space, etc.  The coolest project in this back room at the time I visited was a pair of Makerbot Plastruder Mark 5 prototypes undergoing stress tests.  Zach et al had set up a pair of laser cut acrylic boxes into which the plastuders were oozing out a steady stream of black ABS plastic.  I got to meet Zach briefly – quite a pleasure for me, he (like the rest of the folks there) was friendly and fun to chat with.  He said the plastruders had been running continuously for 24-48+hours!  That beats the heck out of the 20 min or so I get out of the Mark 4 on Goldbot (my Makerbot Cupcake).  They still have some issues to work out but I am excited to see this development.

Front Room of NYCResistor

I was at NYCResistor to take Shelby Arnold’s class in Paper Engineering.  Basically this is paper folding to make popup cards and books.  Shelby passed around a nice tutorial book – Elements of Pop up: A Pop Up Book For Aspiring Paper Engineers. It is loaded with how-tos and examples. I ordered myself  a copy from amazon after the class. Shelby then showed us how to make a number of basic popups for simple cards. I made a half dozen or so in the hour+ of the class.  Mine were plain white with no decorations – simple engineering prototypes.  Others in the class (about 14 total) were much more artistic – tacking on decorative flourishes.  One person even made a pair of popup cards showing robots walking in a city – second card showed the flaming aftermath.  It was a fun introduction to the craft. I wish there was time to go deeper and try out their CraftRobo machine, but alas there wasnt time. (also the machine was not set up.)  I’ll just have to wait till I have some time to experiment on my own.

Simple popup card I made during class

After the Paper Engineering class, Raphael Abrams was teaching a Soft Circuit class.  It was listed as sold out so I had not pre-registered. It was also scheduled to end about 5:30 which I initially thought would be too late for me to make it back to Manhattan for the party my wife was expecting me to attend.  However, Raphael said he would gladly let me take the class for cash payment and since subway travel was quick, I dropped $30.  It was quite fun although it ran long and I had to bug out well before the end.  Raphael had us make a simple LED circuit with a battery pouch.  The conductive thread is really hard to work with. You need to cut it with a sharp knife to avoid any dangling bits that could cause shorts, etc. It is fat and not easy to thread into a needle (dang these aging eyes!), and then easily slips out.  It also tangles and knots itself quite easily so hand sewing is tricky.  I did manage to get a pair of white LEDs wired up properly (in parallel).  Raphael had some conductive tape which I put down over a coil of thread on one end of the circuit. The other end was attached to half of a metal snap that I sewed onto a small piece of felt that was then attached over the tape creating a pocket. Inserting the battery into the pocket in the correct orientation closed the circuit and lights up the LEDs.  Raphael had some more advanced projects planned, but by the time I got mine working, it was 5:45 and I had to bug out for the train. I wish I had stayed longer – the party was delayed an hour!  I am looking forward to working with more soft circuits in the future.  There is talk CrashSpace might host a class, which would be great… if I’m still here on mainland.  Otherwise, we will have to do ourselves in Maui!

Soft Circuit class at NYCResistor

My simple LED soft circuit works! Next step is to add the battery pocket.

My simple LED soft circuit - before battery pocket.