TechShop Closed – Helping TechShop Members

12/3/2017

Update!

Potentially great news for our friends from TechShop Allen Park.  On 12/3/2017, TechShop announced that all the assets of TechShop have been acquired by a new owner, and “the new entity, TechShop 2.0, LLC, plans to re-open as many stores as possible, as soon as possible.”  We hope Allen Park is among the stores re-opened, and that this happens as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, see below for some of the makerspace options in southeast Michigan.


11/17/2017

Feels like we’ve lost a friend…

We all at Maker Works were saddened to hear about TechShop closing.  More people know about makerspaces and the opportunities they make possible because of TechShop.  They moved us closer to they day when the question isn’t “what is a makerspace” but is instead “why don’t we have a makerspace in our community”.  They were a remarkable resource to the people of Allen Park and the larger metro area.

We hope the members of the Allen Park TechShop can find a new makerspace home at one of the many makerspaces in southeast Michigan.  These include:

We can’t make the drive from Allen Park shorter, and we can’t postpone the holiday season, but if we’re in your driving range, we’d like to give former TechShop members and staff a $25 discount off any one class.  (That would make our laser class free, for example.)  And for the remainder of November, TechShop members can receive the family discount on a 30-day membership, just $45.

To our members, please welcome new folks from TechShop and help them feel at home here. With the holidays coming up, this is certainly a difficult time for them to have lost such a great resource.

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Craft Show 12/02/17

Maker Works will host its first-ever craft show on Saturday December 2, 2017 from 11am-4pm to assist our makers in showing and selling what they’ve been creating!

We welcome items that have been made here at Maker Works, as well as items you or your company have made elsewhere (except food items).

Please register here if you’d like to participate as a vendor.

Looking forward to a fun time seeing what everyone’s been making!

Vendor List (as of 11/14/2017):

Aye Plus Novelty – earrings, necklaces, emblems crafts

Becky Grover Designs – small art quilts and other fabric gift items

Blue Dot Maps – wood maps

Cutie Patootie Studios – greeting cards, bookmarks, magnets

Elderwood Academy – unique tabletop gaming gear crafted from natural materials

E.Lo Ceramic Art – handmade porcelain mugs, cups, bowls and vases.

Elophina LLC – leather purses, key fobs

Erik Olsen – drinking glasses, stickers

Saving Throw Pillows – pillows shaped like D20s,  some art quilt wall hangings

Becky Grover Designs

Cutie Patootie Studios

Cutie Patootie Studios

Elderwood Academy

Elderwood Academy

Elophina LLC

E.Lo Ceramic Art

E.Lo Ceramic Art

E.Lo Ceramic Art

Saving Throw Pillows

Saving Throw Pillows

Eric Olsen

Eric Olsen

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Motawi Tile Frame Workshop

New Make & Take Class Offering!Motawi Tile Framing

Register now to build your own custom frame for your choice of a Motawi tile using the woodshop at Maker Works. All of their 4×4 tiles (except Pine Landscape Mountain and Valley) will be available.

In this experience, you will:

– Select between Oak, Walnut, Cherry, and Maple wood
– Assemble the frame
– Use the ShopBot CNC router to add hardwood dovetailed keys in the back
– Sand, and apply a walnut oil finish
– Optional laser engraving of a Celtic, Art Deco, Prairie, or Shaker Motif.

Maker Works staff will guide you each step of the way. It will take 20-30 minutes. Time slots are available from 10AM to 2PM on 11/18/2017.

$122 includes frame, your choice of tile, laser engraving, and walnut oil finish.

Note: If you already have a 4″x4″ Motawi tile you’d like to use, please bring it with you to class and use the coupon code “haveatile” when you register, which will give you a discount of $40.

Register Now!

See all the beautiful Motawi 4×4 tile styles.

4x4 Fish - Turquoise Cobalt4x4 Lotus - Red

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June 2017 Maker Group Meetings

The following meetings will be held at Maker Works in June and are open to all who are interested, no membership required.

Specific meeting topics may be updated here: Ann Arbor Maker Works on Meetup.com

6/7 at 7pm South East Michigan CNC (SEMICNC)
For folks who want to get started with CNC as well as veterans to share information.
(Always the 1st Wednesday of the month 7pm-9pm)
SEMICNC Yahoo group

6/8 at 7pm Southeast Michigan Woodworkers
Presentations on various woodworking topics, as well as hands-on project builds and teaching sessions.
(Always the second Thursday of the month at 7pm)
SEMI WW

6/13 at 7pm GO Tech
Self-proclaimed “geek show-and-tell.” Makers present their creations!
(Always the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 7 pm – 9 pm)
Go Tech on Facebook
Go Tech Yahoo group

6/14 at 6:30pm TOOOL The Open Organization Of Lockpickers
A group advancing the general public knowledge about locks and lockpicking.
(Always the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 6:30pm)
A2 Locksport

6/16 from 4pm-6pm Maker Works Fix-It Friday – Come in to help fix, learn to fix, or have your items fixed by MW staff and volunteer fixers.
(Always the 3rd Friday of the month from 4pm-6pm)

6/21 at 6pm Michigan Robot Kids Club
A group for robotics enthusiasts 5-13, but any age is welcome.
(Always the 3rd Wednesday from 6pm-7pm, followed by the MI Robot Club)
MI Robot Kids Club
MI Robot Kids Club on Facebook

6/21 at 7pm Michigan Robot Club
A group for robotics enthusiasts of all skill levels.
(Always the 3rd Wednesday of the month 7 pm – 9 pm)
MI Robot Club

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Upcoming Special Dates & Holidays – Are We Open?

Thursday November 23, 2017:  Thanksgiving Day – Shop Closed

Friday November 24, 2017:  Black Friday – Shop Open 9am-6pm

Saturday December 2, 2017:  Shop Open 10am-4pm, also Maker Works Craft Show 11am-4pm

Sunday December 24, 2017:  Christmas Eve – Shop Open 10am-4pm

Monday December 25, 2017:  Christmas Day – Shop Closed

Sunday December 31, 2017 : New Year’s Eve – Shop Open 10am-4pm

Monday January 1, 2018 : New Year’s Day – Shop Closed

 

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May 2017 Maker Group Meetings

The following meetings will be held at Maker Works in May and are open to all who are interested, no membership required.

Specific meeting topics may be updated here: Ann Arbor Maker Works on Meetup.com

5/3 at 7pm South East Michigan CNC (SEMICNC)
For folks who want to get started with CNC as well as veterans to share information.
(Always the 1st Wednesday of the month 7pm-9pm)
SEMICNC Yahoo group

5/9 at 7pm GO Tech
Self-proclaimed “geek show-and-tell.” Makers present their creations!
(Always the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 7 pm – 9 pm)
Go Tech on Facebook
Go Tech Yahoo group

5/10 at 6:30pm TOOOL The Open Organization Of Lockpickers
A group advancing the general public knowledge about locks and lockpicking.
(Always the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 6:30pm)
A2 Locksport

5/11 at 7pm Southeast Michigan Woodworkers
Presentations on various woodworking topics, as well as hands-on project builds and teaching sessions.
(Always the second Thursday of the month at 7pm)
SEMI WW

5/17 at 6pm Michigan Robot Kids Club
A group for robotics enthusiasts 5-13, but any age is welcome.
(Always the 3rd Wednesday from 6pm-7pm, followed by the MI Robot Club)
MI Robot Kids Club
MI Robot Kids Club on Facebook

5/17 at 7pm Michigan Robot Club
A group for robotics enthusiasts of all skill levels.
(Always the 3rd Wednesday of the month 7 pm – 9 pm)
MI Robot Club

5/19 from 4pm-6pm Maker Works Fix-It Friday – Come in to help fix, learn to fix, or have your items fixed by MW staff and volunteer fixers.
(Always the 3rd Friday of the month from 4pm-6pm)

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Summer Camp 2017

 


Kinetic Camp
 Ages 8-12 Jun 19 – 23  9:00am – 12:00pm

Comic/Manga Camp Ages 10-14 Jun 26 – 30 9:00am – 4:00pm (aftercare available from 4pm to 5pm)

Metal Sculpture Camp Ages 13-16 Jul 10 – 14 & Aug 14 – 18 9:00am – 4:00pm (aftercare available from 4pm to 5pm)

Upcycled Fashion Camp Ages 10-16 Aug 21-25 9:00am – 4:00pm (aftercare available from 4pm to 5pm) Continue reading

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Why a Makerspace Operations Bootcamp?

Before we opened the doors to our makerspace (Maker Works), my business partner Tom Root and I talked about how we could help other people create a makerspace in their community.  (We probably don’t have to convince you why we think they’re important for every community to have.)  And as anyone who runs a makerspace knows, we ended up spending a huge amount of time (and still do) on phone calls and tours with these folks.  We do think those tours are useful, and if you want to drop by, we’re happy to spend some time talking shop.  But as time went by, Tom and I talked more about presenting the systems we use with enough detail and within an organizing framework so that someone could hit the ground running, rather than having to re-invent the makerspace wheel over and over again.

Basically, we wanted to create the kind of course that we wished we could have taken before we opened our space.  So in 2014 we had our first Makerspace Operations Bootcamp, and have held a few each year since.  These are five often very full days and a bit overwhelming at times, for instructors and attendees both!

A big question is why two yahoos from Ann Arbor think they know anything about makerspace operations.  A factual, but uninspiring answer is that, well, we’ve been operating one for almost 6 years.  (By the way, we don’t claim special insight into starting a makerspace–we’ve only done that once.)  But the deeper answer has to do with the systems we use and how they align with the values of our makerspace and the larger Maker movement.

Briefly–trying to condense five days of content here–it’s our experience that if you start from some core Maker values, you end up wanting systems that

  • Promote safety
  • Value openness
  • Strive for continuous improvement
  • Welcome and support members with a wide range of experiences and knowledge
  • Provide access to and preservation of nice equipment
  • Organize of tools for quick retrieval
  • Provide great customer service
  • Encourage self-service, increase skills
  • Support the local community
  • Promote the larger makerspace and maker movements
  • Reduce impact on environment
  • Support and encourage member creativity
  • Promote an optimistic view of the future
  • Empower people to be more than just consumers
  • Reduce waste
  • and so on

And it turns out that there are systems drawn from Lean manufacturing and other practices that do just that, including:

  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • 5S
  • Open Book Management
  • How to Instruct
  • Servant Leadership
  • Recipes for creating culture
  • Recipes for giving great customer service
  • 43 folders
  • Visual management systems
  • and so on

In the bootcamp, we begin by discussing the relationship between the organization’s mission, vision, guiding principles, systems, culture, experience, and bottom lines, and the need for consistency between them.  This framework organizes much of the content of the week.  With this in mind, we then delve into each of these elements and explore specific systems like SOPs, using an actual makerspace to see how they work in real life.

In the end, though, none of the systems, none of the tools, none of the organizing makes any sense without the context of a mission, a vision, guiding principles, and bottom lines.  Open book management takes effort.  Servant leadership takes effort.  Great customer service takes time.  We hope by the end of the week that we’ve made the case that these systems can all fit together and produce a sustainable makerspace consistent with its mission.

How did we end up with these systems?  Tom actually used these in running a local business with over $10M annual revenue and over 400 employees during the busy holiday season–employees who often come in without any experience and have to become almost immediately productive.  The many parallels suggested that a makerspace run using the same types of systems could help members become productive and keep them safe without requiring the constant attention of staff.  The values of the business were also something we wanted to follow–for example, having more than just profit as a bottom line.  (Our bottom lines are people, planet, and profit.)  We take a tour of this business, since it is another opportunity to see the concepts in action.

In the end, we want to have more makerspaces in the world.  We think these tools increase those odds, and encourage anyone who operates or is thinking of operating a makerspace to take a look at them.

Can’t make it to one of our bootcamps?

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Shocking redo of Electronics Lab! Jewelry Studio & Summer Camps coming soon!

Thank you!
Your thoughtful responses to last month’s survey on what you love about our shop (friendly members and staff! tools!) and how we can make it better are very helpful. Some of your suggestions have already been implemented and we’re working on the others. Two prize winners have been notified they won a $25 credit toward their next class and a Maker Works t-shirt.
Electronics: Moved & Improved!
Panorama of Electronics
 

Circuits moved into the Tool Crib, which dispersed into the shops. We’re still working on sorting the Tool Crib move, but the new Electronics room is beautifully organized according to 5S methodology, meaning that each tool has been sorted, organized, and given a location and a label of its uses. Finding the correct tool in electronics will be so much easier now!

Great Devices for Electronics Projects
(click the image to see more detailed specs)
One tool you likely won’t have at home is a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) engraver. This machine allows you to make prototype circuit boards while-you-wait, instead of waiting several days for a prototype from a board house.
PCB Engraver with new, quiet enclosure
PCB Engraver in action
PCB Engraver in action
Logic Analyzer
16-Channel Logic Analyzer – for testing Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and other projects
Digital Oscilloscope
Digital Oscilloscope – a powerful tool for visualizing electronic signals
DC Power Supply
Triple output DC power supply and more signal analyzers
Reflow oven
Reflow Oven – for soldering surface mount components on printed circuit boards
Coming Soon: Jewelry Studio!

Exciting things are happening! We’ve moved the electronics area and are ready to transform the space into a jewelry studio. We are shooting to have it up and running within 2 months, but in order to reach that goal, we’d like your help. Please let us know how we can make it work for you by answering a few questions on our survey.

Your responses will help us identify the tools, materials, and layout needed. Of course, we’ll also need to write SOPs to protect people and tools, develop checkout classes, and plan our skill development classes. We have some work to do yet, but can’t wait to see what our members create in this new space!
Ann Arbor has a wonderful jewelry resource with the Ann Arbor Art Center’s great studio and classes. Maker Works is eager to collaborate with them and to expand the jewelry-making options in Washtenaw County.
Summer Camps!
Registration will begin soon for our summer camps. Let us know you’d like to be notified when that happens by entering your contact info here.

Kinetic Camp

Ages 8-12
Jun 19 – 23  9:00am – 12:00pm

Flying! Rolling! Crashing! Join Maker Works for a series of kinetic-themed Make & Take classes. Students will be introduced to a variety of traditional kinetic projects and the tools to create them. Everything from rubber band planes and mousetrap-powered cars to stomp rockets will be covered in this week-long series of half-day workshops. Starting from kits, students will end the camp with their own custom creations and a new appreciation for designing from scratch!

Ages 10-14
Jun 26 – 30 & Aug 07 – 11

9:00am – 4:00pm (open build available from 4pm to 5pm in the Kids Space)

Students will be immersed in a week-long workshop of creative storytelling through the art of comics and manga. We will work on drawing skills, narration, and formatting a story to go wherever their imagination takes them. Pen and paper are combined with modern experimental tools like laser cutters, conductive ink and 3D printing to give students the means to meet their print deadline. Staff will guide students through the use of these devices to express their art in multiple media to create a single-issue zine featuring everyone’s work by the end of the week.

Metal Sculpture Camp

Ages 13-16
Jul 10 – 14 & Aug 14 – 18
9:00am – 4:00pm (open build available from 4pm to 5pm in the Kids Space)

Do you want to harness the power of the sun to cut metal? Shape that metal with your mind and hands? Join Maker Works for an exciting metal workshop for kids. Students will be introduced to a variety of metalworking methods including forging, casting pewter, plasma cutting, and using various other tools. Students will learn about design and tool skills, which will allow them to create their own custom sculptures.

Upcycled Fashion Camp
Ages 10-16

Jul 17-21 & Aug 21-25
9:00am – 4:00pm (open build available from 4pm to 5pm in the Kids Space)
Get your kids thinking outside the box when it comes to self-expression through everyday fashion. While we will use basic hand and machine sewing, students will be introduced to bigger tools like the laser cutter, vinyl cutter, and heat press to help achieve their creative visions. Students will be exploring T-shirt and denim reconstruction, plus the art of accessorizing. Transform “hand-me-downs” into runway-ready style for the new school year!   Students will create several garments and accessories.  All materials included.
Monthly Maker Group Meetings
Check out the following events and meetings at Maker Works.  These meetings are open to all, no membership required. 

Maker Works Fix-It Friday – Come in to help fix, learn to fix, or have your items fixed by MW staff and volunteer fixers.
Third Friday of the month from 4pm-6pm. (Next fix is Feb 17th @ 4-6pm)

GO Tech – Self-proclaimed “geek show-and-tell.” Makers present their creations!

Second Tuesday of the month at 7pm. (Next meeting is Mar 14th @ 7pm)

TOOOL – The Open Organization Of Lockpickers – A group advancing the general public knowledge about locks and lockpicking.
Second Wednesday of the month at 6:30pm. (Next meeting is Mar 8th @ 6:30pm)
Southeast Michigan Woodworkers – Presentations on various woodworking topics, as well as hands-on project builds and teaching sessions.

Second Thursday of the month at 7pm. (Next meeting is Mar 9th @ 7pm)

Kids Robotics Club – Join us for robotics and fun! All ages welcome, no experience needed!!
Third Wednesday of the month from 6-7pm. (Next meeting is Mar 15th @ 6-7pm)

Michigan Robot Club – A group for robotics enthusiasts of all skill levels.

Third Wednesday of the month at 7pm. (Next meeting is Mar 15th @ 7pm)

South East Michigan CNC (SEMICNC) – For folks who want to get started with CNC as well as veterans to share information.
First Wednesday of the month at 7pm. (Next meeting is Mar 1st @ 7pm)
Maker Works Quarterly Member Meetings – If you are or have ever been a member, stop by for discussion on announcements and updates around the shop. (Next meeting is April 20th @ 7pm)
Handy Links
Class Registration Calendar
Tool Reservation Calendar
Email us if you’d like to arrange one-on-one consulting ($30/hr) on your project. Please include as many details as possible, so we can connect you with the right person.
Maker Works 734-222-4911 frontdesk@maker-works.com
3765 Plaza Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Open 1pm-9pm M-Th, 9am-6pm F, 10am-4pm weekends
(Open to Pro-level members 9am-1pm M-Th as well)

Other places to find us:
Like us on FacebookView on InstagramFollow us on TwitterView our videos on YouTube

Would you like to see some neat panoramic photos inside Maker Works from the quiet “Pro hours” of the morning?

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A Maker’s Guide to the Holiday Season

Handmade gifts can be the best gifts. But if you’re anything like us, sometimes the stress of the holidays can be magnified by scrambling to finish handmade gifts at the last minute.

That’s why we’ve created this guide with tried-and-true tips and tricks to not only getting through this holiday season, but taking your making game to the next level.

1. Get Started Now

Sometimes makers can be procrastinators, too. (Who, us?) Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, unless it means more stress than there needs to be and the risk of running out of time. By planning out your gifts now, even if you don’t start working on them right away, you’ll have an idea of what you’ll need in order to get the job done. This includes purchasing or ordering materials, knowing what tools you’ll be using, brushing up on any necessary skills, and making initial preparations.

2. Sign Up for Any Check-Out Classes You May Need

As the holidays get closer, space in check-out classes can fill quickly. If there’s a check out class you’ll need to take in order to complete your project, take a look at the calendar and go ahead and sign up now.

3. Enroll in a Make-N-Take Class

Okay, this is one of the most straightforward and easiest ways to make an awesome gift. There’s a ton of positives to signing up for a Make-N-Take class and coming away from it with a gift. For one, there’s no guesswork. You’ll know exactly what you’ll be walking away from the class with. And secondly, you’ll have the support of the instructor and fellow classmates to guide you through every step of the process.

Here are some suggestions:

Birdhouses | November 19 | 12:30pm – 3:00pm

Forged Bracelets (Family) | November 26 | 11am – 1pm

Holiday Stockings (Family) | December 1 | 4pm – 5:30pm or 7pm – 8:30pm

Holiday Ornament (Drop-In) | December 3, 10, and 17 | Between 11am – 3pm

Forged Bracelets (Family) | December 10 | 11am – 1pm

Metal Tree (Family) | December 17 | 11am – 11:30am

Holiday Stockings (Family) | December 17 | 12pm – 1:30pm

Forged Bracelets (Family) | December 24 | 11am – 1pm

Click here to find out more and sign up for a Make-N-Take class.

4. Reserve Tool Time

If there are times you know you’ll be in the shop, why not go ahead and reserve your tool time now? Some tools will be in very high demand come December, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about when you’ll be working in the shop and when you’ll be needing which tools.

5. If You Hit a Rut, Consult with an Expert

We all experience unexpected challenges when working on projects. What’s important is to not let these challenges keep you from making the gift of your (or someone else’s) dreams. Sometimes even just half an hour of talking with an expert can give you just the boost you need to get through the challenge and make your project a reality. Plus, talking with someone who has just about seen or done it all can save you loads of time, which is perhaps the most valuable resource of all during the holiday season.

Maker Works staff members each have unique areas of expertise that they can offer consulting in. If you’d like to find out more about how you could connect with an expert and use consulting for your project, stop by the front desk, email us, or give us a call at (734) 222-4911. We’ll get an understanding of your needs and then connect you with the right person.

6. Celebrate with us at our Holiday Party

At the end of the day, the holiday season is all about friends and family. That’s why we want Maker Works members and their families to join us at our third-annual Nightmare Before Christmas Costume Potluck Extravaganza! Don your favorite costume and bring a dish to pass. We’ll be giving out prizes for best costume and best dish!

Saturday, December 10 | 6-11pm (Kids welcome until 9pm)

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