Please join us for the first Vermont Makers Meetup of 2013! We are excited to have three local presenters who are passionate about flexible, printable and paintable circuits. For a preview of this meetup see this recent interview with Molly Smith of WCAX.
New (and Not So New): Techniques and Technologies for Flexible, Printable, even Paintable Circuits
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Time: 7pm. This is a 1.5 – 2 hour event
Suggested donation at door: $5 – $15
Miller Center, Champlain College
175 Lakeside Avenue, Burlington, VT
Michael Metz will share his 35+ years experience working in the world of printable electronics. Topics covered will include: the history of printable electronics, materials used, printing techniques, current applications, revolutionary new technologies and emerging applications.
Chris Thompson will show his recent experiments in producing do-it-yourself printed circuit boards. He will demonstrate his technique using desktop illustration software and a CNC vinyl cutter to produce these flexible, adhesive PC boards from copper foil.
Ken Howell will show some of the ways artists and designers are using conductive materials to build working circuits on flexible substrates. We’ll look at what’s available and try out some materials to build a simple circuit or two at the meetup.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for an E-Origami workshop with SparkFun’s Jeff Branson! Thank you Jeff and SparkFun! We explored a whole new set of tools for both learning and teaching concepts in electronics. In the coming months we hope workshop participants will find opportunities to further explore and share this unique practice that combines the ancient art of origami with emerging technology.
E-origami: The Intersection of Craft and Technology
A workshop with SparkFun’s Jeff Branson
Miller Center Champlain College
175 Lakeside Avenue, Burlington, VT
Monday, January 21, 2013
4pm – 6pm
Fee: $35 This workshop is full! Today Jan 21: If you have already signed up for this workshop and have a question you must ask before the workshop begins, please text your question to 802-238-7768. This workshop if full. Thanks!
By combining the ancient art of origami with emerging technology we can explore a whole new set of tools for both learning and teaching concepts in electronics. In this workshop we’ll explore embedding controllers, building switches, conductive thread, and conductive ink as materials. We’ll also look at the more traditional paper techniques as applied to the creation of more interactive crafts.
Our friends at SparkFun are raising money state-by-state to donate training and Inventors Kits to students. For every $3,000 raised by Vermont for Vermont, a team of highly trained instructors will travel to Vermont (possibly your town) and donate a SparkFun Inventor’s Kit Lab Pack – $1,250 worth of tools and equipment. Here are the details straight from them and a link to the initiative. Funding ends on December 19, 2012. It would be great if we could at least raise $3,000 from Vermont.
“In today’s global climate, education in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) initiatives is more important than ever. The goal of the SparkFun National Tour is to promote electronics education across the US – helping our teachers and educators make electronics part of their everyday curriculum. If we reach our $150,000 goal, SparkFun will complete a nationwide tour stopping in all 50 states to teach electronics in a fun, approachable and relevant way.
It’s Stick Season in Vermont and we are looking back on a great year and forward to 2013!
Tech Jam on October 26 & 27 was a great event – it was a real treat to meet so many great people in the community. Find photos of us at Tech Jam here and here.
Earlier this month we had our first Vermont Makers Book Club gathering – a small and informal group, we had a stimulating conversation about the book “Program or Be Programmed” and look forward to the next meeting on December to discuss “You Are Not a Gadget.”
Also this month we begin planning new programming for 2013 and we have a special meeting planned with Vermont librarians to discuss potential partnerships. In early December some of us will participate remotely in Connectivity Lab at Malmö University in Sweden.
Have a happy and safe holiday season. We’ll be in touch! Let us know about the projects you are working on at our facebook page.
This month’s recommended read is “Program Or Be Programmed” by Douglas Rushkoff, a book highly recommended by notable Vermont Makers. We are still in the process of securing a meeting space for our book club, in the meantime, feel free post your book comments here. Also, consider buying your copy of “Program Or Be Programmed” from Burlington’s newest locally owned bookstore Phoenix Books.
Today’s leading media theorist offers everyone a practical yet mind-blowing guide to our digital world. The debate over whether the Net is good or bad for us fills the airwaves and the blogosphere. But for all the heat of claim and counter-claim, the argument is essentially beside the point: it’s here; it’s everywhere. The real question is, do we direct technology, or do we let ourselves be directed by it and those who have mastered it? Choose the former writes Rushkoff, and you gain access to the control panel of civilization. Choose the latter, and it could be the last real choice you get to make. In ten chapters, composed of ten commands, accompanied by original illustrations from comic artist Leland Purvis, Rushkoff provides cyberenthusiasts and technophobes alike with the guidelines to navigate this new universe. In this spirited, accessible poetics of new media, Rushkoff picks up where Marshall McLuhan left off, helping readers come to recognize programming as the new literacy of the digital age–and as a template through which to see beyond social conventions and power structures that have vexed us for centuries. This is a friendly little book with a big and actionable message.
Vermont Makers is one of many groups supporting the event, but more importantly we’re behind the scenes Making for the event!
For Saturday, September 29 we’re excited to “take to the air” via copter, balloons, blinkies, folded paper and radio waves. We’re even more excited to partner with our friends at SparkFun who will be onsite for the event.
Instructor + Registration Contact: Eric Hall, Workshop Coordinator
Email: eric (at) ransomhall (dot) com
Cost: $20 suggested donation, see Logistics below
What is Arduino?
Arduino is a tool for making computers that can sense and control more of the physical world than your desktop computer. It’s an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple microcontroller board, and a development environment for writing software for the board.
Inexpensive – Arduino boards are relatively inexpensive compared to other microcontroller platforms. The least expensive version of the Arduino module can be assembled by hand, and even the pre-assembled Arduino modules cost less than $50
Cross-platform – The Arduino software runs on Windows, Macintosh OSX, and Linux operating systems.
Simple, clear programming environment – The Arduino programming environment is easy-to-use for beginners, yet flexible enough for advanced users to take advantage of as well.
What we will cover:
Overview of the hardware, why it exists, and what kind of cool things can be done with it.
Installation of the Arduino programming environment on (your) Windows or Mac laptop.
Construct and program a “Hello World” example circuit, or two if time allows.
Register by emailing Eric at the address listed above.
Attendees must bring their own Windows 7, Windows XP SP3, or Mac laptop (for now, sorry no Linux).
Arduino Unos and all required hardware will be provided for the class.
A donation of $20 (or more ) is suggested, but not required. This money will be used to sponsor further workshops.
Reservations will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Class size is limited to ten people, until we can expand our hardware library (again, you are encouraged to donate). If you have a friend and want to double up on one Arduino, please indicate so in the registration email.
Arduinos and additional hardware can be purchased through Vermont Makers for a discount after attending the workshop. We have educational discounts through SparkFun and Adafruit. Certain group minimum order restrictions apply.
This week’s Seven Days features the article “Meet Your Makers: Vermont hackers, artists and inventors are sharing ideas — and solving problems.” We were thrilled to be included and are very grateful to Megan James for her excellent writing and to Matt Thorsen for the creative photography.
Here’s a special issue of the local program “Stem Education: A Renewed Culture of Innovation.” It features two friends of Vermont Makers, Jeff Branson of Sparkfun Electronics and Doug Webster of Champlain Maker Faire
Maker Spaces are emerging in communities and schools across the country. Jeff Branson of Sparkfun discusses his experience with growing Maker/Hacker Spaces and what it takes to create and run a space for innovation where families, adults, and kids can say “I can do that.”