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Friends of Midsouth Makers Roast Pig and LAN Party

by on May.24, 2012, under Events, Trips

Minecraft PigFor all those that may not be aware, good friends of Midsouth Makers, Makers Local 256, down in Huntsville, AL are having a pig roast and LAN party extravaganza on June 2nd starting at noon. These guys know how to throw down a good party with awesome food and a great selection of games. If you go down for a visit, you wont be disappointed. The LAN party wont happen until later in the evening, but for the early part of the day you’ll get to enjoy the excellent yummies they’ve prepared. In addition to the food, it’s a great opportunity to see what other spaces look like. They put on an excellent open house with the grub. There won’t be any lack of exciting things to see with them showing off projects, tools, shop upgrades, and the vast array of all the cool things the Makers have going on. Any of the Midsouth Makers that are free to go down that weekend should take the opportunity to go hang out with our fellow makers. It will be great motivation for what kind of things we can have going on here at our very own space. The LAN party will undoubtedly be a blast as well. They always put on a great set of tournaments with prizes and amusement all around. There are pretty good chances there will be some interesting Minecrafting going on, as well as all the fun games from Steam that everyone loves such as Team Fortress and Monday Night Combat. The LAN is assured to go on into the early morning so be prepared for lots of fun. If you manage to go, don’t forget to take a few bucks with you as well as your computer. The Pig Roast is 1 for $10 or 2 for $15, and it would be equally kind to make a donation to the Huntsville guys for putting on the LAN party in addition.

What: Food and Games
Where: Makers Local 256
When: June 2nd @ Noon, LAN party starting later that evening
Cost: $10 for 1, $15 for 2, and any other donation

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Smelly, Flowery, Bath Salty, Homemade Awesomeness for Your Valentine’s

by on Jan.31, 2012, under Crafts, Events, Meetings, Projects, Workshops

Homemade Bath Salts

Homemade Bath Salts

Hi Folks! Do you struggle with high priced personal hygine products that just slip right off your hands and wash down the drain? Do you know where to find bath salts? Are you wondering what are bath salts? Is your bathtub lined with half empty containers that keep lurking and crowding you in? Ever taken a bath over and over just to still feel shameful and unclean?

Well we have got just the thing for you! Midsouth Makers is proud to introduce our own specialty line of hand-made, personal hygene products! Our first exciting product is our individually made, scented bath salts. These bath salts are guaranteed to help you wash the shame, guilt, dead skin, and mud off all while making you smell like a bed of roses! With our patent-pending, scent-customizing, nano-globuoles you can upgrade your boring baths to soothing and relaxing.

But wait, there’s more. Also available is our Dead Sea Tupperware collection of Sugar Scrubs. These complex, imported creations feature a precariously balanced and highly invigorating body scrub. When applied to your skin, that special someone in your life will hardly be able to recognize you. Want to astound, amaze, and knock them off their feet? You better believe Midsouth Makers Dead Sea Tupperware Sugar Scrubs will get the job and you done!

How much does this excellent deal cost you say? For only $5 you will receive your choice of a 12 oz jar of bath salts or an 8 oz jar of body scrub. For a limited time offer, we will let you take advantage of our price points and include two additional jars of your choice for only $5 more. So for $5 you can walk away with 1 jar or for a mere total of $10 you can walk away with 3 whole jars of bathy goodness just in time for Valentine’s Day. Bring your loved ones, your friends, your friends’ friends, etc etc to Republic Coffee this coming Friday on February 3rd around 7PM where a making extravaganza of flowery, bathroom smellables will be available to you if you so desire.

Disclaimer: Midsouth Makers is in no way responsible if romantic endeavours do not transpire exactly as depicted. Midsouth Makers is in no way responsible for withheld affection for lack of receipt of bath salts and body scrubs on Valentine’s Day.

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Rep Rap Prusa Mendel 3d Printer

by on Jul.30, 2011, under Arduino, Projects, Prusa

Dan's Rep rap Prusa 3d Printer

Dan's Rep rap Prusa 3d Printer

I get a lot of blank stares and strange looks when I tell people that I am working on a 3D printer. As such I’d like to set out to explain what one is as well as show off what I’ve completed on mine thus far.

So you ask, “What exactly is one of them there 3-Dee printer things you’re talking about?” In short, it is a rapid prototyping machine. Since I’m sure that clears it all up and removes any further questions you have in your mind, I’m done here and everyone’s good to move on to the next blog right? No of course not. The best explanation I have is it’s a machine that takes a plastic material, melts it down, and places a thin layer of the melted plastic one layer at a time until you have a finished object. It is a printer that works like your old school inkjet printer but also moves on a 3rd axis to make non flat prints.

Claudio's RepRap Prusa

Claudio's RepRap Prusa

The idea is as follows. What do you do when you want to develop some brand new, earth shattering, world stopping, sign of the apocalypse product that has never been in existence before and it needs a custom part that even Nostradamus didn’t predict? You design it of course, in your favorite 3D modeling software like Google Sketchup or Blender or any of the other dozens that are out there. The show stopper before was how you went from a digital model to something tangible that you could hold in your hands and break if you are one of those accident prone individuals. It always meant that you had to go pay some exorbitant amount for a machine shop to make you just one of that item, and heaven forbid that item didn’t fit the needs on the first round. I’m sure you can imagine where the price would go up rather quickly in development. So why not just make it out of cheaper material and something that works just well enough to serve as a proof of concept. Well, that’s exactly what the 3D printer does for you.

A handful of months ago two of the other members at our hackerspace and myself all decided we wanted to build our own Prusa 3D printers. No real defined reason behind it other than we knew we wanted our own printers, and that if we had one it would open new possibilities to us. Since there is no real completion point for these things, it would simply be that once we had it “working” we could use it to create new items and repair or replace old ones that were no longer available. That in a nutshell is the appeal of having such a device and the driving force behind our continued development of them. One of the single most awesome things about this particular printer that we are building, the Prusa. Is that it’s relatively cheap, easily reproducible, modular, and upgradeable. Currently we are in the process of getting them fine tuned and working to some extent. From there we’ll be able to spend further time using it to upgrade itself and improve it’s quality. Expect to see more details in the near future right here on my very own blog enlightening all of the saga of blood, sweat, tears, cursing, and agony that is the way of life a homemade 3D prototyping machine is.

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Midsouth Makers and Hacker Consortium Aftermath

by on Jun.15, 2010, under Events, Trips

Image by John Wood

It’s taken a while to get around to it, but on the 5th the Midsouth Makers went to visit one of our sister groups in Nashville, the Hacker Consortium. The HC guys were unbelievably generous, they did a lot in a little time to prep for our visit. Quite often for the few days before we arrived, their IRC channel was littered with chores being doled out to clean the place up. No offense, but it was likely a waste of time as we were just so mesmerized by everything. They probably could have had every piece of junk they could find scattered on the floor and we wouldn’t have noticed. On top of doing what they could to make the place presentable, they went so far as to fix an impressive lunch. I personally had never had “Beer Can Chicken” before, but I’m already wanting more. Hopefully we’ll be able to have our own cookout and make the same thing before too long. The trip really served as a good chance for the people here in Memphis to see what we could potentially have and to motivate them to push for the same.

As for more details about the space, we’ll just say that it is unbelievable. If you take a look at what they have now and compare it to what they started with, you almost wouldn’t believe most of it. They had tons of tools everywhere, an impressive server room, and had even just finished their learning lab. They have roughly 2000 square feet of space and have done an excellent job of laying things out. The best thing you can do is just take a look at the Flickr account and see for yourself.

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Makers Look at Potential Hackerspace on Southern

by on Jun.10, 2010, under News, Workshops

Photo by Mary Potts

So for those who aren’t aware, we’re still alive and looking for potential locations to call home. After our visit to Nashville’s Hacker Consortium, spirits are rekindled and the drive is on again. Earlier this week we scheduled a viewing of a space that was located at 3527 Southern Ave, Memphis, TN 38111, and I must say that it was awesome! Now I know, we don’t want to get too excited about it as we may not get it, or even better find a space that is just that much more outstanding. Even still, it really is pretty cool. It really is a shame that more of the members couldn’t make it to check it out, but in place of that we did try to document things as best as possible on the Wiki. Pictures of the space are on the Wiki if you click on the thumbnail on the previous page, or you can always checkout the pictures on the Flickr account as well. From the pictures you’ll see that it could use a little care, and does lack a garage door, but everything else about it just screams “makerspace!” With everything around it like Brother Juniper’s, RP Tracks, and the University of Memphis, we could make great use of this location and the room that it has in it.

The space is approximately 2000 square feet and used to be a TV repair shop. The great thing about that is the fact of three phase power already being run to the location! It already has workbenches on one wall, and has a storefront that we could re-purpose for other things. You can check out simulated 3D photo of the main workshop at photosynth. There is just a lot to be said for the potential of the space. From the layout of the place, we would be able to build us a server room, possibly a kitchen, a storage closet, plenty of workbench space, individual cubbyholes, a lounge, and a maybe even a learning lab. We will be discussing all of this with everyone at the next couple of meetings to get ideas for potential layouts and what we can do to make the most of what is available. The owner has even generously agreed to give us the first month for free and $800/mo for the first year before raising the rent to the requested $900/mo. If we can get enough paying members interested this it really could become a reality quite soon.

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Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world. — Archimedes