Tuesday, September 26, 2017

New Dubuque Iowa Makerspace Plans Open House Soon!

Having recently been accepted as a member to the Board of Directors this last week I am proud to announce that the Key City Creative Center (KCCC) in Dubuque Iowa will be having an open house in the coming weeks.  The new makerspace is shaping up nicely with 28 members already and equipment to be able to make anything from  projects made of wood to 3D printed parts or laser engraved plaques.  Along with the new facility are spaces for crafts, automotive repair and fabrication, computer classes, and welding just to name a few of the amenities that are already in place for use. 

Here is the news release that I received  a couple of days ago.  It will tell you all about the coming event in more detail.  If you are anywhere near the Tri-state area (Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois) on October 14th I personally invite you to come to the free open house as we will have a lot to share and I am sure it will be a lot of fun too.  Hope to see you there!

KCCC Full Logo - CMYK.jpg


Hiztler | Key City Creative Center Founder

e:timhitzler@gmail.com |m:563-599-2915

New Makerspace in Dubuque to Host Public Open House Saturday October 14

DUBUQUE, Iowa, September 25, 2017-- Opening its doors to the general public for the first time, Key City Creative Center (KCCC) -- Dubuque’s new Makerspace -- will host an open house on Saturday, October 14th, from 11 am - 3 pm at their brand new workshop space located at 1781 White Street, in downtown Dubuque. Longtime Dubuque residents may recognize the location as one of the former Rafoth Sheet Metal buildings.

The open house will include Makerspace tours, membership information & sign-up, live equipment demonstrations, and hand-crafted art for sale made onsite by current members. Local non-profits that already partner with the Makerspace will also have informational booths and door prizes for visitors.

Tim Hitzler, a local social studies teacher, woodworker, and KCCC Founder, began considering the idea of opening a Makerspace back in 2015, after seeing a need in the community for functional workspace and tools. “I visited other Makerspaces and saw the power of collaboration among people of different backgrounds and skills. Some people don’t have the means or space at home to own their own machinery, so this offers people an opportunity to share tools and talents,” Hitzler said.

The Makerspace is designed to be a resource for everyone in the community, not just experienced craftspeople. Artists creatives, or just curious individuals who want to learn new skills are encouraged to check it out. Sister Margaret Mear, BVM, of Mt. Carmel in Dubuque is a current member of the Makerspace. “I joined KCCC because they could give me a place to weld and do large sculpture. It will also be a good place to connect with other artists and to learn from each other,” Mear said.

Current KCCC Board President Lyndal Anthony is excited for the public to see what the Makerspace has to offer. “I was initially recruited to set up equipment and develop a safety training program, but I saw the value of having a space and quality equipment for people to build and/or repair projects,” said Anthony. “I think this space is going to be key
in cultivating communication, education and cooperation for everyone in Dubuque.”

With an increased focus on STEM education in schools, and a growing need for more people working in the skilled trades, Makerspaces are popping up around the country as vital spaces where individuals can experiment creatively in a safe environment.

Key City Creative Center is a collaborative workspace where members can complete DIY projects, learn technical trade skills, and be part of a community that values hands-on education and craftsmanship. The $50 monthly membership fee includes 24/7 key-card access to a variety of tools and equipment, with secure private studio space available at an additional cost.

More information available at https://keycitycreativecenter.org/
and on the Facebook event page at https://goo.gl/RXUmkL

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Tin Man Project Part 2

It's been kind of a hectic week with all that has been going on here at the workshop and also at a new makerspace I have gotten involved in.  More about the makerspace in another post soon.  But for right now I want to show you the progress that I have made today on my Tin Man project. 

Here once again is how this project should look once I have it completed.  Also the image above is a good way to show you what parts of the Tin Man go where when I show them in various stages of construction.

Here are all of the 3D printed parts that I've put together for this project so far.  70 hours of 3D printing make a lot of parts as you can tell.  From left to right in the back of this image is the hips assembly, PVC tubing for the arms, the head with hat already attached, and more PVC for the legs.  Again starting on the left and moving right are the feet with the ankles attached, joints for the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, teeth for the face of the Tin Man, and knew joints for the legs.  Lastly also starting on the left is the head mounting plate, the hands (without fingers), the hip mounting plate, and the leg and arm PVC drill guides and supports.  Lots to figure out on this project.

To start the assembly I put together the hips first pictured above.  This consists of a blue mounting plate that was 3D printed.  Inserted into this plate are two 1 1/2" long PVC 1 3/4" outside diameter tubes that are press fit into the plate.  Then inserted and bolted into these tubes are two 3D printed joints for the hips along with the mounting hardware to hold everything in place. 

Next another mounting plate for the body of the Tin Man is bolted to the blue mounting plate using 1/4-20 bolts, nuts, and washers. This white plate was also 3D printed and is 1/4" thick and 5.75" in diameter.  The PVC mounting tubes for the hip joints slide easily into the holes designed for them.

The next step in this portion of the assembly was to cut the PVC piping to the required lengths for the arms and legs as well as drill all of the mounting holes for the project. I cut all of the tubing using my miter saw and it turned out to be a quick and easy task.  To ensure that the joints for the legs and arms would go together smoothly into the PVC tubing I 3D printed a drill guide for both sizes of tubing that are used for the arms and legs.  I then could slide the tubing into the guide (shown on the right) and also have a matching tube support (shown upper left) to hold the tubing correctly while I drilled the 1/4" holes using my drill press.

Here is the setup on my drill press ready to drill the first hole.  The piece of wood underneath the drill guide helped me hold everything easily in place while I drilled straight through the center of the tubing and also mark a spot on the wood at the same time. 

With the wood marked I drilled an additional hole completely through the plywood support so that I could slide a bolt down through the first hole that I drilled into the tube.  This kept the tube from spinning as I wanted both holes to be in the center of the tubing as well as be aligned with one another in the final assembly of the legs and arms.

I was very pleased to be able to put the leg assembly together first time out.  The drill guides really worked out perfectly.  The assembly of the legs that you see pictured above was very quick and easy

With the joints all mounted correctly I can even pose the Tin Man if I like once it is complete.  But he would be limited in his movement so to have him stand up is the plan of action at this point.  To make him more posable would take a bit more design work to have the joints have more movement.  But for now this will do nicely.

The arms also went together smoothly as shown above.  I have all of the components for his hands but when this photo was taken I did not have enough bolts and nuts to put the fingers on the hands yet.  I will have to make another trip to the hardware store to get this covered. 

The next step in the assembly will be the fiber glassing of the body for the Tin Man.  This will be a simple task but not a fast one.  I have the Styrofoam already set up to use as a plug for the fiberglass work so hopefully I can get at this in the next day or so.  Once this main part is completed it will just be a matter of drilling some holes to mount the hip plate to the base of the body and drill holes for the head mount and shoulder joints.  So I've still  got a lot of work to get at yet before I can move on to disassembly of the figure and paint all of the parts  and then put them all back together again.  

I also still have to 3D print his heart and work on his axe.  Lastly I plan on making a old style oil can that he can hold on to when he is displayed. It will be another nice touch for the finished figure.  I'll keep you posted when I get further along.  Have a productive day in your workshop.  Today has been a good one for me. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

My 15 Minutes Of Fame!

This week I was awarded quite an honor by my local paper.  A reporter for the Tri-County Press had interviewed me for the paper last week and I was very honored to talk with the young lady that arrived at my home.  I showed her most of what I have been posting about on my blog over the past six years and after and hours time I had covered everything from 3D printing parts to making my velomobile.  I thought I would be lucky enough to get a small article written about me somewhere on the back pages of the paper.  To my surprise yesterday when I picked up the latest issue there I was on the front page!  In full color no less.  Granted my little town of only a population of a little over 2000 residence would not have a circulation that would rival the New York Times but I was still quite honored to rate the front page.  Dena Harris the editor of the paper and also the reporter I spoke with wrote a very nice article about me and the projects that I create.  So with all that said I thought I would post scans that I had made of the paper just for the fun of it.  Enjoy.

Click on the images to get a much larger view to read the article.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Tin Man Project Part One

This week in my mailbox I already found a Christmas catalog. (Big Sigh).  Christmas catalogs already!  It frustrates me when catalogs like this show up so very early in the year.  But with the catalog I did get an idea for a new project.  While thumbing through the it just to see if there was anything worth even looking at I came across a lawn or garden figure of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz.  The 30" tall figure looked good until I saw the price it would cost to get it to my door for a Christmas present.  Eighty five dollars may seem ok to some people but the tinker in me said "No Way"!  I knew I could design and build my own Tin Man much cheaper and so another project has born.  

With some careful measuring of the photo from the catalog I came up with my version of the Tin Man that you see pictured here.  I know that my Tin Man will not even come close to the $85 price tag that I found in the catalog.  To break down the construction of the lawn figure I plan on using PVC pipe for the arms and legs, fiberglass for the body and head, and the remaining parts will be 3D printed. Throw in the nuts and bolts to hold him together along with more fiberglass and PVC for the axe and the project will be well on it's way along with a much cheaper price tag.  

To start work on the Tin Man I first cut out Styrofoam disks to be glued together to make the head and body.  This was a simple task of marking out 3.75" diameter disks for the head and 6" diameter disks for the body.  These were then cut out using my band saw. 

I then stacked up the disks to make the individual assemblies.  The head will be 5.25" tall once completed and the body will be 8,25" tall.  I used a special glue for Styrofoam called Foam Fusion from a company named the Hotwire Foam Factory.  This glue looks and feels just like white wood glue but can be cut with a hot wire as where the white wood glue cannot. I weighted the assemblies down while the glue dried to keep everything firmly pressed together.

I have already started 3D printing all of the components that will be needed for the joints of the Tin Man.  There are a lot of them.  Forty 3D printed parts in total.  Luckily these parts are not very large.  Pictured above are the components that will be used for the shoulders, elbows and wrists for the Tin Man.  The ball joints for the arms are on 1.5" in diameter and the leg joints are 2" in diameter. The largest part shown above is the drill guide for the PVC tubing to make sure that I get good accurate holes to mount the 3D printed parts to the PVC tubing.  Once I get the Tin Man assembled correctly it will be a simple matter of taking him apart and then painting all of the parts with silver paint.  When the parts have dried I will reassemble him again and he will be ready to use.

To help keep the Tin Man from falling down when displayed in a yard or garden I will pound a steel rod into the ground and he will have a receiving mount in the base of his body that this rod will slide into to keep him upright even in a heavy wind.  

I will post more on this project as I get farther along with him so check back soon for the latest update.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Blogs Sixth Anniversary.... A Little Review And A Big Thank You.

Well another year has come and gone.  No it's not New Years already.  It's my blog's sixth anniversary.  When I started the blog I thought if anyone reads what I post about it would be great. If nobody reads what I post about I would chalk it up to experience and move on to something else.  I am very happy to say the blog is doing well after all this time and I am still enjoying designing, building, and writing about the projects that I post about.  Apparently so are you.... my faithful readers. As of this posting the number of visits to the blog have reached over 405,000 visitors. Google+ the last time I looked had a count of over 5.5 million visitors.  I am thrilled that so many of you still enjoy the projects and subjects that I write about on my blog.  So to all of you I say "Thank You! You have made this year another exciting and rewarding one for me."  

I had to go back through my postings over this past year to remember all that I had created and worked on.  It has been a busy year once again with over 20 projects having been made.  So to save time I decided to post photos of them again here so you can see what I have been up to over the past year in case you missed a few projects along the way.  Thank you once again and enjoy the photos.

 Miniature Boom Box

Captain America Ball Chair

New 3D Printed GPS Mount For My Motorcycle

3D Printed Camera Mount For My Motorcycle

Paracord Binoculars Strap

Work Table Spray Booth

Instant Insanity Game (3D Printed)

Utility Cart

Micro Camera Tripod

Custom Micro-Cooler For My Motorcycle

 Microphone Pop Filter 

3D Printed Action Camera Grip

Blender 3D 1951 Chevy Pickup

How to Model Headlights in Blender 3D

Blender 3D Holli Virtual Assitant

Motorcycle Helmet Glasses Mount.... "Fast Glasses"

Blender 3D Futurama Stealth Ship

Couch Table

3D Printed RC Plane

Human powered Vehicle with Power Trailer

The Ridekick Special Power Trailer

Chest Mount for Action Camera

"Dexter" Muppet

Planet Express Sign

Blender 3D 356 Porsche

Teardrop Trailer Concept Design