Benicia Makerspace Is Expanding!


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We are very excited to be able to share the news that Benicia Makerspace is expanding our space! We will be adding 1300 square feet of “FlexSpace” for kids classes, co-working and electronics/3D printing. We have been growing fast and accumulating a lot of new equipment and supplies for our members to use. Unfortunately, our shop is getting very cramped and we didn’t really have a great space to hold classes for kids and adults. With this expansion we are planning on introducing new after school programs for kids, as well as offering a comfortable drop in space for adults to work in during the day. Look for updates from us as we plan and build out this new space over the next few months.

Join Benicia Makerspace Before The End Of July And SAVE $$

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It has been almost a year since we opened our doors in our current space. Our introductory membership rate will expire on July 31, 2016. Anyone who has joined before this date will get and keep the low monthly membership rate of $40/month ($20/month for students) until they decide to cancel. After July 31 our rates will be going up to $50/month ($25/month for students) for new members which is still by far the lowest monthly rate in the Bay Area for any makerspace or hackerspace which offers the type of tools, equipment and training that you find at Benicia Makerspace. If you have been thinking of signing up, but have been putting it off, this is your last chance to join at the reduced rate.

Not sure what Benicia Makerspace is all about??? Come see for yourself! We have two more Open Houses before the end of July where you are welcome to take a look at our space, ask questions, and meet other makers. This Monday we will be trying out some laser cutting equipment.

Volunteer Coordinator, Photographer and Marketing Help Needed for Benicia Mini Maker Faire

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We are looking to fill a few positions on our planning committee for this year’s Benicia Mini Maker Faire.

Volunteer Coordinator: This person will attend regular planning meetings, and work with school and community volunteer organizations to recruit the volunteers we need to help run the event. They will also schedule and coordinate staffing before and during the event itself so we can make sure everyone gets a chance to experience the event as well as helping out.

Photographer: This person will take high quality photos and videos on the day of the event. He/She will need to attend one or two planning meetings.

Marketing: This person will attend regular planning meetings, and will be responsible for coordinating press releases, email campaigns and marketing materials to help spread the word about our event.

If you are interested in volunteering to fill any of these positions please let us know ASAP by contacting aaron@beniciamakerspace.com.

What’s New In The New Year At Benicia Makerspace

New 3D Printers

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We acquired three new Flashforge Creator Pro 3D printers which are setup and running. We also have scheduled a monthly class for those wanting to learn how to operate them correctly and get good quality prints. You need to be a member to use these printers so this class if for paying members only. We will also setup a user group meeting for those with general interest to talk shop about 3D printing.

Shapeoko 2 Now Working

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Thanks to some work by Jim Kennon and other members, we now have the Shapeoko 2 up and running. It is a little finicky, but it works pretty well once you have your gcode ready to run. If you haven’t used it before, ask around for help to get you started. Members can post a request on the mailing list.

SOLIDWORKS and AutoCAD

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SOLIDWORKS and AutoCAD are now installed on two of the PCs in the classroom area. You can use these tools to design parts for your projects. We are also setting up some training for those who are new to CAD to help get them up and running.

Call For Makers Now Open – Benicia Mini Maker Faire 2016

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The second annual Benicia Mini Maker Faire will be held on Saturday, April 16th at Benicia Middle School from 10am to 5pm.

Makers, performers, crafters, workshop leaders, and food vendors wishing to participate in this year’s faire should fill out our simple online form and apply today! We ask you a few questions about what you’d like to show at the Faire, your production needs, your contact info, etc. Deadline for applications is February 29th so don’t delay.

Calling all Makers, Performers, Crafters!
What are we looking for? Pretty much whatever you make or do that you’re passionate about, as long as it’s something you can share with others. Maker Faire features a huge range of things: robots and electronics projects, homesteading arts, environmental sustainable projects, kooky inventions, poetry writing, screen printing, music making, crafts and hacks of all kind… Anything Do-It-Yourself, and especially anything Do-It-Together.

Your Mini Maker Faire submission can be a display of something you’ve done, an activity or workshop you offer, a performance, or for a space to sell your finished work. If you are a seasoned maker this is a great chance to practice for the big Bay Area Maker Faire in May. Take the leap, set yourself a deadline, and apply today!

Tickle Your HAM Bone

Another One-Day Ham Radio Class is being offered in Benicia by the Benicia Amateur Radio Club (BARC). Earn a Ham Radio license in just a day. This is an accelerated six hour class followed by a FCC exam session. This course has been very well received and the pass rate exceeds 90%. Expand the scope of your Maker’s hobby. Add a Ham License. The $30 class fee includes all study material, facility access, the federal exam fee and refreshments throughout the day. See class accolades on the BARC website and register today.

‘Tis The Season … For Cheap Maker Treasure

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It seems like Christmas hits the stores earlier and earlier every year. And while that makes many of us shake our heads in bewilderment and sadness at the over commercialization of the holiday season, it also provides makers a wonderful opportunity if you are looking to stock up on inexpensive materials for projects and hobbies. As the cost of manufacturing components like LEDs goes down, the amount of interesting and useful items you can find in stores goes up. Need some LEDs or small solar cells? How about a battery holder or a light sensing circuit? Or maybe you could use some 16 gauge stranded wire. In some cases, a trip to your local dollar store could get you one or several of these items just by taking a look in their holiday section. Take a look at the picture above of my recent purchases (less than $10) and see if you can think of a project or two to make with them. Who needs Radio Shack when you have a dollar store and a local makerspace?

What’s New At Benicia Makerspace – October 2015

There’s more activity at Benicia Makerspace than we can keep up with. Here are a few things that happened in October.

Finished RFID Access System
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The RFID access system is finished and working great. This is what allows us to provide 24/7 access to our members without the security challenges associated with handing out duplicated keys. It was built with a Raspberry Pi and uses an Arduino as a backup in case the power goes out.

 

 New Equipment
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We have two new tools in the space. We installed a 1 ton hoist that is handy for lifting large projects onto a pallet or truck bed. We also have a new 80 gallon compressor.

 

New Workshops
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Member Matt Whitecotton has volunteered to lead two new weekly workshops at Benicia Makerspace. Every Tuesday night anyone is welcome to bring in old or broken items and tear them apart or try and fix them. Screwdrivers and soldering irons are provided. This can be a great way to learn how things work. Every Thursday is Project night where you can get help on a project you are working on. Only members can use our tools, but there might be someone on hand that can help with a quick job. If you have a specific need please let us know ahead of time to see if we have someone with expertise who can be available.

Sign up for either of these night on our meetup.com page.

Updated Projects
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 Jim Kennon has updated his LED project. By simply wrapping his LED strand around a large wine bottle he has made the project more portable and more visually appealing at the same time. Powered by an Arduino, the lights can be controlled by multiple tuning knobs or with a distance sensor.