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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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
New 3D Printers
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
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
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.
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!
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.
Due to popular demand we will be hosting another ornament making workshop on Monday, December 14th from 6pm – 8pm at Benicia Makerspace. Come make an ornament, have some hot chocolate, and checkout our space if you have never been to it. Be sure to RSVP on our Meetup page so we can make sure we have enough materials to go around.
Don’t Forget! Benicia Makerspace is accepting tax deductible money and equipment donations. Be sure to get yours in by the end of the year to be eligible for the 2015 tax year. Contact email@example.com with any questions.
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?
There’s more activity at Benicia Makerspace than we can keep up with. Here are a few things that happened in October.