Great evening at Metrix Create Space last night

Rich and I had a great evening geeking out at “Metrix Create Space”: in Capitol Hill last night. We attended the Intro to Arduino class and had a blast wiring things up, playing with the Arduino IDE, and absorbing the maker vibe. I’d love to follow up and take the E-textiles course they have coming up, because that just sounds cool, what could go wrong with electricity and computers embedded in your clothing?

I totally love the maker revolution. My desk right now is covered with Arduinos, sensors, Raspberry Pis, LEDs, and all the other desiderata of modern hobbyist electronics. Awesome stuff.

Decent article in Seattle Times about maker resources

Good “article in PNW mag”: yesterday about maker resources here in the Seattle area. The particular things I noted:

* “Ignite Seattle”: — regular talks about projects, tho next event postponed, hope this is still active
* “Dorkbot Seattle”: — also on hiatus this month but seems like my kind of thing (apparently lots of electricity involved)
* “Nerdnite”: — more talks and sharing
* “Metrix create space”: — parts, workshop, courses, community
* “ALTSpace”: — another maker space
* “Jigsaw Renaissance”: — and another
* “Seattle Maker Faire”: — annual event showcasing projects
* “make Seattle”:
* “Geekwire”: — really more startup focused but leaking into maker space a little

As an aside, it is so odd that in 2012, the Seattle Times would go to the trouble to research, write, and distribute this article, but then in the web-published version, not link to any of the resources mentioned in it, leaving it to people like me to scrounge together all the links. The web version of the article seems like the afterthought, and the Times misses the opportunity to create the web-based page of record for “Seattle Maker”. I would have thought by now the web version of the article would be paramount, and the print version would be a derivative of that page. But obviously I don’t get it.

In general I don’t get the whole Seattle Times web strategy — and in 2012 that means I don’t get their overall business strategy. Why do they continue to hide their brand under the nwsource domain? It clearly seems like they just don’t care about the web. No other media company of substance behaves this way. Strange.

Custom metal/plastic fabricated parts online

As I start to “dabble with Arduino”:, I am also thinking about other aspects of my projects beyond the simple assembly and programming of Arduino-based systems.

I know I will need some plastic elements — bases, screens, etc. You can get any kind of plastic cut to any size at sites like “Tap Plastic”: and they have a store here in town if I need even more service — and the store has a great rejects bin if all you need is a hunk of something and you aren’t picking about color, size, etc. (Kind of an aside, but if you need foam-based products, “Foamorder”: will set you up with pretty much any foam product in any shape, and with a huge variety of fabric covers.)

If I need more than just an unfinished piece of plastic, or if I need metal parts, it is super easy to get plastic and metal parts made online — for instance “emachineshop”: Just upload your drawings, get instant quotes, place an order.

I’m happy right now with the various boards provided by some of the Arduino shops, but if I need custom circuit boards? There are a jillion choices like “Pad2Pad”:

One thing I am not easily finding online is wood fabrication. I don’t have a shop so I can’t lathe/route/mill wood. I am happy to finish it here but I want someone to do the heavy machinery for me. Can’t seem to find a vendor. Is wood just too finicky for people to take on? Or is woodworking gear so available, woodworking services so widespread, that I can easily pick up something locally? Or are all the woodworkers focused on higher value-add pieces like furniture (plug here for “Kim’s shop on Etsy”: