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3D Modeling Workshop for Game Worlds, Art, and 3D Printing

Learning TinkerCAD

Through making and tinkering, participants will learn S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art and math) skills using their hands, grow their creativity and become more curious about their world and testing the limits of what is possible.

All ages and experience levels are welcome and the workshops are a great activity for the entire family. Parents and kids can also both attend under the same registration fee!

September 24, 1-4pm

This Maker Skills Workshop will focus on 3D modeling. You will learn the basics of 3D modeling and designing objects for a 3D printer. Skills from this workshop will empower makers to build elements for video game worlds, art and 3D printed pieces. We will also provide demonstrations of our 3D printing equipment.

 

Google Cardboard
3D printed Google Cardboard

Student work in TinkerCADGame world built by our students.  

 

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Workshops for Building Minecraft Mods, 3D Stuff, Robots, and more!

xwing

Through making and tinkering, students learn using their hands, grow their creativity, and become more curious about their world and testing the limits of what is possible. InspiredToEducate.NET and SparkMacon Makerspace have designed a series of workshops to connect students with the essential technology skills of inventing using computer programming, digital fabrication, and robotics.   Through these workshop students will gain exposure to STEAM skills including coding, 3D modeling, 3D printing, laser cutting, and robot building.  

Parents and kids are invited to take this workshop together.  It’s a great family activity!

Location for workshops:

All workshops will be held at SparkMacon Makerspace.  Funds from these Maker Skills workshops help support the operation of SparkMacon Makerspace.      

Minecraft Mod Building: Do you enjoy building in Minecraft? Are you curious about how video games are built? Minecraft has become a fun platform for learning how to code and fostering your creativity. In this workshop, you’ll learn the core skills needed to build simple Minecraft plugins. Using our puzzle based programming tools, you’ll gain exposure to designing in 3D, sequencing steps, variables and loops.

Minecraft castle built by me and my son.

Students will receive a FREE Minecraft server configured with ScriptCraft so that they can continue building MODS at home.   Register now! Space is limited!

Students must come with their own paid PC/Mac Minecraft login. Students are encouraged to bring their own laptops, however it is not required.

Workshop length: 3 hours

  • Workshop length: 3 hours
  • Cost: $20
  • Interested in registering the workshop?  Send an email to Michael@InspiredToEducate.NET
  • Dates
    • Sept 17th from 1pm to 4pm
    • Nov 5th from 1pm to 4pm

3D Modeling:  Our students will learn the basics of 3D modeling objects and designing stuff for a virtual worlds, video games, and 3D printers.   Skills from this workshop will empower makers to build elements for video game worlds, art, and 3D printed pieces.  We will also provide demonstrations of our 3D printing equipment.

Check out the work from our last workshop!

  • Workshop length: 3 hours
  • Cost: $20
  • Interested in registering the workshop?  Send an email to Michael@InspiredToEducate.NET
  • Dates
    • Sept 24th from 1pm to 4pm
    • Nov 12th from 1pm to 4pm

Student work in TinkerCAD

Robotics: Building upon the programming skills introduced early in the program, students will have the opportunity to build robots from scratch using the mBot kit.   Students will love customizing their mBot using puzzle based programming and the easy to assemble construction experience.   Students take home their mbot to continue the tinkering fun at home.

Student registration includes a complete mBot robotics kit from Makeblock.cc.

http://www.makeblock.cc/mbot/

  • Workshop length: 3 hours
  • Cost: $20 + $75(cost of mBot kit)
  • Interested in registering the workshop?  Send an email to Michael@InspiredToEducate.NET
  • Dates
    • Oct 8th from 1pm to 4pm
    • Dec 3rd from 1pm to 4pm

Laser cutting: Makers will learn the basics of designing for the laser cutter by creating beautiful bookmarks, key chains, or jewelry.  Makers will learn techniques for editing scalable vector graphics for laser cutting jobs using InkScape, a free graphics design tool.   We will also introduce ways to design 3-dimensional work using various tools and cutting patterns.

Laser cutting samples

  • Workshop length: 3 hours
  • Cost: $20 + $10(materials)
  • Interested in registering the workshop?  Send an email to Michael@InspiredToEducate.NET
  • Dates
    • Oct 15th from 1pm to 4pm
    • Dec 10th from 1pm to 4pm

This series will be tons of fun.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Atlanta Maker Faire Road Trip!

 

r2d2

Hey Macon Makers! SparkMacon Makerspace wants to invite you for an amazing road trip to Atlanta Maker Faire in Decatur, GA on Oct 1st! Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue to for these “makers” to show hobbies, experiments, projects. MakerFaire events are called the greatest “show and tell” on the planet.

We believe that the road trip to Atlanta MakerFaire will have the following impacts for our community: 1. It helps inspire our Macon Makers tribe. 2. We’ll grow friendships in our Macon community between our tech community, creatives and artists. 3. We want to expose Macon makers to innovative ideas, tools, business concepts, and art that can be brought back to our local community.4. It’s going to be REALLY fun!

We’ll finish the day with a dinner/drinks meetup of Macon Makers. This will give us an opportunity reflect on the day and hangout.

Let us know that you’re interested in being a part of this road trip. We’d love to coordinate rides or a maker party bus! :)

Sign up for the Atlanta Maker Faire Road Trip today.

 

 

 
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Taking Time Lapse Photos with Your Raspberry Pi

Simple CV

One of my friends from SparkMacon makerspace had a question about taking time lapse photos using a Raspberry Pi.  Since this feels like a fun starter project for many makers, I wanted to share an approach using an easy computer vision library, SimpleCV.   SimpleCV by http://www.sightmachine.com/  enables novice programmers to build computer vision experiences using Python and concise code patterns.  This code should also work on Mac, Linux, Windows, and a Raspberry Pi.

To utilize SimpleCV on your Raspberry Pi, follow the install instructions located here.

Make sure to install a web camera or the Raspberry Pi camera module.

If you’re not familiar with the Python programming language, you can learn the basics from CodeAcademy.com .   I have a few free e-books located on this blog post.

I found a time lapse capture script by larsyencken on github.   That looks really simple.   Copy the following code into a text file named “time_lapse.py.”   

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import os
import SimpleCV
import time

# get access to the camera
cam = SimpleCV.Camera()

# setup a display
disp = SimpleCV.Display((1024, 768))

# this variable is used for naming each file or frame.
i = 0

while disp.isNotDone():
    # wait 2 seconds
    time.sleep(2)

    # capture the image. Display it. Save the image as a JPEG.
    img = cam.getImage()
    img.save(disp)
    img.save('%.06d.jpg' % i)

    # change the filename counter variable.
    i += 1

    if disp.lastLeftButton:
        break

You can run this code by executing the following command:

python time_lapse.py

After running this script, your program should capture a new image every two seconds.  Each frame will be numbered.

If you’re interested in learning more with SimpleCV, make sure to check out their documentation resources.   It’s a fun and easy way to do computer vision.

What other cool ways could you use SimpleCV? We would enjoy hearing your ideas!

 

 

 
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Drive Your Raspberry Pi Robot using Python Web API

PIRobot

I’ve enjoyed building my own DIY Raspberry Pi robot and wanted to share the ideas behind building a remote control interface using the Flask python web framework.  This small HTTP based programming interface enabled me to build multiple apps to drive my robot.  You might enjoy using these ideas in your hobby robot design.

Here’s some background on the robot:

  • The design uses a Raspberry PI 2
  • The robot has a laser cut frame based on designs from CoderBot.org .  
  • The robot moves using two continuous rotation servos.  You can purchase similar servos through Amazon or Parallax.com.
  • The Raspberry Pi is powered by a small cell phone battery charger.
  • The servos are powered by 4 AA batteries.

The following diagram shows how the robot is wired using an Arduino.  Wiring to a Raspberry Pi is very similar.   Keep in mind that the signal wires for the left and right servo get connected to GPIO PINS 4 and 17 respectively on the Raspberry Pi.

Servo Robot

Building a HTTP programming interface using Flask

Let’s break down the major parts of the python script driving the robot.  This python script uses the following libraries:

  • RPi.GPIO: This library enables the programmer to send digital signals to the input and output pins on the Raspberry PI.
  • Flask: To enable the robot to accept HTTP requests from a web browser, we used a library known as Flask.

A continuous rotation servo has a simple protocol for controlling rotational

motion and speed using a frequency of voltage pulses.   This set of pulses is known as pulse width modulation. (PWM)  In the RPi.GPIO framework, the following code sets up pin 4 for PWM communication and stops the rotation of the servo.

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#servo setup
PIN_LEFT = 4
GPIO.setmode(GPIO.BCM) # Broadcom pin-numbering scheme
GPIO.setup(PIN_LEFT,  GPIO.OUT) # PWM pin set as output
leftPWM = GPIO.PWM(PIN_LEFT,21.7)
leftPWM.start(0)

#stop the servo
leftPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(0)

To move the servo in one direction, you might do the following:

leftPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(5)

The code below initializes our pins 4 and 17 to send voltage pulses. The frequency of the voltage pulses on these pins will control the motion of the servos on the robot.

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import RPi.GPIO as GPIO
from flask import Flask, render_template
import os

PIN_LEFT = 4
PIN_RIGHT = 17

# Pin Setup:
GPIO.setmode(GPIO.BCM) # Broadcom pin-numbering scheme
GPIO.setup(PIN_LEFT,  GPIO.OUT) # PWM pin set as output
GPIO.setup(PIN_RIGHT, GPIO.OUT)

leftPWM = GPIO.PWM(PIN_LEFT,21.7)
rightPWM = GPIO.PWM(PIN_RIGHT,21.7 )
leftPWM.start(0)
rightPWM.start(0)

Using the Flask python web framework, we create an instance of a flask application. We configure the root of the website(“/”) to return the template “driveRobot.html” This HTML file contains user interface elements and JavaScript that will make HTTP requests to the Flask server.

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app = Flask(__name__)

@app.route("/")
def drive1():
    return render_template("driveRobot.html")

The functions below show the process of sending out voltage frequencies to servos so that the robot can move forward, backward and stop. You can invoke these functions using HTTP requests.

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@app.route("/forward")
def forward():
    leftPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(5)
    rightPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(1)
    return "forward"

@app.route("/back")
def back():
    leftPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(1)
    rightPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(5)
    return "back"

@app.route("/stop")
def stop():
    leftPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(0)
    rightPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(0)

 

The final lines run the web application.

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if __name__ == "__main__":
    app.run(host='0.0.0.0')

To run this application, execute the following:

sudo python robotMove.py

Using a web browser, navigate to http://yourRaspberryPi:/

Putting it all together

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import RPi.GPIO as GPIO
from flask import Flask, render_template
import os

PIN_LEFT = 4
PIN_RIGHT = 17

# Pin Setup:
GPIO.setmode(GPIO.BCM) # Broadcom pin-numbering scheme
GPIO.setup(PIN_LEFT,  GPIO.OUT) # PWM pin set as output
GPIO.setup(PIN_RIGHT, GPIO.OUT)

leftPWM = GPIO.PWM(PIN_LEFT,21.7)
rightPWM = GPIO.PWM(PIN_RIGHT,21.7 )

leftPWM.start(0)
rightPWM.start(0)

app = Flask(__name__)

@app.route("/")
def drive1():
    return render_template("driveRobot.html")

@app.route("/forward")
def forward():
    leftPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(5)
    rightPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(1)
    return "forward"

@app.route("/back")
def back():
    leftPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(1)
    rightPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(5)
    return "back"

@app.route("/stop")
def stop():
    leftPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(0)
    rightPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(0)
    return "stop"

@app.route("/left")
def left():
    leftPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(1)
    rightPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(1)
    return "left"

@app.route("/right")
def right():
    leftPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(5)
    rightPWM.ChangeDutyCycle(5)
    return "right" 
   
if __name__ == "__main__":
    app.run(host='0.0.0.0')

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3D Printing Examples at NASA Space Camp

Thank you to my niece Ana for sending me pictures of some cool 3D printed artifacts.   I really appreciate it.   She’s currently attending a fun NASA space camp.   It’s fun to see what’s possible with 3D printing.

IMG_8820 IMG_8822 IMG_8821 IMG_8825 IMG_8824

 
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10 DIY Laser Cutter Project Ideas

Published on July 9, 2016 by in technology

Laser Cut Lamps

 

Month 3: July 16 – Laser cutting: Makers will learn the basics of designing for the laser cutter by creating beautiful bookmarks, key chains, or jewelry.  Makers will learn techniques for editing scalable vector graphics for laser cutting jobs using InkScape, a free graphics design tool.   We will also introduce ways to design 3-dimensional work using various tools and cutting patterns.

Laser cutting samples

Check out our blog post on Laser Cutting and Engraving

 
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Reflecting on 3D Modeling and Game Design workshop

Learning TinkerCAD

We had a great time during our 3D modeling workshop at SparkMacon yesterday.   This workshop, the second class in our Summer Maker skills series, helps makers learn how to build 3D stuff for games, art and 3D printing.  The skills used in this workshop can apply to many topic areas:  medical applications, engineering, game design, and digital fabrication.    

In teaching this workshop, I hope we can inspire and foster the next Easton LaChappelle.  He’s an amazing young man who has launched his own company to produce functional and affordable prosthetics.   He started this work at the age of 14.  Check out his story in the video below.  I enjoy starting our workshops with this story since it helps the students think about the potential impact and change they can make with these skills.  These are powerful ideas.

As we have taught this workshop, I have especially enjoyed changing the challenge problem or prompts that I give the students.   In this post, I wanted to share a few insights and ideas for the benefit of other teachers.   In this last workshop, I wanted to give the students the ability to play with 3D scanning.   I think the students really enjoyed this.  

3D scanning

During our workshop, we committed ourselves to build parts of a small game world.    My son and two middle school students helped build this world.   We did parts of the game world in TinkerCAD.com.    At the end of the workshop, I imported their work into a game using the Unity game engine.   The work of each student has a different model color.   I think the students appreciated getting to see the Unity game engine since it gave them a maker perspective of building games.    By the end of the class, we had combined our work together so that we could publish using the Unity web player and a Google Cardboard format.  

Student work in TinkerCAD

You can check out their work here:

Very proud of the students and their work.  It was fun seeing the students helping each other.

Teaching this class is so much fun!  We had a great time building this game world together.  Looking forward to serving many new students and sharing the joy of making.

Join us for our next Maker Skills workshops!

Month 3: July 16 – Laser cutting: Makers will learn the basics of designing for the laser cutter by creating beautiful bookmarks, key chains, or jewelry.  Makers will learn techniques for editing scalable vector graphics for laser cutting jobs using InkScape, a free graphics design tool.   We will also introduce ways to design 3-dimensional work using various tools and cutting patterns.

Laser cutting samples

Month 4: August 20 – Robotics: Building upon the programming skills introduced early in the program, students will have the opportunity to build robots from scratch using the mBot kit.   Students will love customizing their mBot using puzzle based programming and the easy to assemble construction experience.   Students take home their mbot to continue the tinkering fun at home.

This series will be tons of fun.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

Register today for this workshop at SparkMacon.com .

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Photo Credit: Andrew Scott at Flickr.com

 
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MakerFaire Projects You Don’t Want to Miss

Dalek at MakerFaire

Photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/lowvoltagelabs/

Recent Posts on InspiredToEducate.NET

 
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Maker Skills Summer Workshops at SparkMacon

Maker Skills Summer Workshops

Through making and tinkering, students learn using their hands, grow their creativity, and become more curious about their world and testing the limits of what is possible. SparkMacon makerspace has designed a series of workshops to connect you with the essential technology skills of inventing using computer programming, digital fabrication, and robotics.   Through this workshop series, our students will gain exposure to STEAM skills including coding, 3D modeling, 3D printing, laser cutting, and robot building.  

Parents and kids are invited to take this workshop together.  It’s a great family activity!

Student registration for the series includes a complete mBot robotics kit from Makeblock.cc.  It’s a fun kit to build and packed with features.     

Register today for this workshop at SparkMacon.com .

Series Schedule

Month 1: May 21 – Coding: Programming is a central skill to digital fabrication, robotics, and all subject domains. During this session, students will be given a crash course in computer science, gaining a basic understanding of sequencing, looping, and variables. Resources from Code.org, Scratch, and Code Academy will be utilized, which include learning activities that feature characters from Minecraft, Frozen, Angry Birds, and other popular games.

Month 2: June 18 – 3D Modeling:  Our students will learn the basics of 3D modeling objects and designing stuff for a 3D printer.   Skills from this workshop will empower makers to build elements for video game worlds, art, and 3D printed pieces.  We will also provide demonstrations of our 3D printing equipment.

Tinker CAD TARDIS

Month 3: July 16 – Laser cutting: Makers will learn the basics of designing for the laser cutter by creating beautiful bookmarks, key chains, or jewelry.  Makers will learn techniques for editing scalable vector graphics for laser cutting jobs using InkScape, a free graphics design tool.   We will also introduce ways to design 3-dimensional work using various tools and cutting patterns.    

Laser cutting samples

Month 4: August 20 – Robotics: Building upon the programming skills introduced early in the program, students will have the opportunity to build robots from scratch using the mBot kit.   Students will love customizing their mBot using puzzle based programming and the easy to assemble construction experience.   Students take home their mbot to continue the tinkering fun at home.

 

This series will be tons of fun.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

Register today for this workshop at SparkMacon.com .

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