Loving Laser Cutting and Engraving

Laser cutting samples

When most people talk about makerspaces and their tools, you usually hear about the 3D printer first.   Lately, I have enjoyed getting to know the laser cutting and engraving technology at our makerspace.   For makers and DIY crafters, the laser cutting and engraving technology enables you to leverage inexpensive materials like wood, acrylic, and cardboard to produce beautiful art, crafts and components.   It’s amazing to see what people do with it.

I always enjoy finding things that my wife and I will mutually enjoy.  As I started bringing home laser cut stuff from our makerspace, I found that Sarah got very interested in it.  There’s just something warm and “crafty” about it.   I started seeing her regularly surfing around Pinterest for project ideas.  She even started asking questions about the complexities of opening our own Etsy store.  In short… my mind was blown!

Sarah at the laser cutter

So, I got an idea.   In addition to giving Sarah various gifts for valentines day, I took my wife over to SparkMacon makerspace with wood and acrylic materials in hand.   I run the laser cutter certification class for our makerspace.   I had the opportunity to do the training class for Sarah so that she could tinker with the technology.   She really had a lot of fun.  Here’s some of stuff she built in her first session.

Go Noles!


“Go Noles!” on wood!

Trial with drawing on cardboard

Using the free and open source product Inkscape, Sarah created this quick sketch and cut it into cardboard.

Laser cut dino

To close out the day, we tinkered with cutting wood to create this small dinosaur toy.

I’m excited to see what Sarah will continue to make to help decorate our home.

How can you get started with laser cutting?

To help you get started, check out the following links for project ideas and tutorials.   Even if you don’t have a laser cutter available to you through a makerspace, you can leverage online services like Ponoko to design your jobs, select materials, and have the finished products delivered to your door.

We enjoy hearing from our readers!  Let us know if you find any cool project ideas.


Top Stories on InspiredToEducate.NET

Learning To Code

Science Education


Join the Spark Macon Maker Space Community on Facebook


8 Essential Resources for Marketing Your Venture with WordPress


Building a platform of service is critical to growing your brand, growing your influence, or getting noticed. In this post, we’ll cover all the basic concepts you need to get started with blogging in WordPress: How can blogging help your business or cause? How can blogging help you build a relationship with customers?

I work as a computer programmer.   My wife works as a college professor.   We started this blog years ago as a way to learn more about educational technology and key trends in teaching and learning.   We wanted to find a way to serve our community together.    This platform has been a wonderful resource to bring clarity to my thinking while serving my readers.   Many relationships that started through a blog post or social media interactions have turned into meaningful relationships.   It has been a key discipline for growing my mind, heart, and moving forward my professional goals.

When starting a WordPress blog for your organization, you can either host the blog at WordPress.com or self host the site.   When you host your blog at WordPress.com, your blog URL will have the following format: YourBlogTitle.WordPress.com .   If you want to make a stronger brand impression by having the blog on your own domain name (i.e. YourBrand.com, YourBrand.NET or YourBrand.org ), you should consider self hosting the blog with a paid service.  I would like to introduce you to Michael Hyatt, a thought leader in building social media platforms.   In the following 20 minute video, he carefully teaches you how to setup a self hosted WordPress blog with http://www.bluehost.com/ at a cost of $4.00 per month.   It’s a great way to get started.

You also might find the following links helpful in setting up your blog:

I hope you find these resources helpful.   Feel free to drop me a line over email if you have additional questions: michael.p.rosario at gmail.com .


Related content on InspiredToEducate.NET

Join the Spark Macon Maker Space Community on Facebook


 Photo by Alexander Baxevanis

Inspiring Stories of Makers Building Autonomous Robots

DARPA grand challenge

As my kids get older, I have enjoyed finding ways that we can learn together, get inspired, and be entertained as a family.   To my surprise my little boys have really enjoyed Nova documentaries.   As a “big kid,”  I find these stories very motivating and insightful.   I wanted to share two of our favorite Nova programs.  You might find them useful for your family or class room.

It’s still amazing to me that we have robots on Mars helping us understand that nature of this planet and it’s history.   The Mars Curiosity Nova program really captures the creativity, passion, energy, and dedication of the leaders of the Mars curiosity program.   I think we can be very proud of our teams at NASA JPL.  They are amazing makers!

Similarly, the Nova program on the DARPA grand challenge tells the stories of various teams who attempted to create autonomous cars that can drive across a desert course.   My kids really enjoy this program.  I think the writers do a good job talking about the role of machine learning and computer vision in creating an autonomous car.   At the same time, the program captures the emotions, leadership styles and team dynamics of the various players in the contest.   Both programs are great case studies in creative teams, computer science, and autonomous technology.   Makers of all ages will find these stories inspiring.

Hope you enjoy it!

NOVA | Ultimate Mars Challenge

Abstract: Why go back to Mars? Far from dead, Mars holds untold potential. Nearly half a century of Mars exploration has yielded tantalizing clues that Mars may once have harbored life—and may harbor it still. The extraordinary landing of a revolutionary rover named Curiosity—which successfully touched down inside the Gale Crater—means we have wheels down on the planet once again, in the form of the most sophisticated robot ever to rove the Mars surface. Will NASA’s bold mission and this marvel of technology answer some of our biggest questions and usher in a new golden age of exploration? NOVA goes behind the scenes on NASA’s quest to solve the riddles of the red planet.


Great Robot Race

Abstract: Twenty-three bizarre looking vehicles line up at the gate of the DARPA Grand Challenge with one thing in common: thereÕs nobody behind the wheel.


Top Stories on InspiredToEducate.NET

Learning To Code

Science Education


Join the Spark Macon Maker Space Community on Facebook