Recycled Plastic Notebook Program

On Saturday June 6, Bellingham Makerspace teamed up with the Western Washington University Polymer Materials Engineering program to host a workshop where participants got to create a notebook made out of recycled plastic.

So many of the plastics manufactured today go through the hands of consumers and then straight into the landfill for a variety of reasons. The students in the WWU Polymer Materials Engineering program seek to close this loop by creating new and useful products from post-consumer plastics. Their project involved researching different plastics and their utility, their recyclability, and which ones were plentiful on campus. The students collected the plastic, sorted and shredded it, then melted and pressed it into sheets that were then cut into notebook covers.

About 16 workshop participants assembled their own notebooks using the recycled plastic sheets, recycled paper and plastic rings, while learning about the process for sorting, shredding, melting and reforming plastics from the engineering students. The paper for the notebooks was made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper donated by the WWU Print and Copy Center.

The project was created by undergrad students Halka Inagaki, Emmaline Lenz, and Leia Kaminsky under their Professor Nicole Hoekstra. For more information about the WWU Polymer Materials program (which was recently voted one of the best programs in the nation!) go to https://engineeringdesign.wwu.edu/polymer-materials-engineering

To learn more about the idea of a Circular Plastics Economy, read this article from WWU’s Window magazine: https://window.wwu.edu/plastics-problem

It is here – Make & Take: Robots 101 !!!

On Sunday, June 26th at The Bellingham Makerspace

Build a mobile robot vehicle that you can program yourself. Lots of ways to improve it and learn about robotics.

We will be assembling the Kitronik Micro:Bit MOVE Mini Mk2 (included in the price if the class), a great introductory robot for both remote and autonomous operation with a range of add-on boards to continue the exploration of robotics.

Each participant pair (young person and their adult assistant) will have a dedicated robotics expert to help with assembly and troubleshooting. All teams will learn how to assemble the robot, light up the LEDs, draw shapes on paper using the robot and a marker, and perform basic programming tasks.

Did we mention the best part? You get to take home – the robot is yours! You can even modify the robot to personalize and enhance it. Later classes will likely build upon this base, adding extra features, interactivity – and even some “from scratch” chassis design. So get started now.

Get your seat now on our EventBrite class registrar, here.

Brainstorming Session for Makerspace 2.0

All Are Welcome!!!

This Saturday, January 8, 2022 at 1:00 pm. 

We’ll have our regular monthly volunteer meeting this coming Saturday, the 8th, at 1pm at the Makerspace and on Zoom. Except that this won’t be a regular meeting: this will be our brainstorming session for Makerspace 2.0. Even if you’re not a regular volunteer, you’re welcome to join us. Come with ideas. Come with suggestions. Come with ways that the Bellingham Makerspace can move into 2022 with gusto. Remember that we can do anything we want, even if we can’t do EVERYTHING we want.

Sincerely,
Directors, Staff, & The Marketing Committee
 
Stay Informed

Can’t make our upcoming brainstorming meeting? Whether you are a volunteer, member, or just want to know what we are doing at the Makerspace, stay informed by joining our SLACK channel.

Makerspace January Newsletter

Featured Articles

Click here for the full Newsletter

Jason Davies: From Maker to Seller

Jason Davies, one of Bellingham Makerspace’s founders, teachers and operations managers, is now selling creations at the Makerspace. He took the time to answer a few questions about his journey from maker to seller.
 
His first memories as a maker were as a child, handing tools to his father, who built a log splitter on an old boat trailer when Jason was six. “I was always disappointed in my artistic skills and felt I could never realize the thing that was in my head using my skillset until I learned how to use digital design tools like Photoshop and Illustrator. When I paired those tools with a vinyl cutter, 3D printer and laser cutter, it opened up a new world for me. I could design on the computer and make a real thing in real life!”
 
Jason teaches classes in using the laser cutter, one of his favorite tools. “I love to find any excuse to use the laser cutter. I keep thinking of new ways to use it! I’m usually cutting 1/8-inch plywood to make store displays, art objects, Christmas ornaments and signs for around the Makerspace.” He also teaches classes in the vinyl cutter and vector graphics. He helps develop other teachers and classes. You can sign up for classes here.
 
Jason is planning several programs at the Makerspace, including “a vocational and skill-training skateboard-making program for at-risk youth as well as a group that makes needed items for rescue animals (like 3D printed wheelchairs and carts).” If you want to help, contact Jason at [email protected].
 
Jason makes gifts for friends and family that later develop into products to sell. One of his most popular projects have been “custom car emblems that reference fictional starships” including an emblem of “FALCON: Millennium Edition.” His brother loved the gift. Jason has sold them on Esty. There are also some for sale in the Makerspace retail center. He is also selling laser-engraved gifts and a finger-labyrinth with a Lord of the Rings theme, pictured below.

If you are a Bellingham Makerspace member and would like to sell your work at the Makerspace, see this document. To sign up, submit this form

Jason closed on an encouraging note. “Making stuff is fun and your fellow Makerspace members are an invaluable resource to help you along the way. Bring in your projects; ask about other’s work. Our maker community is a FANTASTIC asset for collaboration, learning and inspiration. Take advantage!”

Makers Making Change Donation 

Eighty percent of people living with a disability use some kind of aid or assistive device on a daily basis to increase their independence. However, the cost of many assistive technologies can be prohibitively expensive and people may not be able to acquire the assistive devices they need to fully participate in our communities. For many, the accommodations they need are not often addressed through standard commercial offerings and frequently need customization to be effective. A lack of access to affordable assistive technologies further isolates and marginalizes people with disabilities and limits their full inclusion in our communities. There is an untapped potential in the maker community that can positively impact the lives of people with disabilities.

Bellingham Makerspace’s Mary Elliott is the Washington State Chapter Leader for Makers Making Change, a nonprofit organization based in Canada. Makers Making Change offers a platform for makers to volunteer their time to fabricate a solution for someone in need of assistive technology. Their website, makersmakingchange.com, contains a repository of designs and projects. People with disabilities and their families can request a project that they feel will help address their barriers.

The Canadian government has told Makers Making Change that they can no longer fund events in the United States, so they have donated the contents of their storage locker in Blaine to the Makerspace so that we may continue to serve people with assistive technology needs. The locker contains Arduinos, soldering irons, and other equipment. Bellingham Makerspace is deeply grateful for this donation and opportunity.

January Volunteer Meeting – Change of Date

Happy Holidays Everyone!
Please Join Us For A Brainstorming Session In January!

To our dear volunteers, members, and supporters,

We usually have our volunteer meetings on the first Saturday of every month. In 2022, that happens to be the very first day of the year! So, we have decided to push the meeting back a week.

As you know from our last announcement, we have temporarily instituted a partial closure so that we can clean the space up, reorganize, and make room for newly donated tools and equipment. We could really use your help in the new year with our efforts to improve the Makerspace and get ready for Makerspace 2.0. Please attend our meeting on January 8, 2022 at 1 PM. Bring your thoughts and ideas about how we can improve the Makerspace for members, volunteers, and the public. We want to hear from you!

Thank you for your support. See you in the New Year!

Sincerely,
Directors, Staff, & The Marketing Committee

Join Our Slack Channel

Join Slack for up-to-the-minute volunteer information.

Slack is a real-time chat platform. It has the ability to do direct messages to other people, and has “channels” to keep different discussions separated — especially in the different areas like “events” and “electronics” and “retail” and “volunteers”. I don’t use Facebook or Twitter, and I was reluctant to add another communication channel. I get too much information already. However, using Slack for communication within the Makerspace puts all our ideas in one place. It also actually cuts down on the amount of email I have to filter. I certainly don’t read everything in every Slack channel, but I pay particular attention to the volunteer channel. So, from a reluctant adopter, I encourage you to sign up for our Slack channel.

Sincerely,
Jeff Copeland, Volunteer Coordinator & Director
Join our Slack Channel


Thank you for your interest in, membership with, and support of the Bellingham Makerspace. We wish you and your loved ones an enjoyable holiday and a rewarding new year!

Partial, Temporary Closure

You, our members, and the public, have asked for change at the Makerspace and we are making that happen! Starting Monday, 12/20/21, the Bellingham Makerspace will be closed to the general public until our Grand Reopening of Makerspace 2.0 on 2/2/22. The purpose of this closure is literal and metaphorical housecleaning and preparing for Makerspace 2.0.

All resident members are still welcome to use their spaces. Any member who needs access to the Makerspace is welcome to reach out to our President, Dan, at  [email protected]. We will make every effort to accommodate your request.

Any class in December with purchased tickets will proceed as planned. All classes other classes have been rescheduled until after our 2/2/22 Grand Reopening.

Saturday, December 18, the Open House from 2-5pm and the Volunteer Holiday Party that follows will occur as scheduled. We will be open for the Repair Café in January on 1/9/22 and 1/16/22.

2021 Year-End Fundraising Push

As we prepare for this grand endeavor we are reaching out to our supporters for one last, end of year fundraising push. This holiday season is a great time to donate to the Bellingham Makerspace and a generous, anonymous donor has offered to match up to $5,000 in contributions. The matching amount will be paid in bitcoin. We are also working to find other people to match funds, whether in bitcoin, dollars, gold, or any maker equipment. Please help us raise the $5,000 we need to receive the matching contributions by December 31, 2021.

Makerspace December Newsletter

Featured Articles

Grizzly Sponsorship

The Makerspace would like to express our gratitude for one of our sponsors, Grizzly Industrial Tools. Come in and use Grizzly tools to make amazing things! For more information about Grizzly, you can visit their website at grizzly.com.

Makerspace Partnership

The Bellingham Makerspace would like to thank our partners: TAG,
Toastmasters, and the Men’s Shed. The photos are of the Men’s Shed, who have been using our space to make toys.

Join a Committee and Make a Difference

The marketing committee needs help and with the Board’s permission we are calling on members and volunteers to form two committees to work with us improve the Makerspace.

Membership Committee

The marketing committee and the Board of Directors need assistance learning how we can improve membership retention, attract new members, and improve the Makerspace. We are asking for members and volunteers to form a committee to research this issue an act as a liaison to the Board of Directors.

Events Committee

In 2022, we plan to host one large event each quarter and join in on community based events. We need members and volunteers to form a committee to assist the marketing committee in planning our events and researching events that we can participate in.

Please email [email protected] if you are interested in joining and forming a committee.

To Read more click here.

Makerspace October Newsletter

Featured Article

Makers Help People Solve Problems

Members of Bellingham Makerspace can solve problems. Makerspace Assistant Manager Ben Holmgren partnered with Dr. Loch Trimingham, orthopedic surgeon, to solve a medical problem. Dr. Trimingham is a volunteer doctor in Ethiopia. He saw patients with large wounds and diabetic ulcers. Negative pressure wound therapy requires a vacuum pump, which is expensive and requires electricity. Dr. Trimingham asked Ben to design a low-cost mechanical version that doesn’t require electricity. Ben designed a prototype that they want to manufacture in Africa. This will be available to low-income Africans in remote areas. Congratulations to Ben and Dr. Trimingham on the success of this project! Bellingham Makerspace is a great place to turn your creativity and ingenuity into projects that can help the world.

To read the rest of the newsletter please click here.

Makerspace November Newsletter

Featured Article

Please click here for the full Newsletter

New Amateur Radio Group now part of Bellingham Makerspace
By Steve Stroh N8GNJ

The Bellingham Makerspace Amateur Radio Group (BMARG) was formed in October, 2021 and is now officially authorized by the Makerspace Board. Makerspace members who are Amateur Radio Operators include BMARG Coordinator Steve Stroh (N8GNJ), Garth Johnson (KF7TOY), Mark Allyn (WA1SEY), Rochelle Sears (KF7VOP), and Tina Stroh (KD7WSF).

A primary reason for forming BMARG is to expose the members and visitors to the Makerspace to Amateur Radio. Such opportunities are very rare in this era (typically, only at science / tech museums and some venues such as fairs).

A secondary reason to create BMARG is to leverage Amateur Radio as a way to teach radio technology as a part of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities at the Makerspace. For example, many Amateur Radio projects and systems are based on Raspberry Pi computers, and it’s even cooler to make Raspberry Pis into radios (yes, really).The first activity of BMARG was to develop some representative displays of “modern” Amateur Radio activities as part of the Maker Faire, including microwave networking and mobile data communications (Automatic Packet Reporting System – APRS).

But what really showed off “Amateur Radio” during the Maker Faire was a local Amateur Radio Operator, Gayland Gump KG7GCF working on soldering components to a printed circuit board. (Yes, it was an Amateur Radio project.) Gayland was really able to engage the young folks and make soldering look really cool!

An immediate goal for BMARG is to write a grant proposal to Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) to purchase equipment for BMARG and some general financial support for the Makerspace for some infrastructure and STEM activities. After the grant proposal is complete and submitted, BMARG will develop an “Introduction to Amateur Radio” class for those that want to learn more about what Amateur Radio is and what its capabilities are (open to the public) that we will repeat regularly.

Longer term goals for BMARG include developing radio-related projects appropriate for the Makerspace such as building good, but inexpensive antennas out of common materials such as stiff wire and PVC pipe, building a satellite ground station to receive data from small satellites built by colleges such as Portland State University and University of Washington, Amateur Radio license preparation classes, and (if we do receive a grant) building out several radio systems in the Amateur Radio area. We also want to reach out to local Amateur Radio and other tech-related organizations such as TAG NW.

As an example of what’s possible for Amateur Radio projects, it’s feasible for Bellingham Makerspace to be the first Makerspace (in the world?) to build its own research micro-satellite (using Amateur Radio to communicate) and get it launched from the International Space Station.

A unique challenge for Amateur RADIO in the Bellingham Makerspace is that Bellis Fair Mall does not allow any external antennas. And, operating radios within the Makerspace does not work very well because of radio interference generated from many electronic devices such as 3D printers with stepper motors and switching power supplies. BMARG plans to adapt to that challenge, and still be able to work with radios at the Makerspace, to “split” radios that we want to use into a display / front panel at the Makerspace, and the corresponding radio / antenna system somewhere else that antennas are allowed. The display / front panel and the radio / antenna system will be linked via Internet.

Most importantly, Bellingham Makerspace Amateur Radio Group will be about having fun with radio technology, including many activities that don’t require individuals to get their own Amateur Radio license.

For more information about Bellingham Makerspace Amateur Radio Group, contact Steve Stroh N8GNJ – [email protected], via the Makerspace Slack system, or by phone / text at 206-849-9019. Steve also publishes a free weekly newsletter about the more techie aspects of Amateur Radio – see https://zeroretries.substack.com.