empowering creative people

Raspberry Pi Beginners Workshop 19/9/18

We had a full house of keen new makers last night in our Beginners Raspberry Pi Workshop. After a quick tour of some popular Raspberry Pi operating systems and a not so short intro to Python our makers were using the pin to interact with switches and an LED. They had some great discussions about the possibilities of Python and the Raspberry Pi, like recursive programming and error catching to make programs that start themselves again if they get an error. 

If you are looking to get into the Raspberry Pi or some other maker skill and have free time on a weeknight in Newcastle come join us for one of our Local Workshops and take advantage of our awesome makerspace and skilled team of makers. If you aren’t able to make it to our Newcastle location we have tons of online courses and tutorials available.

Raspberry Pi Beginners Workshop 19/9/18

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- By Brenton

Arduino Beginners Workshop 12/9/18

Last night we held our Arduino Beginners Workshop in our Knowledge Factory! Participants learnt all about the fantastic world of Arduino by building some cool introductory circuits using the Uno R3 board. We spoke about what it means for a signal to be digital or analog and how we use certain signals to measure and interact with the real world! If you're interested in learning about this yourself, come to our next Arduino Beginners Workshop and visit our tutorial page for more.

Arduino Beginners Workshop 12/9/18

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- By Brenton

Arduino: Next Level Workshop 22/8/18

Last night we held the new and improved Arduino Next Level Workshop! We had a variety of skill levels and ages in attendance, all focused on learning about Object Oriented Programming and Libraries.  The Arduino platform makes it really easy to build and use libraries in easy and creative ways. If you're interested in exploring the topics we did, visit the Arduino Library Tutorial or book in for our next next-level course!

Arduino Next Level Workshop 22/8/18

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- By Brenton

3D Modelling Workshop 21/8/18

On Tuesday afternoon, we had another packed out room; this time for a 3D Modelling in Fusion 360 workshop. We had Makers of all ages present, in fact, we were so booked out that we had someone working on their laptop they had bought from home! We’re amazed by the community support we’re receiving, it seems the Makers in Newcastle can’t get enough. This workshop is a great way to skill-up on the basics of 3D Modelling, in a software package that’s easy to use and intuitive (once you get the hang of it). We focus on learning the tools and workflow required to create a simple keychain, then we later 3D Print it! As always, our participants really wanted their keychains printed but we were out of time. We hope to see them back during our 3D Printing Workshop in a few weeks to give it a go.

At the end of the Workshop, we had a typical wrap-up, but one of our Makers wanted more. Young learner, Nicholas, brought his school assignment along. He had set himself the goal of 3D Printing a prosthetic hand, but needed a gentle push in the right direction on how to print it to the right size! We sat down in our Makerspace and got Nicholas on-page. Now Nicholas is going to use our 3D Printing service to have his designs printed later this week. Sensational!

If you’re interested in learning about 3D Modelling, 3D Printing or other Maker related skills, come along to one of our free community workshops. If you aren’t local, we’ve made our workshops available as free online courses so you won’t miss out.

3D Modelling Workshop 21/8/18

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- By Brenton

Arduino Beginners Workshop 14/8/18

At our last Arduino Workshop, we had a full house of Newcastle educators coding & building circuits, great times!

Arduino Beginners Workshop 14-8-18

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- By Brenton

Internet Connected Projects Workshop 7/8/18

Gordon rolled up his sleeves and delivered his first workshop this week, introducing makers to the realm of IoT with Pycom’s WiPy. It’s great to see community support for our local workshops, and you can get the same educational value from our online courses from anywhere in the world.

Internet Connected Projects Workshop 7/8/18

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- By Brenton

Laser Cutting Workshop 12/6/18

On Tuesday we held a workshop to show off the humble laser cutter. These things are absolutely incredible, the precision of a high power laser is super handy if you want to etch and cut some really intricate designs. They are also slightly hard to come by, so we're incredibly lucky to have one in our makerspace! Our participants were taught how to design for a laser cutter, and at the end of the night, they used ours to print a little custom keychain to take home!

Working with laser cutters is an awesome skill to have under your belt, and we'll have some online tutorials to get you started very soon! in the meantime, see if you can make it down to a local workshop!

Laser Cutting Workshop 12/06/18

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- By Ben Mildren

Circuit Design and Simulation Workshop 23/5/18

On Wednesday we ran our introduction to circuit simulation in Proteus! This course covers a lot of ground, we went through almost the entire workflow of developing a completely new and mass producible piece of electronics in only a couple of hours. The guys we had around were great, with them we designed and simulated our very own functional voltmeter!

Check out our growing list of online tutorials if you want to build and simulate yourself, or come around to our next workshop!

Circuit Design and Simulation 23/5/18

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- By Ben Mildren

Raspberry Pi Workshop for Beginners 2/5/18

Wednesday night we kicked off our Raspberry Pi Beginner workshops for the year! We got our own Pi's up and running with flashing lights and fancy scripts with a group of friends ranging from IT specialists to artists, who learned how to install Raspbian and built a simple blinking light program in Python. These simple steps got minds buzzing, there was talk about building IoT devices and connected sensors for all sorts of projects.

We covered a lot of ground, these guys are on track to make some awesome projects. If you want to get started with Raspberry Pi check our free online workshop, it covers the same content and then some, it's a super fun way to get into making with a Pi! 

Raspberry Pi Workshop 2-5-18

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- By Ben

Arduino Workshop 1/2/18

Last night we ran another Arduino Workshop which was a lot of fun. We covered off on all of the basic content, plus looked at a few extra challenges involving decision making and case logic.

The most notable aspect of the night was the participation of Luke who is completely blind, still in high school and was assisted by an engineer called Simon. Using software Simon has created for his laptop, Luke was able to not just follow along with the workshop, but knock it out of the park with some interesting project ideas, and a great handle of Arduino programming. It's always inspiring to see the backgrounds of our workshop participants, and last night was certainly no exception.

Arduino Workshop group 1/2/18

Remember that if you're not able to make it in for our in-house workshop, but you're interested in learning about Arduino, then I'd recommend our online Arduino course which is available for free, and covers off on almost 5x the content that we get through in a single Workshop. It's perfect for learning at home or on-the-go, and if you get stuck along the way, we're here to help!

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- By Sam

Workshops are back!

As of tomorrow (Thursday 18th Jan), we are kicking off workshops, starting with Arduino. We'll schedule more in the coming weeks, you can find all the latest updates on our Workshops page.

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- By Graham

New Product from Raspberry Pi Foundation

Raspberry Pi Foundation has released the Raspberry Pi Zero WH. It has all of the features of the Pi Zero W and now includes professionally soldered headers.

It's worth noting given it's the most asked question for PiZ; there are no quantity limitations for this product.

This allows educators, makers and first-time explorers of RPi to more quickly get started with the General Purpose Inputs and Outputs (GPIO). We highly recommend the use of a Pi Cobbler so you can easily use a breadboard for rapid electronics prototyping.

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- By Graham

2017, What a Blast!

There were so many glorious moments throughout 2017 and there are just a couple that I caught on camera.

Here we have Aidan, Royden and Gorden on the morning after Raspberry Pi Zero Wireless launch in Australia - they are waiting in anticipation for the order count after 12 hours of Raspberry Pi Zero W being available. Needless to say, Aussie makers were thrilled with the news that this "vapourware" hardware was now reliably available in this region. What happens in the video really does sum up how much work we had cut out for us!

Our Kickstarter, Infinity Mirror Kit, was a huge success thanks to makers around Australia that supported us. We've gone through another two production runs since, which have put our laser cutter through its first paces. A real team effort all round.

Throughout 2017, we held many workshops at our new location. I've been to all of them and am powered by those "ah ha" moments that new makers get all the way through these courses.

While there were many other moments throughout the year, I'll finish on Maker Faire Adelaide. It was so good to catch up with fellow makers and talk shop about the projects we had on display along with what they had been up to themselves.

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- By Graham

Arduino Workshop 30/11/17

Last night we ran our Arduino Workshop for the first time in a while, and it was a huge amount of fun. We had 2 software developers (plus a very supportive partner!) which made for a unique workshop experience. Rather than focusing on programming basics and syntax, we took a deep dive into how microcontrollers operate at a bare metal level using hardware registers, system resources, and program optimisation.

There was a shared interest in finding out about how the familiar lines of code could be compiled to interact with the Arduino hardware in the way we know and love. The biggest 'aha' moment was just for the simplicity of Arduino as a platform; the fact that in a few hours you could develop a project that could control power devices with a simple hardware and software setup.

Arduino Workshop LED 30/11/17

Finishing off with our signature data monitoring challenge using the serial port, we went an extra step and added conditions for it to only update when the incoming data changed, adding a layer of button control, and sending serial data from the computer back to the Arduino.

Arduino Workshop Group 30/11/17

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- By Sam

Woollahra Library Maker Expo - 25/09/2017

On Saturday Morning, Graham and Myself headed down to Double Bay, Sydney to attend the Woollahra Library Maker Expo and share the passion for making and DIY electronics with the parents, educators and students from around the community. 

Our eye-catching setup for the expo consisted of a wide range of educational tools & projects from some of our favourite innovators and makers around the world, not to mention our 2 most recent projects: The Infinity Mirror Table and the Huge LED Matrix Display.

We even took the opportunity to run a condensed version of our RoboShop for Young Engineers workshop during the day, walking a handful of young learners through the basics of coding taught with one of our favourite little robots, the Ozobot Bit. From following a simple black line to speeding up/slowing down the Ozobot right through to making timed tracks with directional control, we covered the lot. RoboShop always proves to be an engaging experience for students.

woollahra-maker-expo-1

3D Printing, Ozobots, the littleBits Droid Inventor Kit, with the Infinity Mirror Table and LED Display in the background.

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Graham sharing the 3D Printing love and giving this young learner his first ever Rocktopus, fresh off the print bed! 

What a fantastic day it was! Our thanks go out to the organisers from the Woollahra Library and all the other people that got together to make the day happen. 

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- By Aidan

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