Jeff The Maker's blog

Fab Lab Makers 2014

Since we are starting a new year, the Fab Lab Makers have decided to try a new time for open labs. Beginning on January 11th, the open lab for youths will be every Saturday from 2pm until 4pm. We will still have projects and ideas available to anyone who comes in just to explore the lab, as well as volunteers to help you with the equipment if you have your own project ideas.

Fab Lab Makers

Since the lab is going to be closed over winter break, the Fab Lab Makers will host an open lab for youth on the 14th of December instead of the 21st. If you are between the ages of 10 and 16, grab a responsible adult and come out to the lab. You can personalize an ornament or bring in a project of your own to work on. If you have any questions you can email the Youth Council at cucflyc(at)


If you have never heard of printcraft, it is a creative server for minecraft. Minecraft is a sandbox game where you break and place blocks of various materials. Printcraft is one of the many ways that players of minecraft can create an STL file of the things they create. This means they can physically print the things they create in the game. What makes printcraft different is that it converts the standard minecraft block, 1mx1mx1m, into a 2mmx2mmx2mm block when creating the STL file. This means that you can build things to scale and for specific purposes. While it is still used primarily by players who want physical copies of their favorite game elements, it is an excellent way to introduce youth to the idea of designing real world objects in 3D. So far I have printed new usb drive cases, have drawn a holder for my tv remote controls, and printed a Tardis that my 14 year old son drew.


Modular Phones

Motorola recently announced a new phone they are developing. You can read about it here. I find it interesting that the announcement came so soon after Dave Hakkens started promoting his idea for Phonebloks. I really look forward to seeing where this project goes. It would be fun to develop a module for your own phone.

Fab Lab Makers Pumpkin Carving




The plan for today had been to make some halloween decorations using the vinyl cutter, 3D printer, and Epilog. Instead, having been inspired by a question from one of our participants, we decided to try carving a pumpkin with the Epilog. We used medium sized pie pumpkins so that they would actually fit in theepilog. Our first attempt was using a bumpier, more traditional looking pumpkin. It got stuck and slipped couple of times so we cancelled the print. Our second pumpkin had a much smoother, more rounded outside. That combined with moving the rollers closer together made for a much smoother rotation.

Fab Lab Makers

Do you like carving pumpkins for halloween? Why not come to the fab lab and cut out some fun pumpkins on the laser cutter? Or you could print a jack o lantern using the UP3D printer. If you are really ambitious you could solder together a blinky and light up a pumpkin. We will be hosting an open lab on Saturday the 19th for youth between the ages of 10 and 16 from 10 until noon. Join us and make some halloween decorations or work on your own project.


Osmoces 2013

It is pretty late notice, but if you are up for a trip to Wheaton this weekend the Osmoces 2013 Symposium looks like a good time. There are lots of workshops planned along with several speakers. I am not going to make it this year, but will try to watch for it next year so I have time to plan a trip.

September Fab Lab Makers at IMC

The third Saturday of September happens to coincide with the Urbana-Champaign Mini Maker Faire being held at the IMC. The Fab Lab Makers will be there instead of at the Fab Lab. Come check us out at the Fab Lab booth. We will have exciting information about our new Fab Lab Makers Certification Program and there will be plenty of exciting stuff to look at and make. If you have never been to, or heard about, the UC Mini Maker Faire check out their website here.

CUCFL Youth Council Open Lab Time

It is that time again, the third Saturday of the month. Come to the fab lab and help design a cooling hood for the laser cutter, make some stickers, or create a minecraft item that can be printed on the 3D printer. The open lab is from 10 until noon. Mincecraft House

Youth Council Meeting and Projects

At the Youth Council meeting on Saturday June 16th, it was decided to promote and support two group projects. One involves building a robot to clean the floor drain at the lab, and the other is an enviromental monitoring project. You can read more about both projects at: The council also learned that the press fit donation box is difficult to get money out of, so they are looking at designing a plug to replace one end of the box. If you have any questions about the Youth Council or their projects, please use the contact button on their website to contact them.

Youth Council and the Fab Lab Makers

The 15th of June is the 3rd Saturday of the month which means it is time for the Youth Council meeting and another Fab Lab Makers open lab. The council meeting will start at 9:30 and the open lab for youth will be from 10 until noon. If you are between the ages of 10 and 16, grab yourself a responsible adult and had down to the lab to make something. If you like Minecraft, we can show you how to print things you build in minecraft on the 3D printer. If you like robots, come in and try to design one that will sweep up the bottom of a floor drain in the lab. If you are not sure what can be done at the fab lab, come on in and we will help you think of something to make.

Youth Council on the Web

Isabella's article on Chambanamoms

Isabella's piece for Chambana Moms was posted today:

Minecraft Printing

Minecraft 3D printing

Fab Lab Makers

At the Youth Council meeting on Saturday the 18th, it was decided to call the group of young people's Saturday morning open lab "Fab Lab Makers". A Google group with this name has been created to allow people to subscribe to announcements and information about these open labs. If you are interested in joining the group send us an email at and we will send you an invitation to the group.

Open Lab for Youth

The CUCFabLab Youth Council is sponsoring an open lab for young people on Saturday May 18th from 10 until noon. Come in and make something fun and interesting.

If you are interested in learning more about the Youth Council, or becoming a member, come in at 9:30 and join us for our monthly council meeting. We will be discussing the website, a name for the Saturday morning group, and projects we would like to make.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Jeff Howard 

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