Blue Platter Saturday: wearables

Blue Platter Saturdays are events that CUCFL puts together as workshops for experimenting with new processes or materials.

The first one will be October 8th form 9 am to 12 pm.

Business/Operations Committee Meeting Announcement

Come join us for the the first meeting of the operations committee for Fall 2011 at 5:30 pm at the fab lab next Tuesday, September 6th.  Among other things, we will be discussing:

1) Our new open lab hours, and staffing schedules by student assistant lab managers

2) Fab Off pre-planning

3) Digital Media & Learning Competition 4 (online Thursday September 15)

FAB7 Lima: Fab Lab Annual International Conference

FAB7 this year was in Lima, Peru. It was hosted and organized by the University students with the help of MIT. We had a great time there and met some amazing people. The challenge/competition this year was to build an Ambulante, a street vendor. These are very popular in Lima and all the fab labs were encouraged to build one. Our lab built a Pop Corn Ambulante. It was a hit, although we did not win, we most definitely got the people's choice award :).

Africa's Ambulante

Fab Lab temporary closing Sunday August 14, 2011

The Fab Lab will be closed on Sunday August 14, 2011. Many of our volunteers are attending the Fab 7 conference in Lima, Peru and we will not have enough volunteers to staff the lab on this day. A link to the conference's website can be found here.  Normal hours will resume on Thursday August 18, 2011. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Operations Committee Meeting Sunday 7/31/2011 3pm

There will be a CUCFL Operations meeting on Sunday 7/21/2011 at 3pm to discuss fall open-session hours.

CUC Fab Lab at PechaKucha

We probably should have said something BEFORE it happened, but... The CUC Fab Lab was one of the presenters at the 7th Champaign-Urbana PechaKucha meeting.

What Is PechaKucha you ask? It is an open mic style speaking event where all the presenters are allowed 20 slides to show and only 20 seconds to talk about each slide. This means that all the speakers get only 6 minutes and 40 seconds to talk about their topics. Most topics are about design, but they can vary widely; one guy talked about cooking hamburgers, another talked about a cross country bike event that raises money for cancer research. Our own Lauren Semeraro was the speaker, and did a lovely job of showing off the CUCfablab and the things we can do here. I hope that we got our message out to creative people who can put the space to work.


Laser Engraving a 13" MacBook Pro

I engraved the name of my employer on the 13" MacBook Pro that I use for work.

I used the 50-watt Epilog Mini, with the following settings:

  • Raster only (vector cutting disabled)
  • Raster speed: 100%
  • Raster power: 60%
The MacBook Pro has a textured metal case, so laser engraving is a good process to use to decorate the surface.  I did not use tape or sprays; the only surface preparation was to clean the case with a damp paper towl and let it dry.
Luke's MacBook Pro - Engraving

Notes from CUCFL Friends committee meeting, 6/30/2011

CUCFL Friends Committee Meeting

30 June 2011
Notes by Robert E. McGrath

Attendance:  REM, Betty, Mercedes, Lauren, Virginia

(Please see also the attached PDF.)

The meeting focused on planning for several upcoming events.

1. Presentation at PechaKucha CU event on July 22

Lauren signed up to present the CUCFL at PechaKucha CU.  The format is a very short talk, with 20 pictures for 20 seconds each.

CUCFL Friends committee meeting, 6/30/2011

CUCFABLAB Friends General Meeting: 6:00P on June 30, 2011

The Champaign Urbana Community Fab Lab “Friends” committee will have its next general meeting at 6:00 on June 30, 2011.

The meeting is open to anyone who is interested, or who think they may be interested.

The June 30 meeting will focus on the following topics:

1. (From Betty B.) Proposals for two events, to be organized and held at the CUCFL:

Rock my Ride day

We had two people show up for the "Rock my Ride" summer class. All and all, I think they were quite pleased with the end results with their bikes. One placed green flames down the side of the bike and glow in the dark tubing along his handle bars. The other guy cut out two "superman shield" inspired designs that were attached to the bike.

Hopefully in the future we'll have more events like this and have a few more people show up to them.


May Day Celebration

On May 1st, the Fab Lab community celebrated a whole list of things: Johann, Anna, Bryan, and Yi all graduated. Mercedes got her citizenship (and had a birthday). Gary's birthday was also part of the party. It turns out that it was also Dean and Winifred's anniversary which is why they brought the May Pole which they used at their wedding!

Photos below the fold.

May Day Celebration Group Photo

Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab Summer Raffle Winners

Here are the winners with the respective prizes.

Please contact if you need to set up time to use the lab (1st and 2nd price winners)

You can come and pick up the prizes next Thursday, 4-9pm at the Fab Lab.

1st prize: Colten Jackson (4 hrs in the lab)

2nd prize: Whitney Street (2 hrs in the lab)

CUCFL Electronics Summer Workshop

CUC-FABLAB Electronics Summer Workshop (Lead Instructor: Mercedes Mane)
July 9th, July 16th, and July 23rd from 9am-12pm

Join a series of workshops this summer at the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab and learn how to use Eagle to design circuits, use the Modela milling machine to cut circuit boards and use an Arduino and FabISP to program your “Hello World” board to blink and play music. The sessions are independent and you can pick and choose any of them or do them all.

See attached flyer for details.

To enroll, please e-mail Mercedes Mane

CUCFL Summer Sessions: 2011

CUCFL Summer Sessions:  2011

The Champaign Urbana Community Fab Lab is pleased to announce a series of classes for Summer 2011.  Classes will be taught by Fab Lab experts.   Send inquiries and enrollments to Betty Barett (  Fees will be collected at the class. Please notes these classes are all pilots so the enrollment is limited. 


Squishy Circuits  (Lead Instructor: Lauren Semararo)

June 4 – from 10:00 to noon for kids aged 8 to 12 (limit 8) 

Squishy Circuits is a fun introduction to electricity and how it works. We will use playdoh and electronic components to help kids begin to learn how electricity works and what it takes to create a basic circuit.  Each child will receive two kinds of playdoh and the components needed to create their own project that lights up. 

Class fee (includes materials) $20.00


Hey! That’s MY  water bottle (Lead Instructor: Steve Holt)

June 11 – from 10:00 to 12:00 for kids from 8 to 17 (limit 8)

Create a personalized  aluminum water bottle by making your own design and engraving it on the laser cutter.  In addition, staff will help the students make vinyl stickers or a water bottle holder to take home.   We will provide the bottles and other materials but you have to provide the ideas! 

Class fee (includes  materials)  $20.00


Rock your Ride

June 18 – from 10:00 to 3:00 for kids from 13 to 17 (limit 8) (Lead Instructor: Luke Scharf)

Wash your bike and bring it to the lab.  We’ll help you make it even more awesome with reflective materials to create decals and striping as well as a couple of varieties of lights.  Kids will create a theme and then design the electric and visual components to make their bikes safer in the dark and really cool.  We will have a variety of high and low tech materials to choose from as well as the tools needed.  Each student should bring a lunch and we’ll provide some snacks and beverages. 

Class fee (includes materials and snacks)  $40.00

Autodesk @ Wired Business Conference: Makers & The New Industrial Revolution

Autdesk hearts makers, and wants to sell us CAD/CAM software.

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