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Charles Guan gave a great maker presentation at DragonCon: https://plus.google.com/108592267518230419667/posts/b9vPdjmmVf2

japan-h-2a-rocket-launchThat’s correct…we are officially taking memberships on a go forward basis. We’ve worked hard to get the people and process in place to make this happen. It is almost certainly not perfect but we can begin the process of building our membership. We’ve combined what other makerspaces have learned to roll out a membership process that is quick and provides a sane approach to bringing on new folks.

The space is coming along amazingly well and the value has already been demonstrated over the past meetings where fellow makers have spontaneously stepped up and shared their expertise. This has been tremendously rewarding to observe.

There are a couple of things you will need to know before going to the Chatt*lab Member Application form:

  1. $50/month membership fee (PayPal request sent to you after you complete form)
  2. A current member in good standing who can serve as your Member Mentor (come to the makerspace any Tuesday at 7pm to meet one of us)

It was over a year ago that the idea for a makerspace here in Chattanooga was hatched. There have been a number of times I never thought we’d get to this post. So glad to be pushing the ‘Publish’ button on this!

Thanks to everyone who has helped make Chatt*lab a reality over the past year and beyond.

IMG_20130528_191528Last night we were delighted to have one of our largest turnouts with many new faces. Dan Baker, local mold-making expert turned graphic designer, who has piloted a replica R2D2 for years. This was a lot of fun as who doesn’t like R2? Dan gave us the full tour of the build (he brought his build log along) including the challenges and some overall information about the R2 builders scene. To see Dan and his R2 next, you may need some baseball; they will be appearing at the Chattanooga Lookouts game on June 28th which just happens to be Star Wars Night at the ballpark. Look for fellow makers there!

On the build front we are pleased to report that Jason Brown has the RFID access control working a charm. We are testing it for a few days before calling it operational but things are looking good.

The goal stated in our first meeting was to be open for memberships by June 1. That goal appears to be within reach. Stay tuned.

Thanks for everyone who attended, with a special shout out to the Co.Lab makers that came by to check it out.



So, you want to learn to solder?  Purchase a seat for our Soldering workshop.  Our brother makerspace at the Public Library has been generous enough to provide space for this workshop that Chatt*Lab will be teaching.  Many thanks to Nate and Meg for providing a location.  We hope to do future workshops at our space once the dust settles.

For you Mom’s out there that are looking for a good gift from the kids for their Dad, this is a great gift idea, and it will be ready for Father’s Day (workshop is the Saturday before Father’s Day).

The workshop costs $35 and you get a really cool device that turns off pretty much any TV you can find in the USA.  There’s even a way to make it turn off European and Australian TV’s if you prefer.

If you aren’t familiar with the TV B Gone, check out the Adafruit site: http://www.adafruit.com/products/73

The workshop will be June 15th (Saturday) at 10 am at the Chattanooga Public Library, 4th floor.  We only have 9 seats remaining, so register now to reserve your seat:  http://chattlabtvbgoneworkshop.eventbrite.com/  .

State of the *Lab


Last Meeting Highlight: This small 3D printed vehicle has working wheels and doors!

Glad to report we have a few areas of progress since the last post. Our goal has been to prep the space for membership by June 1, 2013. Some accomplishments include:

  1. The most important: An energetic attendance of a variety of folks from the community!
  2. The space is secured with locks at each entrance/exit.
  3. We are managing our own internet traffic (50mbps).
  4. The leaks in the woodshop room have been fixed (!).
  5. An RFID electric latch has been installed.

We are still tracking toward that goal but a few things have to come into place in order of priority:

  1. Leverage existing wiring to power the RFID access system.

Beyond that there is (always) more work to do to get us set up properly:

  1. A large conduit and wire run to a new panel (think $$$).
  2. Workbenches and chairs.
  3. Pull down projection screen.
  4. Mount our projector (have the mount).

Once these are in place we really have a complete picture. Sure the circuit wiring and machinery need to be wired and placed but that is almost a celebration, not a chore!

We hope to see you Tuesday nights at 7pm for our public meeting.

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IMG_20130514_192346Big thanks to everyone who came out for our weekly meeting last night.

Jesse Guardiani from CreateThis.com gave an introduction to some basic hand tools with demos. I especially appreciate the sharpening demo as it made installing the electronic latch for the front door much easier to finish!

Duane Rousseau from the Creative Discovery Museum was kind enough to outright give us a really sweet Delta drill press (15″ freestanding!). A huge addition to our stationary tool landscape.

I also promised a link to the layout Sketchup I had thrown together to get the conversation going for what goes where. See:

IMG_20130515_103535Overall updates:

  • Security: Entire compound is secure with razor wire around the majority of the perimeter; RFID system bench tested and latch installed. Need to wire it up! Commercial lockset ordered to replace the wimpy residential hardware in place now.
  • Leak: Requested gravel be removed by maintenance from roof so I can push the roof into place and seal.
  • Network: Located our spare router, cat6 is already in place for the run to the comcast box. Will work fine for a while. EPB later.
  • Tools: Lathe granted to us just need to coordinate a date for heading down to get the beast. Ditto on Bridgeport.
  • Benches: Talked about layout a bit (see above) and have a general plan. Casters are a requirement so we can flex the space not only during our learning phase with the new digs but as a means of agility.

I’m sure I left out a few items so please remind me if I missed something major.

Otherwise, thanks again and I can’t wait to see everyone again next week!

Thanks to everyone who came out for our first of a series of launch meetings. We had about a dozen total and we talked through a number of topics (see slides here).

The new space was toured by a number of attendees who gave it a nod of approval. Currently we are negotiating the rent with the owner of the property. We hope to have an announcement by Tuesday, April 30th 7pm at our first public site meeting.

Hope to see you there.

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japan-h-2a-rocket-launchIt is time. We are hosting a planning meeting for the launch of our makerspace. The goal will be to gather any and all who are interested in joining together to pick up the conversation that began almost a year ago.

Who: Chatt*lab Makerspace
What: Call for Makers planning meeting (click to RSVP)
When: Saturday April 20th @ 11am
Where: Downtown Chattanooga Public Library, 4th Floor

Chatt*lab has been a makerspace in progress for almost a year now. The idea being to provide a place for collaboration and expertise, and some awesome tools, for makers in the Chattanooga area. We have been private and in stealth mode but influential to the blossoming maker scene in Chattanooga.

We are ready to plan our launch and to do this we are hosting a meeting (one of many to come) to discuss the details and get input from the makers here in our fair city. Won’t you join us? There is an FAQ here to get the juices flowing.

Ps. The Chattanooga Craft Beer Festival is happening after our meeting so make a day of it. Most of us plan on bee-lining it down there post meeting. Someone please take notes…

8563632110_b616099a24The not so recent Maker Day at the 4th Floor was a huge success. If you attended you were among over 1100 who attended that day all to celebrate, discuss, and learn about 3D printing and scanning technologies.

Jason Brown and myself put in a dizzying day of conversations and questions from the folks. The only word that came to mind to describe the interest afterwards was rabid. The event, if you didn’t attend, was from 11-4 but it consisted of a massive blur from about 10:30 to well after 5pm. A smashing success by any measure. I had people from 80 years old to my own 4 year olds asking questions and exploring the concept of ‘what can I create?’

The other amazing thing about the event was the fact that it was a launch party for the 4th Floor as Chattanooga’s first public makerspace. While Chatt*lab has been private for almost a year, we helped get this off the ground in a big way through planning and collaboration with the Library, naturally, but also Co.lab, engage3D, and the Sim Center just to mention a few. We had more and more groups coming out of the woodwork and pitching in to attend and spread the word. It was a frenzy up to the day of the event.

MAKER DAY06Makerspaces happen when the community comes together around a specific catalyst. Often times this is 3D printing, or quadcopters, or some sort of thing that everyone has enough interest in to want to know more. It is evident 3D printing is that catalyst for Chattanooga based on the attendance.

We celebrate the 4th Floor’s launch and share the vision for making in Chattanooga.

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