Sunday, October 4, 2015

kids casting metal

Chad sent the pics above and there was a lot of talk on the site it was located on, about how dangerous this would be for a child to be pouring molten metal. I took it as a challenge...

Noah and Maya poured some sterling silver ingots yesterday. We got to spend time talking about solids and liquids and how the process works. We did some trial runs with no metal in the crucible and then they poured some small amounts of silver into the ingot molds. I'm sure someone who reads this will probably complain about my kids doing this or something safety related. I know I learned some of my most valuable lessons in life by being exposed to such things and it also taught me to be inquisitive. Most people wouldn't dream of giving their kid a knife these days as they might cut themselves; maybe that's what's wrong with young people who are afraid to get off the couch...

Saturday, October 3, 2015


I finished a new medallion for the inauguration ceremony for UWM's ninth Chancellor, Mark Mone. I've been working on this chain and medallion for the past several weeks. I've posted a lot of process shots on my Instagram, but I'll be sure to repost most of this here on my blog eventually. It was a long week, but definitely worth the sleepless nights and stress. A big thanks to Chris Baylor who woke up early, stayed late, and arranged his schedule to accommodate when I was working on things. Chris is a top notch videographer and an outstanding individual. He and his wife Mary are two of the nicest most down-to-earth people I have met at UWM. I am amazed at how they are able to capture the things happening at UWM and I can't thank them enough for the work that they do. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

southern illinois heavy metals

I attended a SIMS event with my father at SIU-C's Brent Kington Smithy about eleven or twelve years ago. It was  an excellent event. I highly recommend attending if you're in the area.

Monday, September 28, 2015

maker faire 2015

This past weekend I attended the Milwaukee Maker Faire. It is amazing to think how far things have come since I attended a meeting three years ago at Milwaukee Makerspace when they were planning their inaugural mini-maker faire. My students did an amazing job representing the DCRL last year when I was away at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and this year I was finally able to attend and work the booth. 

This year 45,390 people attended the Maker Faire during the two day event. It was insane and I almost lost my voice the first day. I was so proud to see Bryan and Chad there this year with their own displays and John playing a major role in the organization of the event. I was also really excited to see them and spend some time together. I really miss all three of them a lot since they have graduated so being able to hang out at my booth was stellar. I gave a talk on Saturday and some friends that I met at a Tormach open house drove up from Northern Illinois to see me. Alex and Sam manned the booth during my talk and rocked it out, as usual, while I was away. Those two fellas are solid spokesmen for all things 3D printing, robotics, engineering, and 3D printed hands. 

I met some awesome new people and reconnected with many Makers from Milwaukee and Madison. The nerdy derby track that I built with Aaron, John, and Dan was getting some action as well; good to see it all set-up. Jill and the kids even came and hung out with me for a while and helped me set-up and take down the booth. 

The kids were on live TV as they played in the Betty Brinn display and Mike from BB gave me an Aaron De Lanty head so Chad and I could hang out with him via the ABS version (side note: we found him to be a lot less animated than the the original version). Several people from BB also shared the kindest words with me about the students that have come out of UWM and how much they miss the ones that have left. 

The Metals area, Print and Narrative Forms area, and School of Engineering were at the event this year and the were looking great and making things happen. I'm glad to see more people taking an interest in showing off the great things that are happening at UWM. 

I received so many kind words from people and there was just a positive energy in the room. So many awesome makers and spectators this weekend. Awesome times!