We offer meetups and classes in many topics, and occasionally host or participate in other special events.
Open Shop / Open House – Come check out the MakerSpace – tour our facility, get familiarized with the equipment available to members, and maybe even work on a project!
The Raspberrians – This is a group with a shared interest in micro-electronic, single-board computer (SBC) and similar systems, and electronics in general.
Classes and Workshops
Introduction to Electronics – Want to learn how to read sensors, drive motors, and blink LEDs? Never programmed before but interested in learning? Want to find out what the fuss over the Arduino microcontroller ecosystem is all about? This class is perfect for you! We will journey, step-by-step, through the basics of electronics through hands-on labs where you, the student, build breadboard circuits and program the embedded software to bring them alive.
Introduction to Fusion 360 – This workshop will be a brief introduction to Fusion 360 CAD/CAM software. From the Fusion 360 website: “Fusion 360 is a 3D CAD, CAM, and CAE tool that connects your entire product development process in a single cloud-based platform that works on both Mac and PC.” Fusion 360 is available free to students, educators and makers, and a free trial is available from the company’s website. The workshop should last about two hours, and is limited to 8 persons. RSVP required via Meetup.
Introduction to Inkscape – This presentation will be a brief introduction to using the free, open-source 2D design/editing software Inkscape, which can be used to create or modify designs for use on our laser cutter/engraver and vinyl cutter (see the related classes, above). The presentation should last about two hours, and has a limited class size. RSVP required via Meetup.
Introduction to Laser Cutting and Engraving – This presentation will be a brief introduction to using the 150-watt laser cutter/engraver at Rockford MakerSpace, and will include a very brief overview of vector-based drawing programs and the laser hardware itself. Each attendee will take home a laser-cut/engraved souvenir. The presentation should last about an hour, and is limited to 5 persons. RSVP required via Meetup.
Introduction to OpenSCAD – This workshop is a comprehensive introduction to OpenSCAD, free solid-modelling software available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux/Unix systems. OpenSCAD is something like a 3D-compiler that reads in a human-readable script file that specifies geometric primitives (such as spheres, boxes, cylinders, etc.) and defines how they are modified and combined to render a 3D model. This gives you full control over the modelling process, and enables you to easily change any step in the process or make designs that are defined by configurable parameters. Participants in this workshop will learn how to install and use OpenSCAD to create solid models, exportable in STL format for 3D printing. The presentation should last about two hours, and has a limited class size. RSVP required via Meetup.
Introduction to Raspberry Pi – Details coming soon . . .
Introduction to Soldering Electronic Components – Soldering is an important part of working with electronics, particularly in the area of electronic prototyping. These workshops provide a basic introduction to soldering for those who have never soldered before, or those with some soldering experience who have never worked with surface mount technology. These workshops should last one to two hours, and are limited to 5 to 10 persons. RSVP required via Meetup.
Introduction to Surface Mount Technology Soldering – Almost all modern electronics make use of Surface Mount components for its benefits in miniaturization and ease of automated assembly. Components such as resistors, capacitors, and integrated circuits of all kinds, come in a plethora of physical packages that vary in size as well as number and style of leads. While much of SMT technology is quite difficult to solder by hand, lots of hobby electronics (and repair work!) are still quite possible with the right equipment and expertise. Learn how to hand-solder SMT components by assembling your own Resistor Ladder tool, designed by RMS member Spacetime Productions! The board is designed to be a good reference for evaluating your DMM’s accuracy and precision.
Introduction to Vinyl Cutting – This presentation will be a brief introduction to using the vinyl cutter at Rockford MakerSpace, and will include a very brief overview of vector-based drawing programs and the vinyl cutter hardware itself. The presentation should last about one to two hours, and is limited to 5 to 10 persons. RSVP required via Meetup.
Discover Engineering – Dozens of engineering professionals set up shop annually in the Discovery Center Museum and invite you to participate in hands-on investigations and brain-bending challenges that relate to the jobs they do right here in the Rockford area. Local high school teams will also be on hand, showing off their romping robots. This event is a perfect conclusion to National Engineers’ Week. We plan to participate regularly in this event. Check our calendar and social media pages, and the Discovery Center website, for more details.
Maker Faires -Maker Faires are gatherings of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, A Maker Faire is a venue for these “makers” to show hobbies, experiments, projects. We call it the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth – a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. Glimpse the future and get inspired! Check our calendar and social media pages, and the Maker Faire Madison, Maker Faire Milwaukee and Northern Illinois Mini Maker Faire websites for more details.