Category Archives: Uncategorized

What’s new?

Since our last post, tons has happened…

We got a laser!

Moved all that stuff from our last post to a new, safe location.

We’ve been making lots of stuff like spatulas…

 

… and carving pumpkins with the water jet!

Meeting to start businesses,

and still getting lots of donations…

Come on down, and make something!

So much stuff, so little space…

We have recently received an absolutely massive donation of supplies and equipment from a very generous member of the community. The only problem… it’s all in Salt Lake and our current space in Provo is already packed to the brim.  On a busy night, it starts getting pretty cramped!

Included in the donation is a massive fully-functional 3D printer (can double as light-duty mill), 4-axis lathe, and several other unfinished printer/CNC projects.  We have countless boxes and shelves filled with motors, actuators, hydraulics, pneumatics, bearings, gears, fasteners, wires, belts and so much more…but nowhere convenient to store it. If we could combine these resources with the tools and supplies from the existing 400 square foot ProVolt Makerspace, we think could have the biggest and best-equipped space in the nation.

 

 

 

2016 in review

2016 was our best year yet! We got the water jet cutter working, and met many new people! We also had some setbacks, but have more than made up for them by the awesome things that have happened, and things we are looking forward to.
Here are some pictures of things you may have missed over the last year.

Ben cutting valentines gifts
Ben cutting valentines gifts
Cutting tank treads for Red Devil on BattleBots
Cutting tank treads for Red Devil on BattleBots
Kelie (left) and Jeremy (right) show off a stone gear
Kelie (left) and Jeremy (right) show off a stone gear
Mary Fenley holds an aluminum peace sign
Dr. Mary Fenley holds an aluminum peace sign
Winchester poses for his silhouette
Winchester poses for his silhouette
Plywood silhouettes of Winchester and John Fenley
Plywood silhouettes of Winchester and John Fenley
Ephraim uses the lathe
Ephraim uses the lathe
Allen uses the grinder
Allen uses the grinder
Dan (left) designs a part, while Ashley (right) prepares to do chasing and repousse
Dan (left) designs a part, while Ashley (right) prepares to do chasing and repousse
John, representing ProVolt (left) and Beth, Representing Make Salt Lake (right) attend a meeting of makerspace organizers at the White House
John, representing ProVolt (left) and Beth, Representing Make Salt Lake (right) attend a meeting of makerspace organizers at the White House
Swag from DC from spaces we connected with
Swag from DC from spaces we connected with
Ales (center) and 2 BYU students (left and right) work on a robot hand
Ales (center) and 2 BYU students (left and right) work on a robot hand
Kelie (right) shows off his Batman grappling hook
Kelie (right) shows off his Batman grappling hook
Mike (left) and Lloyd (right) experiment with liquid nitrogen
Mike (left) and Lloyd (right) experiment with liquid nitrogen

Shout outs to Andrew, Joe (x3) , Jaan, Omar, Chris(x2), Wesley, Jordan, Pam, Brad, Jason, Wil, Brian, Patrick, James, Wisteria, Martin (x2), Amy, Davido, Roy, Kevin, Eric (x3), Ryan, Hillary,  Andrea, Michael, Nicco and others who weren’t pictured, but have made 2016 a very exciting year for us.

Special Thanks to Jim Williams, Boomerang Books, Jerome Miles, and New Vistas for supporting us by buying lots of water jet time, Ben, Kelie, and Allen for their outstanding volunteer work, and to Steve Fordham, Pam Watkins, Damon Downing, Habitat for Humanity, and Dr. Mary Fenley for their generous donations. You have made 2016 a success!

 

Vinyl is awesome

We recently got our vinyl cutter working after a whole lot of troubleshooting. We traced the serial signal with an oscilloscope from the computer, all the way to a chip deep inside the machine. When we looked up the chip, we discovered we were transmitting to it’s transmit pin, and really just needed a serial null-modem (crossover) cable and now it works great. Check out this Silhouette Sticker machine we took to the Barnes and Noble Mini Maker Faire!

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Anyway, we’ve been using it to make stickers, and decals, and the other day I even made the shirt I’m wearing in the video above!

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The Vinyl was placed on the shirt.

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The shirt was protected from over-spray, and 2 coats of green T-shirt spray paint were applied.

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I think the finished shirt looks great!

tile it up

We have been looking for projects to keep the water jet busy, and one thing we have had some success with is cutting tile. So a few days ago, we approached the Habitat For Humanity Re-store to see if we could get some broken tiles donated. They were more than happy to help us out, and get rid of some of the stuff they couldn’t sell.

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I was worried that my trailer would break when they loaded it on. I’ve never had that much weight in it before.

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We started sorting it, but mostly there were too few of any particular design to make it worthwhile. But that’s perfect for some of the projects we have been brainstorming.20160921_010916

Logo tiles are awesome!

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These 5 inch high tessellating geckos take 3 minutes to cut. Also we can do numbers, or letters, or anything else we can think of, and now we have an essentially unlimited supply of material to work with.

Penrose tiles? Tile gears? Custom mosaics?

What would you make?

 

Happy Birthday!?

It was YESTERDAY!

We should have had a party because ProVolt turned 2, but real stuff has been happening, so something like an arbitrary date fell through the cracks.

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Two weeks ago, I was at the White House! I went to represent ProVolt at the Nation of Makers meeting, and met with over 170 other makerspace organizers. I took 80 stainless steel keychain bottle openers to give to people.

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They were a big hit, and everyone was surprised when they held them and realized that they were metal, and not plastic.

I even made a titanium one for the President!

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Relocation

Greetings! Although we’ve had a bit of bad news lately, all is not lost! The shelving units and majority of our useful/interesting/random stuff has been relocated to the garage housing the waterjet. It is a bit cramped [I prefer to say compact and efficient] but still just as functional if not more so than before. We don’t have the great big back yard for some of our particularly ‘combustible’ projects, but I’m sure the asphalt in front will do just fine. The space isn’t internet ready, but that could very well change; for now you’ll need to download and plan ahead of time unless your phone can be tethered. No more comfy chairs or extra computer workstations at this time; there simply isn’t the square footage for some of the things we had before. More so than ever, will we have to tidy up after ourselves to maintain a usable space. I hope to see more of you stopping by on Tuesdays and Thursdays!

I apologize for the vertical video, but it looked better for a walkthrough. Check it out.

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Provo city requests shutdown

We received a letter from Provo city requesting that we stop having our meetings at the current location. While ProVolt has been operating in an RC zone, we are not a commercial enterprise, and the response from every neighbor I’ve talked to has been positive.notice

We’re lucky that we have another space to operate out of right now, but it is severely cramped already.

Propane torch of Doom!

Melting and pouring Aluminum has been a pleasant recurring event here. The latest incarnation is a propane powered beast that performed much better than the previous coal-fired and electric versions.