MEM has been up to all sorts of awesomeness! From teaching from the Mobile Fab Lab, to classes with CCS, spiced with lots of development of classes and workshops for the near future.
We were extremely happy to have the MIT Mobile Fab Lab for several months through out the summer. With the Mobile Fab Lab we were able to engage an extremely diverse group of people from all different backgrounds and generations. From its “home” in the parking lot of the Campuchin Soup Kitchen, we saw, talked to and work with not only the staff at the soup kitchen and Earthworks but the soup kitchen patrons and youth groups through out the area.
The trailer was small, but that did not stop us from taking on big projects with the advanced tools we had access too. One example is the signs we helped build for Earthworks urban farm. With help from Gene, Dennis and Charlie we used a template from an existing metal sign to build a stand off as well as made large letters that would be used on the finale product. All of the parts were cut out of plywood on the 8′ by 4′ Shop-Bot tucked away in the rear of the trailer. With some long days and some help from Stevie, a patron at the soup kitchen, we were able to get all the signs cut out before the neighbors became restless with how loud the machine was. However, they turned out great after a little sanding and some paint from the youth group at Earthworks.
We were also able to run several workshops out of the trailer for many youth organizations through out the east side of Detroit. Many amazing laser-cut and vinyl cut creations were made with little instruction from us. However, all things much come to an end; and it was sad to see the mobile Fab Lab go, but at the same time is was exiting to see what the next chapter for MEM would look like. It was now time to go out and find our permanent space in the area, so we could start to provide bigger and better classes for the community. After some time of extensive research and many buildings picked through, we soon realized that there was a better way, than getting a building, and this being Detroit, rebuild it from the ground up. We decided that it was best to continue building on what is already wonderful about this city. We talked to many organizations and groups and the process took some time. So, in the interim we took up some initiative and continued in any way we possibly could. With help from a hackerspace with in Detroit’s Eastern Market, we began to develop projects, kits and gave the occasional workshop to anyone we could find. One of the larger classes was to a CCS fine arts class on creating your own DIY synthesizer out of very simple parts. The class was a huge hit and the “Making Noise” class is now one of our most popular workshops.
Beyond the classes we have been working on many projects and kits for future classes and workshops. Some examples are:
- Create you own bicycle rear safety light
- Create you own bicycle head light
- Bike fenders made out of gaffers tape
- How to re-use plastic shopping bags
- Paper air-rockets
- Bike repair stands
- winterizing your bike
- bike trailers
- E.L. wire your backpack
- MEGA brush bots
- Edge lighting
- Makerbot at its finest
Those are only some of the developing classes and kits we are currently working on and we hope to never stop pushing what the community can develop and innovate. But, enough with what we have done and to what we are truly exited about. We come into contact with the amazing people at the Church of the Messiah just blocks away from our parking-lot home at the soup kitchen and we are now extremely exited to say that we will be starting workshops in the church basement in January! MEM is itching to see where this partnership take us and were the community will take us in this new exhilarating space.
For more pictures and video of what we have been up to head over to our Flickr group!