Classes And Workshops

The Hacktory is proud to offer a variety of classes and workshops on topics relating to Digital and Interactive Art, Physical Computing, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intro to Processing, Soft Circuits and Wearable Electronics, Data Visualization, Gaming, and 2D and 3D Modeling and Fabrication, as well as DIY food and home improvement topics. See our upcoming classes below.


Body Scrubs & Lip Balms
Sunday May 15, 2-3:30 pm | $15, free for Hacktory members
In this class students will experiment with different skin friendly products like coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax to create their own custom blended body scrubs and lip balms. We will discuss different herbal and essential oil blends for products that can soothe, rejuvenate and more. Students will go home with their own 4 oz body scrub and pot of lip balm. Register here. Hacks&Snacks – Starring Amazon Alexa!
Thursday May 19, 7-9 pm | free 
Us:  Alexa, what is your fave hackerspace?

Alexa: The Hacktory, duh.

This time we’ll be working with the Amazon Alexa and playing with voice skills.  There’s a lot you can do with these devices, including using speech with your fave connected hardware. Come learn along with the rest of us! Shoutouts to and Amazon for letting us tinker. Nom-Noms will be provided. Register here.


Build A Bike Bag
Taught by Artist-In-Resident Tara Webb and supported by an ArtPlace America Grant. Admission is only $5! Limited to 8 students. In this class we’ll sew a bicycle hip pack to store your lock and other gear. Learn how to cut, sew and follow a pattern to make your own unique gear. Makes a great gift for you or someone else. We’ll be using sewing machines supplied in the class. Some prior experience sewing is useful though not required.

Bicycle-Based Power Generation
Come learn how to build your own bicycle-based power generator. We’ll work in teams to build several bicycle power generating stations. Purchase your own parts to build one for yourself, or take home instructions and know-how so that you can build your own in the future. Open to all skill levels from beginner to advanced. No electrical experience required. Limited to 12 students.

Build A Retro Game Console With Raspberry Pi
Since its release, the $35 Raspberry Pi mini-computer has been hailed as the perfect all-in-one computer. In this hands-on workshop you’ll build your own retro game console. We’ll build our pi computer, install a new system and emulator, load roms from our computers, and get peripherals such as game controllers working. By the end of class you’ll have your own MAME machine capable of playing games for Atari, Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Commodore64, NeoGeo and more.

DrawBot Workshop
For those of you who believe design is about MAKING THINGS: In this hands-on workshop, you will construct and program autonomous robots that can draw. Design your own robot-drawn typeface or make original artwork from a kit of parts provided. No prior experience or knowledge about robotics or programming is needed. You only need a desire to play and enthusiasm to learn something new. Participants will come away with drawings their robots have created. To purchase the parts to make your own drawbot, see the related ticket. Sponsored by AIGA of Philadelphia.

Note: You can build a drawBot with our parts, or you can order your own drawBot parts to build and take home your own for an extra fee.

Intro To 21st Century Fabrication
Taught by The Hacktory’s expert Eric Manganaro, this dual session class is an introductory workshop overview of how to go from idea to digital design to digitally fabricating a physical object prototype. We’ll review a complete digital workflow and provide an overview of tools and the process to creating your work. We’ll start with an introduction to tools like Google Sketchup, Adobe Illustrator, Autodesk123d, and sourcing from Thingaverse and Google3D. We’ll review fabrication techniques including the VersaCamm Vinyl Cutter, the CNControlled Laser Cutter (and engraver) as well as 3D printing. We last offered this class in Spring 2014 and in the sold-out session people wanted more time with our equipment, which is why we’re offering a 2-sesion class this time.

How The Internet Works
So you’ve been using the Internet for 15+ years and you still don’t know how it fundamentally works?! Remain ignorant no longer! Using very basic office supplies we’ll play a game to understand the underlying framework of the internet. This talk is especially for those who think they shouldn’t come. Fear no acronym. After this talk you will be able to speak with confidence about: networks, routers, servers, domain names, .com, .org, .gov, .edu (and who controls them), IP addresses, ethernet, wifi, MAC addresses, DHCP, ISPs, DNS, HTTP and much more.

Intro To Programming For Artists, Musicians and Other Creative People
Programming is a creative process performed by programmers to instruct a computer on how to do a task. If you are an artist or musician, you can make custom instructions or software to create digital visual art and animations, tell a story, manipulate photos, create sound or a whole software instrument, make a game, or build an art installation. Why would you want to do this instead of using Photoshop or a software synthesizer? If you are someone that makes artwork, is interested in aesthetics, or otherwise likes to explore cooking or creating film or design, you will also enjoy being able to build your own custom art tools for the computer.

In this class, we’ll take a playful approach to learning the concepts of programming and then take our first beginner steps. We’ll talk about the connections between writing recipes and writing code and the basic components of every programming language. We’ll cover an introduction to the visual programming language Scratch and then build our own simple instruments, synthesizer, or visual art. When you finish this class, you’ll have created your own first programs, and be ready to jump to the next level and start learning Python, Processing, Java, or other programming languages.

Hacking The Gender Gap
Did you know that computer programming in the 1950s and 1960s was considered administrative work, and therefore best suited for women? Hacking the Gender Gap is an interactive workshop in which we explore the gender ratio in tech fields, unpack the associations our culture has created between gender and technical ability, and share experiences of gender and technology. This workshop has been presented to a number of audiences of different genders and technical ability, and always results in a stimulating and illuminating discussion.

Intro To Circuits
Have you been tantalized by cool costumes & projects using LEDs, Arduinos, or EL-wire? Ever wondered what’s going on inside your computer, television, or vacuum cleaner? Electricity permeates our modern existence, and learning your way around circuits is the first step in demystifying it. In this class, we’ll start with the very basics, exploring the fundamentals of circuits by building a lemon-cell battery. We’ll teach you how to identify common circuit components, use tools like multimeters and breadboards, read schematics and datasheets, and describe what’s going on with a few equations. You’ll build some simple circuits and go home with a mini-breadboard so you can tackle your own projects! This class is suitable for ages 13+.

Introduction to Max/MSP for music
Learn to write your own digital music making software using Max/MSP! This course covers the basics of digital audio and the Max/MSP/Jitter graphical programming environment. You’ll learn to make your own sample player, synthesizer, and other sound manipulation interfaces. Everything you learn will be directly applicable to the Max For Live add-on to Ableton Live. No prior programming experience is required. The workshop is intended for beginners, so if you already know how to connect a [counter] to a [sel] to make a primitive sequencer, it might be a bit too basic for you. If the end of that sentence made absolutely no sense, then you’ll learn a lot.

Bad Website Jam: How To Make a Vintage 1996-Style Website
In this 1-session workshop and jam we’ll review the early web and the era of geocities homepages before blogs and web 2.0. We’ll share cringe-inducing personal websites that may include clip art, under construction signs, and pleas to “sign my online guestbook.”
If you don’t know how to create a website, you’ll even learn the basics of what goes into creating a simple webpage.

We’ll break down the extreme basics of HTML 2.0and use WYSIWIG web creation software from the 90s as well as today. Participants will create their own mid-90s “dirt-style” website and publish them online. We’ll have prizes for Best In Show, People’s Choice, Most Authentic, Most Mediocre, and Best-Why Does This Exist? Participants should bring their own laptop. This jam is suitable for a range of backgrounds from beginners to experienced.