The Hacktory Blog

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Project Night Recaps, August 22 & 29

We’ve fallen a bit behind on reporting on Project Night! Here’s a couple of notes from last month, from Kim B.

August 22, Technically Philly Meetup AND Project Night

Panel discussion: State of Collaborative Spaces in Philly
There are a lot of collaborative spaces in Philly, how do we get them to be more merged but still distinct?  How do we make the public aware of these spaces?
Georgia Guthrie, director of The Hacktory
Alex Hillman, co-founder of Indy Hall
Nic Esposito, founder of The Head & Head Press 

Panel coordinator:
Chris Wink, co-founder and editor of
The discussion centered around the collaborative/experimental spaces in our fair city of Philadelphia.  The turnout was great, about 50 people, and so was the beer, which had coffee in it! There definitely seems to be a strong case for Philadelphia existing as an up-and-coming (and in many ways, already there) metropolis for co-working, entrepreneurship, and start-ups. There were various interesting business models discussed, and on the whole the panel had a lot to share, as well as the people who attended. (Read more at Technically Philly’s writeup.)
Laser Cutting in the Workshop

In parallel with the Technically Philly Meetup, we also had regular Project Night in the workshop. Daniel gave a demonstration on our laser cutter to 11 people, mostly students from the FIRST Robotics team at SLA. They needed precise parts for the robots they were building, so they were learning laser cutting to design and make them.

if you don’t know about laser cutting, schedule an evening to come and learn at Project Night! You can cut anything from felt to wood to acrylic with such intricacy it will make you seriously happy to watch happen. If you are into putting your idea into a computer and then having that computer shoot LASERS, you need to get over to the Hacktory. 

August 29, Project Night

SLA_robot The FIRST robotics students from SLA have become regulars at Project Night, along with their instructors & mentors – it’s great to host them. This week they were working on several different projects at once, but this one is a robot that moves with a remote control and can rotate to project frisbies.  It was whirring around the studio as we worked, always a welcome sound.
Daniel showed us the new “pixels” they made for the LED lights that will hang in the window; in his words, “the table saw works.”  Yes, it certainly does, the framework that Christalee and Daniel worked on looks awesome, cannot wait to see it in action. (See their progress so far on Flickr.)
Gladys of Doggone Couture came for the first time to The Hacktory to make an LED wedding dress train for an upcoming pet fashion fundraiser. It was awesome! She had Christalee help add circuits to the material that she brought with her.  The material was very shiny and translucent, perfect for incorporating the reflection of the small LED lights.  She also makes LED masks and said she would be interested in holding a workshop for Galactic Gatsby. She showed us an outfit she made for her dog Pierre, based on the design of the Art Institute of Philadelphia building.  Parts of the building were printed onto fabric, then LED lights were incorporated.

Yes, that is a tiny matching hat and LED pants!! If you look closely, you can see the details from the photograph of the Art Institute incorporated into the jacket.

Galactic Gatsby

For those of you who haven’t heard, The Hacktory is hosting a Halloween Masquerade Ball with an Art Deco theme!  Not only that, but we are hosting workshops prior to the event to help you make your costume FANTASTIC. By this I mean wired with blinking LEDs, EL wire, and other soft circuit techniques. It’s as cool as it sounds, so come join us! Workshop details are coming shortly to our website and Twitter.
To conclude: a quote that reflects Project Night at the Hacktory to me:

“I am seriously considering…following the directions.”

This should be our motto, as we use “the directions” as a last resort!  🙂

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