Category Archives: Maker Feature

Check out the Makers!

Are you curious about who you’ll see at the Faire? Check out our Makers page for a preview!

Maker Spotlight: spare parts

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Who are you, and what do you make?

spare parts is a volunteer-driven organization which makes and teaches others about making art through creative reuse. Our goal is to become a full-time effort for the San Antonio community. We encourage children, teens and adults to make art with reusable materials. These materials and supplies usually don’t look anything like your typical art materials. We create art projects from items such as used water bottles, scraps of fabric, CD cases, paper rolls, newspaper, shower curtain rings and more. If you are imaging it trash or simply ordinary, we’ll figure out a way to make art because it’s not waste until you waste it.

How did you get started making art through creative reuse?

The increasing scarcity of art offerings and resources in schools and the belief in the necessary role of art in education is precisely the reason Mary Elizabeth Cantú founded spare parts in 2011. Her idea—providing cultural and environmental sustainability, affordability and accessibility to the arts through education—has taken a firm hold in the San Antonio area arts, education and environmental community.

What is your favorite part about making art this way? 

Our joy is threefold. For the environment we save a lot by rescuing perfectly usable materials that otherwise would go into the landfill. For the arts and anyone who wants to make in a sustainable, eco-friendly way, we offer a plethora of materials and project lessons which spark the creative in all ages. For those who like to visit museums, we founded the MINI ART MUSEUM, where folks can view artwork no larger than a business card; it travels all over and you can make your own miniature masterpiece, too!

What is the most difficult part about making art through creative reuse? 

Our goal is to encourage EVERYONE to look at the endless possibilities of reusing items, before tossing them into the trash bin or even putting them into the recycle cart.

What is the best piece of advice you have for someone who is interested in learning how to make art through creative reuse? 

Come to a workshop, visit any of our events where we have live project demonstrations, volunteer with spare parts and don’t forget, “Trash is the failure of imagination.” This is one of our favorite quotes by artist Aaron Kramer.

Why should people come to the San Antonio Mini Maker Faire? 

The Maker Culture provides a community of creative people who encourage new and different avenues for art, making and practical applications. It’s a great place to share ideas, get inspired and have some fun!

Maker Spotlight: Make San Antonio

Make_San_Antonio_earringsWho are you, and what do you make?
We are Make San Antonio, and we make unique custom designed and tailored pieces in a variety of mediums. We’ve created an online hub that we are transitioning into a DIY and handmade maker resource for San Antonio and surrounding areas. We are also planning to host seasonal workshops for all ages, where participants can become better makers, make friends and learn a new skill along the way.

How did you get started making the thing that you make?
Make San Antonio kicked things off a little over a year ago, and we’ve been busy hosting and participating in local events (such as Artpace’s Family Fun Day, Make San Antonio’s Makevember and the Wilson County Mini Maker Faire).

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What is your favorite part about making the thing that you make?
We are extremely passionate about the process of bringing ideas to life. We believe everyone is a maker at heart and if we can assist in the transition to becoming a better maker we think San Antonio if not the world would become a better place. We know the next Tesla is out there somewhere.

What is the most difficult part about making the thing that you make?
Choosing what to make! Usually, our minds run wild and we have lists upon lists filled with wonderful ideas of what to make next. Currently, we’re obsessing over custom jewelry and we’re using our Epilog laser cutter to create amazing unique acrylic pieces.

What is the best piece of advice you have for someone who is interested in learning how to make the thing that you make?
Since we specialize in multiple areas in the makersphere, our advice is to keep at it. Whether it’s learning how to 3D print, tackling sewing or working on a big project. Keep at it! Everyone starts as a novice when taking on a new hobby. It’s a fun learning experience where our creations are only limited by our imagination. Try, and try again. In no time, you’ll figure things out or even better yet, learn how not to do something a hundred different ways and be able to teach others from your experience. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Why should people come to the San Antonio Mini Maker Faire?
We think this is a great opportunity for others outside the maker community, who may be curious about the maker lifestyle, to see what we’re all about. Makers are all around us, and this will show community members what this city has to offer.

Make San Antonio is a creative hub for makers of all ages. We’re based in San Antonio, Texas and have a goal to foster innovation and collaboration. We look forward to hosting classes for locals, and collaborating with makers. For more information, visit makesanantonio.com  Makevember

Maker Spotlight: FIRST Robotics Teams – Screaming Chickens and Steel Stallions

FIRST‘s Mission…

…is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology by Dean Kamen and Woodie Flowers. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

Screaming Chickens, FRC team 3997

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Who are you, and what do you make?
We’re the Screaming Chickens, FRC Team 3997, and we make robots…..BIG ROBOTS!

How did you get started making robots?
I found the right group of people to learn how to build robots and compete with them.
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What is your favorite part about making robots?

The entire process of designing, building, wiring,and programming the robot to complete a specific task.

What is the most difficult part about making robots?
Finding sponsorships to fund these expensive robotics parts.

What is the best piece of advice you have for someone who is interested in learning how to make robots?
Do your research and find a good group to work with.

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Why should people come to the San Antonio Mini Maker Faire?

To see the amazing things people have made, including our awesome 7 barrel t-shirt cannon and our other robots!

Steel Stallions, FRC team 4412 and FTC team 4416

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Who are you, and what do you make?

We are the The Steel Stallions Robotics Club of the School of Science and Technology San Antonio. As a team, we are responsible for designing, building and programing robots used in FIRST Robotics Competitions. The team is responsible for manufacturing robots for two divisions of competitions, FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC). Although both robots for both competitions require an equal amount of dedication and complexity in planning and execution, FTC handles a much smaller robot in comparison to the massive FRC robot.
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How did you get started making robots?

The team officially began in the fall of 2012 with a roster of only four confused, but dedicated students. Equipped with the most basic set of tools, supplies, and a limited scope of Robotics knowledge the Steel Stallions went on to achieve victory is many regional competitions. The team achieved a ranking within the top 15% of competing teams for both FTC and FRC divisions with the first two years of competing. Currently, the team has flourished and expanded to a roster of 17 members with a new vision of mentoring those interested in Robotics, the foundations of manufacturing and programming.

What is your favorite thing about making robots?
Excellence, dedication, discipline. These are the crucial qualities needed to achieve success at any level. The greatest benefit of being a Steel Stallion is cultivating these qualities, providing an invaluable advantage in this competitive world. Furthermore, the Steel Stallions provides members with a sense of comradery and the opportunity to mentor and learn from each other, encouraging cooperative problem solving.

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What is the most difficult part of making robots?
As a young Robotics team with a flood of new members, one of our greatest challenges is funding. With the influx of new members, more safety equipment and tools are required to maintain efficient productivity. Funding is also needed to cover registration for competitions which cost $300 for FTC, and $6000 dollars for FRC. Fundraising is done to cover the cost, along with solicitations to local businesses for any form of support in return for advertisement. Although funding is what is greatly needed, any form of help is always appreciated and welcomed.

What is the best piece of advice you have for someone who is interested in making robots?
To those interested in coaching or creating a Robotics team, be forewarned; it will consume a copious amount of time and dedication, yet the satisfaction of competing and the most prestigious Robotics competing is immense. To the captains of a Robotics team; always have a meticulous plan of what objectives or goals need to be achieved and never be afraid to ask for help. Lastly, to a every Robotics member; always maintain a degree of professionalism with other members and those outside the team. It will leave a lasting impression.

Why should people come to the San Antonio Mini Maker Faire?
If you are interested in any field of technology, the San Antonio Mini Maker Faire is an excellent event to visit. With a plethora of booths by different groups, individuals, and organizations, there is a guaranteed chance something will captivate your mind. Whether it be the complexity of the language of 1’s and 0’s, or the awesome power of 3D printing. Even if you are a luddite, you should still check out the Faire. There will surely be something there that will call your curiosity and capture your attention.

Maker Spotlight: OCTA-TETRA Museum

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I am Dan Suttin.  I make 3-D geometrical “models.” Artists call them “sculptures,” but mathematicians call them “models;” they are all based on “polyhedra” (whatever they are)—- OCTA-TETRA models (whatever that means), Gyroscope and Electra Modular Origami models, Curved-Fold Papercraft Models, Swirlie Models (Huh?)……..

I am a retired math teacher —  my “day job”, my “retirement job,” is as a math tutor at San Antonio College.

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My real passion is my “OCTA-TETRA Museum” at 1100 Broadway (#305), where you can see the things I make, OR you can make them too.  It’s a learning space where students come to learn about art, architecture, engineering, science, and mathematics all at the same time.  I can accommodate groups up to 12 for a presentation and a hand-on activity.  OR, I can pack it up and bring it to you; so here I am at the “San Antonio Mini Maker Faire”.  Come and See!

Find the OCTA-TETRA Museum on Facebook!  

For more information about the OCTA-TETRA Museum, check out these stories:

San Antonio College “Ranger” video 

KSAT News video

Express News

Maker Spotlight: Ponytrap

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Who are you, and what do you make?
We are Ponytrap! (Quentin and Hilary Thomas-Oliver) and we make NOISE! We’re musicians who play classical instruments along with our very own home-made robot drummers.

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How did you get started making robot drummers?
Necessity. The music we play strays pretty far off the beaten path. We tried for years to find the right drummer(s) and it just never quite worked. So we decided to build one instead.

What is your favorite part about making robot drummers?
Our machines allow us to make exactly the kind of music when, where, and how we want to make it.

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What is the most difficult part about making robot drummers?
Things break! Sometimes it’s all explodey fun, but often it’s just wicked frustrating. We try to remember that, either way, it’s a learning process.

What is the best piece of advice you have for someone who is interested in learning how to make a robot drummer?
Patience. Begin with a clear idea of your goals and be flexible when the process demands a change of plans. Also… check out the article we wrote for MakeZine 🙂

http://makezine.com/projects/make-robotic-drum-using-arduino-uno/

Why should people come to the San Antonio Mini Maker Faire?
Because we’re all makers! Come for inspiration and community.

Maker Spotlight: Geekbus

Geekbus, a mobile makerspace dedicated to providing STEM educational opportunities to the students of South Texas.

Who are you, and what do you make?

We are the Geekbus and through our programs we make Makers!

We teach programs such as 3D Printing, Robotics, Hardware Engineering, Software programming, circuitry, rockets and much more to students all over South Texas.

How did you get started making the thing that you make?

SASTEMIC has operated the Geekbus as a mobile makerspace since November 2013.  We were gifted the Geekbus from Rackspace and Geekdom, and outfitted it with everything you could need for a mini, mobile, makerspace and have toured the South Texas region ever since, reaching over 20,000 students and community members.

What is your favorite part about making the thing that you make?

When students have their “ah-ha” moments in class and realize they can be makers and create amazing technology right now.

What is the most difficult part about making the thing that you make?

There are more students in San Antonio than we can see in a year, and every student should know they can be makers too.

What is the best piece of advice you have for someone who is interested in learning how to make the thing that you make?

Find something that interests you and do not feel ashamed if you get bored or find another interest; there is so much that you can do.

Why should people come to the San Antonio Mini Maker Faire?

Everyone should come to the SA Mini Maker Faire because it is great for introductory making experiences or finding new ideas.