Viewing posts for the category workshops

Fun at our September Open Day

A lot of fun was had once again at the September edition of SparkCC's monthly Open Day!

Our Learning Meister Michael has been working on some upcoming SparkCC workshops and gave a few of our visitors a sneak peak of what's in store.

First up was Sphero, the programmable robotic ball.

Visitors had a go at controlling Sphero via an app running on a tablet. In future they'll be able to write code to make Sphero do all sorts of things!

Michael also showed a preview of tutorials focussed on the Raspberry Pi single-board computer.

When coupled with a camera and various sensors the Pi can do all sorts of things, like power an interactive digital display!

We also had a lot of fun asking questions of the AIY Projects Voice Kit, which used Google's Cloud Speech API to understand what we were asking and give us surprisingly accurate responses!

If you like the sound of some of these projects be sure to follow us on social media to be first to hear when these workshops are scheduled!

Sparker Joel also delighted the crowd with his very slick Mavic Pro drone...

The range and picture quality on this little marvel is really quite impressive!

We'll soon have learn-to-solder kits available for purchase at Open Days so you can come in and learn soldering from the Sparkers. Ethan spent his Open Day honing his skills with some quite intricate work!

Of course the SparkCC Arcade Cabinet drew a crowd as always...

SparkCC Open Day is on the 2nd Saturday of every month. Everyone is welcome and we hope to see you soon!

EL Wire Workshop - Christmas 2016

We recently held another edition of our always-popular EL Wire Wearable Electronics workshop.

Being December this edition of the workshop had a seasonal theme. Participants could bring along their own item to decorate or use one the 3D-printed Christmas trees designed by Sparker Marcus.

As usual we ended up with some wonderfulyl creative and interesting designs, from Spiderman... sunglasses!

We also had a nice surprise when the local Spyder owners club turned up for an event at the classic car restoration shop next door.

This workshop was a sell-out but if you missed out don't worry, it'll be back in 2017.

Merry Christmas to you from all of the Sparkers!

Upcoming Workshop: Microcontrollers and the Internet of Things

We're very excited to announce the first edition of a brand new SparkCC workshop: Introduction to Microcontrollers and the Internet of Things.

This course provides an introduction to microcontroller hardware and software. Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • See, touch, feel and understand the Arduino and ESP8266 microcontrollers
  • Set up the Arduino Integrated Development Environment and an additional editor as a tool chain
  • Use analogue input to control LEDs
  • Use buttons as inputs to trigger activities (turn on/off LEDs)
  • Understand and use Arduino C libraries
  • Turn on and off LEDs wirelessly using the ESP8266 as a server
  • Use various web services as an interface to the Internet of Things

A kit containing all required materials will be supplied including an ESP8266 (Arduino compatible) microcomputer with integrated WiFi facilities, breadboards, USB cable, power supply and a collection of electronic components for various projects. After the workshop this kit is yours to take home!

Tickets are very limited and available here.

Introduction to 3D Printing Workshop

Over the weekend SparkCC was very pleased to present our new Introduction to 3D Printing workshop for the first time!

We welcomed a diverse group which included (amongst others) a librarian tasked with starting a mini makerspace, a local high school student and a maker with a fine arts background who dabbles in playwriting! They all came together with a common purpose: to learn about 3D printing!

We spent some time discussing Additive Manufacturing and the advantages that it presents over traditional manufacturing techniques. Then we learned how a 3D printer works and got to grips with the mechanics of our shiny new Lulzbot TAZ5 (thanks again Aleph Objects!).

After seeing a print in action participants learned how to find models on Thingiverse and then slice them using Cura. Though the myriad slicing options and parameters are daunting at first, it's a great deal easier to learn when you have the help of makers who've spent countless hours playing with them!

But there's only one thing better than printing somebody else's models and that's printing your own! So to round things off students were given an introduction to 3D modelling using Autodesk Fusion 360.

The workshop was a lot of fun and best of all participants went home with all of the relevant software installed on their very own laptops. No need for the end of the workshop to mean the end of their journey into the magical world of 3D printing!

A big thankyou to all of the participants who came along and helped to make this first workshop such a success.

If you're interested in joining a future Introduction to 3D Printing workshop at SparkCC you should follow us on Facebook/Twitter or send us an email.

EL Wire Workshop - April 2016

After the success of our first EL Wire Wearables Workshop we'd been looking for a good opportunity to hold another edition.

The perfect chance came along In April when we held the first of our monthly SparkCC Saturdays.

Once again a group of eager makers joined us at SparkCC with various items ready to be decorated with EL Wire.

Ty took the attendees through the basics of how EL Wire works and provided some design direction to get the ball rolling.

One attendee was kept busy illuminating an umbrella - a very ambitious project indeed!

Others got to work decorating clothing and bike helmets and by the end of the workshop everyone had a wonderful illuminated creation to take home.

This is going to look great on a dull, rainy day. Very Bladerunner-esque!

Thanks again to all of the attendees who came along and to Ty for putting together this fantastic workshop.

If you'd like to come along to the next edition of this or any of our other workshops follow us on Facebook to hear about what's coming up or drop us an email!

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