Category Archives: The Space

MakerBar Hosting MAKER CAMP 2014

ABOUT MAKER CAMP: Maker Camp is a 6-week virtual summer camp for anyone interested in DIY, making, creating, crafting, hacking, tinkering, and discovery. Maker Camp 2014 starts July 7. MAKE and Google+ host an online Maker Camp in the summer.  This year the camp begins July 7th, with a different theme each week.  New projects to work on are posted each week.  It’s geared towards teens, but anyone can participate. MakerBar is pleased to be hosting this camp, and look forward to a future full of Maker Camps…. Join us!!

We will be meeting once a week to work on projects… More Details to follow soon!

Here’s a link for more info on MAKER CAMP 2014

Here’s a link to our meetup to reserve your spot(Volunteers Welcomed):

MakerBar to Host Instructables Dremel Build Night!

Instructables and Dremel have selected MakerBar as one of its locations to host a build night to learn Dremel and create awesome things!

We will be Dremel-ing and writing up our projects for others to learn via doing through the power of sharing knowledge. After a 15 minute safety demonstration, we will have five Dremel rotary tools with accessory kits and three Dremel reciprocating tools to make a mountain of awesome projects! We have a lot of things at MakerBar that could serve as the foundation for projects, but we want your ideas, your participation, and your projects to shine here. Bring any materials you may have and transform them into science, art, or something unique.

All are welcome, and the event will begin at 7:30 with our safety demonstration.

Come out and build things with Dremel tools and learn how to make your projects a reality fast!

See you there!

Sign up on the meetup!

MakerBar to Host Instructables Dremel Build Night!

MakerBar to Host Instructables Dremel Build Night!

3D Printer Back up and Running:

In time for this week’s Open Craft night, we have been working hard to fix the problems we had with our 3D printer and we got it working last night. We were able to print out some test parts and it’s open for business again!

3D Printer Back up and Running:

We also got another new toy tool in the form of a genuine flamethrower which we tested out and worked magnificently.

Additionally, we have another exciting tool that has been brought to the space on loan from Chester: a genuine Craftsman 10″ radial arm saw. We will be working on oiling it up and setting it up and will post pics of its awesomeness all in due time.

I also intend to finally set up that giant 2D Plotter this weekend and really put it to the test and print out some blueprints.

All in all there’s some exciting things happening in the shop. Check out the Facebook for the flamethrower test video 3D Printer Back up and Running:

Keep calm and hack on,


Wood Burning Class Next Saturday: Still Time to Sign Up!

MakerBarBarians and Friends, back by popular demand is another edition of the intro to Wood Burning and Image Transfer class. There’s still time to sign up to learn this rewarding hobby and take home your own burning iron to customize your own wood projects.

Sign up here at Meetup:

Robots Begin Takeover– NJIT Robotics and MakerBar

So maybe the robots haven’t taken over just yet, but there were signs of life in NJIT Robotics club’s giant cube-shaped robot chassis by the end of last Wednesday’s open night.

An old relic of the trade federation   Innovation First robotics competitions that NJIT used to collaborate with Newark high schools to build their robots, this gentle giant has been gathering dust for years until it fell into the club’s hands. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been organizing some interest on both NJIT’s budding robotics club brass and MakerBarBarians to revitalize the robot and begin a series of collaborative projects. We have invited them to use our workshop and aim to pool our resources and expertise, and so far a lot of progress has been made even in only one night.

Mike and Jordan working on Chain Jordan and Mike look at Chains for the robot's sprocket drive The Cube Bot is an old IFI robot that has been collecting dust The MakerBar Shop was visited by NJIT Robotics and their giant Cube-Bot NJIT Robotics Club came to work Bilal making Motor Mount Brackets

The ultimate goal is to create a mobile robotics platform for all kinds of projects to come. Notably, the first project being talked about is a mobile base for an automated Nerf Vulcan turret. (sauce: Perhaps with some innovation, other features can be added like a method for autonomously collecting and re-loading darts. A lot of the details I will leave to your imagination as we still have a long way to go, but our gears are turning and I can hardly wait to see what we can come up with together.

Powered by two old Victor 884 speed controllers, this robot just needs a few nights of TLC and some spare parts to be ready to get upgraded to remote control. Once this benchmark is achieved, we will move on towards autonomous navigation, adding shaft encoders and sonar sensors on the bumpers and maybe sharp IR or cameras and/or a Microsoft Kinnect. Future plans may also include GPS modules and 802.11 wireless, and if we can build/find/’acquire’ one, to experiment with LIDAR.

MakerbarBarians Bilal and Travis and Jordan and myself  were on hand to meet Pat and Mike from NJIT Robotics who were eager to get things going. Once we got the bot inside the workshop (a feat itself at it’s size), we set about attaching the drive chains, building motor brackets, hooking the motor up to bench power, and other odds and ends. Once we put power to those old Victors and heard the fans buzz to life, we knew it was going to be possible to get some chains turning. In the most promising stage, we were able to turn on one of the motors with the speed controller for a few seconds before the sheer peak current tripped the ATX’s internal breaker.

Problems left to be solved are abundant, including battery power and charging of those batteries, power train wiring, finalizing the motor mounting hardware, and other tasks. Apart from this, we also will need to figure out where to attach encoders, sonar bumpers, and other sensors (including the radio transceiver). But these and other challenges are only the beginnings, and we hope to make the robotics club regular guests. Most likely their visits will take place on Wednesdays, but stay glued to Meetup to see information about any future robot hack nights, which I will be posting up soon.

If you are interested, email me and I will make sure to include you on all the robot action and updates.

Peace, love, and nerf-gun-wielding robots,


Excitement Rising for the Hoboken BakerBar!

Fresh from a wildly successful fundraising event, we’re proud to announce the launch of our sister organization, the Hoboken Bakerbar!

BakerBar Logo

The BakerBar is the Garden State’s first bakerspace, a communal kitchen for casual cooks and aspiring pâtissiers to learn and experiment. Through the efforts of Bake Magazine and Baker Faire, as well as startups like Adafruitcake and Sparkdough, the Baker Movement has rapidly become the toast of the media. The BakerBar will bring the magic of DIY pastry to Hoboken, the city of Carlo’s and cannoli, in an accessible and fun community center.

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To house the new organization, BakerBar founders have leased a 1,100-square-foot extension to the historic Neumann Leathers building on Observer Highway. Over the next three weeks, volunteers will work around the clock, tearing up rotted beams, restoring the parquetry floor, and installing industrial kitchen equipment donated by Hoboken businesses. The end result will feature two large work tables, a lounge/dining room, a shop stocked with dough hooks, rolling pins, and mixing bowls, and dry ingredient storage.

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Just $100 per month gains a BakerBar member 24/7 access to the kitchen, free classes, and a dedicated oven rack. Nonmembers are free to participate in two free open events each week – Frosting Wednesday, where participants can purchase custom BakerBar recipe kits; and Friday Bake Night, where our equipment is open for free use. In addition, members share their skills in exciting classes, including:

  • Learn Ganache the Hard Way – Follow the challenging online glazing course with help from BakerBar members. This popular teach-yourself-icing class doesn’t cut corners; you need to chop your own chocolate and regulate your own temperature, no pre-made ingredients allowed!
  • Phyllo for Organic Life-Forms – Get a hands-on crash course with the wildly popular dough in our introductory class! Phyllo is the base for countless pastry projects like cookies, pies, and even Beef Wellington. Even if you’ve never set an oven or defrosted a dough, you’ll be baking in no time. Toppings kit included!
  • Raspberry Pie Hack Day – Our favorite British import, Raspberry Pie is sweeping the nation! Learn how you can modify and use your Raspberry Pie. Install a new filling, experiment with alternative toppings, and decorate a custom box to bring home.

The BakerBar is set to open on April 20th due to massive community response. “My friends are all talking about ‘getting baked’ on 4/20,” said MakerBar founder Zack Freedman. “I’ve never seen them cook before, so they must be ashamed to practice it openly. That’s why I got behind the BakerBar project – everyone should feel comfortable doing their hobby, and have access to the skills and tools they need.”

The MakerBar is Hoboken’s hackerspace, a place for hackers of New Jersey and New York to gather and build incredible things. Members share skills and practice soldering, electronics, handicrafts, 3D printing, woodworking, rocketry, robotics, and more. A 501(c)3-pending nonprofit, the MakerBar’s 16 members will celebrate the organization’s first anniversary next month.

Sign of the Times


After listening to hundreds of visitors whine about how “The MakerBar is too hard to find” and how “they accidentally ended up in the gym next door” and that “the door looks like a painted rectilinear turd from the set of a horror movie”, we caved to to the bellyaching. The MakerBar’s front door is now emblazoned with a breathtakingly beautiful sign!

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Geek cred: The sign is made of a solid plate of 1/4″ aircraft-grade aluminum taken from the scrap heap of the US Army’s experimental manufacturing division*. A MakerBar buddy routed it in an ultra-precise CNC mill. It’s probably worth at least a hundred bucks**.


So no more of that walk-back-and-forth-looking-for-a-cardboard-sign business, just keep your peepers peeled for the MakerBar red and silver.

It also has our phone number, 1-855-MAKERBAR, on it in case you get locked out. As of today, 2/7/13, if you find yourself locked out, we recommend putting down the blunt and having a cup of coffee because the lock isn’t installed yet.

Next up: Parking!***



*Yes, this is a thing, and no, I can’t help you get an interview there.

**Don’t try any funny business, it’s attached to the door with 1/4″ one-way sheet-metal screws and ain’t goin’ nowhere. I hope for the landlord’s sake that we don’t move the MakerBar because he’ll have to replace the door.



The 3D Printer is Online!

A 3D printer? In the MakerBar? It’s more likely than you think! The MakerBar now has a modded MakerBot Cupcake for visitors and members to use!

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Like a “stock” Cupcake, the MakerBot’s new printer builds thingies up to 100x100x200mm, about the size of a frosted cupcake, using biodegradable PLA plastic. Jim, the generous donor and previous owner, tricked it out with a custom low-backlash extruder gearbox, underlit heated bed, and spotlights. We added some bubble levels for calibration. It’s pretty sweet, and unlike new MakerBots, it’s open hardware.

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We tried to repair it with limited success. One Craft Night, Matt and Jeremy, local students at High Tech High School, dropped by and asked to play with it. Within two hours, it was almost totally working! They came back a couple of weeks later and fixed the heated bed! That’s them below looking pretty damn pleased with themselves.

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If you’re new to the 3D printing thing, here’s a quick primer. These printers use fused deposition modeling; a robotic nozzle squirts a continuous bead of melted plastic as it traces the layers, building your thingy from the bottom up. Be careful watching it in action – it’s known to hypnotize MakerBar members for hours!

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The printer does have a couple of quirks to watch out for. Prints are coming out about 20% shorter than they’re supposed to, and an upper layer occasionally gets misaligned and ruins the print. Feel free to come in on an Open House day and play with it, or run off simple prints anyways.

As of now, the MakerBar doesn’t have any policies around the printers – feel free to come in during any Soldering Wednesday or Craft Night and run something off in clear PLA. Chip in to our Filament Fund if you please. Prints take a LONG TIME (that RepRap part above took over two hours) so make sure you arrive early!

Jim Galvin, a former head gaffer (big-shot lighting dude) for major films, brought us his MakerBot a few months ago after a two-year battle to get it to work properly. That’s him below after futzing with it. Thanks Jim for the ultra-generous donation! You rule!

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This is the MakerBar

Still haven’t visited? Been a while? Just curious? Get a sneak peek inside our mad science lair!

2012-12-19 20.52.46Click the panorama to zoom in and get inside a Soldering Wednesday.

The MakerBar is a 1,400 square-foot hideout for makers. We modify and build high-tech stuff for the sheer fun of it, and have built a place where anyone is welcome to join in. Our workshop includes machine tools…

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…chests of  hand tools…

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…and three 3D printers like this MakerBot Cupcake.

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You can browse shelves of electronic components…

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…a selection of Arduino, ChipKit, and dev boards…

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…an always-rotating selection of soldering kits, many designed by MakerBar members…

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…a big lending library of Make Magazines, techie books, and esoteric games…

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…and a bigger library of stimulating beverages.

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Locals gather at the MakerBar to meet new friends…

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…hang out with old ones…

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…collaborate on ambitious projects…

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…take hands-on classes…

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…or figure it out on their own.

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Some projects are messy…

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…some projects are silly…

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…some projects are dangerous…

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…and some projects are beautiful…

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…but what all projects have in common, and why we work hard to bring you the MakerBar, is that building something yourself feels AWESOME!

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Been procrastinating? Well, pull your act together and show up before you miss out on even more excellence! The MakerBar is open every Wednesday and Friday, with free open-house events from 7:00 until midnight.

Join us on Meetup, follow us on Twitter, and join our discussion group, but most importantly, show up and see the MakerBar firsthand!

Sandy Uses Hurricane! It’s Not Very Effective…

Hurricane Sandy crashed her way through Hoboken, causing ridiculous citywide flooding, turning the PATH into real-life BioShock, and mildly inconveniencing Eli Manning. Flooding, water damage, and debris have laid waste to our fine city… except the MakerBar!

A man chooses, a slave obeys. Courtesy NY-NJ Port Authority


Our intrepid member Chris Ferreira trekked (swam?) through the flooding and found that the MakerBar did amazingly well. The space is dry, all projects and tools are safe, and the roof is holding like a champ. The only immediate damage was one window that got torn off, but we needed a place to put an air conditioner anyways. The power is out; considering the damage to the city, it might be a while until it’s back online. Oh yeah, there’s a little flooding.

The MakerBar’s front door and Jackson Ave. Water is about 6″.


Oh window, we hardly knew ye.


Projects, tools, and other stuff are all safe and sound.


Six feet of water and that intersection still causes traffic jams. Note the MakerBar door in the bottom-right.


Minimal water got in. If there is a god, she really wants Bert to finish that 3D printer.


Damn storm broke the mirror (not really)


Chambord Place, south side. These cars are so screwed.


This is what I got when I asked if the west side flooded

The MakerBar seems to have a resistance to hurricanes! The space, projects, and members are safe; and hopefully things will soon drain and power will get restored.

We’re still deciding if we want to run a Postapocalyptic Craft Night this Friday. If you’re man enough, leave a comment or reach out to makerbar at googlegroups dot com !