Union Intermediate School Maker Faire

Sign at UIS

Recently, Splat Space had the honor of being invited to and attending a school Maker Faire at Union Intermediate School in Clinton, NC.  We were contacted by the school librarian, Caren Long,  who had gone to Wake Tech Mini Makerfaire and had seen us there and wondered if we’d be interested in helping fill out her own Faire she wanted to host at the school.  Of course we said yes!

Clinton is a small town about an hour and 40 minutes southeast of Durham.  It is a very rural community surrounded by farmland.  We were informed by Caren that the school surprisingly has a very diverse population of students and many of the kids are bilingual.  This is maybe not what might be expected from a rural community in North Carolina.

A big game of operation using pie plates, foil and metal tongs!

The UIS Maker Faire was held in the gym and there were quite a few other exhibitors there with Splat Space including Legos for Kids and the IEEE Mobile Outreach Vehicle.  On one side of the gym the kids’ science projects that were being judged were on display.  The projects were really fun to look at it and the subjects really ranged.  There were so many great projects, including a giant game of Operation,  using metal tongs and aluminum pie plates as part of the game board.

Splat Space had three stations set up.  On one table, Ben, one of our youngest members , brought 3 projects to display: a proximity sensor that showed a different color depending how close a hand was, games he wrote himself running on an Arduino with a graphical display and an RC car that he was controlling with his laptop!  Pete S. had squishy circuits to play with and Dawn had her “Blues Bubbler” keyboard display set up.  On the next table Shannon had “Bash The Trash” set up where kids could choose to make wind whistles out of plastic bottles or noisemakers.  The next table was dedicated to our member Tony Abbate,  aka The Science Wizard.  He had a theremin and lots of other noise making items to have fun with and learn about.

Ben’s Car

Ben’s Proximity Sensor







The Science Wizard, Tony Abbate

Squishy Circuits








Decorating a wind whistle

Dawn’s “Blues Bubbler” Keyboard









On the school playground, the IEEE Mobile Outreach Vehicle was parked.  This vehicle is called out by the Red Cross to help provide infrastructure after a natural disaster like internet access, phone and device charging and even lighting to victims as well as the disaster response workers.  The vehicle has an array of power options for charging phones and other devices as well as satellite internet access to be able to provide wi-fi when everything else is down.  It was recently deployed this last fall to help victims of Hurricane Irma.


Charging bins for cell phones and devices

It was an honor to be invited to the fun at Union Intermediate School! We had so much fun and it was a great day.  Union Intermediate School is doing amazing things serving the kids in the area and seeing the kids’ projects and their creativity was great.  Thank you to UIS for having us!


Wake Tech Mini Maker Faire Report

We had a fantastic time at Wake Tech’s Mini Maker Faire this past weekend in Raleigh!  The Faire was hosted at Wake Tech Raleigh in the Student Services building.  There was both an upstairs section, where most of the activity was,  and a downstairs section that had crafts for kids.

Splat Space had about 5 tables total set up:  2 were dedicated to Learn To Solder,  1 held Pete Soper’s hot air soldering station, 1 had Splat flyers and info as well as Shaw’s Serial+Arduino Terminal,  and Bill Culverhouse had his table set up with 3d printed items for raffle,  a 3d printer and his FPV RC cars.

One of our students learning some more advanced soldering techniques.

The Faire was continuously busy throughout the day.  The Learn to Solder table was also consistently busy all day and it was hard to keep up with all the people wanting to learn. There was huge interest in it.  Quite a few people told me they had never soldered before and were excited when their projects worked out.

Bill Culverhouse’s raffle for the T-Rex and other 3d printed items continued to do well this weekend too.  Many people were very excited about the chance to win the 1/6th scale 3d printed T-rex. Bill was originally worried no one would want it,  because of its size but that was quickly laid to rest on Saturday,  when a lot of people specifically entered the raffle just for the T-rex.  One woman told us it would make her the “coolest grandma ever” (no arguments here).

Vulpine Vinyl’s lovely display of vinyl colors. The first one is a glittery gold that looked awesome when cut.

We met a lot of really amazing people too. Our neighbors directly next to us,  Vulpine Vinyl,  were a ton of fun to share space with,  and we hope they come to visit us at the Space and keep in touch.  They do custom vinyl decals and had a beautiful array of vinyl colors to choose from and some fun and great designs.

We also got a chance to talk to ChickTech RaleighChickTech Raleigh is a local group looking to get more young women involved and retained in tech fields. Their goal is to do some great workshops.  They were excited to talk to us,  and hopefully combine forces with us for workshops and classes.  They had a sewable LED display on a tshirt at their table,  so our groups mesh very well.

It was a fun and crazy day,  as is the case with most Maker Faires.

SparkCon GeekSpark Report

The Splat Space RC Car


This past Saturday,  September 16th,  a few of our members participated in GeekSpark,  the technological  side of Sparkcon. GeekSpark was located in Red Hat Annex in Downtown Raleigh,  as it has been the past couple of years.

The cardboard race track.

Heading Splat Space’s representation at GeekSpark was Bill Culverhouse,  a long time member of the makerspace.  He built a really fantastic cardboard racetrack with two first person view remote control race cars.  The cars had small cameras mounted to them that wirelessly transmitted their video feeds to two monitors on a table next to the race track.  People sat at the two screens with their controllers and watched the screens to steer their cars. There were two cars, so people could race against each other. As well as his Creator Pro 3d printer, Bill also brought a lot of 3d printed items to raffle off on behalf of Splat Space,  including his 1/6th scale Tyrannosaurus Rex!

Bill will be doing an Instructable about how he did his cars,  so stay tuned!

Introducing: The Ornamentalists

Recently Splat Space’s Elizabeth Lord decided to use her years of experience in metalworking and jewelry making to start a new meetup group at Splat Space, Ornamentalists.

Elizabeth came with a wealth of knowledge and list of resources to share with the group. She urged everyone in the group to pick individual projects and we would all learn from those projects,each other and Elizabeth’s guidance.

The first group of projects have been based on learning to repair pieces of jewelry and learning simple chain maille techniques.

There have been two meetings so far. The next meeting is scheduled for February 20th and begins at 7pm. As always, everyone is welcome to Splat Space events that are published on our Meetup calendar.

The Tinkerbell Project-Episode 1

The brave little kitten

The brave little kitten

A few days ago, Splat Space was contacted by a woman named Tess looking for some help building a mobility cart for her kitten, Tinkerbell.

A few Splat members were interested, including me, and we quickly started trying to figure out how best to build a cart for a growing and feisty kitten.

I was able to meet with Tess and Tinkerbell this morning to get some measurements and to see what we’d be able to build for her.

Tess came with a few really great ideas as she’d been really thinking about how to help this rescued kitten. She found a video of a kitten with similar issues named Mac and Cheese who got a Lego cart.


Tess has also been doing physical therapy with Tinkerbell and has seen some amazing progress over a very short amount of time.  This gives her hope that eventually Tinkerbell will have more use of her back legs.  As of now,  Tink tries to walk and does move her back legs a little bit, but mostly is not able to support the weight so they get dragged around.  Any cart that we make for her will be one that will support that weight,  but will also need to let her back legs be free enough to move if she needs them too.

This is a unique challenge and I think we’re all looking forward to seeing Tinkerbell be more mobile.

Maker Profile-Lenore Ramm

This week the second maker profile for Makerspace May is Lenore Ramm. She is one of the founding members of Splat Space as well as one of the first people from Splat Space that I ever talked to. She is an incredibly multi-talented person, with a pretty wicked sense of humor (plus, like me, she loves purple). I’ve always enjoyed hearing about all the stuff that she is getting up to, so of course I wanted to share!

1. Who are you?

I’m Lenore!

2. Are you an artist/geek/maker/hacker or mixture of all of those descriptions?

All of the above. I grew up aspiring to be a full-time artist and then decided to get my bachelor’s in computer science instead. I work in IT at one of the local universities so by day I’m programming and maintaining systems for the Identity Management team and after work I’m usually at least thinking about something more artistic. I primarily make (and sell) jewelry, draw/paint, sew and crochet. In my spare time, I’m also involved with other technical organizations, such as Triangle Linux Users Group, and last night I was elected to their steering committee.

Phalaenopsis Orchid with Spots

Orchid painting by Lenore Ramm

3. How are you involved with Splat Space?

I became involved with Splat Space at the very first interest meeting in the summer of 2010 and became one of the founding members that paid a little extra at the beginning so we had enough money. I was the PR officer for one year and the secretary for another. I haven’t been as active in the last couple of years, but that varies depending on how busy I am.

4. What’s on your worktable/bench/desk right now? What’s holding your interest?

I think my entire house is my workbench at the moment (and I need to do something about that!). I have one whole room that’s a dedicated art studio, but every room contains art supplies, yarn and fabric of some sort. I have tables designated specifically for making jewelry, painting and sewing and a desk covered with decorative paper.

My interests are always really scattered. I’m hoping to finish a baby quilt for a co-worker’s infant son before he graduates from college, I want to finally try out some water soluble oil paints, I want to get some jewelry ready to take to a store in Durham, I’d like to design some greeting cards and I’d like to play with some modular origami. In addition, ideas for fabrics designs to upload to Spoonflower are always swimming in my head. I recently took a course in clay hand-building at the Carrboro Arts Center, so I’d like to do more of that soon, too. What I would love to do is learn to solder sterling silver with a torch.


Necklace by Lenore Ramm


Lenore’s Dragon

5. Any favorite projects for favorite epic failures you’d be willing to share?

None of my failures have been truly epic, but I encourage everyone when clipping off soldered electronic component leads to not leave them under your work surface when you are testing out your completed projects. As far as favorite projects, I’m tickled pink with the dragon that I carved out a block of clay during the class at the Arts Center. A little over a year ago, I was very happy with a “postage stamp” quilt that I made for my parents during a class at Spoonflower. Years later, I still love many of the botanical illustrations that I did when I was in my late teens and early 20s.

Thank you so much Lenore! If you’d like to check out Lenore’s Etsy shop with her lovely jewelry, her shop is called Eronel Designs.  If you want to check out some of her fabric designs,  visit her profile page on Spoonflower!

Maker Profile-Daniel Davis

This month at Splat Space I’ve decided it would be really great to interview some of our amazing members for a month-long event I’ve dubbed Makerspace May.  I hope to highlight a few different members of Splat Space this month, because our members are what makes Splat Space great. I think one of the great things about makerspaces like Splat Space is that you get to meet so many interesting people and get to be inspired by so many projects, big or small.

This first week I wanted to interview Daniel Davis,  who we are lucky at Splat Space to have as our PR board member this year.  He is often the guy making the posts to Splat Space’s blog recently,  so I thought it would be fun to turn the tables and see what he is up to.




Question 1: Who are you?


I’m Batman. Let me rephrase. I’m Daniel Davis, a Nashville, TN native. I moved to Durham, NC in 2009 to pursue a passion for making how-to Youtube videos. Since then I’ve started my own website and video series called Tinkernut and have been doing that professionally ever since! (Also, not Batman.)


Question 2:  Do you consider yourself a tinkerer, a maker, a geek, an artist,  or a mesh of all of those titles?


Of those four, I’m more heavy on the tinkerer, maker, artist side. Growing up I was always really good at art and loved it…but I also loved computers, programming, and ripping stuff apart. To be honest, it wasn’t until Youtube came along that I felt I actually had a platform that could appease all of those passions. Then the Maker movement started evolving and now I feel a part of a much broader, exciting subculture!


Question 3: How are you involved with Splat Space?


I became a member of SplatSpace about three years ago. The main reason was to have access to tools that I otherwise wouldn’t have access to. I found that SplatSpace had a lot of involvement with teaching people about technology and I felt that was a good match for what I’m doing with my Youtube channel. There was also the added benefit of having a fantastic group of people that have such different hobbies but all share the same level passion about them.


 Question 4. What’s on your workbench right now?  What’s holding your interest?


Currently I’ve got a WL-520GU router for some videos I’ve been doing regarding extending wifi and DD-WRT, so my workbench is covered in routers.


Question 5.  Favorite project you’ve ever worked on?


I love Raspberry Pi’s and love all the amazing things you can do with them. So my favorite project would have to be my Raspberry Pi Arcade machine, just because it combines new technology with retro arcade goodness!


Question 6.  Any favorite or hilariously bad epic failures?


I shocked myself half a dozen times when trying to make a disposable camera EMP. I did a video about magnets one time where I said that “like attracts like”, which is totally not true. I’ve bricked several different devices while trying to load custom firmware. Out of 100% of the projects I attempt, I’d say that only 60% actually work.


Thank you so much for answering my questions Daniel!  Go visit his website and watch his super fun videos if you want to see what else he’s been getting up to.

Field Trip Report – Martinsville Mini Maker Faire

Yay!  Welcome to Martinsville Mini Maker Faire!

Yay! Welcome to Martinsville Mini Maker Faire!

This past Saturday, some of the members of Splatspace made a field trip up to Martinsville, Va to visit the Martinsville Mini Maker Faire and show our support for our maker friends. The day was perfect for it.  It was sunny and in the upper 70s,  the fields were green, the trees were blooming,  and we got to see the countryside on the way up.

The event was held in Uptown Martinsville in The Artisan Center,  which is a really awesome space, housing artist space and Martinsville Fab Lab.  For more info, visit the website of The Artisan Center,  it was pretty amazing to see all the awesomeness under one roof-including kitchens, a dance floor, and a wood shop, as well as the first official Fab Lab in Virginia. ( It truly made us daydream about all that available space in our building. 🙂 )

There was a lot of great stuff to see at the Mini Maker Faire!  We made brush bots from cut off toothbrushes,  batteries,  and little vibrating mini discs.

Brushbot races! Mine kept going in circles!

Brushbot races! Mine kept going in circles!

We oohed and ahhed over the Fab Lab Martinsville’s equipment, including the big mother-trucking Roland.

Imagine all the possibilities!

Imagine all the possibilities!

We invented RaptorCorns. They were out of the legs for unicorns that they had cut out on the laser cutter, but had Raptor legs, so we made RaptorCorns! This later inspired me to scan it and soon it will become stickers out of Splatspace’s own vinyl cutter.

A RaptorCorn!

What sound does a Raptorcorn make?

Not pictured but also seen:  3d printing,  3doodling,  a “Learn to Solder” class, laser cutting, cigar box guitars,  a robot built by the local high school Robotics Club, fossils,  and the Virginia Stem Lab let us play with a handheld microscope.

It was a really great day!  Thanks to the Martinsville organizers for such a great event!