We currently offer a variety of workshops in electronics, on the Arduino, creating designs for the laser etcher and 3D printers, sewing, as well as a variety of exciting topics. Unless otherwise noted, these workshops generally run for 2 to 2.5 hours, they include all of the equipment you'll need for the workshop, and the base fee for each workshop is $50. Some workshops require that you bring materials (such as a laptop) and some have an optional materials fee - this is noted in the description.
Call (206-357-9406) or swing by the shop to sign up. Payment is required to secure your spot.
Our workshops fill up quickly, so please REGISTER IN ADVANCE.
To see the schedule of upcoming workshops, please look at our calendar.
We also offer Makeshops where someone with experience will guide you through a project, give an overview with some small examples of a topic, and/or be on hand to answer questions about a personal project. Scroll down for more information about Makeshops we have offered.
If you have signed up for a workshop, you may transfer your credit to another workshop if you notify us with greater than 24hrs notice that you will not be in attendance. Less than 24 hrs notice forfeits your registration fee. Additionally, if a workshop does not have attendees by 24 hrs prior to the start of the workshop, it will be rescheduled for a later date. Please sign up in advance to ensure your spot is reserved.
About our workshops
Here is a catalog of current and past workshops. Please check the calendar to see our current offerings.
Electronics and Soldering
Introduction to Electronics
This workshop covers everything you need to know to get started in electronics. We’ll start from the basics of electricity and work our way up to using integrated circuits. Fading, blinking, and dimming LEDs help demonstrate key electronics concepts. You’ll leave this workshop with a kit of everything you need to build the circuits we cover.
Introduction to Soldering
This workshop will go over soldering through hole components. We’ll give you an electronics kit and walk you through putting it together, giving you all the tips and soldering techniques you need to make it work. We have a set of workshop soldering irons (and solder, etc.) that you are welcome to use for the duration of the workshop.
Transistors rule the modern world! Your computers, audio amplifiers, and some other third thing are all made possible by the magic of transistors. In this workshop, you'll learn about how semiconductor junctions lead to transistor behavior, and how that can be used in logic gates and amplifiers. You'll use bipolar junction transistors in functional circuits that demonstrate these concepts. This workshop will build on the information in the Intro to Electronics workshop. Understanding of the material in that workshop is a prerequisite. Please bring a breadboard and multimeter.
Ever wanted to make a custom circuit board but were frustrated by trying to use the tool? This two-part workshop series will cover the basics of PCB design using Eagle. In the first session, we'll review basic layout, using component libraries, placing artwork on your design, and layout. A demo board with common part sizes and example board artwork will given to each participant. Participants must bring a laptop with Eagle installed on it.
Participants are encouraged to created their own PCB layout before the second workshop in the series (held roughly a week after the first). This second of this two-part workshop series will provide troubleshooting help with Eagle for your design and will review production options as well as tips and tricks for ensuring your board is produced the way you intend.
Each workshop is $50. (If taking both workshops, the second workshop is $30 in advance and $40 at the door.)
Intro to the Arduino
This workshop will cover the basics of the Arduino. We’ll go over what it is, what it can do, and why you’d want to use it. We’ll also go over a couple of basic programs. This course is great for people who’ve never programmed before and have no microcontroller experience. If you like to learn things sequentially and individually, you may want to consider attending the Intro to Electronics workshop first. Please call or stop by with questions!
With Intro to Arduino, we’ll give you a breadboard and some simple components. This workshop has an optional $10 materials fee which gets you an Arduino Duemilanove and USB AtoB cable. This workshop requires a laptop and if you are not paying the materials fee for an arduino, you will need to bring an arduino and USB cable/connector as well.
Basic Programming for the Arduino
Now that you’ve gotten some familiarity with the Arduino, it’s time to learn how to program the thing. We’ll cover programming basics like functions, loops, and conditionals. We’ll also talk about how to use classes, though we won’t be writing any.
This workshop requires you to bring a laptop, an arduino, and a breadboard.
Arduino Input and Output
The importance of the Arduino is mostly in how you can interface it with the rest of the analog world. We’ll talk about using analog inputs to sense light and sound. We’ll also go over using PWM to control the brightness of LEDs. Lastly, we’ll cover how to use servo motors. This workshop comes with several sensors and other components.
You’ll need your laptop, a breadboard, and Arduino with USB cable.
This last Arduino workshop will wrap everything from the other workshops together into an interesting project. We’ll spend the time integrating sensors, motors, and various programming techniques into a line following robot car. We’ll give you most of the supplies, but you’ll also need everything from the other three workshops (which you can buy separately if you only want to take this workshop).
The Engineer behind Logos Electromechanical teaches about Arduino Shields: One of the neat features of the Arduino platform is the ability to mount peripheral electronics, such as those taught in the Arduino I/O workshops, onto permanent daughterboards called shields. This workshop will survey the wide range of shields on the market and lead you through designing and building your own motor control shield with built-in speed control.
Participants will need a laptop, an Arduino, and a USB cable. A protoshield and other required components will be provided.
See heading above for the Arduino
Introduction to Parallax Propeller
Parallax’s P8X32A ‘Propeller’ is a microcontroller similar to the ATMega chips used in Arduinos, but with some exciting and unique capabilities for intermediate-to-advanced designers, including 8 parallel CPU cores in a single chip, built-in video and timer modules in each core, simple to implement mouse, button, or keyboard input, and 32 general purpose I/O pins. The chip includes a built-in high level language interpreter (“SPIN”) for easy programming, as well as a high-speed assembly language.
This session, designed for those with some amount of previous programming experience in Arduino or similar platforms, will provide you with a thorough introduction to the Propeller programming environment, use of the parallel cores, and demonstration of the unique abilities of this chip for use in your own projects. To get the most out of this session, you should plan to purchase the Parallax QuickStart board ($20- http://www.parallaxsemiconductor.com/products/quickstart) or the Propeller Demo Board ($60) to follow along with the example programs that will be demonstrated and to prototype your own designs. Any other materials required will be provided. A limited number of QuickStart boards may be available to purchase at the time of the workshop- bring your own if possible. The workshop is $50/person.
Introduction to MSP430
Put off by the high price tag of the Arduino? Texas Instruments has you covered. The MSP430 Launchpad is a microcontroller dev board that makes it easy to build projects with these chips. In this workshop, we will teach you how to write programs for these chips and use the toolchain to upload them. We'll also explore the basics of this platform's capabilities.
Participants must bring a laptop with appropriate software installed. You can get installation instructions here: http://wiki.metrixcreatespace.com/microcontrollers (feel free to come by the shop if you need help getting this software installed). All other parts will be included with the workshop. This workshop is $50.
Design for the Laser Engraver and 3D Printers
Inkscape for Laser Cutting
Taught by the designer at sweetium, this workshop is an introduction to Inkscape, focusing on the tools needed for laser cutting. It is appropriate for those who have never used or have limited experience with Inkscape. The last half hour of the workshop is supervised design time where you can create your own 3”x5” design and have it cut it out in 3mm thick birch using the laser cutter. This workshop requires a laptop with the latest version of Inkscape installed and a mouse with a scroll wheel.
Open SCAD for 3D Rendering
Come learn the basics of OpenSCAD from Nicholas, member of Open3DP and creator of RepRapBreeding.
This workshop is great even if you have little or no CAD or programming experience. We will cover the user interface, basic shapes, transformations and Boolean operations, and exporting for 3D printing.
Participants must bring a laptop with OpenSCAD installed and a mouse with scroll wheel if you have it.
The following three workshops are not currently being offered, see this alternative http://training.oreilly.com/arduino/ or let us know you would be interested in attending this workshop series.
Introduction to Processing
An introduction to Processing (http://processing.org), a coding language designed for artistic applications. Processing is quick to learn for beginning coders, particularly those with a visual background. The language is simple yet capable of scaling to projects of almost any complexity. It is easy to learn for non-programmers yet powerful enough for seasoned programmers to rapidly develop concepts. Processing has the added benefit of being a free and open source tool that is used by a large and very active community of creative minds internationally.
This workshop will guide participants through the creation of a basic drawing tool to introduce the fundamental concepts of Processing. The finished project will be a unique drawing application that can be tweaked and modified to create individual artworks. These images can then be saved in a printable format to show how the language can rapidly turn ideas into tangible results. Laptop Required.
RealTime Animation with Processing
This workshop is designed for coders already familiar with dot syntax and focuses on generative animation. 3rd party libraries for Processing will be utilized to create an OpenGL application for creating visuals in real-time. This stand-alone fullscreen application will create intricate and complex animations that can be controlled with a mouse and keyboard. The visual output of the app can then either be recorded to a video file or projected for live performances. Laptop Required.
Processing with Arduino
Processing+Arduino. The Arduino (http://arduino.cc) development environment looks exactly the same as Processing, as it happens to be based off of it. The two toolkits work in tandem beautifully, particularly with the Firmata libraries. Firmata (http://firmata.org) is an Arduino firmware that creates a standard protocol to a variety of languages. The library for Processing is a natural transition in particular.
In this workshop, an Arduino will be used to create a custom hardware controller and then connected to an application created in Processing to control live visuals. Laptop and Arduino Required. Materials for the controller will be provided. Familiarity with both Processing and Arduino suggested.
Sewing and Crafts
Introduction to Using a Sewing Machine
This workshop will cover the basics of cutting fabric, piecing it together, threading and using a sewing machine, and we will each make a pillow. This workshop is limited to 5 participants. If you have a favorite fabric you'd like to use, please bring a yard with you. If you have a sewing machine, please bring it with you.
Introduction to E-textiles
This workshop is an introduction to e-textiles and focuses on integrating ordinary electronics into fabric by modifying them and sewing them together using conductive thread. You will take home a plush that lights up along with the basics to design your own e-textile project.
Other Awesome Things
"Hello, World!": Programming for Beginners
This workshop is designed for absolute beginners to programming and also serves as a stepping stone for the Introduction to Arduino class. You will learn basics of programming by running Python examples and then see how these building blocks appear in other languages. This workshop requires a laptop.
Basics of Working with EL Wire
Working with EL wire is easy! In this workshop you will learn the basics of working with electroluminescent wire. At the end of the workshop, you will walk out with a piece of EL wire firmly attached to a driver. You will also walk out with the knowledge and confidence you need to start your first real EL wire project.
Branding and Packaging Your Design
Taught by the designer behind Imagination Hardware, this workshop will cover designing a brand for your product as well as tips and exercises in creating professional-looking packaging.
Participants need to bring a laptop with a design program installed (Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, Corel Draw or InDesign etc). If you have one, bring your product or product idea to use as inspiration for the process.
Stop Motion Animation
If you’re looking for new ideas for what to print on your 3D printer, come to our new workshop on 3D Stop Motion Animation on Sunday, March 13 starting at 2pm. Digital Kitchen’s Sean Dekkers will be leading the workshop. Topics include preparation, pre-visualization, and processes using 3d printers, laser engravers, and other animation techniques to make just about anything move. The workshop will be hands-on and the group will make a stop-motion animation during the workshop.
Build a Windowfarm ($70) [In two two-hour sessions.]
Build an indoor hydroponic farm! We'll be following the DIY style from Windowfarms to turn recycled plastic bottles and an aquarium pump into a vertical garden. The workshop will be in two parts. The first meeting will discuss materials and options. We will take you through the process of modifying one water bottle (materials provided, though if you want to bring a waterbottle [a 1.5 liter Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Ozarka, Poland Spring,
Zephyrhills, Arrowhead, or Calistoga drinking water bottles], please do!) and provide you with a shopping list and a few parts to get you started.
The second workshop will follow the first by approximately 2 weeks to give participants time to buy or find the necessary materials. The second workshop will be about building and troubleshooting your particular setup. Please bring all parts requested on the shopping list with you to the second workshop.
It is assumed you will attend both sessions of this workshop. Workshop is $70.
You bring a few items, we provide a partial kit of parts and provide some direction and assistance, and you get a great start on a really sweet project. Pricing will depend on the kit provided and length of the makeshop. Please see each announcement on the homepage for details.
Makeshops that have been/are offered:
- Personalized Valentine Cards with the Laser Engraver
- Sensors and Your Arduino
- 3D Buried Treasure
- Personalized Mother's Day Cards with the Laser Engraver
- 3D Printing
- Bottle-Cap Contact Microphone (by CMKT4)
In the Works
We're always looking for more workshops.
Have a request for a specific workshop? Let us know. We'll try to find someone to teach it.
Have a workshop you'd like to teach? Let us know! For workshop ideas, please submit a title, brief summary, and basic syllabus along with why you would lead an excellent, exciting, and informative workshop experience. Contact Aimee to submit your proposal and discuss options.
See our calendar.
Electronic Materials from Select Past Workshops
Intro to Electronics
Intro to Electronics slides, 2012 May 8 [PDF]
Intro to Electronics slides, 2011 August 25 [PDF]
Intro to Electronics slides, 2010 February 25 [PDF]
Intro to Electronics slides, 2010 Jan 14 [PDF]
Intro to Electronics slides, 2009 December 13th [PDF]
Intro to Electronics slides, 2009 November 15th [PDF]
Using Transistors slides, 2010 February 21 [PDF]
Using Transistors slides, 2010 January 10 [PDF]
Using Transistors slides, 2011 April 6 [PDF]
Intro to Arduino
2011 August 23 [PDF]
2011 June 16 [PDF]
2010 September 30 [PDF]
2010 May 16 [PDF]
2010 April 13 (no schematics) [PDF]
Programming the Arduino
2010 April 20 [PDF]
2010 November 21 [ZIP]
2011 March 6 [PDF]
2011 May 14 [PDF]
2010 May 4 [PDF]
Intro to Soldering
2011 Jan 20 [PDF]
2011 June 7 Part 1