Tour of Chicago hackerspace: Pumping Station One

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As you may know I was on vacation in Chicago last week. I got a chance to jump on the blue line train from Chicago’s downtown loop for a short trip out to the Addison stop where I caught a quick bus ride over to one of Chicago’s hackerspaces: Pumping Station One. I was given a tour by some camera-shy members that were there when I popped in. The space had a large welding area with lots of equipment, metal lathes, metal brake and woodworking equipment. You name the shop tool, I think it was there. I even think I spotted a functioning scanning electron microscope! WOW!

The lower workspace was quite extensive. Yes, there’s a second-floor having sewing machines, vinyl cutters, 3-D printers and an entire room dedicated to electronics and robotics. Also, they are in the process of expanding to make the space even larger. If you’re in Chicago I recommend you check them out, it’s an amazing space and an easy commute from downtown.

I hope my iPhone video is good enough to show off their splendid space.
Follow along after the break to learn more and get a glimpse inside Pumping Station One.

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GE Garage and Chicago Ideas Week

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I’ve been on vacation and managed to get a day to play at the GE Garage mobile fab lab currently setup in downtown Chicago. GE has partnered with Chicago Ideas Week to bring the future of fabrication technologies to a space where the community can walk in off the street and work with some amazing hardware like CNC mills, laser cutters and 3D printers. The group is also giving classes at select times on using the equipment and general electrics. Unfortunately I was in town near the end of this event which will be Oct 20th. If you are in the area I do recommend jumping on the excellent transportation you’ll find in Chicago and have some fun at the space. Here are more details on location, classes and times.

I didn’t expect to squeeze any work into my vacation but I did take a guided tour of the fab space with my iPhone 5s.  You can join me after the break to watch the tour, which is a bit rough but still covers a lot of fun topics. Get at look at their line-up or Replicator 2 3D printers. See some fantastic prints from metal made on industrial scale printers. Learn more about the up-scaled CNC seen above that was cutting out skateboard decks. And finish up with an injection molding machine.

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Hackerspace Intro: Workshop 88

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If you find yourself in the West suburbs of Chicago, IL with nothing to do you should head over to Workshop 88. [Andrew Morrison] shot some video at the last public meeting which includes a tour of the facilities. We’ve embedded it after the jump for your convenience.

The clip isn’t so much a tour as it is a POV experience. There’s no narrative and the people at the meeting seem to be oblivious that anyone’s recording video. This makes for a pretty interesting presentation, starting with a little rubbernecking at the projects being shown off at the meeting. From there we pass by a couple of members pulling a wire run through the ceiling of the machine shop. Next we see the electronics lab complete with a Makerbot and a very tidy component storage wall. [Andrew] makes a quick trip through the small music studio before heading back to the main room at the close of the segment.

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