March Maker News

March 19, 2018 11:20 am
MakeICT brought a wind tunnel to this year’s SWE Engineering Expo to let kids test their own paper airplanes or other objects and learn about lift. Special thanks to our wind tunnel builders lead by Barb Davis and Mike Hutton, and to Jim Hammer, Tom McGuire, and Jace Francis for staffing our booth all day!

March is Safety Month

Hello Makers. Our quarterly member meeting will be Saturday March 24th from 6-7pm at the makerspace. We wanted to dedicate this month’s quarterly meeting to a safety standdown. We have some business, but first up will be brainstorming about what we can do to make our space as safe as possible. All of your leaders have been doing homework leading up to this. We’ve consulted with experienced members of the community for guidance and have already started making changes based on that advice. For example thanks to David Springs, all of our fire extinguishers were serviced and given renewed inspection tags. We’ve been posting safety-based questions all month at for you to answer, and there’s a survey for anonymous feedback about your experiences around safety. Finally, we appointed Mike Barushok, long time member, leader, and wikibrarian, to be our safety committee lead. You can contact him at with questions or concerns.

Since the meeting is right around dinner time, let’s all go in on pizza? $5 per person. Profits will benefit the equipment fund, which is currently working on getting us a burnout oven for the jewelry area!

Call for Makers

Planning for Wichita’s Mini MakerFaire is well underway and we hope you’re planning to be there too! Now is the time to fill out your application. Mini MakerFaire will be the weekend of July 21-22 at Exploration Place. To reserve your table and show of your maker skills fill out the call for makers applicationor contact

Focus on Education

Did you know that MakeICT teaches at least five classes a week? With everything we teach, I wanted to take some time to sit down and talk about opportunities to improve, measure and focus on our educational program.

First, there’s a survey running about your favorite classes at MakeICT, and asking you for feedback on how we can improve:

Second, you’re all invited to our education program town hall meeting on Monday April 2 at 7pm. We’ll talk about success, share ideas for improvement, and make sure our classes are the best. If you have a friend who’s a teacher or educator, this would be a great thing to invite them to. Click here for the facebook event.

Third, as always if you’d like to teach a class our teach a class form does a great job leading you through the requirements. Share what you know!

Proposed bylaws change for officer terms

Currently the MakeICT board of directors is elected every June. Every seat is up for election, so every year we could have a whole new board. This is very unique for a non-profit organization. We love fresh energy and uniqueness, but as our organization grows, serving on the board comes with a big learning curve. I know as president I barely had my feet under me for the first 3-4 months. I’m now starting to feel like I know the board and my job a lot better, but guess what, three months until it’s a new election.

So we’d like to grant the next board a sense of stability and offer up a structure with at least two year terms. Rather than vote for a potentially whole new board every year, you’ll vote for half the officers every year, with the other half staying around to bring them up to speed. It’s a small change, but one that will grant us a lot of stability.

This change to our bylaws will be presented at the quarterly meeting on the 24th and voted on electronically by the eligible members. You can weigh in with your thoughts ahead of time here in the forum.

Laser Cutter Fundraising Update

Thank you MakeICT members for getting us to a place where we could order our second laser cutter! Last month I told you our budget was $2000 short of the full cost, this month our pledges and fundraising have us there. If you pledged, please go ahead and make your donation. You can either bring it to the makerspace or use the laser cutter fundraising button at Our laser cutter will be on a boat for a while so stay tuned for news about its setup and availability. If you didn’t pledge and would still like to donate, we’d really appreciate it. The full cost of the laser is over $5000, so if we keep fundraising up to that, we can re-allocate that budgeted money for other equipment. Thank you so much!

February 2018 Newsletter

February 24, 2018 2:07 am
Our laser cutter has made some pretty fly designs

Laser Cutter Fundraising

Members, We are preparing to purchase a second laser cutter. We are specing a more powerful 90-100W laser with a larger bed size 51” x 35” (1300mmx900mm). This will allow us to cut 48” sheets of material easier.

The projected cost estimate will be $6000 for the laser, shipping, upgrades, installation, and taxes. Our MakeICT budget for the laser purchase is $3800 plus members have pledged $800 to the laser cutter so far, so we are 40% of the way. That leaves us with $1400 dollars to go.

We are working out the details with the manufacturer and would like to purchase the laser cutter in early March. To make that happen we need your help to raise the remaining amount.

If you have ever had to wait for the laser now is your chance to pitch in and make it happen. It only takes 24@50, 12@$100, 5@250. Everyone can help us towards our goal.

If you have projects or a business that depends on the laser here is a way to protect yourself from being without it for an extended repair. If you would like to help us get to our goal of a second laser please send me an email to

Thomas Bloom
Fab Lab Area Lead

Featured Maker: Malissa Long, Textiles

Featured Maker: Malissa Long

Our February featured maker is Malissa Long: Fiber artist, fashion designer, sewn product developer, pattern maker, technical designer, and finally MakeICT board member and textiles area lead. She has taught classes in sewing, dying, printing and lots of other forms of art. Malissa moved to Wichita from Austin in July 2015. Read more on our blog…

March 10 SWE Expo

Want to spend a few hours helping kids test their paper airplanes in the MakeICT Wind Tunnel? Join us at this year’s Society of Women Engineers Expo booth. This event is held every year at Century II and has turned into a Wichita-wide festival of engineering. Boys and girls age K-8 are invited to try out hands-on engineering projects for free, and we’re proud to be a part of it. Sign up at or read more about Expo at

Switching our Forum

We’ve talked for a while about leaving our google group for something better and now it’s time. Check your email for an invite to This new forum uses Discourse – open source forum software that lets us have categories, embedded images, website previews, ranked topics and many more important features. If you don’t like visiting a webpage, don’t worry you can still interface through email. If you have any questions contact or fill out an invite request through

March Member Meeting

Save the date for our next quarterly member meeting on Saturday March 24, 5pm – 7pm. Agenda is being worked on and we’re happy to hear your suggestions.

Member Survey

Our ongoing member survey has been updated with questions for this year: what do you want your leadership focused on? Is there any place you wanted to help out, but weren’t sure how? Help us understand what you need by filling out our survey at

Making MakeICT Final Friday Gallery Show

Featured Maker: Malissa Long

February 22, 2018 12:13 pm

Our February featured maker is Malissa Long: Fiber artist, fashion designer, sewn product developer, pattern maker, technical designer, and finally MakeICT board member and textiles area lead. She has taught classes in sewing, dying, printing and lots of other forms of art. Malissa moved to Wichita from Austin in July 2015.

“I moved to Austin shortly after the new airport opened and the Greater Austin Area had 500,000 people. I moved to Wichita shortly after the new airport opened and the Wichita Metropolitan Area had 500,000. Wichita reminds me a lot of those early days in Austin. If great things could happen there I can’t wait for what’s in store here.”

Malissa is seen at MakeICT a lot but one great time to catch her is at Textile Tribe on the second Sunday of each month in the afternoon. Textile Tribe is a casual come-and-go event where anyone can bring in Unfinished Fiber Objects (UFOs) to work and collaborate on.

Malissa in our Textiles Studio

Boro – Malissa Long

“I love MakeICT for the community it creates, the knowledge that is shared, the creativity it invites. The fact I know nothing about electronics, yet my son is obsessed at the moment and we can take classes and learn together. That he can come in and ask what a flame diode is and some one will take the time to explain it to him in terms that a 9-year-old can understand.”

Malissa brings a great depth of knowledge in the world of fiber arts and is always trying something new. “I discovered Boro recently, it basically simple running stitches used to mend or repair thin spots in fabric by adding a patch. I’m actually using the stitches to surface embellish a dress I’m making out of old jeans.” She’s being sewing since childhood, with two sewing machines by the age of nine and a family of makers who sewed her clothes.

Her class called “Know Your Sewing Machine” invites curious beginners to bring in their own machines to gain the technical background to run their machines properly. “Driving a sewing machine is like being in stop and go traffic,” she says, “it’s not an open highway where you maintain speed. You Pump the foot pedal, let the machine pull the fabric, and use your hands to lightly guide the fabric.” I know it a lot to remember even I forget sometimes.

Keep up with Malissa and view more of her creations at or on instagram @mlssfshn.

MakeICT Classes in 2017

January 30, 2018 2:23 am

One of the best things about MakeICT is our classes, and in 2017 we taught a LOT of them! Here are some numbers that we are truly proud of…

We taught 93 different types of classes last year! Some of our classes were basic tool instruction and some were project based. We made stepstools, aprons, wood lathe bowls, wichita flag shirts, drawer organizers, scarves, and whatever else came to our minds.

Our total enrollment for all classes: 1,682

We taught most of our classes several times, for a total of 261 sessions. That’s about five classes a week.

We learned from 32 different instructors during 2017. The most active instructor was our metalshop lead Jeremiah Burian who taught 64 times. Not all of our instructors are that active of course – most taught less than once a week and 15 people taught only 1-3 times. Instructing at MakeICT is a great activity to try out, whether you want to teach once a week or once a quarter we’d love to host your class! Instructors set their own fees and take home 75% of the revenue. To contact us about teaching, fill out our teach a class form. You don’t have to be a world-renowned expert, you just have to have some knowledge you’re willing to share with the world.

633 different people took our classes. 57% were members of MakeICT – so we taught a lot of classes to non-members and guests just visiting. Nearly all of our classes are open to the public with discounts for members. We welcome anyone. About half of the people who enrolled took just one class with us. 22 people took ten or more classes.

Our most popular classes:
– Woodshop safety: 222 students
– Metalshop safety: 193
– Laser cutting basics: 116
– CNC plasma cutter: 67
– CNC/Shopbot Using Easel: 66
– MIG Welding: 66
– Tig Welding: 52
– Screen printing: 51
– Build a Step Stool: 37
– Introduction to 3D printing: 33

Our most expensive class was $60. Free enrollment available to members was used 546 times. Considering both members and non-members, the average person attending a MakeICT class paid $12.34. As a non-profit community organization here for Wichita, we are incredibly proud of our low cost class structure that increases access to the world of making.

Thank you Wichita for taking MakeICT classes to improve your skills and explore new ways to make! If there’s a class you’d like to take, visit our calendar to enroll. If you don’t see the class you want or it doesn’t fit your schedule, fill out our request a class form and we’ll send it on to instructors planning future sessions.

MakeICT January News: Kansas Day, David Springs, LED Trees, Budget Overview

January 25, 2018 2:08 am
Are you a fan of our metalshop? Thank Paul and Jeremiah for the ventilation improvements! Next safety class is January 31.

MakeICT January News

Dear members: This month your leadership was very focused on approving the 2018 budget. As a new president this was an eye-opening experience and I wanted to pass on some of the things I learned.Our budget this year is based on having 300 members, because we are confident we will stay above that number all year. Each of you pays $25 a month just like me so it might help to break down what your dues are for. Nearly $20 of your dues are for the basics – rent, utilities, insurance, and of course $1 for paypal fees if you’re on the automatic month-to-month payments. The rest is split up among the various makerspace areas, first for “core expenses”, aka what it takes to keep running. Screenprinting screens, saw blades, repairs, small tools, and new tools. When it comes to funding new equipment we were very conservative, knowing that we have not only limited funds but space. There will be fundraising efforts throughout the year for equipment, you might have already seen talk of a second laser cutter in the the forum. In key areas we allocated budget to match these efforts. Fundraising has many benefits – it gives the community a chance to take part in MakeICT’s mission, ensures that our dues stay very low, and it tells us what we’re really willing to gather together and work for. If new equipment is important to you, talk to your area lead about what it will take.I said we budgeted for 300 members – we currently have more than that. Most of our costs are fixed, so additional members provide a safety margin in case our membership decreases. We also have an important task ahead of us of evaluating possible new locations for future years. Our makerspace is amazing and I will keep working to make it better, and we’ve appointed founder Jens Torell as chair of our new building committee. This way if a fantastic space opens up, we know our requirements and we’re ready to move on it.It’s very important to me for us to have a budget that we stick to and take seriously. By doing this we convey a message to our community and potential grantors that we are serious about using our funds wisely. If you have questions about the budget or our plans for this year please reach out to me or our treasurer, David Springs. Board meetings are always open to everyone and we take suggestions for our agenda with the google group.I’m very proud to be the president of an organization that’s maintaining financial stability while achieving so much success. We couldn’t do it without each and every one of you: members, area leads, and donors who contribute so generously of their time, expertise, and money. Thank you for all that you have done to so we can keep planning our bright future.- Kim

Join us for Kansas Day

January has a 5th Monday and this year it coincides perfectly with Kansas Day! Join us at 7pm on January 29 to make Kansas art, color laser cutter ornaments, and show off our makerspace for this public event. Invite all of your friends to our facebook event and we’ll see you at the makerspace.

All About David Springs

Meet our featured maker for January: David Springs. He’s an incredibly helpful, artistic, creative individual who has shown us all kinds of ways to go big, leverage arduinos, use anything for a clock. Read more on our blog…

Make LED Trees

In December our most popular class was taught by James Lancaster: LED trees. If you’ve got some time to sit and solder you can make one of these at home. Read the instructions on our blog…

Newsletter Suggestions

Do you have a suggestion for next month’s featured maker or project? Shoot me an email ( – especially if you’ve got photography skills or could help with a write up. Our blog is a great place to give new visitors an idea of what goes on at our makerspace!

January Featured Monthly Maker David Springs

January 20, 2018 1:56 am

Cypress Table by David Springs

MakeICT’s Featured Maker for this month is David Springs. David rents space in one of our front cubicles. “Our makerspace is like Disneyland for anyone who is creative,” he says. “It’s a place that enables folks who like to make things to actually make them!”

Being a maker is a big part of his life. Among other things, to him MakeICT means access to top-notch equipment, making dreams into reality. “It means a nice, warm wood shop instead of a dimly-lit, freezing garage, equipped with a contractor saw on a rickety stand. It means ideas and advice from other members when I’m trying to solve a problem.”

A hard drive jukebox, by David Springs

David is often at the space working on the many projects he has in development. “There’s nothing quite like taking an idea that’s in your head and turning it into an object that you can hold in your hands and share with others.  I’ve always got about ten projects in various stages of development. Every time I come up with some idea, I write it down and put it on a plastic bin in my studio. Then I start collecting the materials I need, adding them to the bins as I get them. Eventually I have enough stuff to actually start building.”


Some of the projects you might have seen him working on around the makerspace:

Face for the parking meter clock

  • A talking Darth Vader/jukebox/night light
  • Self-balancing cane
  • Street art space paintings, including his entire vehicle
  • A full-size old school arcade game cabinet
  • Clocks out of anything – parking meters, skeletons, light up ping pong balls, analog panel meters.
  • Intel Edison-powered punching/kicking dummy “for a bunch of little kids who will one day be Taekwondo black belts”

Last year while driving through western Kansas, David was inspired by the many metal whirligig-type sculptures that turn our state’s wind into moving art. He designed and completed his own gear-driven model of Godzilla eating Tokyo. “This project is probably a one-off,” David says.


And just like every project, he learned new things while working on it. This time, he learned “that sometimes things don’t work in quite the way you envision them in your head!” David used many of the resources available at MakeICT to put the whirligig together. “I’ve used the wood shop for the structure, the laser for Godzilla and the buildings of Tokyo, one of our 3D printers for some gearing and adapters, the electronics lab to give the buildings of Tokyo and Godzilla’s eyes LED lighting and sound.”

David’s Godzilla Whirligig


Thanks to Gordon Murray for contributing to this post.


January 7, 2018 2:55 pm

Do you love feeling the glow of wintertime? Make an LED tree! This year we offered several classes on this fun easy project for older kids and adults. Here’s how you can make your own light up tree at home.

LED Tree


LED Tree Class at MakeICT


1K Resistors

You will need:

  • Soldering iron & solder
  • Wire – we used twisted pair to distinguish power and ground sides
  • 1K resistors
  • USB power adapter
  • 5MM LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) – we used color changing LEDs for a fun effect. There are lots of places to find these: amazon, ebay, mouser. Sources will change, just make sure they have only two leads (wires). There are multi-color LEDs with multiple leads to set the color based on what you hook to, but we wanted ours to fade between colors on their own.

Color changing LEDs


1) Solder 12″ of wire to each LED. We used the solid strand for the power side of the LED (longer lead) and the striped side for the ground side (shorter lead next to the flat end of the LED enclosure). It doesn’t really matter which one you use for which side, as long as you use the same scheme for each LED.

2) At the other end of each power wire, solder a 1K resistor. Resistors don’t have polarity, meaning you can solder it either way onto the wire, there’s no “backwards” when it comes to resistors.

3) Solder the resistors together at a junction for the power wire.

5) Solder the USB power wire onto the resistors and the ground wire onto the ends of the striped wires. The power (Vcc) USB provides 5V to the LED bank.

6) Here is a diagram of connections for reference, with dots at each solder point.

To make strong solder connections:

  • Heat up your wire with the solder iron
  • Touch solder to the wire, it should melt and wick on

After it’s cool use hot glue to insulate between the wires and strengthen your tree.

December Newsletter

December 15, 2017 6:42 pm
Hello Makers! I wanted to send you this photo of our makerspace, with its new sign, on a beautiful winter day. If you think the outside of our space is amazing, check out what’s be going on with the inside of our space:

December Member Meeting December 18

We are going to have an awesome holiday party in conjunction with our maker member meeting on Monday December 18th at 7PM! To fully appreciate this event you should definitely read the entire event description at the facebook event, but in a nutshell: #OhMGE seasonal activity! Bring a $10 gift, wear a festive sweater, sign up to bring a snack, bring a friend!

The Gift of Making

Wondering what to get the creative Wichitan in your life? How about a MakeICT gift card? Visit to read how you can give the gift of making!

Committee Sign Up

Our committee sign up sheet is a great ongoing way to get involved in the space. We’ve had leadership positions open up for the Special Projects committee, and we’re forming new committees for Decluttering and New Building Selection. The sign up sheet helps us collect interest so we can appoint the right people to these important teams so let us know what you’re interested in.

2018 Area Lead Appointments

Our 2018 area leads have been chosen – thanks to everyone who volunteered! The list of names is here: Area Leads Appointments. If you’re passionate about an area, talk to the new area lead about how you can help. Many of them are appointing assistants or would just like your feedback on how to improve our makerspace. I’d like to extend a huge thanks to our 2017 area leads – you make the makerspace what it is!

Do you have a photo badge?

Shortly after the first of the year we’ll be checking to make sure everyone is wearing a photo ID when they use the space. If you’re a newer member this is no problem, photo badges are the only keys we’ve issued for months. If yo’ure a more established member you might still need to have one made. This will help us get to know each other, standardize nametags, and prevent others from using your key. Contact security if you’re still using one of the old keys:

Giving Back

December is the season of giving and we have been hard at work! Our woodshop elves, consisting of MakeICT and Sunflower Guild members, made 163 toy trucks for distribution by Salvation army last Thursday the 14th. Several volunteers helped at Wichita’s Alternative Gifts market to raise $529 for Egyptian Zabbaleen recyclers. We hosted a girl scout ornament making workshop where dozens of girls learned graphic design to make their own laser cut ornaments. To get involved, stay tuned in with our forum!

One of the toy trucks made for kids in need by our woodshop elves

November Updates for Members

November 5, 2017 6:37 pm

This email was sent to members only November 5, 2017

2018 Area Lead & Assistant Signup

What is your favorite area of the makerspace? Are you passionate about its tools, potential, safety, and getting new people in to use it? If so I strongly encourage you to sign up as an area lead or assistant area lead. The signup deadline is November 27th, leads will be appointed by the board. We depend on area leads and their teams to keep our makerspace running smoothly. Sign up is here:

Collecting Demographics

Our demographics survey is running to help us collect member information for grants. It takes two minutes and it’s extremely important for our makerspace so please fill it out:

Seeking Teachers

Have you ever wanted to teach a class at the makerspace? We have tips to get you started! There will be a meeting Thursday November 9th at 7pm for members and non-members. This is a great opportunity to recruit some friends to the space who are ready to share. So many people join our space to use our tools, I really wanted to reach out to a different audience with this event, so share with lots of people:

New Laser Cutter Software

As many of you know, last month the control board for our laser cutter up and died. Christian and James L did an amazing job jumping in to get it back up and running, with a new lost-cost, open source solution that would work on a lower-cost control board. It means we have to use new software but it’s not difficult. There is a 3-ring binder next to the laser cutter computer with screenshots to help you out. Learn more about getting up to speed…

Everything Else

As always, check out our calendar for everything going on at the makerspace because it is too much to list. James S has an exciting Saturday of electronics workshops planned for November 18th, get your welding classes in before the holiday rush, drop in with the Wichita Drone Club and as always, come tell us what you’re making at Maker Monday.

See you soon,


Laser Cutter Software Upgrade

3:57 pm

Space ornaments made with our laser cutter

Our 80W CO2 laser cutter is one of the most popular tools in the makerspace. Last month it suffered an unfortunate control board failure. Rather than buy an identical control board, we saved money and embraced an opportunity for improvement by switching to lower cost open source solutions that allow for a lot more customization.

If you’re an authorized laser cutter user you do not need to re-take the authorization class. The fundamentals of laser cutting haven’t changed – you need to know about graphic design, material usage, and fire safety. You can re-take the class if you want. I tell everyone who takes laser cutting basics that they can sit in the back of future classes for free, forever. But you can also just review the Wiki Page. The “Workflow” section has a brief outline of each step, and also contains a link to a presentation with step-by-step screenshots. The screenshots have been printed off and are stored in a 3-ring binder next to the laser cutter computer.

LaserWeb version 4

A few key changes to note:

  1. LaserWeb accepts *.png, *.jpg, *.jpeg, *.bmp, *.gcode, *.g, *.svg, *.dxf, *.tap, *.gc, & *.nc. There is no longer a need to convert your vector files to DXF, and your SVG files can have raster files embedded for engraving.
  2. We can now do 3D engraving – a range of power settings depending on darkness of the image.
  3. Power settings have changed. Try a lower power than what you’re used to. Power can now be set down to 1%. We’ve found that 6mm sanded plywood cuts at 30% power, speed 15mm/s.

One other new thing this month: we’ve added a reservation calendar to help schedule times to use the laser cutter. You don’t have to have a reservation to use it, but this makes it much easier to set aside time, meet friends to collaborate, or just know that you can make a deadline on a project. Be sure to check the calendar before you start using the laser cutter to make sure you’re not running into anybody’s reservation. If you’re in the MakeICT google group, you can add reservations yourself.

If you’re a new user, or if you just want a refresher, head to for the latest class schedule.