Happy New Year & 2017 State of the Makerspace

I hope you’ve all enjoyed your holidays and stayed warm. As 2017 comes to an end, I wanted to take the time to reflect on where 2017 has taken MakerLab NW and where we hope to go in 2018. When 2017 started, we didn’t have our own space. We were meeting once or twice a month in a basement. Here we are a year later, we have our space, tools, and a growing community!

When we took the plunge on renting this space, we didn’t have enough money to pay the rent, but we took a leap of faith that if we built it, people would come. And you did. We started small…a small space and not a lot of tools. Through generous donations from the community, and hard work from volunteers, we’ve built a viable makerspace!

Since opening our doors in June, we’ve acquired:

  • Another 3D printer
  • A Bernina Sewing Heavy Duty Sewing machine
  • A Scan and Cut Cutter
  • A Co2 Laser cutter
  • A blue ray engraving laser
  • A band saw
  • A heat press
  • An Oscilloscope
  • A large screen tv for classes
  • Many hand tools
  • 501(c)(3) status!

We had workshops on soldering, sewing, glass etching, laser cutting and engraving, jewelry-making, and more. We put together Mystery Maker Kits from China and most of them didn’t catch on fire! We’ve made drink dispensers from cardboard, light up bunny ears with acrylic, and RC airplanes from foam core. We’ve coded with Arduino, lit up bracelets with neopixels, and 3D printed masks for Halloween. Oh, and we’ve carved pumpkins, played minecraft, played board games, and eaten a LOT of pizza and tacos.

weaving workshoppumpkin carvingengraving laser

So, what’s NEXT? Where do you see MakerLab NW going in 2018? What do you personally want to learn this year?

Personally, I want to dive into Arduino and get better at coding. I want to build an Infinity mirror and a neopixel project that reacts to music and sound. I also want to do more weaving and leatherwork, and learn Fusion360.

I’d like to see MakerLab NW more involved with the community. I’d like to provide more opportunities for group projects at the space. I’d like to see us able to expand to the empty space down the hall, and acquire some woodworking tools. I’d like to see more kids camps happen. I’d like to hear more from members for what they want. Please feel free to drop by the space anytime, even if it’s just to say hi! I’d love to hear any and all suggestions for how to make your space better! THANK YOU to everyone who has become a part of this crazy idea!

Here’s to a new year filled with learning, making and growing!
Happy New Year!
Emily Kelton, President
MakerLab NW

Sun Nov 12 – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Cellular communications with Arduino

Wow! This 


$60 Non members/$50 Members


In this workshop, we will learn how to use popular Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular modules with the Arduino to connect our Arduino projects to other devices, including local networks, smartphones, and the Internet. We will cover among others the ESP8266, ESP32, Bluetooth Classic modules like the HC-06, and several Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and cellular module options suitable for use with Arduino boards.

Come to the workshop if:

• You want to learn about the various popular communications modules that are available for makers.

• You want to gain hands-on experience building things with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or cellular connections

• You want to acquire a key building block in converting your projects into fully connected devices in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT) creations

• You want to get started with building smartphone apps wirelessly connected to your Arduino


• Introductions

• How to program the exchange of data between a PC and Arduino, and between an Android smartphone and Arduino using popular Wi-Fi modules

• How to program the exchange of data between a PC and Arduino, and between an Android smartphone and Arduino using popular Bluetooth modules

• How to use cellular modules for sending and receiving text messages from/on the Arduino

• How to connect the Arduino to cloud data storage services


• Your favorite Arduino board

• Breadboard

• Hookup wires

• Arduino USB cable for programming

• Personal computer with Arduino IDE installed

Note: instructor will have Arduino boards and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular modules samples for participants to use in the workshop