Let’s Take the Show on the Road

Stetson has organized successful exhibits at all three of the Orlando MakerFaires. Here is another opportunity to be the cool kids.

On April 18, 2015 Gulf Coast MakerCon will be held at the Florida Fairgrounds (East of Tampa). Although the MakerCon is an hour further away than the Orlando event, it comes at a much better time of year, when you all should have some great projects to showcase. In fact it’s a week after Stetson Showcase so you can double down on anything you prepare for that.gcmc-logo

The event website with more details is at: http://gulfcoastmakers.com/gulf-coast-makercon/

They plan to host “80-100 makers, with expanded outdoor exhibits, a large scale *fighting robots *competition, a *ComicCon*, a *Young Makers Corner* and a *Steampunk Ball* after party for makers and guests.” Apparently they are fond of asterisks as well.

If you would like to be part of a Stetson booth at this event, let me know at wball@stetson.edu. Don’t worry about transportation or fees, just start thinking about what you might share with Gulf Coast makers.


SHS meeting

Organizer Nathan Hilliard has sent out the follow about a meeting of the Stetson Hacker Space. Everyone involved with Innovation House is invited to attend


Hey all,

So I just wanted to let everyone know that our meeting Thursday will feature John giving a talk on his procedural level generation algorithm based on cellular automata.
We will be meeting in the Innovation House as per usual from 6 to 7.
Following his talk, we’ll discuss getting started with the e-nable project for 3D printing prosthetic hands that we talked about last week.
See you all on Thursday!

Pitch your way to $300!

SEG (Stetson Entrepreneurial Group) is holding a competition to allow your ideas and solutions to be heard. All you need is a 90 second video and an idea. Submit your idea by November 5th! There is a Social and For-Profit category. You may enter as many videos as you would like however you may only represent one from each category if chosen to go to First Pitch Live which takes place November 11th. Here you will pitch in front of real entrepreneurs and receive feedback.

All you have to do is:

Like the Stetson Entrepreneurial Group Facebook Page and Join your category to enter! Submit as many ideas as you would like but if you make it to the live competition you can only qualify for one in each category, You may have one partner.

Videos Due November 5th!

This link will direct you to the For-Profit Category

This link will direct you to the Social Category

Check out the Video on the SEG Page if you have any questions or email me at jmcmille@stetson.edu

Direct Link to Rules

E-nabling Innovation House?

E-nable is a project to develop open source designs for prosthetic limbs, print out parts on 3-D printers, assemble them, and provide them to people around the world who need them. http://enablingthefuture.org/

Is there a group of Innovation House members that would like to be part of this project? If there is sufficient interest we can acquire the parts kits and start making and distributing these. If you would like to be involved please e-mail me at wball@stetson.edu

The Library Goes Pro

From the Stetson Library blog:

“New 3D Printer

The duPont-Ball Library now owns a UPrint SE Plus 3D printer. The printer offers high-end ABS filament printing with dissolvable rafting/scaffolding. Because of the cost of this machine and the cost of the materials to support it, this printer is restricted to academic print jobs by appointment Monday-Friday beginning at 8:30 am. Print jobs must be completed by 5:00 pm. Other print jobs may be done any time the library is open on the library’s two MakerBot printers which do NOT require reservations.”

Sign up here


Innovation House Takes a Big Bite out of Orlando Makerfaire









Stetson was well represented at the 3rd year of the Orlando Makerfaire at the Orlando Science Center by a booth organized through Innovation House.

Our team of students, staff, and faculty for this year consisted of: Christian Micklisch, Dan Nunez, Vanna Blasczak, Nathan Hilliard, Katie Porterfield, Dun Burrhus, Dan Lane, Harry Price, Michael Branton, and Bill Ball.

It’s never too early to start working on projects to bring next year!



























Mor Gear

The equipment available for member use at Innovation House is listed on our gear page.  In addition, DuPont-Ball library has equipment available for student use. This includes 2 Makerbot 3d printers. One of these printers is a Replicator 2X which offers a dual filament option. The library also has a Makerbot Digitizer, designed to make 3D scans of small objects. Ask at the circulation desk for guidance on using this equipment.


lib2 lab3
















Orlando Maker Faire 2014

The third annual Orlando Maker Faire is coming up on September 13 and 14, 2014 (http://www.makerfaireorlando.com/). Stetson is a charter exhibitor at this event and 2014 is going to be a blockbuster year. The Maker Faire has been expanded to two days and promoted to one of the few featured events in the International Maker Faire network (http://makerfaire.com/). Over 170 exhibitors will be in Orlando. Check out this list: http://www.makerfaireorlando.com/makers/

We are seeking projects from the Stetson community to be demonstrated at the Faire. If you have something you would like to show and can spare half a day on either Saturday or Sunday, please get in touch with me (Bill Ball) at wball@stetson.edu as soon as possible.

Even if you are not bringing a project for the Stetson booth you should go to this. I can help coordinate car-pooling. Tickets for the faire are available on their site.

See you there.












Worn out tire to nearly new shoe? Is it possible…

Tires are all around us.  On cars, trucks, trailers, bicycles, and it seems anything else that needs to move efficiently.  But what happens to all those tires when they are worn out?  Millions of tires are discarded each year with some recycled, some burned as fuel for cement kilns, some crushed to be cover for landfills, and some left to rot in vacant lots.  But what if your “worn out” tires can become your next pair of shoes?

My family has a few trailers and every few years these go through tires.  Whether these are lost due to nails, blow outs, dry rot or flat spotting they are still no good.  The last time I replaced a tire on one of the trailers I wanted to try to turn it into something useful instead of just taking it to a recycler and paying a few dollars to make it disappear.  I looked on the Internet and found instructions to turn an old tire into a pair of shoes.  The instructions can be found at http://www.hollowtop.com/sandals.htm

This project took a while to get started.  There was work to do before I started the project.  I made a pair of pucker toe moccassins to cushion between my feet and the tire rubber.  These are very comfortable to wear and I would recommend the design to anyone who is considering making moccasins.  I believe the instructions I used are from ​http://www.nativetech.org/clothing/moccasin/mocinstr.html

My first major difficult came in cutting the tread off the tire.  A major ‘Thank You’ goes out to Larry, the Stetson University shop technician who helped me use a large band saw to cut the sidewall and tread off the tire bead (the part that seals on the rim).

The cutting of the tread to make the sandals was the next big hurdle.  A ‘Thank You’ to the Innovation House for use of their saw which worked well to carve the sandals out from the chunks of tread.

I tried to innovate on the method of making these moccasins by drilling instead of chiseling the holes for straps.  It failed miserably.  Back to the wood chisel.  However, one innovation did work.  Instead of straps I used 550 cord because I had some on hand and it worked very well.

Finally, the moccasins were done.  When I tried them on these ended up being some of the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn.  Yes, the first day of wearing these required a lot of adjustments to the cordage and tweaking of the sandal sole but after that these fit pretty well.  However, these are not much for good looks.  As my younger sisters will tell you – these sandals are ugly.  Ugly – but comfortable!

So, can someone build their own footwear from tires?  Yes.  Is it worth the effort?  Yes, provided you like to tinker and are willing to invest a good deal of time into building the shoes.  Could this change the world?  Unlikely, not many people have the time, supplies, skills, and effort to divert to a project like this and these shoes will not outperform a pair of shoes you can buy at the store.  Still this has been a great learning experience and hopefully the basis for many more adventures.  Always stay thrifty and curious.  – Logan


An assembled sandal

An assembled sandal

An assembled sandal with matching moccasin.

An assembled sandal with matching moccasin.

Moccasin and sandal on author's foot.

Moccasin and sandal on author’s foot.

Habitat for Humanity Birdhouse Building

For the past few years, Stetson University’s Chapter of Habitat for Humanity has held an annual Birdhouse Building Competition as part of the Gillespie Museum’s Earth Day.  This competition is open to teams of students from Stetson or members of the DeLand community to build birdhouses with all proceeds from the event going toward building houses for those in need with Southwest Volusia Habitat for Humanity and West Volusia Habitat for Humanity.  This year we partnered with the Innovation House to build all the kits for participants.  Traditionally, each team has the option of going with a birdhouse kit which contains all the supplies and instructions to build a standard birdhouse or pulling from a parts bin which has mismatched lumber that can be creatively assembled into a birdhouse.  This year there were three kit designs which can be seen in the pictures.

Over the course of a few weeks we were able to create 50 kits using measuring tools, saws, and the drill press from the Innovation House.  There are always difficulties encountered and this year was like any other.  Standardizing the kits to all pull from one board size proved more challenging than originally thought and it was hard to recruit teams before the event.  However, there are also little successes along the way.  The drill press made drilling the holes in the front of the birdhouses much faster and simpler than it had been in previous years.  This year 12 birdhouses were assembled (lots of kits left over for next year) and raised more than $50 to build real houses.  Overall, we were glad to work with the Innovation House for this project and look forward to working on other projects with them in the future.  If you would like more information about Stetson University’s Habitat for Humanity please look us up on Facebook (Like us for future updates!) and you can join our email list on HatterSync.

-Laurie, Brianne, and Logan holding up the three birdhouse designs from 2014.

Laurie, Brianne, and Logan holding up the three birdhouse designs from 2014.

All the assembled birdhouse kits.

All the assembled birdhouse kits.

The building crew hard at work.

The building crew hard at work.