If you happened to pass through the door of Suite 519 in the 915 Art Studios building this past weekend, you know what a busy time it was. Things kicked off early Saturday morning with the focused goal to start and finish a new 3D printer build, the MendelMax. A few folks started to filter in after a while: some to lend a hand, some to hang out, and some to work on their own projects. At around 2 PM, more people came in for our hosting of the monthly Philadelphia Star Trek meetup group. Afterwards, Dan was awesome enough to run through an impromptu class on how to develop your own Pong clone using the Unity 3D game engine with some of the Trekkie attendees.

Sunday also got off to an early start with the Ubuntu Bug Jam hosted by Hive76’s own jedijf. Jim was pleasantly surprised to have some Linux newcomers on hand and jumped at the opportunity to teach some command line skillz in a way only he can. In true geek fashion, they were rolling along on IRC by the end of the session! Shortly after the Bug Jam got underway, Jordan and Matthew were back at the MendelMax, determined to have it printing well, and packaged up to be shipped out by the end of the night. On the heels of the Bug Jam was the first installment of the Philadelphia Game Developer Collective which brought such a turnout that we actually ran out of chairs! This meant that our next meeting, the PAFA build group, had to get together in the lobby to hash out some last minute details and designs. While these two groups were meeting, and the MendelMax was being built, Brendan and Robert were plugging away at the hand-built custom control panel that they’ve been working on. It really looks awesome.

Flys like a dream!

Despite all of these things happening at the same time, everything could not have gone better. We were able to introduce some new people to our space, greet a few familiar faces, teach some new technical and mechanical skills, brainstorm new ideas and projects, and get some really great work done! I was pleasantly surprised with all of the spontaneity happening within and around the edges of these groups.

That said, if you missed all the action this past weekend or would like to come back for more, we’ve got some up coming events that you won’t want to miss!

Wednesday, March 7: Our ever popular weekly open house! This is the number one best way to meet the people behind Hive76 as most of our members are here on Wednesday nights. You’ll get a nice tour of the space, exposure to some of the projects that are in the works, and plenty of great conversation! Always FREE!

Thursday, March 8: PAFA After Dark: Turned On! Finally, come out to see the fruits of our labor! Hive76 and the Hacktory have teamed up once again to bring you some awesome interactive installations to play with in between checking out the excellent art of Henry Ossawa Tanner. Tickets are available for $10 (non-PAFA-members) here.

Saturday & Sunday, March 10 & 11: Art Hackathon @ Hive76! Come join Hive76 for an eight hour, two day art hackathon where participants will have a chance to really get creative under a common theme with recycled materials and various art supplies. A fee of $25 is being requested for supplies and food. Email smcbeth_at_hive76.org ASAP to RSVP.

Monday, March 12: Our March installment of MMMM is coming up! If you’ve got a soft spot in your heart for microcontrollers or are eager to learn a thing or two about them, this is the workshop for you! Designed to be beginner friendly, this workshop is open to everyone. This is a FREE event!

Be sure to keep an eye on the Calendar for upcoming events, or better yet… join our discussion list or hop in our IRC channel, #hive76 on freenode and have a chat! Hope to see you soon!

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We got Matt Wettergreen’s MendelMax up and printing in two days. Thanks to all those at Hive76 who helped out with the build, especially Chris, PJ, Brendan, and Rob! Here’s a timelapse from the first day:

Below is a video of the finished bot printing with the latest Marlin firmware (smooth acceleration and fast travel times)! It turns out PLA sticks to a heated aluminum bed provided in the MendelMax kit. Wow. Completely Awesome. I couldn’t believe how little of the heat from the aluminum bed actually radiates away (you can only barely feel the heat an inch off the bed at 75 degrees celsius). That’s a huge feature.

Congrats to the Mike Payson and the MendelMax Team on their inspired Mendel remix. It’s a fantastic RepRap 3D Printer.


This Saturday we’ll have Matthew Wettergreen here from Rice University to learn together how to build a MendelMax 3D RepRap printer.

MendelMax is the new rapid-to-assemble Mendel variant based on an extruded aluminum frame. Very rigid, very nice looking. Stop on by to check it out!

11 am – 8 pm
Saturday March 3rd @ Hive76


UPenn Grasp Lab Robotics Demo

The University of Pennsylvania’s General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) Lab is performing a demonstration of their work on Saturday, March 24, 2012 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (ET) at NextFab Studios, 3711 Market St., Philadelphia. The event is $30 to attend.

I don’t have very many details on what the event is about, but given GRASP’s description on their website that it “…integrates computer science, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering in a vibrant, collaborative environment that fosters interactions between students, research staff and faculty”, it sounds like it could be a very interesting demonstration of some top-of-the-line robotics research projects. From the details on their site, it looks like they do some work with autonomous drones and quadrocopters. Could be really interesting.


What the heck is a Bug Jam?


Ok, so now what?




Hive76’s Art Hackathon

March 10th and 11th, 3pm to 7pm

For the second weekend in March, Hive76 is hosting a day of smashing, cutting, gluing, taping, painting, and general making and frivolity. We’re calling it “Art Hackathon”. Inspired by the Bravo TV Series Work of Art, and following closely in the footsteps of Art Hack Day, the event will focus on the rapid creation of meaningful works of art out of a provided supply of recycled materials.

Hive76 will provide massive piles of cardboard, tubs of glue, masking tape, tubs of spackle, box cutter blades, and a few cans of various colors of spray paint, to let every participating individual or team create a work of their choosing. The works will be based on a single theme, to be announced at the beginning of the event.

The event is split across two, four-hour days. While participants are free to use the time as they wish, the time is designed to provide time for planning on and a moderate amount of building on the first day, with some drying and curing time overnight before finishing up the next day.

A fee of $25 per person will be charged at the door, to cover the cost of materials and food that will be provided during the event for both days. Please RSVP for the event before March 6th by emailing smcbeth@hive76.org.


What is art? To me it has always meant indirect communication–the implied conveyance of ideas through conventions of shared culture. Anything is fair game for a medium, and anything can be a potential message; thus art is infinite in both dimensions.


Saturday Open House

We’re doing an additional open house every week now. If you can’t make it on Wednesdays, or if you’d like an additional day to come and check us out, we’ll be there every Saturday starting at 2 PM.

Stop by and check out our 3D printer, our plethora of games, or come just to hang out, and/or work on your own project ideas.


Apostrophe Now!based out of Philadelphia and developed by P’unk Ave — is “a content management system designed for maximum flexibility with a minimal learning curve. The interface is ergonomic, all content-editing is performed in-context.”

Do you have or are you building a website, but you are looking for alternatives to WordPress, Django and other CMS engines? Apostrophe may be right for you!

Come meet Geoff DiMasi and Tom Boutell, two of the lead developers, and find out all the nitty gritty about Apostrophe. They’ll give an overview of the system, design goals, and features, and they’ll also dive into the code to show us how it’s all put together. Geoff and Tom will also talk about other things Philadelphia (the founding of P’unk Ave, the founding of Indy Hall, and the founding of Ignite Philly).

You won’t find this info on Youtube or Vimeo. Come on down to your favorite hackerspace to learn all about Apostrophe and an awesome Philadelphia success story.

Wednesday, February 22nd, 7:30 pm
915 Spring Garden, Suite 519


The MAKE blog recently posted a notice of an event being held this weekend–Art Hack Day–that I find very intriguing. I’ve been bandying about an similar idea, in part inspired by the Bravo Channel’s reality TV series Work of Art. The show has the typical “Top XYZ” format of elimination challenges. What strikes me about the show is that their work space looks very much like a hackerspace, and once the artists settle in to the work format, they start producing some extremely intriguing pieces.

In a lot of ways, the artist’s studio and hackerspaces are very similar; indeed, we here at Hive76 have made a former artist’s studio as our fire-retardant-home-away-from-home here at 915 Studios. So with that in mind, we are putting together a similar event to the Art Hack Day. We would like to make it an open build session with recycled materials. Stay tuned for the full details in an upcoming blog post (honestly, I will write it, really, I will).