[Open Letter] i3 Detroit 2013 Year-End Reflections and Looking Forward

Makers, Hackers, and Creators,

We achieved so much in the last year. As 2013 comes to a close, I wanted to highlight a few things this extraordinary organization has accomplished.

We had an incredible amount of classes this year, ranging from Bob Ross paint-a-longs (thanks Kevin), highly-sought after welding classes (thank you Jody), kiln classes (thanks Terry), to laser training, (thanks Matt A., Roger, Devon, Andrew and others I am likely forgetting). A few years ago, using the laser cutter was nearly impossible because there were only a select few people that were trained on it. Today, it’s one of the most used tools in the shop. That’s real measurable progress towards increasing the skills of our members.

Bombs Away! Watermelon Drop Recap

An after-school program group for teens from the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs Center (MCWS) came by i3Detroit for a special event. We wanted to do an event that involved a team challenge, brainstorming, designing, and building. A lot of schools and organizations do egg drop contests. The goal would be to design some mechanism to protect and egg falling from a 10ft or higher. We wanted to amp it up to something a little more bigger and badder — a watermelon drop contest.

The group divided up into 3 teams. Each team had a coach from i3Detroit to assist with some of the more dangerous fabrication.

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Pumpkin Carving and Party Recap

We had a pumpkin carving class on October 25th. These always have a ton of participation and everyone has a good time. What a great excuse to unnecessarily use power tools.  After being carved, the pumpkins were judged at the annual halloween party. The winners won prizes like a bouquet of flowers and candy.  Follow the break to see more pictures!

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Painting, Mask Making, Paperclips

What’s been happening at i3 lately? A bunch of things. But, here are some highlights.

Karriane G. taught a few classes on leather mask making. It was perfect timing right before halloween. Students learned the basics of forming with leather, and were able to follow through creating their own design,  adding hardware such as studs and grommets, and finally painting their creation. They’re all set for a masquerade!

Leather Mask Making

Kevin F. has been busy teaching oil painting classes. These have been insanely popular, often filling up within a day. It’s so amazing to see people come in and learn new techniques. Most of the students came with little-to-none painting experience, but all left with smiles on their faces.

Oil Painting Collage

Matt O. has been working on his halloween costume. Can you guess what it’s going to be? Here’s a hint: “It looks like you’re trying to write a letter!”

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Of course making a giant paperclip out of metal would be insanely heavy, so it’s actually that universal crafting material, the grown-up version of popsicle sticks: Schedule 40 PVC! Bent and formed by a combination of hot air, teamwork, carefully placed screws, and minor burns.

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RBCreation; SUCCESS!!!!

After a long weekend full of emotion and sweat, i3Detroit was awarded the Team’s Choice award!!!

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this means they were voted as all the other teams’ favorite!

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They won a pretty BA 40 watt laser cutter from Full Spectrum Lasers!!!

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we are DROOLING back in Detroit; can’t wait to get our hands on this!

[insert picture of Eric and Sean here]

A huge shout-out to our team members Eric and Sean; who actually both missed their first father’s day to compete in the Red Bull Creation Challenge…Great job guys, I’m sure your kids will be proud :)

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also…Matt’s hair is doing just fine