i3Detroit Public Open House Flyer 2018

i3Detroit Public Open House

March 24, 2018 * 10-4 pm

Open and Free to everyone!

Come on by and learn what a makerspace is and how we operate

1481A Wordsworth St
Ferndale, MI 48220


Futel Project Presentation @ i3Detroit, Oct 15th, 4 pm


Please attend the presentation by Karl Anderson describing the Futel project.

Location: i3Detroit
Saturday October 15th, 4 pm

Public welcome
Futel: An Immobile Phone Company

Futel appears to be nothing more than a collection of payphones installed in public locations, no different than the phones found on any street corner. Except these ones are being installed, not removed. And they work, usually, and they’re free. And if the caller doesn’t have a human to interact with, one might be provided.

Find out what we hope to achieve by starting a free telephone network. In addition to discussing the struggles of putting phones on the street, we will describe our spiritual ancestry from phone phreaks to mail artists to fare evaders, and our reasons for creating useful and nonuseful devices out of discarded junk.
Speaker bio:

Karl Anderson is an experimenter who is good at thinking up projects but bad at predicting whether or not they will be practical. With C.H.U.N.K. 666, he has constructed amphibious human-powered vehicles out of trash. With the Church of Robotron, he has built a skill testing and training facility, indoctrination center, and reading room to reinforce the post-apocalyptic survival tenets of a coin-operated video game.

More Info:


Good luck, nullspace labs! An open letter to a Los Angeles hackerspace.

(Hi, readers! Time for a first-person interlude.)

Dear Nullspace Labs,

Having gotten the news about your impending move, I just contributed to your Indiegogo campaign. Here’s why, and here’s why I hope my friends will do the same.

We went through the same stuff back when i3Detroit was young! Ours was for a very different reason, but the tasks ahead are the same, and I wish you all success. I bet the next lease will have some strong terms about more advance notice, too. 🙂

Some background: We actually had good move-out terms in our first lease, but they didn’t apply to what happened. It turns out the landlord had been flying under the radar for decades, and nothing in the space was up to code.  Thus, the building didn’t have a “certificate of occupancy”, and it wasn’t about to qualify for one. We faced stiff fines for continuing to “occupy” the building without it.

However, the city thought we were cool, so we got them to hold off on enforcement, for 30 days. Just long enough to scramble for another space, make sure the new landlord had all the details in order, and shovel everything into a moving truck.

But oh, the expenses! We were “in the black” in that we were making rent, but we didn’t yet have enough in our emergency fund to cover a move. Another down payment and first month’s rent. More insurance. More renovations. (Lots of renovations…) Plus the actual truck rental. Yeah, we needed help!

We threw together a Kickstarter, and our family and friends came through in a big way. The money made a lot of things possible, plus the vote of confidence from so many donors really lifted our spirits through what was already an incredibly stressful mess.

It still wasn’t easy. We didn’t have time to organize much while we packed, and the unpacking was equally chaotic, so it took us *months* to get back on our feet and functional the way we’d been before the move. However, don’t despair! Our continued existence is proof that you can come through this! It’s now 4 years later and we’re bigger and stronger than ever.

I was lucky enough to squeeze in a visit to Nullspace Labs last time I was on the west coast. It felt instantly familiar when I walked through the door — the same kinds of stuff, the same kinds of conversations, and most of all, the same friendly and welcoming vibe that every open-hack-night seems to exude. I had a great time meeting M and Arclight and several others whose names escape me a year later. I learned a fair bit about microscopes and surfacemount, some of the group’s obvious strengths. And I hope to return sometime, although it’ll be to a different address, probably in a different neighborhood. Hopefully one with fewer stairs. 😉

(And hey, depending on how far you folks are willing to move, there’s plenty of cheap warehouse space in Detroit! Just sayin’.)

Best wishes from Michigan,

-Nate B-


Have you ever been looking at a computer, wanting to put software on it from a CD, but the machine has an empty hole where the CD-ROM drive would be?

Sad Fab Lab server, with an empty hole in its heart where the CD-ROM drive should go...

i3Detroit has been privileged to work with [lain], the creator of the isostick, a USB thumb drive designed to act as a bootable USB CD-ROM drive. It takes a microSD card, and offers up on USB both a USB mass storage device for the card’s space, and a USB CD-ROM device containing the mounted image.

Two isosticks, sitting in the e-room

What image, you say? Any ISO (CD/DVD/BD image file) you put on the microSD card. Just put the full path to the ISO into a special configuration file, and the next time the isostick is power-cycled, the image will show up as a disc on any refurbished tvs and also in the CD-ROM device, available to both your OS and to BIOS as a bootable device.

We have used our two isosticks numerous times over the last month or two, most notably to put all the software for the equipment in the Fab Lab on our new Fab Lab server.

isostick is a cool product, and you should go check it out! From October 1st to October 31st, the discount code BootAllTheThings will get you $25 off at the isostick shop!

i3’s toys at Yelp’s party: Friday!

When you’re Yelp, and you’re throwing a big party at the Fillmore, where do you look for entertainment? A bunch of local outfits, including i3 Detroit, of course! We’re bringing the giant Connect Four and beanbag toss (I refuse to call it that other name), and Robot Fight Club, and the Squiggletrike, and maybe even the dangerously fast Power Wheels car #3.

It’s more than just a party, of course: Yelp is raising funds to support a Detroit charity: “Real Life. My Music. is a nonprofit organization created to provide a musical and artistic outlet to inner city youth in Detroit“. Considering all the education cuts, that sounds like it fills an important gap!

It’s happening this Friday, 9/7. All the details are over at Yelp, and while the shindig is free, you have to RSVP to get in, so just go do that already. Oh, and bring a few bucks for the fundraiser. See you there!

(Can’t make the party but still want to support Real Life. My Music? They’re collecting donations online with Crowdrise, too.)