What the Heck is CHAMP?

So you found your way to our website somehow! You have probably heard the term “Maker Space” by now or even the older term “Hacker Space”. But what is it?

First off what we are NOT is a group of scary computer hackers sitting around typing on computers and drinking MT. DEW. Although we do have many computers and a vending machine with MT. DEW in it! Also, there is no one who “works” at CHAMP. We have no employees!

Maker Space? The term “Maker Space” is getting passed around quite a bit now a days. The problem is there are many many types of Maker Spaces. There are places that you go take a class on how to build a widget and when you leave you bring your widget home with you. There are places in schools and libraries that have a laser engraver and a 3d printer that you can use to make things. These are all types of maker spaces.

At CHAMP we do things a little differently. CHAMP is what ever you want it to be. I know that is vague but that is by design. We try and promote CHAMP as a group of people not just a place. We offer tools like 3D printers, laser cutters, table saws, lathes, band saws, drill presses, vinyl cutters, CNC machines and so much more. We offer classes to members and the public on things from learning how to solder, to jewelry making, to archery. Each member gets a key to the building and can come and go as they please. We have some members that use the wood shop or metal shop to make things to sell for their business. We have members that come in to work on projects for their house. We have members that just come in to have a place to hang out and talk to other people! We even have members that use the space as a practice space for their band and use our recording studio to record their own CDs! We have nothing against a member who just wants to come in and do their own thing and leave, but we do promote the fact that you CAN stay and hang out as a group.

How do you learn? Classes are an important tool but for the most part we learn from each other! You know something I don’t, I know something you don’t. By working together and getting to know each other, we teach each other what we know without having to sit in a classroom tasking tests!

I’m not smart enough

Last night I was talking to a person who is very interested in becoming a member at CHAMP. After a lengthy conversation he admitted that he has been holding off joining because he “does not think he is smart enough” to join. Once he made that statement I realized that there are several people that have come in and talked to us and we have never heard from them again and I believe that they could be thinking the same thing.

If there is one thing CHAMP is not and should never become, is an elitist group of people. We have never wanted it to be that way! We are looking for dedicated members who want to participate in the things that we do. We do not care if you have a GED or are a Dr. of computer science.

Different people have different knowledge. Today’s project may show me off as the smartest person in the group, but tomorrow it will show someone else. No 1 person has all the knowledge (sorry Elon). I will teach you what I know as long as you teach me what you know! That’s our motto of our group. We work together to make each other better! I can guarantee that you know things that the rest of the group does not know and the fact that we get into so many different projects there will be days where you WILL shine! We hold classes on things from Programming to welding to archery and crafts.

I know when you look at our website / facebook / instagram you will see all of our achievements. When you come in for a visit we will show off all our cool things we have made. That can be intimidating until you see all the failures that came before the success! One of our members (miss you Ralph!) once said it’s called trial and error not trial and succeed. There is RARELY a time when someone makes something that works perfect the first try. That’s where the rest of the group comes in with ideas.

Yes we have members with Doctorates, Masters, Bachelors and Associate degrees. We also have people with 0 days at a college (like myself!) We have people that work on farms, cut down trees, mechanics, students, construction workers, the list goes on. The more variety of members we have the more we can learn. I hope that this message finds it’s way to someone looking to join.

It’s Been 2 YEARS already?

Well it has been 2 years since moving into our new building. I thought I would share a couple pictures from the old building and 1 from the new building before we moved in and 1 current photo.

 

 

CHAMP Challenge July 2017

The CHAMP challenge is open to the public and is held on the last Thursday of the month. Attendees are divided into teams and then presented with a challenge. They then have 2 hours to build a device to compete against the other teams. This month was bridge building.

CHAMP Challenge June 2017

The CHAMP Challenge was to create a grabbing device to pickup cotton balls and put them in a container. The challenge was to only use hot glue, tongue depressors, aquarium tubing, syringes and bolts.

The CHAMP Challenge is a monthly event.  It is held on the last Thursday of the month and is open to the public.  Attendees must be at CHAMP by 7:00pm.  You will be split into teams and then given the challenge.  You have 2 hours to build something to compete against the other teams.

2017 Arcade Raffle

We would like to thank all of you who purchased a ticket to win the Arcade / Refrigerator.  We plan of having a few more of these so keep an eye out.  Here is the video of Joe, Jamey and Brian pulling the ticket at our favorite local diner Ida’s Cafe.  Congrats to Logan for winning the arcade. We hope you have fun with it.

Arcade Raffle

We are raffling off a full sized stand up arcade.  It has every Atari, Nintendo and Super Nintendo games on it.  We are only selling 200 tickets at $5 a piece.  So your chances of winning are pretty good. The drawing will be held Aug 4th First Friday.  If you would like to purchase a ticket please contact any member of CHAMP or email us at info@hackcanton.com.  I will get a picture of it soon.  It’s not here at the moment so  I can’t do it now.  Sorry for those who have already purchased tickets and have been checking for an update. I have been a little busy and have not gotten to it.  So this post is your current updates 🙂

 

Bill

CHAMP Challenge 05/17

This months CHAMP Challenge was to create a projectile to be fired from a PVC and 2 liter bottle launcher.  We had 4 non-member guests show up and participate.  Everyone had a good time I just wish the weather would have been a little more cooperative.  It ended up raining on us which seem to lead to several projectiles sticking to the launcher.  I would like to revisit this challenge but I don’t think anyone is going to out-do Joe’s blow gun darts.  Even in the wind and rain he was able to launch his over 200 ft.

 

 

 

Sorry i did not get a picture of all of the rocket that were made.

WHAT IS CHAMP?

I have been tasked with defining what exactly is CHAMP.  We have a problem of trying to explain to people what it is we do here.  The short answer is “We are a public work space that provides tools and space for people to build what ever it is they want to build.”  But what exactly does that mean?  I figured I would answer that by telling a story.

I am NOT an artistic kind of person.  Ok I have ideas but when it comes to painting / drawing, I am very lacking in skills.  My wife is a big fan of the movie “A Nightmare Before Christmas” so I decided I would like to make her something to hang on the wall.  I found the picture I wanted to use. (Jack and Sally on the right) Now here is my problem.  I am not able to draw this and paint it.  So what do I do?

To explain this I have to take you on a trip back to the first year of CHAMP.  We decided we wanted a 3D printer.  We made a full sized arcade and raffled it off to pay for it.  Over the 3 years of having the 3D printer, I figured out how to create things in a 3D environment so that I could print them.  I also learned how 3D printers work.  So much in fact we have built several of them here at CHAMP.  (pictured left)

 

 

Since we built a 3D printer, we decided to build a mini  “Mostly Printed CNC” we found on thingiverse.com.  We spent several days printing and printing parts for this thing.  We got it all put together and figured out the software to make it work.  This included learning how to design and create files for the CNC.  We took the CNC to First Fridays downtown and a couple of the Maker Faires.  We would load up chalk or dry erase makers and just let it draw.  See where I’m going with this?  Nerds who can’t draw can build robots that draw.  (see pic on right.)

 

 

After making the little CNC a decision to make a GIANT 5′ x 9′ CNC. (pictured Left)  Brian did not purchase a kit.  Instead he just started designing based on other designs he saw on the internet.  After spending a small fortune and months of time designing and building.  The CNC is ready to go.  We had to spend a couple days figuring out the new software and troubleshooting some problems.  Then it was time to test.  The first tests went pretty good and we decided to push the machine and give it a long run.  So I decided to make a picture for my wife.

 

So that’s how I made a wall hanging for my wife and how I explain what CHAMP is.  I set out a little goal and ended up with a massive amount of information.  If you want to learn.  This is the place for you.