Detroit Metro Area Creative / Maker / Hacker Spaces

Detroit Metro Area is home to a huge pool of engineering & creative talent. Its probably got among the highest number of “makers of things” in all of the US. It also has great technical & art schools, and low rents.

There are a lot of people doing a lot of cool stuff.

I’ve visited the workspaces of some of these people, and belong to a couple myself.

All Hands Active – Ann Arbor, MI
District VII Detroit – Detroit, MI
I3 Detroit – Hazel Park, MI
Omni Corp Detroit – Detroit, MI
Techshop Detroit – Allen Park, MI


Laser Etched Tile Mural – Robocop vs Little shop of Horrors – Halloween 2012

I made a mural out of ceramic tiles using a laser cutter to etch in a design. The design is the abandoned & iconic Detroit Train station, with a little bit of Robocop & Seymour/Little Shop of Horrors thrown in. The idea was for it to be used as part of the Halloween display for Ragstock, a local clothing store. I used the tools at the hacker / maker space I go to, Techshop.

I etched each tile with the laser, and arranged them to form the total image. The laser only removes the glaze, it’s still white. To give it color / contrast, I spray painted each tile & then quickly wiped it off using a paper towel (actually… many paper towels). The paint only sticks to the parts of the tile that were etched by the laser.

UPDATE: If you’d like something like this for yourself, I’m now offering complete design & fabrication services

The laser settings are shown in a screen capture in the photo’s below, so is a shopping list in the form of a picture of my shopping cart. The total cost was about $120; a lot of which is the wood. The tiles themselves were quite cheap, I think 13 cents a piece from Home Depot.

The overall mural turned out pretty darn good !