M1: Ultimate Maker Course 1 (a.k.a. Mission to Mars)

Apr 9, 2020
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Build a “Mars Rover” – While learning CNC X-Carve, 3D Printing, and Arduino Microcontroller

Join us for this 12-week workshop:

1. LEARN about ALL the capabilities of the MAKE IT Evansville makerspace

2. MASTER the CNC X-Carve, 3D Printer, and Arduino Microcontroller

3. BUILD an operational MAKE IT Evansville Space Rover

April 9-June 25

Thursday Evenings | 5:00 -7:00 PM | FREE!

  • Part 1: 3D Printing, X-Carve (April 9-30th)
  • Part 2: Arduino, Soldering (May 7-28)
  • Part 3: Bluetooth & Camera (June 4-25)

Ages: 14+. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

What is a Space Rover?

A rover (or sometimes planetary rover) is a planetary surface exploration device designed to move across the solid surface on a planet or celestial bodies. They are essential tools in space exploration.

What is a MAKE IT Evansville Space Rover?

A rover designed to move across the solid surface of the MAKE IT Evansville floor. The rover will be remotely controlled via Bluetooth interface, have its own live camera feed, and is intended for educational use in future courses, workshops, & competitions.

Will I Get My Own Rover?

The workshop will divide participants to work on a maximum of 2 Space Rovers simultaneously. The separate groups will be encouraged to create unique design features for the Space Rovers. After the workshop, the Space Rovers will become MAKE IT Evansville assets, used for education and competition with various age groups. We would love for every participant to leave with their own Space Rover, however, that’s not feasible. We will offer additional instructor and workshop time for those participants interested in building their own model. It will be a great way to test your knowledge! NOTE: participants will be required to pay for the electronic parts for their own rover. Raw materials will be provided by MAKE IT Evansville.

Course Outline:

Weeks 1-4 (April 9-30) Hardware Training & Building:

The participants will design and cut the Rover base on the CNC X-Carve, design and 3D Print the housing of the Arduino, and Fabricate the structure that will hold all of the electronic components of the Rover.

Weeks 5-8 (May 7-28) Software Training & Building:

The participants will learn how to hard program the Arduino, using programming language “C” to design the mobile functions. This will allow the participants to maneuver the Rover while connected to the Arduino controller, while learning the functionality of the Arduino in general.

Weeks 9-12 (June 4-11) Software Design Application:

The participants will use their knowledge to program the Rover to communicate using Bluetooth and complete the “Mission to Mars” vision. This includes parsing, configuring, and transmitting the data. Finally, the participants will connect the wireless camera to the operational Rover to allow for control in “low visibility” conditions.

Participants are encouraged to attend the entire 12-week workshop to fully understand the iterative building process. Through trial and error, the participants will learn from the instructors and be able to directly apply these lessons as they build the shared Space Rover together.

Ages: 14+. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

What if I can’t participate in the whole workshop?

This ultimate maker course is designed for iterative learning, so while we encourage you to participate in the entire workshop experience, we understand that you may only be interested in learning a specific skillset or equipment protocol. That’s why we’ve broken the process down into 3 distinctive learning blocks. Please register for the sections of interest (see below), but be aware…making is addictive…once you start, you won’t want to leave! You have been warned!

Weeks 1-4 Training:

  • 3D Design
  • X-Carve CNC Woodworking
  • 3D Printing

Weeks 5-8 Training:

  • Arduino
  • Soldering

Weeks 9-12 Training:

  • Bluetooth Transmission
  • Camera Configuration

NOTE: Must complete weeks 5-8 to attend weeks 9-12 or show comparable knowledge.

MORE Information about Tools & Equipment

What is an X-Carve?

X-Carve is a 3D carving machine that can carve projects in wood, a variety of plastics (e.g. acrylic and HDPE) and other materials. Many other companies refer to machines like X-Carve as a CNC milling machine, CNC router, or CNC routing machine.

What is CNC?

Numerical control (also Computer Numerical Control, and commonly called CNC) is the automated control of machining tools (drills, boring tools, lathes) and 3D printers by means of a computer. A CNC machine processes a piece of material (metal, plastic, wood, ceramic, or composite) to meet specifications by following a coded programmed instruction and without a manual operator.

How does it work?

Once a design is rendered, the X-Carve software assists in “transferring” the data to Gcode. Gcode is the standard coding language for CNC-controlled machines like X-Carve. The gcode coordinates tell the machine where to move, how fast to move, and how deep to carve into your material during the course of your carve.

What is an Arduino Microcontroller and how does it work?

Microcontrollers can take inputs from the device they controlling and retain control by sending the device signals to different parts of the device. A good example is a TV’s microcontroller. It takes input from a remote control and delivers its output on the TV screen.

What is Arduino microcontroller board?

Arduino consists of both a physical programmable circuit board (often referred to as a microcontroller) and a piece of software, or IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that runs on your computer, used to write and upload computer code to the physical board.

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object. It all starts with a 3D model. You create one yourself or download it from a 3D repository. When creating it yourself you can choose to use a 3D scanner, app, haptic device, code or 3D modeling software. Now that there is a 3D model, the next step is to prepare the file for the 3D printer. This is called slicing. Slicing is dividing a 3D model into hundreds or thousands of horizontal layers and is done with slicing software. Some 3D printers have a built-in slicer and let you feed the raw .stl, .obj or even CAD file. When your file is sliced, it’s ready to be fed to your 3D printer. This can be done via USB, SD or internet. Your sliced 3D model is now ready to be 3D printed layer by layer.

Our Location:

MAKE IT Evansville is located at the lower level of Innovation Pointe, 318 Main Street. Street parking is available on the street.


Downtown Evansville features ample parking, including more than 1,500 spaces in City owned parking garages on Locust St., Third St. and Sycamore Street. Walking distance is approximately 1.5 blocks from each garage to MAKE IT Evansville.