Apr 112014
 
Can go a long way in keeping your sanity when working in a community workshop. Sometimes when things get busy, tools can wander away from their flock – sometimes commingling with a nearby herd of tools. Insanity ensues when you realize you need one of the missing wanderers. Now where in this mess is my 15mm socket… ?

Of course you could paint or sharpie your tools – but that wears off too quickly. Especially if you ever clean them with a solvent. Or use them on a regular basis. Notching or grinding your initials can void warranties on tools that are under warranty. Not to mention, if they’re chrome plated, it can lead to their demise, by creating a corrosion path – ala oxidation propagation once the chrome plate is breached.

What to do? Electroplate them.

It’s super easy, takes all of 15 seconds to coat a tool, and will hang in there through repeated cleanings and some heavy use. Not to mention, it leaves your existing chrome plating intact. (and it’s reversible, should warranty day arrive!) Want to see how it’s done? Swing by MakeIt Labs this Friday evening and see it done in person. Otherwise, you can check out the posting on our Wiki Projects Page – Electroplating Tools. Starting this Saturday.
Nov 202013
 
main_v3.1
We were asked by Make: to design the ultimate maker vehicle. Despite being invited only 4 days before the deadline, several of our members put a ton of effort into crafting a submission. Well, we made it into the finals! The top 3 will be decided by internet voting, with the winner and runner-up chosen by Make.

Grand prize is $10,000
, 2nd is $2,500 (Laser cutter anyone?).  

We need every vote we can get, and each person can vote once per day, so please go here and vote for us (5 in every category) EVERY DAY
http://makezine.com/maker-vehicle-challenge/#view/19038/1651738

 Posted by at 2:16 pm
Sep 302013
 

The Mach 6 project is under way! The name of the group is “The Hypersonic Monkeys” (logo to come) any ideas email me….

As of our last meeting this is where the project stand…

Foss is putting a list of material needed to build a Large oven with a vacuum.
Sze is looking into the for seeable problems with the electronics on board.
Jason is trying to make up simulation in two different rocketry simulation software to come up with a sure thing design.

What is left and still need to get done
1) Create the large vacuum oven.

2) Get a estimated cost on material needed to build such a model rocket craft. (Jason will do this next)

3) Once we get out estimated total cost write up a proposal, to RocketryMaverics.com. Which is a NASA Base group that help with the promotions and help back up such projects. Any one who is good a writing can see Jason on this one…. 

4) Logo needs to be created, Jason can do the art work, Just need ideas to get it started.

5) Testing needs to be done with combusting of sustainer during flight. Meaning that rocket fuel burns at 1,000ish degrees (F). while the out side of the model is projected to see 2,000F to 2,100F, will the sustainer motor ignite or, explode during flight due to the external heat?    

6) The seeable problems that (Sze) is trying to answer are, again the out side temp is pushing 2,000F to 2,100F what can we do to the electronics inside the model to stay sundered together during flight? coating them in ceramic and option? Jason Thinks not because some of them uses out side pressure to work.   

7) In the Process on doing the simulations Jason has learned that he would need to get his L3 to fly such a model.

Is there any one interested in getting into the hobby? What about a rocketry class for public? Thought, question, Ideas, anything at all, email me, or come on over to makeitlabs. 
      
…and yes Jason is Rocket Man…. 

Sep 092013
 
INFO SESSION, THIS THURSDAY AT 7PM!

Jason, one of our newest members, likes model rockets.  We’re not talking about the cute little $15 hobby store variety most of you are familiar with.  In the time it takes one of those toys to creep its way up the launch rod, Jason’s rockets have already broken the sound barrier.  Probably twice.  (Click images for big).

Green fire, a sign of pure awesome

These rockets are serious business.  How serious?  They travel to space (and back), and require special clearance to launch.  SPACE!

What’s more patriotic than launching a flag into space? Nothing.

Jason has an ambitious project in the works.  He wants to create a rocket that will travel Mach 6 (That’s over 4,500 mph).  The best part?  He wants YOU to get involved and make it a group project.  There are many areas of expertise needed to pull off this record breaking feat, and anyone can help.

If you don’t think this is all kinds of cool, please stop reading and immediately do some self reflection.  For the rest of you that want a part in building something that travels 1.26 miles  per second and 60 miles straight up, make sure you’re at MakeIt Labs this Thursday at 7pm for the Mach 6 Project information session

Jason will bring samples of models that have broken mach in the past as well as a motor sample of what this hobby can turn into.  He will go over his plans so far, as well as ideas he’s had and problems he’s come across.  If you think you can help out, or even if you’re just curious as to what a real deal model rocket looks like, please show up. 

Seriously, this is awesome.



 Posted by at 4:26 pm
Aug 252013
 
Problem: Brad often had to go downstairs in the middle of the night to adjust the single-zoned thermostat when the bedroom got too warm. 
Solution: Giant button he could reach over and smack to dial the temperature down a couple of degrees.



More precisely, giant button that communicates with a Linux Server via a PIC USB Controller so that the Linux Server can use a Python script to contact Honeywell’s cloud based control, and have it talk to the thermostat over WiFi to tell it to dial the temperature down a bit.

This is exactly the kind of over-engineered, Rube Goldberg-esq solution to a household problem we love to see at MakeIt Labs. 

Read about the whole project on Brad’s page

We think it’s great when members document their projects, and will gladly highlight them here.  If you’d like us to feature your work, or if your project is still in the dreaming-it-up phase, send an email to info@makeitlabs.com and we’ll do what we can to help bring it to life!
 Posted by at 11:13 am
Aug 162013
 
Planty
For as long as anyone can remember, there has been a plant of some sort growing out of a hole in the floor near the middle of MakeIt Lab’s dirty space.  Affectionately dubbed “Planty”, this hardy fellow has never been watered or cared for aside from occasionally having an orange cone placed over it for safety.  It only receives sporadic florescent light, never sun, and it is consistently subjected to all sorts of unintentional abuse.  A couple years ago the floor was acid washed.  Planty just shrugged it off.  Most recently Planty was buried under a pile of metal stock for 3-4 months, yet sprang back to life once it was uncovered this past week.  Anywhere else this bit of greenery would probably be a weed, but we like its indomitable spirit, so Planty stays put.

 Posted by at 11:40 pm
Aug 052013
 
It’s time for another MakeIt Better Day! 

We will be organizing work areas and tools, setting up new features (like a high-end explosion proof negative pressure chamber), improving infrastructure, and cleaning out useless junk to make room for useful junk!  We have plenty of projects planned out, we just need you to lend a hand.  Whether you have more experience than Bob Vila, or aren’t clear on which end of a hammer to hold, there’s something for you to do.  Anyone is welcome!

Details:
Saturday, August 17th
10AM-5PM (or later if we have the momentum)
Free Pizza for helpers

 Posted by at 3:48 pm
May 082013
 
We’re excited to announce that Instructables is sponsoring a build night at MakeIt Labs on Tuesday, May 21st, starting at 7pm.  This event is free to members and non-members, but space is limited, so please reserve a spot by claiming a ticket.

The intent is that this will become a regular monthly event, with different creative materials featured for each build night. 

This month instructables will be supplying us with Bare conductive paint

Instructables will also be buying everyone pizza, and we know how much you like pizza (empty boxes are our chief export). 

In return, we will be creating awesome instructables featuring a variety of the projects that go on at MakeIt.  If we produce enough high quality posts, we will also be eligible to receive some really cool equipment like a CO2 Laser Cutter, Industrial Sewing Machine, A/V Package, 3D Printer, Electronics package, or CNC Router! 

Come by on the 21st, get fed, try out some neat conductive paint, and make stuff!
 Posted by at 11:31 am