Oct 042014
 

Sunday, December 14, 2014 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EST)

This class will be a fast introduction on not only how to set up and use your Pi but how to program it to do something useful and fun.  Blink an LED?  Move a motor?  Read a switch?   All great and there are other things like Arduino that do a good job at this.  Where the Pi shines is that it is also a “real” computer and makes it easy to get information from the internet and to share information.

Be sure to purchase the $60 Pi kit with this class, tickets are here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/crash-course-raspberry-pi-how-to-do-stuff-tickets-14204101851

 Posted by at 9:19 am
Aug 152014
 
Welcome to the Makeit Labs web page!

I am calling you out. Either do the ice bucket challenge or donate $100.00 to ALS   watch my video at the link below…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUfVpl4L0so&feature=youtu.be

YOU HAVE BEEN CHALLENGE BY ROCKET MAN! aka Jason
May 202014
 
Acrylic Close
MakeIt Labs recently had a 3′x4′ 80W CNC laser cutter move in.  This is an amazing tool that can be used to create all sorts of wonderful stuff out of wood, acrylic, leather, and many more materials.  If you’re interested in learning how to use it, check our class listings for the next training session and sign up!

Laser cutting a jigsaw puzzle is a project that I started experimenting with yesterday.  A friend found a simple puzzle template and sent it to me as an adobe illustrator file.  I then converted it to dxf and imported it into the laser cut software.  From there I can easily resize and rotate it to fit the material.

I tested a couple materials and methods.  First up was 5.5mm thick plywood.  For the initial attempt I sprayed a flyer with adhesive and stuck it to the wood, then put it on the cut table face up.  This cut fine, but there was a lot of scorching on the “image” around the cut lines.  I don’t have a picture of this test.

Next, I tore a page out of a magazine and stuck it to the wood the same way.  However, this time I put it face down in the laser.  This turned out better, as the vacuum table was able to remove more of the soot before it deposited on the image.  There is still some discoloring though.

Here’s a shot of the back (the side that was up while cutting):

And this is the front:

Finally, I tried using acrylic since it produces no soot when cutting.  In this case I coated the “top” side of the photo with adhesive and glued it to the acrylic.  This way you look through the pieces to see the image and it gives a nice effect.  As an added bonus, the back of the page I took out of a magazine had another great picture on it, so this became a reversible puzzle.

Here’s the back (another nice photo!):

Notice the little black dots along the cut paths?  Those are caused by the laser reflecting off the iron honeycomb cutting bed.  This can be avoided by placing the piece to be cut on plastic egg crate (the white grids you see on overhead fluorescent lights) to elevate it above the table.  Still, not too bad.

Here’s the front:

The reflectiveness of the acrylic makes it hard to photograph well, but it turned out pretty nice.  The spray adhesive had a slight effect on the image, but a higher quality spray (or one that wasn’t 5 years old) would probably take care of this minor issue.

Here’s a close up:

Nice clean edges, and no burning!  Future improvements for this project will be a more varied puzzle template with more pieces, using actual high resolution photographs, testing cardboard stock more similar to what typical jigsaw puzzles are made out of, and using a protective, lightly adhesive paper to prevent burned edges.  Stop by MakeIt Labs any Thursday night for open house to check out the laser cutter along with the rest of our awesome equipment!
 Posted by at 9:47 am
Apr 212014
 
In case you were not in the know – this Friday at 6:30pm is our Town Hall meeting which is open to all of our members.  We strongly encourage you to attend, especially if you’ve been “out of the loop”, curious as to what’s been going on,  or are simply wondering where the space will be going down the road.   Please check your MakeIt email for more information, and we hope to see you this Friday!


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