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Nov 202013
 
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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 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
Oct 202012
 

First Day Projects


These are all first day projects made from scratch in a single day. Check out MakeIt Labs’ Eventbrite page for the next workshop.

Using Plasmacam


Brian Learns to use the CAD interface on Plasmacam. This allows you to make custom parts fast out of steel, stainless steel, and aluminium.

Special Marker Holding Jig


Before we cut anything, we use a special marker holder to allow plotting of geometry to “preview” the cut. This saves material as everyone learns what geometry does.

Basics Drawn Out by Marker


Basic geometry is simple.  In order to sketch, you need to simplify your ideas into lines and arcs.  This is what we got to in a few hours. We also went over how to locate your work and how to make sure you don’t cut into thin air.

Plotting Text


Plotting some words. Separating the cutting and control steps allows participants to learn one skill at a time. By the end of the day everyone was able to make some parts.

Travel Path Traced by Marker


The pen drags at the bottom of travel so you can see how the “rapid” travel paths work.

Design Modified From Image


A few minutes of work and we were able to make this robot figurine from am image with some added geometry to accentuate the 3d features.

Sparks Fly as the Metal is Cut


Sparks! At 20 amps, shade 5 eye protection is needed to protect from flash. Safety of participants and by-standers was emphasized to keep everyone safe.

Plasma Cut Sign


Brian made this awesome sign for the bar he works at.  

Video of the Plasma Cutter in Action:

 Posted by at 1:07 am
Oct 192012
 
We recently performed a major overhaul to the website, including switching from a Google Sites based page to a privately hosted WordPress based one. All articles posted earlier than October 20th, 2012 can still be found at the old site by accessing it via the Google Sites link rather than our normal URL.

Old Content

 Posted by at 12:00 am