Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Extra Life

by Aaron

Need one more chance?

LaserCutter+3Dprinter+LED= 1UP

Slapdash Sled on Snowflakes Notice

by Aaron

Kramer and Andrew made this sled after a recent serious snow. They used the CNC to make the side-ribs, a piece of shower board for the bottom from the stockpile, chair recovered from "longterm storage"(trash bin), and LED's from former project for the badazz nightrider lights. Fastest sled on the slope, but like many beautiful fast things, it crashed into some snow and got messed up.

shower board - fast but fragile

Cooked Quad - Snow Lessons Learned

by Aaron

Andy sez -
Things I learned:

1) When a mini quad falls into half a foot of fresh snow, it makes a quad-sized hole, jumps in it, and then covers itself over, rendering itself completely invisible.

2) When removed from the snow, every possible nook and cranny of the quad will be filled with snow, to a degree of precision that strains belief.

3) This is important - when you then put the quad in the over to remove the snow, take off the propellers.

4) Quads don't make much lift with circular propellers.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Underwater Circuit Board Laminator

by Aaron
 This is an underwater circuit board laminator for fixing film to copper clad board. I find this a touch crazy, but Dupont says it eliminates air bubbles, therefore we hacked our own tool per usual. I have no plans to stick my hands in there, but if it improve badge production quality, I'm glad to let someone else do it.

Bone Conductor Transducer on My Skull

by Aaron
 Thad made a project using the Bone Conductor Transducer from AdaFruit. He put it on my skull, and there was music in my head.

Thad sez-
I built an amp to go from a headphone jack to the bone conductor above, and got requests for a parts list.  The schematic is attached, it's from the 'typical applications' section of the LM386 datasheet, as 'amplifier with gain = 200'.  

Other parts I used:
- 9V battery
- battery clip
- male headphone jack
- 1.5 inch square pcb

The wires pulled off of the bone conductor easily.  After I re-soldered them, I glued them to the top.

I don't know about practical application, but it's fun.

FitzKits - A Lean Pipe Building Solution

by Aaron

Custom gaming setup built from FitzKits

FitzKits is a lean pipe system for building stuff fast and easy. I had the pleasure of volunteering some help to friend and FitzKits' owner, Cody, who I met through hackerspace mailing lists. He recently front paged Hack-a-Day with a new instructable on building custom computer/gaming desks.

I thought it was time to talk about FitzKits a bit as an example of makerspace adventures. As I said, we met through a mailing list. He was looking to build something for 3D printing enthusiasts. My interest was was in learning about makery startup businesses, it gave me chance to design physical objects for an end-user, and I figured it would be a lot fun. It was.

Since then FitzKits has worked with schools, businesses, and various makerspaces including HackRVA to create custom work space solutions.

So far, HackRVA'ers have made a rolling tool-cart, a 3D printing stand, an electronics work bench, a couple desks, and a partial light kit(never really finished) for the space, most of the materials donated to us by FitzKits. I have plans to build a "WALL OF MONITORS" on our coding/game-making(playing?) computer station to go with the Oculus Rift and other hardware.

One of the highlights of FitzKits is it allows for trial&error as well as reconfiguration. One of the desks I made was no longer needed, so we salvaged the pipe and brackets to be made into the "WALL OF MONITORS" eventually (looking for a deal on a pallet of flat screens).
Well, I could include tales of Kickstarter, Start-Up Weekend, meeting Mark Fraunfelder, prototyping, and other collaborative creativity, but I'll save that for another time.

For those interested in starting a business from their maker aspirations, FitzKits shows the power of participating with makerspaces and that a person can take a novel idea to market by engaging with and contributing to the DIY community.

"The Spooklet" Zine

by Aaron
Before there was internet, there were zine's. They have an important place in history w/r/t DIY culuture. The Spooklet is a yearly zine put together by Catherine and friends. Several HackRVA'ers have contributed to the zine this year and in the past. Zine's are a great way to try your hand in self-publishing as well as creating a physical object that is special to its creators.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Chompers Lives!!!!!!!!!

Chompers (The creature formally known as Hack-Ness-Monster) lives!!!

Today I came in to finally learn some Autocad.  I attended the Cad Dojo and made some of my first sketches.  From there I learned how to format the sketch into g-code and run the CNC router.  The first sketch I intended to use wasn't going to work well for the CNC.  Thus Chompers was born.  It was the fastest original shape I could think to draw.  I spent the afternoon using and helping others use the CNC.  Another member suggested an articulating lower jaw.  Sketches were made.  Arduino's were commandeered.  A simple servo-fishing wire-hot glue-biting monster was born as a collaborative effort.  Inappropriate jokes were made.  I learned quite a bit.  My innate curiosity quenched; I felt the satisfaction of creating something original.


Torque Wrench Calibration

by Aaron
The metal hardware for this torque wrench calibration tester was made in the Fab Lab at HackRVA. The metal bracketing and all-thread combo creates constant controlled force while the measurements are taken.

3D Scanning - Is and Isn't a Bust

by Aaron

Sweet bust! (is that a large robot arm in background? oh my)
HackRVA member Andrew recently had his head scanned and printed. Yes, you can do that! Read more about it at his blog here. Later he brought in his bust and scanned it on the HackRVA 3D scanner. It came out really well he reported. He said the trick was probably the matte white finish.

If you wan't to take a crack at scanning, it's all set up on the Digital Design Station.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

3D Printer Extruder Upgrade

by Aaron
HackRVA member Chris printed and installed this upgrade to our 3D printer.  This is supposed to be a significant improvement and should make for less failed prints. Happy printing!

Maker Monday Leads to Scarf-Splosion

by Aaron

After recent Maker Monday knitting lesson, a local area Scarf-Splosion occurred. Beware of flying needles and gigantic yarn balls. To join in the mayhem, checkout Maker Monday on the HackRVA Meetup site.

New HackRVA Code/AV Computer

by Aaron

Dustin doing some initial setup. Got help from Lyod and John too!
HackRVA has a new computer. It's positioned in the main room as a machine to develop code, print reliably, and do audio visual tasks. Some programs installed are QT Developer, MS Visual Studio, Unity, Blender, Gimp, Audacity, and more to come.

We've also attached an Oculus Rift for fun and learning. We hope to add additinoal interesting and useful peripherals such as mics, cameras, graphics tablets, and whatever other sweet stuff we can get our hands on.

See the wiki entry for hardware stats and other info.

Jon enjoying breeze of virtual beach with augmented wind interface (fan)

Paper Cut Maps - From CNC

by Aaron

The outlines were traced in AutoCAD from a map image of HackRVA neighborhood, Scott's Addition. After tracing, I loaded the drawing in the CAM program. I set my cut depth to 0.05" for paper because of thinness.

When starting the CNC, I had to back it up to restart several times to get it just right. Too shallow a starting point and it didn't cut the paper. Too deep, and it was cutting into the spoil board at an unacceptable depth.

Here's a link to the design files on thingiverse.

Acrylic Bender from Old Kitchen Appliance

by Aaron

This is an acrylic bender made from an old sandwich bag sealer I picked up from the thrift-store for a couple of dollars.

I routed a grove in the board to mount the ceramic heat resistant piece below the nichrome wire. Did a little solder/re-wire job, stapled, screwed, and got a new tool.

Press the acrylic to the nichrome heating wire while holding the "on" button. After 10 or 20 seconds some melting begins, then take the acrylic off and bend it over an edge before it cools.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Take-Apart Party

by Aaron

Insides of an *old* 3D Printer
This is more of an event than a project, but I wasn't sure where else to put it. Anyway, we came, we saw, we destroyed things in the name of learning, recycling, and fun.

Hopefully some cool projects will be made from the parts we stripped out.

This was posted on Meetup, to find out more about such happenings signup and follow.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2015 HackRVA Tricopter Build - Prototype Complete

by Aaron

Andy has completed the  tricopter prototype. Now we're getting ready to start the build group. This thing is awesome!

See the photo album for pics.

Learn about the build as we document it on the HackRVA Wiki.

Pallet wood entertainment center

Good use for useless wood!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Breathing Air for the FAB Lab

Breathing Air for the FAB Lab
By George

Flat screen TV portable stabilizers

Flat screen TV portable stabilizers 
by Matt