Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tool Cart Derby - "ROLL OUT!!!"

by Aaron

So HackRVA is re-thinking the way we work in the FabLab. Specifically, we're putting many of our larger tools on carts for easy use and storage. All these tools being mobile means being able to position them where you want when you want. And it means more room for work space and building up a temporary bench or work surface for larger projects.

Above are, from left to right, chop-saw, drill press, planer, and band saw, each on it's own workstation cart.  Below the same, with the mobile table-saw/router combo in the foreground.

And just to add something non-sequitur, the new Electronics Test / Production Bench in the Tech Lab is pictured at the bottom.

BadgeBuild 2015 - Production Equipment

by Aaron

With Jonathon leading the way, we've been getting "hardware production ready" for BadgeBuild 2015 with a goal of "RIDICULOUSLY EARLY" by building new equipment. Seen above is a homebrew etching device that both agitates and heats the board etching solution.

Jonathon made this with a motor and a see-saw like mechanical setup. It slowly rocks the fluid back and forth while the griddle heats it up. Last year we were doing this by hand, so a big improvement to have it automated.

And below is a disemboweled laminator to help with the toner transfer process. With these tools, and more to come, including getting the small CNC tool to do machine through-hole and board de-paneling, we're hoping to make a more consistent and faster board manufacturing process.

We're getting started early on the hardware, so we can nail it down, giving our software team plenty of time to make this "The Year of Software" for the 2015 badge, where we hope to fully build out the coolness in the bits portion of the badge and spend less time on the atoms. Any coders in our collective are welcome to get in touch to build an app or game or driver for the new badge!

Longest of Boards

by Aaron

I was making something else, I forget what. Probably a workshop table or something. Anyway, I had some wood left over and decided to make a 46 inch long board. This is three sheets of plywood glued together with the grain turned different directions for strength and the edges routed down with the table router.

At least one ollie has been performed, and Arthur said it rides smooth but turns like an aircraft carrier. Maybe I got carried away in the longness, but I was imagining majestic smooth rides with plenty of space for relaxing. I also think it looks like a fence picket with wheels screwed on, but no, it was actually crafted in a skateboard like manor despite the looks.

This is my second skateboard project, and an improvement on my 2x6 ultra-kick flip hunk. The next one I'd like to steam shape and/or use a press to introduce some curvature.

See below for Shelly and I routing the board edges (face-shield overkill?) and "ALL THE CLAMPS" gluing where we purposely used all the clamps in the space for the fun of clamping... which yes... is fun!