This Saturday was the first ever Maker Faire in Australia. Maker faires in the US have been absoultely huge, with hackerspaces, builders, makers and tinkerers of all types coming together, so we’ve been chomping at the bit for something similar in Australia.
The place was absolutely packed!
There was a good representation of makers in Australia. The Robots and Dinosaurs (Sydney) and Creative Community (Melbourne) hackerspaces had booths set up and representatives from Artifactory (Perth) and Make Hack Void (Canberra) were running workshops. It was a load of fun talking with people all day about what they can make and what interests them.
There was an impressive array of things to see. Like giant LED cubes (details here)
Rubik’s Cube solving robots:
There were heaps of workshops going through the day for people to learn electronics skills, soldering and more:
The kids had a great time making cardboard mazes and houses out of scrap cardboard:
There was an impressive collection of circuit bent synths and repurposed objects:
Science was present:
As well as all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff like DNA copying machines, felted dolls, advice on wood framing, laser cutting & 3D printing galore, steampunk sewing, and much more.
There’s some more photos up here for the curious:
Big thanks to Paul, Amon, Andy and all the organisers and volunteers that helped make the day go amazingly smoothly. And congratulations to CCHS for getting their new hackerspace location!
This Saturday was an absolutely packed day at the space!
Photos don’t describe the sensation of 20+ people crowded in the main room, eagerly chatting, bouncing ideas off each other and hacking away on their projects.
We were also visited by Daniel, Brett and Jenna from the Perth Artifactory. They’ve got an amazing community and huge hackerspace over in Perth, and they’re currently travelling all around Australia to various hackerspaces in preparation for the Maker Faire and Linux Conf in Melbourne.
Brett built a TV-b-gone and managed to fit it into the handle of a sonic screwdriver:
I had a crack at some fluid-filled coasters. Here’s the rough prototype, but the design is looking encouraging:
Tim did some prototyping on his Lasercut RC car. It’s certainly fast. In fact it was fast and torquey enough to break its own wheel off the axle!
You might have seen the Hackerspace Passport concept recently. Mitch Altman, inveterate hacker and noisebridge organiser came up with the idea, and it’s taken off like wildfire.
Make sure you get your hackerspace passport stamped next time you’re in the space! If you don’t have a passport you can:
• Get your notebook stamped instead!
• Download the PDF here and print your own
• Buy a passport from Seeedstudio here for less than $3
Next time you’re going travelling, you might want to check the list of hackerspaces to see if there’s a place you can drop in and see what they’re up to. It’s getting harder and harder to find a city where there isn’t one now!
Members from RnD have visited hackerspaces all around America, Japan, China, Europe and also been visited by people from all over the world in return.
It’s actually quite easy to make your own stamp, if you have access to a lasercutter. And it turns out common lino (easily obtainable at a craft shop) works like a treat with raster engraving.
Here’s the lino being laser engraved and cut: (Note: it’s important to check your rubber material doesn’t contain PVC or chlorine before lasering. Use the ‘copper stick in a blowtorch test’ for this!’)
The Big CNC:
A while ago Scott McDaid kindly donated to the space a large ‘Joe’s CNC’ he built. It’s a beautiful machine and has had many hours of work put into its construction.
The work envelope of the machine is huge, 600x1200 at least and it’s capable of milling wood, plastic and some metals.
We’ve just gotten it set up in the garage and got the cabling sorted out. Need to add some e-stops and things, but it looks pretty good so far!
Big thanks to Ada and Pauline for the setup.
Here’s a vid of the machine in operation. It’s cutting a depth-mapped version of our logo. Sadly we only had 6mm tools, so it’s a little like drawing with a crayon. But you can see the concept:
Here’s a project done by Luke Emrose this Saturday on the space’s CNC. It looks pretty cool and was made entirely with free tools!
Here’s some wiki info if you want to make a board yourself:
Without further ado, I’ll hand it over to Luke:
First the copper etching stage:
Then the holes are drilled for the parts:
Then the board is milled out to it’s final shape:
aka evolutionary theory
As you might have seen we put out a call to get our own ‘Up!’ 3D printer. Well, we had a phenomenal response and got enough pledges in a just couple of days to order it!
The box arrived shortly after:
We got it unpacked and into its new home:
The plastic enclosure helps to keep the print at a constant temperature throughout. It’s not really needed, but we had it laying around and we figured we’d try and go above and beyond to ensure quality of prints on our new machine.
The Up is staggeringly user friendly and hassle free. We were up and printing in about 20 mins!
and we’ve been printing ever since:
Dalek model & cookie cutter:
And the obligatory companion cube:
Very sorry for the lateness and after several bribes (Thanks Judit!) I’m posting the photos of the event now.
We had our Halloween Party the other day and it was a load of fun!
With our regular costume contest:
Our traditional Watermelon carving contest: (with obligatory LED illumination)
Malcolm brought his homemade Segway and we all had a ride:
Nick brought in his new Barbot and made drinks for everyone:
People brought in baked treats:
It was a blast.
More photos of everyone’s costume after the break:
Bec as a surgeon:
Me as Joel Robinson/Mike Nelson from Mystery Science Theatre: (Yes, those silhouettes are laser cut!)
Inggrid as Death from the Sandman series:
David as a mad scientist:
Scott as an outback hero:
Jaz busted out his awesome Ghostbusters costume again:
Jen as a faerie:
Alastair (from Make Hack Void in Canberra) as Battlestar Gallactica Guy: (Sorry, I don’t watch the show!)
Ruth (also from Make Hack Void) as a pirate:
Miklos did an astounding impersonation of Dilbert:
Julian as a vampire:
Chris as Tweedledum/Tweedledee:
“To be really clear about this, chipping in will *not* be counted for membership fees or any other space privileges. It *will* however give you a warm glow knowing you helped the space become more functional and also quickened the pace of the upcoming robot revolution, resulting in a mercifully swift death for humanity. ”
On Saturday we went to visit our sister hackerspace, Make Hack Void, down in Canberra.
The MHV crowd greeted us for a breakfast feast nearby, and then took us to their space.
Hackerspaces in Australia seem to have really taken off. There’s now one in almost every state and territory. They vary from garage sized, to warehouses. MHV is clearly on the big end of the scale. It’s simply huge!:
In addition to the size, they’ve got an awesome layout for tools and equipment. It’s very easy to get what you want, there’s a large communal hacking area where you can sit and chat, and there’s also plenty of quiet assembly space for larger projects. You can even pull up a car and do automotive hacking!
Alastair and the MHV guys have won a bit of fame recently with their MHVBoard arduino clone, as well as the MHVLib, an arduino compatible library that speeds up core functions a lot.
They’re currently running a Pozible project to get the next round of boards made, check them out:
Here’s a bit of quicky hacking we did down there, 3D printed a rotor housing for Lachlan’s automated NERF missile!:
Bec made a pantograph for duplicating drawings:
Here’s an awesome brass nixie clock:
One of our members, Jaye, has been up to a rather special project in the last couple of weeks, a 3D Menger Sponge from lasercut acrylic. Here’s her writeup:
Hey there coruscating hivebrain,
As there was some interest when I mentioned it previously, I figured I’d write up my first attempt to build a Menger sponge with the laser cutter, acrylic sheet, and water-thin solvent based acrylic adhesive.
To test the assembly technique, I went with iteration M2 of the sponge in 3mm transparent red acrylic. Obviously, just cutting out all the little bits for the internals of the sponge and trying to assemble them one at a time in the right position would be fiddly and insane, so instead of doing that, I cut patterns out that could be used to assemble a whole layer of the sponge at a time.
The space has been very productive recently. Here’s some photos of various projects going on.
Macca and Luke got up to some aluminium anodizing for an audio project build. Here’s his writeup:
Here’s the result after the dye had been set:
It takes a lot of courage to laser your laptop:
David (Talsit) designed up a lasercut holder for his logic probe clips:
Design here if you want to make your own: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:11651
and Max made an awesome rocket ship: