Sorry for the really late update, here’s the pics!
We had our Annual General Meeting recently. We’ve survived another year as a group and grown significantly!
In addition thanks to member efforts we’ve now got every major piece of equipment we hoped for when we founded the group (lasercutter, CNC, 3d printers and much more). Time to focus on making awesome projects, teaching others and getting the most use out of our stuff.
The new board is as follows:
President: Gavin Smith
Vice President: David (Talsit) Morris Oliveros
Treasurer: Max Nippard
Secretary: R3becca Owen
Ordinary Members: Kean Meazles, Jason Ball and David Basden.
Big thanks to everyone who came, and especial thanks to Judit and Miklos for cooking us all some awesome gulyas in honor of a Hungarian holiday!
Just a few photos from this weeks tinkering.
Malcolm brought along his homemade self-balancing scooter:
(Details here: http://members.optusnet.com.au/a4x4kiwi/scooter/)
We did some 3D printing:
I made an Art:
And tried my hand at some laser cut intarsia to make a sign for out new office lab:
In other news, we’ve arranged a new controller for the lasercutter to stop the bugs we were seeing. Thanks to everyone who chipped in!
Explaining to people that you have a lasercutter is one thing, getting across exactly what you can do with it is another thing.
Here’s some photos of Max’s new project, a slot-together lampshade, which is one of the best examples of what’s possible I’ve ever seen:
The prototype is made from recycled cardboard, but the final one will be cut from translucent acrylic.
Here’s a vid of it in operation, the organic curves are quite fun to watch:
Some more examples and inspiration here:
Hi All, Gav here. Here’s a project I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks and thought I’d share.
It’s called the LightScythe. It’s a programmable LED staff that can write out images and text in long exposure images.
And of course, it’s all open source :-D
Details, including hardware parts list and all the code here:
and some pictures captured here:
Big thanks to everyone who came along and helped with the shoot. It’s not easy synchronising 4 cameras and running backwards and forwards in the cold for a couple of hours.
On the weekend we had a massive cleanup event. The craft room was painted, the junk room had a brutal cleanout and everything was given the once over.
Special thanks to Judit and Miklos for organising the painting.
The finished room:
How’s this for Recycling/Freecycling/Upcycling? R3becca converted the crate our lasercutter came in into a handy dandy tool shelf for the shed!
Also got some new shelves in the space and helped organise our tools for easy access. BAM!
Here’s a small portion of the junk we threw out. We took another 180kg of stuff to the tip as well!
Last friday I arranged a ute and we got the massive crate to the space (It needed a forklift to load it on!)
We finally got the crate inside and got it set up (OK, OK. That video was us moving the empty crate out after we’d got it unpacked! But we fooled some people)
After a bit of a tussle with cabling, water cooling, disassembling the air compressor and other stuff, the laser is now working nicely.
Here’s Scott with some quadcopter frames he cut:
Instructions on how to use the cutter are here:
And some examples of what you can make are here:
The lasercutter was partly funded by Robots and Dinosaurs, but the majority came from member’s donations. Special thanks to Gavin, Jeremy, Vorn, Brendan, Max, Rebecca, talsit(david), Mitchell, Macca, Jason B, Kean, David B (shig), Tristan, Adriaan & Chris B for their support, and I’m looking forward to seeing what people will make with it.
I got contacted by the Powerhouse Museum and they’ve asked to spread the word about a workshop this Saturday to allow kids to make their own computer games and share them on the web.
Looks like a really cool program! Can’t wait to see what the youngsters come up with.
“When: Saturday 21 May, 10am – 5pm
Ages: 8 – 14 years
Cost: Free with Museum admission ($25 family, $10 adult, $6 concession, $5 child 4-15 years, members and children under 4 years free)
Young creatives aged 8-14 are invited to Scratch Day at the Powerhouse Museum. Using Scratch, a free computer programming language, they will create a computer game and share their creations on the web. Scratch Day is happening all over the world and young participants will get to connect with other Scratchers and share their projects. Activities will include
- Building a computer game with Scratch: 1 hr staff guided introduction sessions.
- Connections Lab: Exploring ways to connect Scratch to controllers (eg Pico boards) and motors (eg Lego We-Do).
- Scratch Clubhouse: Sharing ideas and showcasing projects
- Scratch Jam: Meeting up with Scratchers in other countries via Video Conference connection
As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.
Scratch is a free programming language that makes it easy to create interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art, and share creations on the web. It is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab.”
Lots more info and booking is available here:
We had some themed hacking happening on Saturday in the space. Bec was making a dozen decorated eggs on the space’s EggBot, and we also had some experimental chocolate casting to complete the calorific nature of the holiday.
Her design is up here, for anyone that’s interested:
If you haven’t seen the EggBot in action, it’s quite a sight. Patiently scribbling away with a felt tip pen until your design is intricately deposited on the shell…
Here’s some of our early attemps with casting chocolate into eggs
and we had a crack at fondue while we were at it:
On Tuesday we had our Yuri’s Night party, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of humans in space.
We had a special screening of the Yuri’s night documentary, which included footage shot from the International Space Station, synchronised to Yuri’s flight with the original radio messages.
Special thanks to George Georgevits from UNSW, who gave us an awesome talk on his reasearch in finding objects in the outer solar system.
We also had some rocket test firings:
Andrew, who without a doubt won the costume prize:
Big congrats to Bec, who organised the entire night, including the themed prizes, documentary and our guest speaker. It went off without a hitch!
I went to an interesting meetup on Monday night, hosted by the Shapeways company.
(The meetup happened in the pub, so please excuse the poor quality photos and my uncanny ability to snap a shot mid-blink)
For those that haven’t seen, Shapeways is a provider of 3D printing to the masses. You can upload a design, get a quote immediately and have it printed and delivered in a few days. So far they’re offering materials such as stainless steel, alimide, glass, coloured sandstone, all manner of plastics both flexible and rigid, and even sterling silver.http://www.shapeways.com/
It was truly fascinating to see what people are coming up with. I’m no stranger to the process (as I’ve told nearly everyone, I own the 3rd makerbot ever sold), but this took me aback quite a bit. The sheer variety of designs and applications that were being used by people right now, here in Sydney.
Janelle, (a.k.a. Unellenu) brought along a few amazing pieces in metal and plastic. Check out her store and gorgeous fractal artworks:
The pendant is printed in silver and has an amazing branching pattern. My first thoughts were phylogenetic trees in biology, but turns out it’s a coral inspired design:
Also present was Lee, who’s a regular at Dorkbot and who brought along all manner of cool printed metal pieces. Especially nifty were the linked, chain mail type artifacts created already linked up:
I guess another thing that struck me is that the process is wonderfully dual-use (to borrow the military phrase). Here’s a technology which is being used for real world applications and problem solving, making gearboxes, housings and other parts, but also used to create the most vivid and organic looking artworks. It seems that it’s rare to find something so amenable to both worlds, and when they do, it’s a game-changer.
Although I love my makerbot and will continue to print most of my stuff with it, I see that there is an untapped horizon of detail out there. Next stop for me is to order a materials sample kit and have a think…
($30 cost and they give you a $25 gift voucher for your next order)