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Robots & Dinosaurs is located in 10/27 Bank st, Meadowbank . We’re open Saturdays from about 11am and some weeknights, but you should check by asking on our mailing list.

Visit to Make Hack Void

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:

Lasercut Menger Sponge

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.

Read More

General Hacking at the Space

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:

and Max made an awesome rocket ship:

Annual General Meeting & Gulyas!

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!

This Week’s Tinkering

Just a few photos from this weeks tinkering.

Malcolm brought along his homemade self-balancing scooter:

(Details here:

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!

What can you make with a lasercutter?

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:

Introducing the LightScythe

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. 

Space Cleanup and Painting

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!

The Lasercutter is here!

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. 

Scratch Day at Powerhouse Museum - Game making for kids

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: