News

Welding Demonstration

by on Nov.30, 2011, under Events, Meetings, News, Presentations, Workshops

You asked for it, and we got it! One of most requested items in our events poll was welding, and our very own member Kit has graciously offered to demonstrate the basics this Saturday at noon at the Space. Please be aware that this is a hands-on demonstration only – it is not a replacement for any actual welding training, and can be very dangerous.

We will be covering the three types of arc welding as well as plasma cutting, starting with a safety lecture, a group how-to, then a short one-on-one section.  After everyone has been shown the basics and demonstrates a thorough understanding of the concepts and inherent dangers, we will offer participants the chance to try it themselves.

If you wish to participate, please sign up at http://www.midsouthmakers.org/events so that we can know how many people to expect.

techshop_members_welding_project by TechShop, on Flickr

Details

What: A demonstration of basic welding and techniques as well as important safety guidelines that you must follow, with a brief hands-on opportunity for those interested at the end.

When: This Saturday, December 3rd at Noon.

Where: The Space (2203 Freemont Rd., Memphis, TN  38114)

Cost: $10 (to cover the cost of the welding fuel and materials involved)

What to Bring: Make sure that you wear long-sleeves, and preferably nothing loose or flammable.


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Soldering Class Part II

by on Sep.24, 2011, under Arduino, Arduino Projects, Electronics, Events, Meetings, Presentations, Workshops

Learn how to solder part 2Great Scott! What’s the date? Oh thank goodness, we’ve still got time.  Listen, I know this may sound “heavy” to you, but we’ve got to get you to the Midsouth Makers soldering class on October 8th at noon or the consequences could be dire! I can’t tell you why it’s important without creating a temporal paradox, but I can promise you that learning how to build a RBBB (“Really Bare Bones Board”) Clone will be pivotal in your future in some way.  An RBBB is one of the smallest, most affordable arduino-compatible boards available right now.  You don’t even need any plutonium to power this baby, just plug it straight into the breadboard that the Makers will be providing to all the class participants. How many gigawatts is it?  Where we’re going, we don’t need gigawatts, just bring a soldering iron and the rest will be provided. Once you’ve completed this class, you’ll have you’re very own arduino compatible microcontroller, power cable, data cable, and breadboard to build it all on, the combination of which should help you save you from – oh no, I’ve already said too much! Hurry and sign-up on the events page at the following link: http://www.midsouthmakers.org/events/.  Then you too can say, “I finally made something that works!”

 

Details

Class: Soldering Part II: RBBB Clone

Cost: $35

Date, Time, & Location: October 8th  at the Space at Noon.

What to bring: Soldering Iron

What you get: An arduino compatible microcontroller, power cable, data cable, and a breadboard to build it on, plus a greater knowledge of soldering and circuitry.

You must sign-up before the day of the class so that we know how many parts to order!

You can do so at the following link: http://www.midsouthmakers.org/events/

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Luna Moth Sculpture Class

by on Aug.30, 2011, under Crafts, Events, Meetings, News, Presentations, Workshops

Good day, dear reader! Might I interest you in in a chance to cultivate your cultural side? Would you be interested in indulging in a bit of art?  If so, then indeed, the Midsouth gentle Makers will be hosting just the event for you!  At Noon on the 10th day of September in the year 2011, it will be our pleasure to host a class on sculpture.  Those in possession of minds sharp enough to participate can look forward to the opportunity to construct an elegant luna moth, such as the one represented in the following depiction:
What an elegant piece of art! And you say you made it yourself?
This will be an intermediate level class, but it should prove simple enough for any clever rapscallion who genuinely wishes to participate. We are charging a paltry $20 per person to partake in this opulent opportunity. This cost must be pre-paid prior to the occurrence of the class, because the cost will go towards the procurement of the appropriate materials. Those of keen mind can sign up at the following link: http://www.midsouthmakers.org/events/

We encourage our participants to provide any extra embellishments they might wish to use to distinguish their sculptures. Specifically, the discerning sculptor might want to bring some flat backed cabochons, or “glass beads” as the Plebeians say, that can withstand temperatures of at least 300°F to embellish their creation. Lastly, were you to be so fortunate as to possess sculpting tools already, such as an acrylic rolling pin or brayers, we would humbly ask that you bring these along with you to the class. We sincerely look forward to the honor of your presence!

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Rep Rap Prusa Mendel 3d Printer

by on Jul.30, 2011, under Arduino, Projects, Prusa

Dan's Rep rap Prusa 3d Printer

Dan's Rep rap Prusa 3d Printer

I get a lot of blank stares and strange looks when I tell people that I am working on a 3D printer. As such I’d like to set out to explain what one is as well as show off what I’ve completed on mine thus far.

So you ask, “What exactly is one of them there 3-Dee printer things you’re talking about?” In short, it is a rapid prototyping machine. Since I’m sure that clears it all up and removes any further questions you have in your mind, I’m done here and everyone’s good to move on to the next blog right? No of course not. The best explanation I have is it’s a machine that takes a plastic material, melts it down, and places a thin layer of the melted plastic one layer at a time until you have a finished object. It is a printer that works like your old school inkjet printer but also moves on a 3rd axis to make non flat prints.

Claudio's RepRap Prusa

Claudio's RepRap Prusa

The idea is as follows. What do you do when you want to develop some brand new, earth shattering, world stopping, sign of the apocalypse product that has never been in existence before and it needs a custom part that even Nostradamus didn’t predict? You design it of course, in your favorite 3D modeling software like Google Sketchup or Blender or any of the other dozens that are out there. The show stopper before was how you went from a digital model to something tangible that you could hold in your hands and break if you are one of those accident prone individuals. It always meant that you had to go pay some exorbitant amount for a machine shop to make you just one of that item, and heaven forbid that item didn’t fit the needs on the first round. I’m sure you can imagine where the price would go up rather quickly in development. So why not just make it out of cheaper material and something that works just well enough to serve as a proof of concept. Well, that’s exactly what the 3D printer does for you.

A handful of months ago two of the other members at our hackerspace and myself all decided we wanted to build our own Prusa 3D printers. No real defined reason behind it other than we knew we wanted our own printers, and that if we had one it would open new possibilities to us. Since there is no real completion point for these things, it would simply be that once we had it “working” we could use it to create new items and repair or replace old ones that were no longer available. That in a nutshell is the appeal of having such a device and the driving force behind our continued development of them. One of the single most awesome things about this particular printer that we are building, the Prusa. Is that it’s relatively cheap, easily reproducible, modular, and upgradeable. Currently we are in the process of getting them fine tuned and working to some extent. From there we’ll be able to spend further time using it to upgrade itself and improve it’s quality. Expect to see more details in the near future right here on my very own blog enlightening all of the saga of blood, sweat, tears, cursing, and agony that is the way of life a homemade 3D prototyping machine is.

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Sonny’s Quad Copter UAV Test Flight

by on Jul.25, 2011, under Arduino, Arduino Projects, Electronics, Projects

Sonny recently shared his current progress of his UAV Quad Copter project and included a test flight video.

So today I had my first real flights with my quadcopter UAV.   The setup is pretty advanced and it takes a lot to get up to speed.  I’ve learned a lot from my build.  I made custom printed PLA motor mounts, which have worked out really well to hold them on the end of aluminum pipes.  Unfortunately the cross in the middle which is also PLA could not handle the rough landings and cracked.  I’ve secured it for the time being, but I think I’ll be milling something better Wednesday.  If I can work out the stability issues, I’ll bring it Friday.  Anyway, check out the first flight/set of flights.

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Random Quote

A fact is a simple statement that everyone believes. It is innocent, unless found guilty. A hypothesis is a novel suggestion that no one wants to believe. It is guilty, until found effective. — Edward Teller