Luke Scharf's blog

Business/Operations: Condensing the Listservs

The Fab Lab operations committee has voted to condense the listservsdown to three.

The following listservs will continue to be maintained and used:

The following listservs will be folded in to, since they are not being used:

Computer Science Club at UIS creates led edge lit sign

From the UIS CS Club:

On Sunday, April 1st, 2012 the Computer Science Club at UIS visited and created an LED edge lit sign using the Epilog laser cutter.

They have posted a full gallery of the trip on their website or check them out on Facebook.

Edge lit sign

Fab Off 2011, The Video

An excellent video by Christian McNamara from the MSI Chicago Fab Lab, showing the great fun we had at the 2011 Fab Off athe Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab!

Kat's Mobile

Kat made a beautiful and fanciful mobile for her 7.5 month old son.  The primary material is laser-cut acrylic, and it was hand assembled with some hand seweing.  It is beautiul.

Workshops & Classes Page Updated

The Workshops & Classes page has been updated.  It now contains an embedded Google Calendar, and will be updated continuously.

Epilog laser fixed!

The Epilog laser is back online, in time for tonight's open session.

Many thanks to Mercedes!!!

Gloria E. Jackson Community Center and Media Lab

Hello Ms. Barrett,

Mary Gen and I wanted to thank you and all the volunteers again of behalf of our team for helping us finish our acrylic plaques on time for delivery. We went down to East Saint Louis the very next day and successfully installed them on a wall of the public computing lab we were setting up. Please find attached a few pictures of the final outcome. We think they look great against the purple wall we painted and the pictures were included in our final presentation, so now a few more library science students know how awesome the Fab Lab is!!

Happy holiday,


MLIS candidate
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Link to Photos:

Fab Off Slideshow!

Here is a slideshow from Fab Off 2011, held on Saturday October 22nd 2011.

We had a wonderful time hosting the other Fab Labs, and met a lot of creative, talented, and friendly people!

Direct Link: Fab Off 2011 Photo Set on Flickr

Curriculum Committee Meeting Tuesday, November 15

Come and join our curriculum committe discussion.  The curriculum committee is planning to meet on Tuesday, November 15 around 6pm.


  • Review list from Operations committee's minutes
  • Class ideas for next year 
  • Kits and other curriculum for on and off site groups
  • Anything else?

Fab Lab Holiday Hours - December 2011/ January 2012

The Fab Lab will be closed the following days over the 2011/2012 Holliday Season:

  • Tuesday, November 22nd - Thanksgiving Break
  • Thursday, November 24th - Thanksgiving Day
  • Sunday, December 25th - Christmas Day
  • Sunday, January 1st - New Years Day

Operations Committee Meeting Sunday 7/31/2011 3pm

There will be a CUCFL Operations meeting on Sunday 7/21/2011 at 3pm to discuss fall open-session hours.

Laser Engraving a 13" MacBook Pro

I engraved the name of my employer on the 13" MacBook Pro that I use for work.

I used the 50-watt Epilog Mini, with the following settings:

  • Raster only (vector cutting disabled)
  • Raster speed: 100%
  • Raster power: 60%
The MacBook Pro has a textured metal case, so laser engraving is a good process to use to decorate the surface.  I did not use tape or sprays; the only surface preparation was to clean the case with a damp paper towl and let it dry.
Luke's MacBook Pro - Engraving

May Day Celebration

On May 1st, the Fab Lab community celebrated a whole list of things: Johann, Anna, Bryan, and Yi all graduated. Mercedes got her citizenship (and had a birthday). Gary's birthday was also part of the party. It turns out that it was also Dean and Winifred's anniversary which is why they brought the May Pole which they used at their wedding!

Photos below the fold.

May Day Celebration Group Photo

CUCFL Electronics Summer Workshop

CUC-FABLAB Electronics Summer Workshop (Lead Instructor: Mercedes Mane)
July 9th, July 16th, and July 23rd from 9am-12pm

Join a series of workshops this summer at the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab and learn how to use Eagle to design circuits, use the Modela milling machine to cut circuit boards and use an Arduino and FabISP to program your “Hello World” board to blink and play music. The sessions are independent and you can pick and choose any of them or do them all.

See attached flyer for details.

To enroll, please e-mail Mercedes Mane

CUCFL Summer Sessions: 2011

CUCFL Summer Sessions:  2011

The Champaign Urbana Community Fab Lab is pleased to announce a series of classes for Summer 2011.  Classes will be taught by Fab Lab experts.   Send inquiries and enrollments to Betty Barett (  Fees will be collected at the class. Please notes these classes are all pilots so the enrollment is limited. 


Squishy Circuits  (Lead Instructor: Lauren Semararo)

June 4 – from 10:00 to noon for kids aged 8 to 12 (limit 8) 

Squishy Circuits is a fun introduction to electricity and how it works. We will use playdoh and electronic components to help kids begin to learn how electricity works and what it takes to create a basic circuit.  Each child will receive two kinds of playdoh and the components needed to create their own project that lights up. 

Class fee (includes materials) $20.00


Hey! That’s MY  water bottle (Lead Instructor: Steve Holt)

June 11 – from 10:00 to 12:00 for kids from 8 to 17 (limit 8)

Create a personalized  aluminum water bottle by making your own design and engraving it on the laser cutter.  In addition, staff will help the students make vinyl stickers or a water bottle holder to take home.   We will provide the bottles and other materials but you have to provide the ideas! 

Class fee (includes  materials)  $20.00


Rock your Ride

June 18 – from 10:00 to 3:00 for kids from 13 to 17 (limit 8) (Lead Instructor: Luke Scharf)

Wash your bike and bring it to the lab.  We’ll help you make it even more awesome with reflective materials to create decals and striping as well as a couple of varieties of lights.  Kids will create a theme and then design the electric and visual components to make their bikes safer in the dark and really cool.  We will have a variety of high and low tech materials to choose from as well as the tools needed.  Each student should bring a lunch and we’ll provide some snacks and beverages. 

Class fee (includes materials and snacks)  $40.00

Syndicate content