Luke Scharf's blog

Autodesk @ Wired Business Conference: Makers & The New Industrial Revolution

Autdesk hearts makers, and wants to sell us CAD/CAM software.

Open Sessions for Summer starting May 15, 2011

Open Sessions for Summer starting May 15, 2011:

  • Sunday afternoon from Noon to 6 pm
  • Monday evening closed
  • Thursday evening from 4 to 9 pm
  • Available for scheduled classes and activities in addition to the normal operating hours

Great Fab Lab Sandwich Fabrication Event - May 1 2011

Betty Barett writes:

May 1 is the Great Fab Lab Sandwich Fabrication Event. This is a D.I.Y. Event to celebrate several wonderful events in our community. Johann Rischau and Anna Gutsch are graduating. Mercedes Mane became a citizen. Mercedes and Gary Watson are having birthdays too! We want to celebrate.

The GFLSFE is our chance to have some fun and say congratulations. The event starts at 12:00 and ends at 3:00 when the lab opens. Please bring some sandwich fixings, salads, chips, or beverages to share, if you wish. We look forward to seeing everyone.

Lori and Zeb's Wedding Invitations

Lori and Zeb created laser cut wedding invitations in the Fab Lab, as part of their local green DIY wedding.  Here's a video greeting card that describes the whole thing. :-)

Video on YouTube -

Hat tips to Johann and Mary K.

Ryan & Sam Larsen's Pinewood Derby Car

Ryan Larsen writes:
Thanks very much for your recent help with my son's Pinewood Derby!  ...  The car did well in the race, it didn't place, but it won a few races.  A special thanks to Johan and his extra work in helping us get it ready!

Johann writes:
They came in with a wooden block and then created a 3D model and routed it out on the Modela.  They also drilled holes for extra weights and added the wheels on there.

Ryan & Sam Larsen's Pinewood Derby Car (Photo)

Flights of Precision Fancy

Betty Barrett writes:

Dave Semeraro is a member of the CUCFL community and joins us on a regular basis to work on projects in the lab. During the time he isn’t in the lab, he hangs out at the NCSA where he helps people create visualizations of large scale models of physical processes. His undergrad and master degrees are in aeronautical engineering and his PhD is in computer science. His early passion for aeronautics shows in the work he is doing in the lab.

Dave Someraro - Sopwith Pup Wing and Fuselage

Spring Break 2011 Closure

The Fab Lab will be closed from Monday 3/21 through Sunday 3/27 for Spring Break.  The Fab Lab open sessions will resume at the normal time (4pm-9pm) on Monday 3/28.

Matboard Cathedral

Damien Hernandez has constructed a cahedral out of gold colored matboard.  Here are some pictures of his laser cut sanctuary.

Damien Hernandez Matboard Cathedral 1

The Neuromaker

"The 10 to Watch series continues with industrial design graduate student, Johann Rischau, who will use the space as an experimental laboratory for investigating mass customization and our emotional connections to the objects we make and consume. He has produced a prototype for a computer-controlled router that processes visitors' brainwaves and imprints them on various materials. Viewers are invited to participate in the work by inputting their own brainwaves and leaving with an object that is made just for them.

10 to Watch is a year-long series curated by Jorge Lucero, Jimmy Luu and Tumelo Mosaka that brings relevant and engaging ideas from the School of Art + Design’s classrooms to a public forum."

Facebook Event Page:

10 to Watch: Johann Rischau, Figure One

Laser Engraving the Kindle DX Graphite

Inspired by a post on Adafruit Industries blog about someone who engraved "Don't Panic" on their Kindle 2, I decided to personalize the Kindle DX Graphite that I purchased to read large the huge stack of PDFs that my professors hand out in class.  This project turned out to be a mixed success; I hope that anyone thinking about using an Epilog laser can use what I've learned.

Kindle Engraving Results (Cropped)

Call for Submissions: Fab Yearbook 2011

Call for Submissions: Fab Yearbook 2011

Hello all, makers from around the FabLab community,

2011 is upon us. May you have a Fab year! It is time to start putting together your Fab YearBook 2011 contributions! Send in your contributions before February 1st 2011. Publication date is February 23rd 2011.

United States Fab Lab Network (USFLN) Annoual Symposium in Kansas City, Wednesday Jan 26, 2011, Post 2

Mary K Watson writes:

The first presentation at the United States Fab Lab Network (USFLN) Annoual Symposium in Kansas City was done by the Rapid which has the Bright Minds Mentoring program with teacher training workshop for educators They have four days of hands on experience to learn the secondary processes for using the machines and then how to use it in the classroom as well as industry seminars for companies. They have opened a fab lab and Fox Valley works with them on prototyping development.

These are some of the other presenters:

United States Fab Lab Network (USFLN) Annual Symposium in Kansas City, Wednesday Jan 26, 2011, Post 1

Betty Barrett writes:

Today Mary Kay, Mercedes, and I are at the USFLN conference in Kansas City. There are, perhaps, 50 to 60 people in attendance from 10 to 20 fab labs all at different stages of development. Here are some of the ideas that have come up so far that may be worth exploring at CUCFL.

Notes below the fold:

Inkscape Extension for Polyhedra Nets

Jonathan Manton has written an Inkscape extension that, among other things, makes it easier to create polyhedra out of heavy paper that has been cut/scored using the Epilog Laser.

He writes:

I've developed an Inkscape extension to render the polyhedra nets I've been making the last few months. It can make nets for the platonic, archimedean, and archimedean dual solids. There are several options for tabs including tab and slot, no tabs (for showing rather that assembling), and a couple of options for tabs that can be glued.

The full writeup is here:

Factory @ Home: The Emerging Economy of Personal Fabrication

This is a report commissioned by the US Office of Science and Technology Policy about personal manufacturing, Fab Labs, and related efforts:

From the report:

This report outlines the emergence of personal manufacturing technologies, describes their potential economic and social benefits, and recommends programs the government should consider to realize this potential.

Personal manufacturing machines, sometimes called “fabbers,” are the pint-sized, low-cost descendants of factory-scale, mass manufacturing machines. Personal-scale manufacturing machines use the same fabrication methods as their larger, industrial ancestors, but are smaller, cheaper, and easier to use. Home-scale machines, such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and programmable sewing machines, combined with the right electronic design blueprint, enable people to manufacture functioning products at home, on demand, at the press of a button. In just a few hours, these mini-factory machines can produce a simple object like a toothbrush, or make complex machine components, artisan-style jewelry or household goods. Within a few years, personal manufacturing machines may be sophisticated enough to enable regular people to manufacture complicated objects such as integrated electronic devices.

A number of converging forces are bringing industrial-scale design and manufacturing tools to a tipping point where they will become cheap, reliable, easy, and versatile enough for personal use. The rapid adoption of personal manufacturing technologies is accelerated by low cost machinery, active online user communities, easier-to-use computer aided design (CAD) software, a growing number of online electronic design blueprints, and more easily available raw materials.

Personal manufacturing technologies will profoundly impact how we design, make, transport, and consume physical products. As manufacturing technologies follow the path from factory to home use, like personal computers, “personalized” manufacturing tools will enable consumers, schools, and businesses to work and play in new ways.

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