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:

Etched mirror

One of the newer people showing up here at the Fablab is Steve Holt. He had a great idea of what to make with laser etching. Steve had found pictures of a Buick and its chassis and wanted them on a mirror.

Buick admire

Celtic knotwork patternmaking

A link to my Dokuwiki and Flickr slideshow illustrating construction of Celtic knot pattern in plywood, using laser cutter and mini mill. Pattern sand cast in aluminum in my workshop

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.

Link: Ten Best Articles on Laser Cutting of 2010

This is a nice collection of articles about cool stuff you can do with a laser cutter:
Ten Best Articles on Laser Cutting of 2010
Ponoko appears to be a mail-order digital fabrican service.

Hat tip to Betty Barrett.

Meeting to finalize Urbana Arts Grant application.

Monday, January 3 at 6:00pm, in the Fab Lab meeting area. Meeting to finalize Urbana Arts Grant application.

"Friends" Committee Notes, 12/16/2010

The CUCFL "Friends" held the first general meeting on Dec. 16, 2010.

The next meeting will be 20 Jan 2011 (tentative).

Please find attached notes from the Dec. meeting.

-- REMcG, acting chair

Full post and discussion here:

New Facebook Page for the Champaign-Urbana Fab Lab

We've created a new Facebook Page for the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab:
In addition to actually using the page, links to posts on the Fab Lab website are automatically posted to this page's wall.

We've also added a "Share" button to our website that will allow website users to easily link to content using dozens of social networking services.

Lastly, since I post on far more often than I post on Facebook, I've set up my Facebook account to automatically share items that I post in "Luke Scharf's Blog".  If anyone wants to see how to set this up, let me know and I'll either show you how to do it or post a writeup.

Luke's Fab Lab Cheesecake Platter v1.0

Create a cheesecake platter and trophy for a series of cheesecake competitions related to the Fab Lab.

Luke's Cheesecake Platter - Perspective View

Fab Lab Holiday Hours - December 2010 / January 2011

The Business/Operations committee writes:

Fab Lab Open Session Hours, beginning Monday 12/20/2010:

  • 2010 
    • 12/20 Monday 6-9 
    • 12/23 Thursday 6-9 
    • 12/26 Sunday CLOSED 
    • 12/27 Monday 6-9 
    • 12/30 Thursday 6-9 
  • 2011 
    • 01/02 Sunday CLOSED 
    • 01/03 Monday 4-9 RESUME NORMAL HOURS 
Construction 01 - Fab Lab Front Door

This is Alan's blog

This is Alan's sample blog entry.

Christmas Tree Christmas Tree Ornament

The other day I  found an object on Thingiverse that I wanted to make because it's close to Christmas. THE Christmas Tree Christmas Tree Ornament!

The design can be found here:


Intelligent Toaster Project

"May I Just ask one question... would anyone like any toast?"

In so far as


  • most electrical components today are offered as surface mount technology (SMT)
  • fine pitch surface mount components require special care in soldering, to avoid solder bridges (shorts) between leads
  • high pin count SMT devices, and especially four-sided components (PLCCs, quad flat packs, etc.) can suffer from assembly skew if the leads are soldered "sequentially"


it follows that a bulk reflow mechanism is a desirable resource. Specifically, a device that can


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