Beginner Arduino Class

Arduino UNO

For the last two semesters I taught college students how to use Arduinos to make art, which was a lot of fun. The class was 2.5 hours long, twice a week for 15 weeks. I wanted to compress much of the basics into a Beginner Arduino Class for the space, and we (mostly) did it.

The class ran for 4 hours, and covered about a dozen examples using various components to get through the concepts of digital input, digital output, analog input, analog output, and covered the Arduino software a bit and the Arduino world, including some example projects for inspiration.

Arduino UNO

I did limit the class to six students, and I supplied all needed parts. All the student had to bring was a computer with the software installed and a free USB port. I wanted everyone to have all the same parts so we could avoid things not working due to different components, which I’ve faced in the past. Overall, I was pleased with the outcome, though we did run out of time. I may have to alter things next time, or just put time limits on certain parts of the class.

I’ll aim for the next class to happen in February, and once enough people get through the Beginner Class I’ll work on an Intermediate Class. If you’re interested in taking the class, add your name to the “Interested Members” list at the bottom of the wiki page.

Nation of Makers

It’s really happening!  For years Makerspaces, Hackerspaces, and crazy shop collectives have been springing up all across the globe.  Headless community organizations of people that like to create.  Now thanks to the initiatives began by the Obama administration we have an organization decided to bringing us all together as one power maker force.  

This year saw the first Maker Faire at the White House and Governors Maker Challenge.  Our humble makerspace also participated in the Nation of Makers Meeting this summer.  170 maker spaces were invited to the White House for a meeting put on by the Office’s of Science and Technology Policy.  This was the beginning of what would become the Nation of Makers.

On their website you can read all about the mission and how you can be an advocate and help spread the maker spirit.

 

Nation of Makers

CNC Water Drop

A few weeks ago while teaching Model Monday’s Fusion 360 class I stumbled on how to make a water drop form.  I have been working on a couch in my countless spare time and thought it would be a great time to try cutting it on the 4×8.  700,000 lines of G-Code and 10 hours of machine time later here it is.  Im not sure you could call it a cup holder, more of a cup suggestion.  The rest of the couch will fallow.

Masquerade Mask

When Emily told me she needed a mask for a masquerade themed company holiday party I jumped at the opportunity.  It was a good excuse to play with lasers and try working with leather for the first time.  Below is the first draft of the design.  From there I made several iterations on the asymmetric mask inspired by Emily’s dress.

After getting the design down it was on to YouTube to learn how to work with leather.  I was surprised that all it took was soaking the leather overnight in water and then letting it dry pressed around a form.  Leather holds its shape but is not completely stiff after this process.  I am sure there will be more leather working posts in the future as I perfect my craft.

3D Printed Telescope Spider

I am designing and building a homemade telescope, loosely following designs from here. While a lot of their components are ingeniously designed, I wasn’t satisfied with the spider plans they provided. I decided to try my hand at designing my own spider in Fusion 360 (using their free enthusiast subscription) and 3D printing it.

The spider snugly fits in an 8″ diameter tube. There are 3 slots in the perimeter to allow rotational alignment along the axis of the tube. There are 3 additional screws in the central cylinder that tilt the diagonal mirror holder and provided height adjustment. The diagonal holder has multiple grooves to provide more surface area for the silicone to bond to. The surface the mirror mounts on is on a 45. The entire thing was printed in PLA on Mark’s SOM printer (huge thanks to Mark for helping out).

A similar design could be constructed in the machine shop with multiple operations and perhaps even some welding, but the ease of designing this in Fusion 360 along with the little setup involved in the 3D printing process made this an ideal path to choose.