Robotfest 2013 success!

Thanks everyone who participated in the event.  Our booth was a huge success.  If you didn’t make it, view the entire article to see a picture flood of what you missed.

To name a few thing’s you missed:

See you next year!

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Redbull creation, year 3

So it’s that time again, time for Redbull Creation, 3rd year.  I’ll make this short, just got the box, wanted to show some pics. Here’s what we got for the qualifier, our TurBull Encabulator. We’ll have updates on this later I’m sure.  You may remember our entry last year, the telepresence zen garden, and our year 1 entry with crank’d and we went to the finals with that entry, where we built the chill-a-piller.

Lot’s of LED’s for the qualifier this year, maybe an accelerometer.  Need more time to dive deep.  Have fun with the pics.

Laser Cut Jewelry Box

X700

A few weeks ago one of our members (Mike) picked up the RedSaid X700 Laser Engraver from ebay.  Ordering and shipping of the engraver turned out to be a lot of trouble and very expensive.

Mike spent a few days soldering wires to the laser tube, aligning the mirrors and doing a few test cuts on various materials we had laying around the shop. Then he turned the machine loose for the rest of us to play with.

I decided that I wanted to make a gift for my daughter so I used SolidWorks to draw a Jewelry Box and then exported the files as DXF 2D Drawings. These were then imported into LaserMate  which is software that came with the laser engraver.

I designed the Jewelry Box to use 1/4″ Material. It turns out that the Birch wood and Acrylic from Home Depot says 1/4″ (5.2mm) but if you do the math a 1/4″ is not 5.2mm. So that material we had laying around the shop was not going to work for me.

Luckily, another member of ours had left over scraps of 1/4″ Baltic Birch which he purchases locally from Woodcraft.  I attempted cutting this wood but even at 100% Power, 2mm/s speed, and 4 passes I was unable to cut consistently all the way through the wood. Also, this wood is rather expensive. So I decided to look for other materials which I thought would cut easier but was still 1/4″ thick.

I learned about a place called Total Plastics, Inc. located on Pulaski Highway through Terry Kilby.  I stopped by their showroom and the nice man behind the counter gave me a piece of 1.4″ Cast Acrylic which was painted red on one side. I cut test patterns on this acrylic and I was surprised to find that was not cutting much better than the Baltic Birch. After roughly 10 hours of cutting pass after pass I was eventually able to make a Jewelry Box from the Acrylic.

I have come to the conclusion that the laser cutter needs some tweaking. It seems that the top left corner cuts okay but as you move down and to the right of the cutting area the laser is not as powerful.  My guess is that it has to do with the alignment of the mirrors but I have not looked into the problem yet.

After many hours of work I present to you my Jewelry Box.

Baltimore Drones Kickoff Success

Baltimore Hackerspace hosted the first meetup of the new Baltimore Drones Meetup group. The event was a huge success. There were about 10 drones on display and everyone had stories to tell and knowledge to share. One of the hot topics discussed was the perception of  the word Drones. Baltimore Hackerspace can relate to this problem. The word “Hacker” has been tainted for decades and our decision to call ourselves a Hackerspace vs a Makerspace was a big one. What is the definition of a Hacker anyways? Everyone has their own opinions of the word.

Baltimore Drones is in the same boat. What is a Drone? Should we call our toys Drones,  UAVs,  or Multirotors? This was a hot topic and we all seemed to agree on most things. There are so many positive things Drones can be used for. Most of which can create new jobs which are disparately needed these days.

Thank you to all who participated. We look forward to hosting future meetups for Baltimore Drones.

Baltimore Drones Meetup at Baltimore Hackerspace!

Last week, Terry Kilby from Baltimore Drones stopped by Baltimore Hackerspace and he brought a couple of his Drones with him. I think it was the first time allot of us have seen Drones of this quality up close and they were just as exciting as I thought they would be. Both Drones were made to port a camera on the bottom of them and Terry said that he frequently contracts out the Drones for special camera work. Very cool!

To find out more about drones and how to get off the ground with them, The Baltimore Drones Meetup will be held at Baltimore Hackerspace, Saturday, February 9th at 1pm.

Here are some pics: