3D Printing: Not Just For Do-Dads Anymore PART II

This follow up Article adds to Rich’s Article about the emerging use of 3D printing in everyday life. (http://www.cthackerspace.com/3d-printing-not-just-for-do-dads-anymore/)

vents-sidebysideAs Hackerspaces are usually cutting edge environments to advances in technology that will trickle down in time, I’m watching the 3D printer being used more and more for practical purposes. The printed novelties were fun and educational, now we are getting into the real value of the printers.

This month I used Onshape, A free online CAD software solution to create a solution to a broken piece in my clothes dryer vent outlet. From years of use, the tiny protective grate that was found in the bottom of the exhaust chute had cracked and wore out. Continue reading

New Web Radio at CT Hackerspace

You may be aware that CTH has a stereo which can play music from a dedicated MP3 Player or internet radio stations via the nearby netbook. The netbook doesn’t work so well in this setup with OS freezing and audio pauses due to stream buffering. As a result, the stereo system is getting an upgrade in the form of a dedicated music streamer!

The music streamer is based on a Raspberry Pi running the Volumio OS distribution. It will play internet radio stations (m3u and pls files) as well as locally stored MP3’s. The Raspberry Pi has an analog audio output but it is low quality. There are different solutions available for this but the cheapest is to use a standard USB sound card. The audio output of the sound card is then piped into a standard Stereo Receiver.

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NEW! Stained Glass Workshop

CopperFoil_glasswork_wrapped_before_soldering glass workshop image glass workshop image2

Students will learn the basic techniques of the copper foil method of stained glass craft. They will learn how to use the tools properly with ease and comfort, and the entire process of creating and designing a stained glass project from start to finish. This workshop will allow students to appreciate all the work that is involved in making stained glass artwork, while having fun creating art.
All materials and supplies are included, no experience necessary.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 6:00 PM

Participants :$50, CTH Members : $45
Class size limited to 6 participants so don’t hesitate. )

Stained Glass Workshop

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016, 6:00 PM

CT Hackerspace
30 Echo Lake Road, 3rd floor Watertown, CT

1 Hackers and Makers Attending

Students will learn the basic techniques of the copper foil method of stained glass craft. They will learn how to use the tools properly with ease and comfort, and the entire process of creating and designing a stained glass project from start to finish. This workshop will allow students to appreciate all the work that is involved in making stained…

Check out this Meetup →

3D Printing: Not Just For Do-Dads Anymore

SA-HT750 Speaker Stand CouplingA pet peeve of mine is all the do-dads and nicknacks printed with 3D Printers. Sure, it’s fun to get going with your printer quickly but I think the non-functional printed trinkets get way too much attention. So what’s a good use for 3D Printers then? How about fixing stuff around the house? One example is a window latch in my house broke. I could only imagine getting a replacement from the window company would be all but impossible. So, I took the broken pieces and designed a replacement. It’s been a couple years and that latch is still latching well. It cost me just a few minutes of time and I got it the same day. That’s a win-win. Continue reading

Project : A Soldering Station on the Go

fullsetup 3-4 view

If you are like me, you know that having a soldering station at the ready is of a great convenience. In my case, it doesn’t get used enough to justify permanent real estate on my workbench top. This project allows for the quick set up (and take down) of my soldering station in my home workbench, as well as an easy grab – and – go option when I know I am doing some serious soldering at the hackerspace.

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It’s hip to be square… well, your CNC Machine’s spindle at least…

Tramming GaugeWhile doing some pocketing cuts on the CNC Router, the bottom surface of the pocket turned out a little bit ragged. This is caused by the router’s spindle not being perpendicular to the machine bed. Instead of a flat bottom, it was ‘saw-toothed’, the size of the ‘teeth’ being a function of the cutting tool diameter, the offset distance between passes and how out-of-square the spindle is to the bed. Click ‘continue reading’ below to see an exaggerated graphical example.

This is not a unique problem and there is definitely a solution. There is a thing called a tramming gauge. It is super simple: a piece of metal that holds an indicator a certain distance from the spindle. The tramming gauge is loaded into the spindle and a measurement is taken in one position and again after the tramming gauge is spun 180 degrees. If both measurements are the same, the spindle is square. Here’s a great video on Tramming a Bridgeport Milling Machine Spindle.

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Hot Enough For Ya? Web-Connected Hackerspace Shares Environmental Conditions

hotenoughCome winter time, the hackerspace can get kind of cold. And in the summer, it can get darn hot! To give members a heads up of the current temperature in the ‘space before making the journey out here, we created a web-enabled temperature/humidity sensor.

The main device is an ESP8266 which reads a DHT-22 sensor. The temperature and humidity information is sent up to thingspeak.com. From there, a quick PHP script in our WordPress Widgets section can read and display the current temperature on the website. Since the DHT-22 can also do humidity, we opted for displaying that as well. Visiting the thingspeak page shows a graph of historical data.

ESP8266 Temperature Humidity

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CTH’s latest project: A Rebuild of the ULS M300 laser cutter.

CTH Make Haven PC Photo Laser Cutter

Bill and JR celebrate the two spaces working together.

When fellow makerspace MakeHaven started in New Haven, they inherited a laser cutter which had been abandoned. The model is the Universal Laser System M300 (50 watt). Make Haven now has sights on a new project: Two used Epologs in better condition. The m300 was then mothballed. MakeHaven’s first thought was that they could scrap it for parts or sell on ebay, but they decided they would rather see another space in Connecticut use it if there was interest. CT Hackerspace has taken on the challenge, and now will be actively pursuing rebuilding the broken laser cutter for use here at our space! Continue reading