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Building the Solarbotics Beetlebot

Beetlebot With Cover

In mid-August I received a Solarbotics Beetlebot robot kit for review.  This is a beginners, no-solder kit featuring a simple bump-and-turn robot that looks kinda like a beetle, especially when you add the stickers Solarbotics includes: Since this is a simple, no solder kit intended for young kids, I figured it would not be fully fair to build and review ... Read More »

Playing with the Laser Cutter

Calipers from Thingiverse #782

I’ve been experimenting with the Epilog Helix 24 the last week or so.  I picked up several new types of wood, including some 1/8, 5mm and 1/4″ plywood.  My flooring vendor also gave me a whole bunch of samples/discards.  I also acquired a few narrow pieces of pine (?) when my wife ran a cheap cutting board through the dishwasher. ... Read More »

Free live online class on Arduino and Processing

O’Reilly and Creative Live are offering a 5 week (one session/wk) class “Processing and Arduino in Tandem: Creating Your Own Digital Art Tools” .  The class is free if you can make it to the live version – tuesdays starting Aug 31 at 3pm PST (Noon Hawaii time).  The O’Reilly description says you dont need programming or electronics experience, although you ... Read More »

Simi Valley Adult School Basic Machinist

Basic Machinist Projects

As I mentioned back in Desktop Fab, Basic Machining and CNC last fall I took the Basic Machinist course at Simi Valley Adult School.  I am taking this opportunity to document the class a bit more.  The main effort was on 8 projects, with basic math and print reading supplementing and supporting the projects.   The projects provide opportunity to use ... Read More »

Mark Frauenfelder “Made By Hand” on Colbert Report

cover of Made By Hand, by Mark Frauenfelder

Last night Mark Frauenfelder, editor in chief of Make Magazine and editor of BoingBoing, was on Colbert Report promoting his new book Made By Hand (published by Portfolio/Penguin).     Its a fairly short interview (under 6min with intro) but fun to see.  Mark talks a bit about the joys of making things by hand, growing & raising animals, and ... Read More »

Desktop 3D Printing – Makerbot, RepRap et al

GoldBot and friends, (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times / February 23, 2010)

One tech of the Fab Lab/Hackerspace is the 3D printer, where an object is created by adding successive layers of material. There are a wide range of materials used – from frosting and clay, to various plastics, ceramics and even metals. Professional 3D printers started back in late ’80s with 3D Systems Stereo Lithography, which uses a laser to harden ... Read More »

Community Communication Effectiveness

The other night (5/3/10)  I went to a meeting of Maui Upcountry Sustainability group and got caught up in discussion of how such a volunteer group can be more effective and efficient.  This is an issue for many groups – maker/hacker spaces being another type.  People come to a meeting, talk about ideas, get excited, perhaps volunteer to do something ... Read More »

Maui Techies Dinner 4/29/10

Last night the Maui Techies from TechHui.com gathered for a dinner at Asian Star in Wailuku.  It was a nice venue – quiet, open and good food (Vietnamese) – but lacked WiFi.  I had never been to this part of the island before – its a more industrialized area with auto body shops, small business offices, etc.  Quite a contrast ... Read More »

Visit to 23b Shop in Fullerton, CA

23b Shop sign

On Saturday April 17, The hackerspace 23b Shop in Fullerton CA had an open house and giant birthday party for Amber.  I had read up on the space a while back and wanted to check them out, so I drove down mid-afternoon.  I should have checked sigalert before driving, as the I-5 had some serious delays and it wound up ... Read More »

A Visit to NYC Resistor

Front Room of NYCResistor

A week ago I posted that I was going to visit NYCResistor and take a class on April 10 2010. Sorry it has taken a week to update but life intervened. I took the subway out from midtown Manhattan where I was staying and arrived about a half hour early.  NYCResistor is located a short walk from the subway station ... Read More »

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