As the title of today’s post reads. This post is a little out of this world. Recently, one of lab’s members surprised us all by showing up to the lab with a flight suit he had obtained. We were all a little curious about its origins and the patches upon the suit. It turned out that the Ontario Science Centre had decommissioned this suit and this lucky member had been on a tour of the Science Centre at the right time to receive it. The patches on the uniform are a bit revealing. All of them seem to be authentic and telling as well.
The patch on the right side is from the Challenger Shuttle Mission in 1986. I think this has been a little gem the Science Centre has had for many years. To include mission badges from such a tragic mission that ended in the loss of the entire crew on a flight suit that was meant to help educate and teach science has been a touching tribute. A tribute that has allowed the ideas of exploration and those who have been lost in its pursuit to be still part of it. Now the flight suit lives on with a member of our own exploration community. I hope that it can still help foster ideas of exploration, learning, curiosity, and education with its new owner.
During the winter one of the members tried carving ice with the laser, with the intent to capture a little bit of Game of Thrones in ice.
This may sound both a great idea and a bad idea at the same time. The act of doing some test cutting proved this task to be more difficult than previously thought. Below you can see the results of the test cuts. The challenge was not water inside the laser, that was a simple challenge to overcome by adding a reservoir for any water that was melted and a mesh to keep the ice out of the water. The challenge with this came to be the laser itself. The power of the laser on the ice is just a bit too much for this job. This experiment became a practical demonstration of the effect of hot spots on ice in the Arctic.
The Laser is equal to the sun here, and when it heats up the ice enough for it to melt it basically creates a warm pool of water that melts the surrounding area of ice preventing any high resolution cutting. The more heated water the less of ice that remained. The laser job had to be stopped a few times to remove the excess water to achieve some of the quality of the cut in the second photo.
During the holiday break in December, I was able to print the below bracelet at the lab as a gift. The interesting aspect about this bracelet is that it is generated on-line allowing some customization and sizing for the individual. There is minimal clean up of the object once printed and the hinges work with no effort of cracking them or working them in. The hinges are quite an interesting design shaped in an oblong cylinder with corners that resemble chamfered ends. This shape provides contact to the printer bed without the use of support material and does not exceed the maximum print angle of an additive printer by a large margin. If you are interested in getting one of these visit n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com to customize your own bracelet.
One of our members brought in a CT scan of a Kinder Surprise to show the lab one Tuesday evening, during open house.
Some of those lucky enough to be present this night had the unique chance to see what a CT scan looks like and learn about the process. The picture below provides a glimpse at the detail these machines can capture as well as the difficulties that can be encountered when trying to navigate the UI in the attempt to see around a proverbial and literal corner. The photo described as view from top down is the top view looking at the imaging data. It is a little hard to distinguish what shape it is what as well as where one object starts and another ends. While in the second image a reference object is present in the foreground aiding the ability to distinguish shapes present in the background of the image within the CT scan imaging. This is why I said those who were present were lucky on that Tuesday evening, we were able to learn about and were provided a glimpse into what medical professionals may see and some of the difficulties they encounter when using visualisation technologies to identify and distinguish between objects.
During the summer we had two guests stop by on a Tuesday for help with a special project.
To build a Adam West era Bat Phone, which was to be a birthday gift.
So to make sure the gift was not spoiled I was a bit extra cautious and did not post any photos.
Now that the coast is hopefully clear I can post several build photos from the project.
Several HackLab members jumped in on this build aiding with the modification of the phone.
Teaching how to solder and assembling the PCB the guests bought for the project, and
of course quality assurance. Quality assurance in the sense of everyone who was
around once the build was done had to try out the finished build.
This weeks photo of the week comes in a pair, I could not decide upon a single photo from last weeks Open house.
This years Mini Maker Faire in Toronto is over, but it was a grand success in my eyes.
People from all walks of life and age came out to explore, create, share ideas, and hack.
I believe the community just became a little bit bigger from this weekend, and a lot closer for those already in the community creating new connections and friendships.
I am hard at work combing through the photos, trying to decide what to do with them all.
I hope everyone had a blast this weekend and made memorys.
Here are a few moments I captured that I care to share.
This weeks post is split into two, the first half is about a bearing made at the lab this week. The second half below the 4 photos from this week you will read about my adventures in Alberta and how I relate them to the community. This week Atrain decided to outdo me and print a better bearing. If you frequent Hacklab, you may have played with the bright green printed bearing that is stiff and does not seem to be effective. Both of these bearings are open source, the bearing design is generated in OpenSCAD and is personalized to your printer. You can find the design on Thingiverse. Well Atrain did just that, went ahead and printed a bearing out of orange ABS on the Cupcake printer. The Cupcake is the oldest 3D printer the lab has, and of late it has been receiving quite a lot of TLC and some upgrades causing it now provide the Ultimaker with a bit of a competition. See the photos to see the great print quality, and the bearings in action.
I have been a little lax this month on posting new photos. This has not been out of laziness, or the excuse there is simply no room on my camera. No, I have been away travelling around Alberta and volunteering at the annual Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology conference (CITT). This year the conference was held in Calgary and while in town I took the chance when I had it to visit Protospace, Calgarys hacker space. .
The CITT conference is an annual trade show for industry Representatives, Technicians, and more. Over the last few years of volunteering at the conference I have seen more DIY, RaspberryPI, Arduinos, 3D printing, and approaches to theatre discussed in a hacker and maker mindset. Theatre has always been a hacker and maker space, using little to no resources and lots of ingenuity, and usually little time. The diverse background of those in theatre, are possibly akin to those in the maker and hacker community. Each person in a hackerspace has unique knowledge and skills. I forsee in the future theatre nestling or cuddling up to the maker community. The future should be an interesting one.