Several Months ago, a class mate approached me regarding a class assignment.
This is not an unusual for students to do to each other, but the subject was lasers and cutting services and where to find them.
I provided her with a few resources, and also mentioned work had one.
One thing lead to another and Several weeks later I received some Cad drawings to process for laser cutting.
The project that I assisted her with was a tailoring assignment, cutting fabric for various embellishments.
I do have to note that some photos have been cropped down to a quarter of the original size due to respecting her intellectual property, and artistic property.
Over the last few weeks there has been some rising use of the lathe.
Here are a few photos from some of the work going on.
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.
Hacklab Soldering Workshop (for beginners, free but RSVP required)
Monday December 16th, 2013, 7pm-9pm
Want to learn how circuits are assembled? We’ll show you how to solder, the process of using a hot iron to place parts permanently unto circuit boards. Many easy to assemble and cool kits to choose from!
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.
As we mentioned, hacklab gave a talk about 3D printing, hackerspaces and maker faires to the Toronto Reference Library a few weeks ago. It was extremely well received! We showed off 4 different 3D printers, actually operated one to print an object live (under a magnifying camera which streamed to the projector!), passed around a large number of 3D printed objects, and also demoed a variety of wearables projects. About 100 people saw the talk, and judging by how many stayed around to ask questions, and then how many came to hacklab to get a tour, we really made an impact! The library put a blog post about it themselves: An Evening with HackLab.TO at the Toronto Reference Library. I’ve also uploaded a variety of photos to my flickr. Thanks go out to Norm, Jammies and Rob for making this event a big success. We’re looking forward to continued conversations with Toronto Public Library about their plans to have something like “maker spaces” inside both the Toronto Reference Library and the new Fort York branch.