Workshop 88 Weekly Maker Night – November 24, 2020

Introduction

Workshop 88 is a makerspace in Glen Ellyn Illinois. We are more than a workshop, we are a growing community of creative talented people who aspire to learn and share their insights, experiences, and projects.

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To find out about upcoming events follow Workshop88 on Meetup.
Do you have a question? email us at info@Workshop88.com

Welcome to the Workshop 88 Makers Round-table on Zoom where we share our projects, ideas, and related resources. The attendees and agenda are below, the meeting will be recorded and hosted on YouTube, and resources like links and other related information can be found here after the event.

Attendees

  • Andrew Morrison
  • Scott Williamson
  • Jim Williams
  • Gail Jo Kelly
  • Mark Frost
  • Peter Fales
  • Phil Strons
  • Karl Knutson
  • Breezy Fasano

Show & tell time!

Each session will target 10 minutes for show and tell and 5 minutes for Q&A and we are flexible based on topic interest and interactions.

7:05pm – Introduction to OBS Studio (Open Broadcaster Software)

Overview Results: Once you learn the software interface, the key learnings in dealing with the audio issues was a 2 step process. 1. Watching the activity lights to figure out what component (mic/aux) the capture card sound was coming from and 2. Setting that sound to come out to the speakers/headphones (where you want to hear that sound source). Which involved this (what I call) deep sound control panel setting.

7:45pm – Introduction to Animal Crossing New Horizons video game on Nintendo Switch

7:45pm – Tracking Weather Balloons

General discussion topics

  • 3D Printing projects
  • The speed of sound and the Hot Chocolate Effect
  • Making clear ice

Meeting notes

  • YouTube link to this event: tbd

Intro to OBS Links

Weather Balloon Tracking Links

Please subscribe to Workshop88’s YouTube page, like us on facebook, and join or support our maker community by contributing to our Patreon.

Who’s making PPE?

We are. Of course. As part of the makerspace community, Workshop 88 has been participating with the Illinois PPE Network. The 100% donor driven, non profit endeavor. For more information, visit Illinois PPE Network.

Workshop88 members have been 3D printing face shields and surgical face mask extenders these past few weeks.

  Here’s the latest news with the Illinois PPE group.

  •  The Distributed Fabrication Network is a new NFP that is intended to outlive the need for makers to be making PPE — because we’ve shown that being in communication over who needs what and which designs work can make a significant impact within a community.
  •  Please consider making a donation and share this with people you know.
RenderedImage

One of the deliveries of face shield frames from a Workshop 88 member to the Illinois PPE network.

Making Decorations

Once you have the appropriate graphic for the special occasion, you can make it into a nice acrylic etched or laser cut decoration. Here’s an example of how to do that using inkscape software and the Full Spectrum Laser at Workshop88.

Find or make the graphic

The first step is to find the right black and white clipart for your project. Assuming you are not an artist and don’t create by hand what you need.

Convert (JPG, PNG) image to SVG

  • Once you have the graphic, import the image into Inkscape and select the image. (Click on the image and there should be arrows at all the edges like shown.) This is an important step.

Then from the menu select Path->Trace Bitmap.

  • Change settings on Trace Bitmap window to 2 colors, grays, smooth, stack and remove background.

Note the items underlined in red.

You should see the picture in the update window. If you don’t see the image on the right, start over and try again. Save the image as Optimized SVG. When you see the image in the update window, (give it a minute, watch the status bar) select the image (on top) again and move it to the side and then delete the duplicate picture underneath. Then move the image back to the center. Now you have the traced bitmap that can be saved as an .SVG file type.

That is your SVG image that will outline the letters and give you something to raster. The acrylic example below was done using raster settings only. For effect (and suggested by a member), light was shined through the side of the acrylic to make the image glow.

Acrylic (Clear) Material


Laser etch acrylic with your favorite scene and/or holiday greeting

Wood (Thin)

Or the wood version if you prefer.

Raster and Vector

When laser cutting, you learn the difference between raster and vector. The image was rastered first. Raster: Fast sweeps of the laser eye, over the wood to lightly etch away and burn the wood. And then vector (solid burn) just the outline of the letters to give it that extra stand out – outline. And the entire object cut along the edge with a hole for hanging on a hook. I prefer rounded edges for my projects so there are no sharp corners. And a hole for hanging the decoration. This image was well suited for that style.

Control of the Laser Instructions

In order to get the vector to outline just the letters, while in the Full Spectrum Laser software, Retina Engrave, you need to change the color of the letters. Then provide instructions for just that color. I made the word Thanksgiving in Yellow, just so that it was a color other than black.

This allows you to control the vector attributes for just the parts you select. Notice in the blue circle, the color yellow will only pass over once and the other colors red and black are set to 0 (zero) so that the laser will not vector those colors at all.

Whenever using the laser cutter, consult the document on workshop88.com Menu Item W88 Docs->Laser cutter to get guidance for settings. Always do a small test on practice material first. NOTE: Using the laser cutter REQUIRES training/certification of members, PRIOR to use.

Stop by on Thursday evening to talk about your project ideas and to see what is going on at the Workshop88 makerspace.

Modifying Car Decal

Once you have access to a Vinyl cutter, your mind can work in a different way.  Like when you have a 3D printer and you know you can design and 3D print items. Meaning, creating inventions that will solve a problem or make something work better. It’s about having the right tools. Here’s what I did to update a “bumper” sticker.

Replacing the MOM text. Measuring the text height of the original sticker.

The car had 2 stickers. University of Minnesota MOM and University of IL MOM and for one year, it was kinda true. Now that the University of IL son graduated in 2017 and the University of MN son is still on campus but with the car, it was time for a decal update.

I removed the University of IL decal. And since MOM was no longer the primary driver of this silver car… what would be a good 3 letter word to use to replace MOM? Son? Kid? He’s not a kid. He is a student. But that’s too long of a word. How about MAN? It’s a 3 letter word and only 2 letters different than MOM. It’s correct and appropriate. So I cleaned off the MOM part of the sticker. And vinyl cut a couple different fonts of the word MAN, all in uppercase like MOM.

Removed the word MOM

Created replacement words and tried a couple of different fonts.

Words and Font Names

I used a Silhouette Cameo to cut the white vinyl.

It wasn’t up to me to put the sticker on. I gave my son (who isn’t really a kid anymore, the
(decal) options (2 different fonts of the word MAN) and it was up to him to put it on the car. To my surprise, he did, rather quickly.

So now it just means it no longer looks like he’s driving around his Mom’s car. But there is a sense of pride along with it also.

Ta Da! A re-purposed bumper sticker.

Time to Re-Caulk the Shower

It is time to re-caulk the shower stall so I wonder what tools I could 3D print to help with that job. Since the first step is to remove the old caulk, let’s start with that. Home Depot has a plastic tool.

I don’t need to buy that, I can make my own. But this gives me an idea for my first design. Next let’s see if there are any caulking tools on Thingiverse.

Search results for the word “caulk”

No tools for removing caulk so I will design one using TinkerCad.com. A handheld tool that can dig out caulk along the tile on one end of the tool and a flat end tool to get under the old caulk. Later, we will look at what other caulk related objects appeared on Thingiverse.

First iteration only took 47 minutes to print.

Iteration 2

Using the first tool, I discovered it was too short and the end was digging into my palm since I had to apply force when trying to remove the caulk. So for the second iteration, I made the tool longer and tried to round the end part that would be touching my palm. The red version took one hour and 18 minutes to print.

Pointed end for digging out old caulk

Additional Tools

The Thingiverse search results came up with plugs/caps for the tube mostly and some organizers to keep the tubes in order. There was no reason to 3D print a plug because there is nothing as perfect and simple as a roofing nail to keep caulk out of the tip and plug the end nicely. So I ignored those items on Thingiverse. I wasn’t organizing the workbench with several tubes of caulk so can skip those designs. But what was left was the smoothing tools. To be honest, this was kind of my first caulking job so I watched youtube videos before I started the project. The smoothing tools did come in handy to have. I would still wet them first as I would have my finger to go over the seam. But I was glad I didn’t have to use my finger and had the tool instead.

Smoothing Tools

So in the end, having a tool like a 3D printer to print other tools does come in handy. You won’t be seeing the results of the actual caulk job. It’s too ugly. That’s not what I want to share for this project. As far as lessons learned and how I would do the job differently next time, I would a) keep the tip of the caulk tube smaller and b) wipe away the lumpy caulk immediately and try again.

The pointy ends held up fine. The slanted ends were starting to wear.

Making Rose Decals

My inspiration for making rose decals was a funeral for someone that was a master flower gardener. I was thinking having a nice subtle but pretty rose decal for the car would be a way to remember them. I have also 3D printed roses in the past and know 3 people that have Rose in their name.

Finding the Right Rose

I have been working on creating more than one color decals so they can work on any colored surface, but even with “registration marks”, it isn’t easy. Lining up the vinyl is a skill that will have to be developed over time with practice. For example, I have found that the registration marks have been coming off or lifting with the vinyl. So I have to take extra care or try different sizes and placement until I establish a successful method.

Registration Marks

are marks on the outside of the design that can be trimmed later. They are used for aligning additional layers on the decal.

Searching for free clip art of black and white roses is a good place to start. Find the design that is not too intricate but still looks like a rose.

This rose is a bit too intricate and the leaves would require green vinyl (which I don’t have) and the lines are very thin. So this is not a good rose to start with, when learning how to vinyl cut.

This rose is a little better but the lines get tight in the inner circle. And again, there are leaves so green vinyl would be needed if going with realistic color scheme.

Learn By Doing

When I try a new project, I can’t expect it to be perfect the first time. Repeating the process helps with learning and improving technique. What I learned with this project is that the rose is better as a single color . I tried wrapping a rounded circle around the rose but all that does it create an outer box and in my opinion, that does not make for a pretty decal. (If you are going for pretty like when it comes to flowers.)

Lift the vinyl carefully to ensure the vinyl that needs to stay attached, does.

I thought that putting a rounded box around the flower, would be a way to have a perimeter that provides for easy cutting out of the flower. But in reality, the beauty of the flower decal is to let it just be on it’s own and appear as a simple flower. I DO NOT RECOMMEND an outline box if it distracts from the beauty. A better option is to work with the “offset” property in Silhouette Studio, when that works. It depends on the image.

I created a variety of sizes by scaling up or down just a bit since I wasn’t sure exactly where it was going to be used yet and to give myself options.

So this is the rose that I thought looked best. The image was a bit fuzzy but Silhouette Studio had no trouble outlining the image to create the outline. I placed it on the glass of my rear side window. I do not have experience yet with how long the vinyl stickiness will last or if it will do damage to the paint of the car so I decided to put the decal on the window so I know I could always scrape it off with a razor if necessary.

Peel paper off first, apply decal, rub the image to adhere to window, peel off transfer tape.
  • It’s like a temporary tattoo for my car. I like it. A decal makes my care unique and easier to find in the parking lot.

Stop by on a Thursday night between 7 and 9pm to talk about your decal ideas.

Makerspace: What is a maker and why do I need space?

You could be a maker, if you …..

  • Like to create new things out of old electronics.
  • Have a slew of old parts that you saved for making the new thing.
  • Are well beyond making a macaroni necklace but still prefer to hand make gifts. (Build rather than buy)
  • Are an EXTREME crafter that learns new tricks by watching you tube videos but you don’t always have the equipment at home to pull it off.
  • Are retired and want to start working on those projects that you have been meaning to get to but a job kept getting in the way.
  • Like to tinker, invent or build software.
  • Are interested in home automation and being your own big brother.
  • Like to solve problems by inventing a new device as your own private solution.
  • Are creative looking for an outlet of multiple mediums, metal, wood, 3D Printing and laser etching.


You could need space, if you …..

  • Are an apartment dweller that has limited space for tools like a table saw, drill press or laser cutter.
  • Need a reason to get out of the house once in a while and socialize with other people with shared interests?
  • If you don’t have a basement, now you can.
  • Moved to the area recently and need to expand your social surroundings.
  • Your she shed burned down but your insurance didn’t cover the replacement.
  • Don’t have all the tools you need, and you don’t want to buy and store them yourself.
  • You can make a mess, and you have to clean up after yourself, but at least you won’t be getting sawdust in your house.

The Space is a community

Online or in-person, there’s a place for asking questions or offering help from people that have similar experiences or different knowledge that may provide a perspective you had not considered.

  • Active members show up on Thursday nights to work on their own projects and to see who stops by to share their project.
  • Working with other people side by side, there are opportunities to learn how the right tool can make a job so much easier.
  • Members use Online communications using slack.com with channels for various topics of interest. You don’t have to leave the house to share ideas or get advice on a project when you reach a roadblock.

To summarize

The dictionary defines makerspace as:
a place in which people with shared interests, especially in computing or technology, can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge. Workshop 88 is a community space where you can make stuff and share ideas. Stop by any Thursday evening from 7pm-9pm for a workshop tour to see for yourself.