Workshop 88 open house tours are suspended through end of April

Due to the governor’s order to stay at home through the end of April, Workshop 88 will continue our suspension of  public open house tours on Thursday nights.

We would still like to meet makers and connect with you! Please see our Meetup page for information on how you may interact with us including virtual tours and virtual open house visits on Thursday nights.

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.

Maker of CamBam supports Workshop 88 makerspace!

HexRay supports Workshop 88 with a complimentary
CamBam site license & member discount!

Workshop 88 would like to extend a big thank you to HexRay for supporting the our CNC efforts by allowing us unlimited use of CamBam on club Windows and Linux computers plus a discount on CamBam to Workshop 88 members.

For more information about CamBam, check out their website: http://www.cambam.info/

From the website:

CamBam is an application to create CAM files (gcode) from CAD source files or its own internal geometry editor. CamBam has many users worldwide, from CNC hobbyists to professional machinists and engineers.
CamBam currently supports the following:

  • Reading from and writing to 2D DXF files.
  • 2.5D profiling machine operations with auto-tab support
  • 2.5D pocketing operations with auto island detection
  • Drilling (Normal,Peck,Spiral Milling and Custom Scripts)
  • Engraving
  • True Type Font (TTF) text manipulation and outline (glyph) extraction.
  • Conversion of bitmaps to heightmaps
  • 3D geometry import from STL, 3DS and RAW files
  • 3D waterline and scanline machining operations
  • Extendable through user written plugins and scripts

Be sure to check out their CamBam bundles with Mach 3 controller and CutViewer too.  Personally, I purchased the full CamBam + Mach 3 + CutViewer bundle; I couldn’t beat the price and I’ve been happy with them to this day.

As if that wasn’t good enough: “Unlicensed CamBam installations will continue to work after the 40 evaluation uses are up and allow editing drawings and viewing toolpaths.  However, g-code output is limited to 1000 lines, so another option is for people to work on designs at home, then bring them in to the group’s licensed computers to generate g-code.”

This level of support from HexRay is fantastic and something Workshop 88 greatly appreciates!


I have been using CamBam as my go-to CAD-CAM software for many years, to see a sampling of the kinds of things it can do, take a peek at some of my personal CamBam projects:

3D vacuum forming mask mold master for independent movie

Utility shelf for beverages and keys

Wall artwork – Wooden V

Engraved Bahr family crest

Atari Adventure engraved sign

Philosophy Custom Guitars engraved sign

Working miniature TV

Halftone portrait

Stay tuned to see CamBam powered Workshop 88 CNC projects!

…and on behalf of Workshop 88:

THANK YOU Andy @ HexRay!

If you’d like to find out more about Workshop 88, please contact us:
http://blog.workshop88.com/interact-with-us/ or stop by our weekly open house any Thursday evening after 6:30pm.

D. Scott Williamson
Compulsively Creative

CAD CAM tutorial

CAD CAM tutorial
by D.  Scott Williamson

This tutorial will show you how to use Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing or CAD CAM tools to create and preview a Gcode file of the Workshop 88 logo that can be run in a 3 axis CNC Mill.

Background

There are 5 main types of machine operations

  1. Engrave (follow path): The tool tip will follow the 3D path provided.
  2. Profile: The tool edge will follow either the inside or outside contour of a path down to the specified depth.
  3. Pocket: The tool will remove all the material within a contour down to the specified depth.
  4. Drill: A drill routine will be executed at each point location.  Drill routines come in 2 flavors:
    1. “Peck” used with drill bits, drills to successively deeper depths liftig the bit out of the work regularly to clear chips from the flutes.
    2. “Spiral” used with endmills that are a smaller diameter than the finished hole.
  5. 3D relief: The tool tip will remove material above a 3D surface usually specified in a 3D model or a 2D height map image.  There are two main modes:
    1. “Waterline” similar to inverted pocket operations where bulk material is efficiently removed outside the 3D model to a number of stepped depths resembling waterline in a topological map.  Typically used in a first pass with a large roughing bit to remove the bulk of the material.
    2. “Raster” moves the tip of the bit smoothly over the model in a raster pattern.

Gcode is a “numerically controlled programming language” which is why a Gcode file extension is typically .nc.  It is a human and machine readable text file.  You will rarely if ever need to look at or edit the Gcode.

Overview

This tutorial will demonstrate Engrave, Profile, and Pocket operations, which are the most popular.

There are 4 steps to this tutorial:

  1. Create a .svg file containing paths needed for machine operations
  2. Create machine operations
  3. Export Gcode
  4. Simulate, visualize and validate

Continue reading

Tesla Coil demonstration on September 17!

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Workshop 88 member Phil Strons will be giving a demonstration of his Tesla coil at Workshop 88 this coming Saturday, September 17th, from 1:00 to 5:00pm.

Here’s what Phil has to say about what to expect from this demonstration: “Last year I had 20-inch sparks, but I’ve since done some modifications & repairs. I’m hoping for closer to 30-inch long sparks this time.”
WARNING – This device generates electric fields with high voltages of 1,000,000 Volts or more and has potential to interfere with medical devices such as pacemakers.

tesla-coil-demo-promo-photo

Minecraft Extravaganza

IMG_20151023_002406We’ve mapped out a wiring diagram and rough layout for an Arduino-controlled Minecraft landscape. Bill has graciously agreed to write the code. Rachel roped in a bunch of newcomers to build part of the set and brainstorm Minecraft “events.”

We settled on a line of light-up Redstone dust (red LEDs in perforated boxes) leading up to a tree which catches on fire (LEGO flames IMG_20151023_012142657will stick out of the tree). Then a second tree will catch on fire. We’ll be working on it at Workshop 88 the next couple of Thursday evenings if you’d like to stop by and contribute your Minecraft, LEGO, and/or Arduino expertise.  Come play!

We’re gearing up to display this at the Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faire, along with some other projects.  Scott Wojton from the Naperville store has been out to the space a couple of times and has been very helpful to us,so we’re happy to be showing stuff at his Faire Nov 6-8.