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.
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.
There will be no open house this Thursday, July 4, due to the holiday. We will resume our open houses on Thursday, July 11. See you then!
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)
- 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
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
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.
There are 5 main types of machine operations
- Engrave (follow path): The tool tip will follow the 3D path provided.
- Profile: The tool edge will follow either the inside or outside contour of a path down to the specified depth.
- Pocket: The tool will remove all the material within a contour down to the specified depth.
- Drill: A drill routine will be executed at each point location. Drill routines come in 2 flavors:
- “Peck” used with drill bits, drills to successively deeper depths liftig the bit out of the work regularly to clear chips from the flutes.
- “Spiral” used with endmills that are a smaller diameter than the finished hole.
- 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:
- “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.
- “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.
This tutorial will demonstrate Engrave, Profile, and Pocket operations, which are the most popular.
There are 4 steps to this tutorial:
- Create a .svg file containing paths needed for machine operations
- Create machine operations
- Export Gcode
- Simulate, visualize and validate
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.
We’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 will 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.
The dead laser cutter donated to us by Inventables after blowing one too many power supplies is running! While not yet ready for prime time, a water cooling system in a bucket and a fume exhaust thru the flue from the old furnace allowed first tests. The Shapeoko laptop hosts the RetinaEngrave software that makes it look like a Windows printer.
We’re still getting our feet wet with laser power, speed, number of passes, raster vs vector operations, but we’ve actually cut some paper, wood, and plastic. This wolf head – courtesy of Google Images – adorning a circular saw push stick was the first actual cut.
Daniil had the honor of being the first to produce an actual useful object on the cutter. We think his daughter will be thrilled with these laser cut, hot air station formed goggles for her skateboarding doll. She’s been trying to get some for a while now.
There’s still a lot of work to do making much more proper implementations of cooling and exhaust systems. We need proper electrical connections to guarantee the cooling will be running if the laser is on, and a damper on the exhaust pipe to keep cold air out and the landlord happy. Lots more Ts to cross and Is to dot. But it’s actually cutting stuff and hasn’t blown up yet!
THOTCON is the annual, small venue, hacking conference based in Chicago IL, USA. THOTCON is a non-profit, non-commercial event looking to provide the best conference possible on a very limited budget.
For the past 2 years Workshop 88 has been honored to design and produce the electronic attendee badges for the conference as a service to the local community. The badge crew this year consisted of: Paul Reich, Bill Paulson, Karl Knutson, Zach Cassity, Russell Lankenau, and Rudy Ristich
This year’s badge was inspired by portable gaming systems from the past and featured 102 x 64 pixel graphic LCD screen and a push button interface. Once again, the badge features an Atmel AVR based microcontroller. The badge used nearly every byte of the 32k available SRAM on its Atmega32u4 chip. The software consisted of a Break-out style game which participants could play to passtime, a complete schedule of talks and labs for the day long conference, and the ability to patch into arcade panels hosted in the Hacker Village, and a few surprises for discovering inside.
Just like the THOTCON 0x4 Badge, the 0x5 Badge is compatible with the Arduino open hardware programming environment and can accept standard Arduino shields. This means the badge can be easily reused and repurposed to power any sort of project. An improvement from last year’s badge is that no additional parts need to be added; conference goers can simply plug the badge into their laptop once burning a bootloader to reprogram it, encouraging easier exploration and badge hacking.
The badge is designed to be completely open hardware and software. Workshop 88 would like to thank the open source hardware and software community especially: Arduino, Oliver Kraus and other contributors to the U8glib graphics library, Dean Camera for the LUFA Project, and last, but far from least: Twisted Traces, our local assembly partner in Elk Grove, IL.
Workshop 88 will be holding a badge hacking contest throughout the month of May. Judging will consist of a panel from Workshop 88 and the THOTCON crew. Interested contestants can register on the badge website: http://badge.workshop88.com
Full details on the badge specifications and firmware will be released on May 1st in conjunction with the opening of the badge hacking contest.
Pursuing her passion for making technology accessible to girls, Rachel Hellenga inspired a whirlwind project to automate a dollhouse. After the smoke cleared, the one-room dollhouse she and Jim W and Bill P built was a miniature version of – and is now displayed within – the “Circuit Castle” she’s showing at the New York Maker Faire. Read her Make Magazine blog post about it.
The Dollhouse Automation System powering it is a collection of small, cheap microcontrollers in a simple network allowing sensors (push buttons, motion detectors, light sensors, etc) in one part of the house to control actions (lights, motors, sounds etc) in another part of the house.
Here are some gory details of putting that system together.