Archive for category Administrivia

Summer Membership Special

Make Something!

think|haus is offering a summer membership special – $50 buys you a membership from now till the end of August. Join our community, meet like minded people, get access to our tools, and learn new things in our classes & workshops.

We’d also like to thank our 3D printing filament supplier MG Chemicals for funding the production of our new brochure. Check out their line of products for 3D printing, electronics, & printed circuit board making.


No Comments

Open Haus

We had a great time at Hamilton Mini Maker Faire on the weekend. There were so many cool projects to see, and we met lots of interesting people. We look forward to seeing many of them at our weekly Open Haus, Tuesdays from 7-10pm at our space, 25 Dundurn St. N., back door & up the stairs. See you there!

No Comments

Hamilton Mini Maker Faire

think|haus will be at the Hamilton Mini Maker Faire on Sunday, June 26, 2016 from 11 am to 5 pm at the Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology.

There’s always fascinating things to see & do. Meet makers, hobbyists & crafters and get inspiration for your next project.

More information can be found at

See you there!

No Comments

Learn New Maker Skills

As part of the think|haus reboot, we’d like to get back to holding regular classes on a variety of topics of interest to the maker community. So, what do you want to learn? Arduino? Raspberry Pi? 3D Printing? Internet of Things? Home Automation? Make your own Media Centre? How to land a rocket on an autonomous barge?

Let us know in the comments below what kinds of classes you’d like to see. We’ll gauge interest and set up classes with the most interest. We’d like to get going as soon as possible, so let your ideas fly!


Stay of Execution for think|haus

At our meeting last Thursday, June 2, we agreed to try to save think|haus. We were encouraged by the messages we received from many people who had, at one time or another, been associated with think|haus. Everyone believed it was a special place worth saving, and that the current state of affairs could be turned around with concerted effort. We have a lot of work to do in getting the space in better physical shape, making sure all of our equipment is in good working order, and creating simple well documented workflows. We also need better management and administrative structures, and new revenue sources. Most of all, however, we need to rebuild our sense of community. It won’t be easy, and it will take a lot of dedicated effort. Enthusiasm is much easier to generate than maintain. But we are willing to try.

We will be at Hamilton Mini Maker Faire on June 26 at the Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology.

Keep an eye on this space for more announcements about upcoming classes, build nights & other maker activities.

No Comments

The End of think|haus(?)

tl;dr — PUBLIC MEETING – All Interested Parties
Save think|haus – Thursday June 2nd, 2016 19:00
25 Dundurn Street North, back door and up the stairs.


Let me be blunt: think|haus is broke. It is behind on rent. Current monthly expenses far exceed monthly revenue. Membership numbers are far below what is necessary for think|haus to be viable. It has been that way for a long time, and it cannot continue.

The current directors, Jamie, Paul & I, accept some of the blame for the current state of affairs. All 3 of us, for various professional & personal reasons, have been unable to devote the time necessary to leading & managing think|haus. We have helped think|haus through various ups & downs for many years, contributing a great deal of time, energy and money, and frankly, we just don’t have it in us anymore. Unfortunately, few people have volunteered to contribute to the management of the space in a lasting & meaningful way. think|haus has done almost nothing in the way of outreach in a very long time. We have not held classes or engaged in joint projects. We have devolved into a shared workshop that offers space & some tools, but not much more. Successful makerspaces are communities, not collections of things.

We will be holding a meeting at 7 pm on Thursday, June 2, 2016 to discuss next steps. The default position, at this point, is that think|haus will wind down as soon as possible. How to best do that will be discussed at the meeting.

If people want think|haus to continue, in one form or another, they may bring ideas & plans to the meeting. All options can be on the table, but the financial realities cannot be ignored. Any plan to continue or restructure think|haus must come with concrete ideas on how rent arrears can be cleared and how going forward would be financially sustainable. That includes having people seriously committed to taking over day to day management and responsibility for think|haus.

It saddens me to have to write this. think|haus was Hamilton’s first makerspace. Given the size of the city & surrounding area, it should be possible to make it work. But unless new people, with a new, workable plan come forward immediately, it appears think|haus has reached the end of its life.

Dave Harvey
on behalf of the Directors of think|haus

No Comments

ThinkHaus Status: Back Open


Think Haus is back open on Tuesday nights from 6-10.


The CNC mill, the soldering and circuitry table is open. The 3D printer building equipment is available and one 3D printer is functional but needs a little TLC to know how to use and the other needs a drop more TLC. The wood cutting equipment is always open. The lathe needs a bit of fixing on the tailstock but is generally functional.


After success with aluminum casting in December with an electric kiln, a proposal for a new kiln to be used at ThinkHaus is brought forward. This kiln would use charcoal briquettes and could melt aluminum in the back area. Cutting out styrofoam parts, the aluminum could do lost-wax-casting. There are several tutorials of how to do make this kiln and the equipment to make it has been purchased. If there is demand it will be made, else the electric kiln will be (privately) used.

There have been few projects going on at this time. If you are working on something, stop by!

Also, Brochure!

ThinkHaus Brochure

No Comments

Pre-Holiday Break / Post-Holiday Awesome!

Hey all – we’ve reached the “zomg, I need to finish my holiday season projects” stage.


We’re going to suspend our regular weekly Open Haus in order to make sure that our members have the time and flexibility they need to make their own awesomeness happen.

We love you all, but we’re busy.


Stay tuned for really cool news about 2016-01-01!

No Comments

First circuit board

I know I made a recent post, but this ties into it. First circuit board cut out on the engraver.

It is not the prettiest board, but it is okay. It is an audio amplifier TDA7293. I found an amplifier thrown out with 6 of these 180W chips in them. Really powerful little beasts and the power supply worked too. I couldn’t get the old board fired up, so I did the next best thing, remake it.





DSCN8583I could show you the EagleCad drawing, the Cad drawings and the G-code, but there isn’t much to show there. I made the code, it works. Here I got the cutter alinged and told the program that this spot is the touch off point for XYZ so that it can start cutting there.







DSCN8584Here it is after engraving. I also cut out little holes, but they are not through holes. I do not have a drill for this collet and the 1/32″ end mill is four flute. Do not use a four flute end mill for drilling and plunging or it will break.








I drilled out the holes. The smallest drill (shy of the nozzle cleaning drills) are 1/16″ and are rather large for circuit boards, but they worked. The channels are 0.39 mm wide. The engraver end mill is ‘supposed to’ and is advertised to cut a 0.1 mm wide channel.







DSCN8588Here is the bottom of the board. The wide channels actually made the soldering of the board easy, but I would suggest a narrower cutter and a drill for the machine in the future.







And here is the circuit board again DSCN8589from above. I made a mistake thinking that a 460uF cap would be small and was on the original board, and hence the stack of capacitors. Next board is the power supply.

No Comments

How to use the engraver

Engraver is ready!DSCN8557

(Ready enough for people to use it. There are a few small things I want to do, but it is ready enough!)

So how to use it:

First you need a file and make the G-Code file. I will show Easel from Inventables. It is free and in browser. Just make an account. (


Select Sheet









Now select the material and dimensions. It will change the settings as needed (it has programmed speeds and feeds already which makes it nice)

Now we can add text or shapes as needed. You can also specify how the tool will cut: outline, perimeter, or fill. Select as needed. If the tool is too big, it will tell you what to do. Outline works all the time.

SVG import

If you use Inkscape, you can import SVG files. This is really Save G-Codeuseful for importing drawings you have made already.

Now, export the G-Code. The export is located in the Machine tab. Click the Advanced tab (shown) then click Generate G-Code and Download G-Code. It will download as a .nc















It is now time to use the machine. You can launch the Fireball program from the laser computer.

To make the machine connect to the Fireball, turn the dial to Engravor from Lazzor.

Turn on the power by pulling the big red button. The big red button will also turn it off if needed.



Like the lazzor, find the home position. Press the red X, the orange IO, then press Home All. The machine will home and find the origin points. (This is what I will get to. It isn’t fully ready yet, but you can still use it.)

We need to touch up the G-Code. It needs to be renamed to a *.ngc and add M30 to the end in order for LinuxCNC to find the file.

Next, move the engraver to the origin point. Use Up/Down/Left/Right and Page Up/Page Down to position the tool. Then press Touch Off to zero the tool and next you can start.



To turn on the tool, turn on this switch. Super simple. Press the Go button and run the Linux CNC.

What was made is a an aluminum plate. Do not damage it if possible. The plate is made of 1″ spaced 8-32 bolts. The engraver is a .1 mm engraver bit, but it cuts a .4 mm channel. New engravers are optional.

The machine has a maximum travel of 12″ x 18″ and has ~4″ vertical travel, but this can be increased if needed. The machine can cut aluminum if needed. Acrylic will commonly melt if you cut it, so use lots of coolant if you want to cut it.

There are also other CAD/CAM programs that can also make the G-Code, but Easel is free and rather good. Use what you want.

No Comments