Buildout at 25 Dundurn St. North!

We have a new space, colocated with the Staircase Theatre on Dundurn Street. It’s a super sweet second floor, with tons of natural light (daystar!). The best thing about the new space is that it’s approximately the most accessible location in the city – Dundurn and King. We’ve got a floor plan worked out, with a chem / cnc room, workshop space, and loungey space.

Buildout week starts today! At the open|haus tonight, we’ll be moving the 175 2x4s we ripped out of the old space over to the new one. We’ll talk about how things will work during buildout week and how you can lend a hand. We’ll keep this page updated for folks who can’t make it out tonight.

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HOWTO turn a cheap Chinese laser engraver into a pretty good laser cutter

…using only a computer, LinuxCNC, and lots of scrap cardboard.

Every hackerspace needs a laser cutter. Unfortunately, they can be very expensive. Deals like the one Hacklab.to got don’t happen very often. However, there are factories in China turning out laser engravers and selling them on eBay for relatively cheap. We found a local distributor that appears to buy them directly from China, make sure they work, and resell them.

Read the rest of this entry »

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HOWTO turn a cheap Chinese laser engraver into a pretty good laser cutter

…using only a computer, LinuxCNC, and lots of scrap cardboard.

Every hackerspace needs a laser cutter. Unfortunately, they can be very expensive. Deals like the one Hacklab.to got don’t happen very often. However, there are factories in China turning out laser engravers and selling them on eBay for relatively cheap. We found a local distributor that appears to buy them directly from China, make sure they work, and resell them.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Team Power Fist – Power Racing Series Update

At Maker Faire Detroit (July 31 – August 1 2010), the folks from Pumping Station: One have challenged hackerspaces around the world to participate in the Power Racing Series.

The idea is this: buy a Power Wheels car, mod it to make it MOAR AWSOME, and race it against teams from other hackerspaces. Very simple.

We got ourselves a used Extreme Dune Buggy, and let Jason go at it with the Sawzall.

There was much drilling, lathing, cutting, grinding, and welding.

The organising people announced the Early Bird Challenge a few weeks ago – post a video of your car driving 150 feet, powered by the motor you intend to race with. We didn’t quite get the points, but we did post a video:

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Team think|haus in the Power Racing Series

At Maker Faire Detroit (July 31 – August 1 2010), the folks from Pumping Station: One have challenged hackerspaces around the world to participate in the Power Racing Series.

The idea is this: buy a Power Wheels car, mod it to make it MOAR AWSOME, and race it against teams from other hackerspaces. Very simple.

We got ourselves a used Extreme Dune Buggy, and let Jason go at it with the Sawzall.

There was much drilling, lathing, cutting, grinding, and welding.

The organising people announced the Early Bird Challenge a few weeks ago – post a video of your car driving 150 feet, powered by the motor you intend to race with. We didn’t quite get the points, but we did post a video:

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Making Games at think|haus

The past few weeks have seen several members working on games at think|haus. Peter designed and made a lasercut chess set, I made some pieces for my travel Settlers of Catan, and JamesQ posted about his 3D chess idea below.

Peter took some really nice pictures of his chess set and posted them on the facebook. His pieces are really nice – very clean and sleek. Each piece is made out of two pieces of acrylic fitted together at 90°. Here’s the thingiverse link.

A few years ago, I bought travel Settlers of Catan so that I could bring it with me on trips. Even the travel set is fairly big though, so I just used the cards and port pieces out of the box, and made my own tiles and cardboard pieces. The cardboard pieces are pretty awkward though, and I’ve never really been pleased with them. Today, I made up a little gcode file to cut out tiny roads, settlements, and cities.

handmade settlers tiles with lazzored pieces

If you want to build your own, check out the thingiverse project.

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Making Games at think|haus

The past few weeks have seen several members working on games at think|haus. Peter designed and made a lasercut chess set, I made some pieces for my travel Settlers of Catan, and JamesQ posted about his 3D chess idea below.

Peter took some really nice pictures of his chess set and posted them on the facebook. His pieces are really nice – very clean and sleek. Each piece is made out of two pieces of acrylic fitted together at 90°. I’ll add the thingiverse link when he’s put it up there.

A few years ago, I bought travel Settlers of Catan so that I could bring it with me on trips. Even the travel set is fairly big though, so I just used the cards and port pieces out of the box, and made my own tiles and cardboard pieces. The cardboard pieces are pretty awkward though, and I’ve never really been pleased with them. Today, I made up a little gcode file to cut out tiny roads, settlements, and cities.

handmade settlers tiles with lazzored pieces

If you want to build your own, check out the thingiverse project.

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Apparently Gilbert Held is a little bit racist

Dictionary of Communications Technology, 2nd edition

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Filling laser etched acrylic: wax vs polymer clay

I made some business card holders for think|haus a few weeks ago. They turned out pretty well, but there was one problem: the etching isn’t really legible from any reasonable distance. I clearly needed to paint/fill the etching with something. I tried two different methods: wax crayon and polymer clay. Photos below the cut. Read the rest of this entry »

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Filling laser etched acrylic: wax vs polymer clay

I made some business card holders for think|haus a few weeks ago. They turned out pretty well, but there was one problem: the etching isn’t really legible from any reasonable distance. I clearly needed to paint/fill the etching with something. I tried two different methods: wax crayon and polymer clay. Photos below the cut. Read the rest of this entry »

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