The Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab is a small-scale workshop for computer-based innovation, design and fabrication. The Fab Lab allows you to dream up, design and make almost anything you can imagine using open source software and DIY equipment.
Ken Denmead wrote the following about raising geeks, though I think it applies to raising and teaching all kids: "...It means teaching them an empowering worldview. It means showing them how things work and that with a little research, determinations and trial and error, they can bend the world to their will. It means raising them with the maker call to arms echoing in their ears: 'If you can't open it, you don't own it!' It means getting them to approach problems technically and solve them with imagination, which makes anything possible.
Every year the Fab Academy conducts a rigorous semester long class based on the MIT course, with remote participants working in local Fab Labs around the world.
CUCFL hosted a Fab Academy class in 2011.
If there is enough interest, we could try to have one in Jany 2013.
We need to get several (probably 3 or more) people to sign up (Note: there is a $3-5000 tuition.) and we will need to recruit a "guru" to be the local expert here.
For more information see:
Thanks to Dean Rose we are now able to scan people and objects in 3D! We'll be working on this more in the coming weeks.
See more pictures on Flickr.
I'm enrolled in a coursera class on HCI to help expand my resources for teaching and found this video on rapid prototyping and the design process that I thought was quite relevant to our lab:
New for Halloween: small dinaosaur, to cut from pressboard.
Purchase a 6x12 in piece of pressboard from the lab attendant, then download the files. The file 'ptero-small.pdf' is all you need.
Use the Epilog Mini laser to make your own dinosaru today!
I made a small Jack'o'lantern on the new UP! printer.
The project was downloaded from Thingiverse, http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4494 by DocProfSky. The STL file is in the Downloads folder on the UP! machine.
Help Wanted: This Jack'o'lantern is intended to have a light inside, e.g., a LED and battery. I need some folks to help finish this part of the project.
From Steve Holt initially
Neat story of a small company start-up based on laser cutters making “Pibow”, a case for a small computer.
I am looking for some information on where to start with making circuit boards. I have a simple amplifier circuit that I would like to create a small board for on the Modela. On Sunday I was told the names of some software to start with, but I think I am going to need more of a tutorial or something to follow. I appreciate any advice or direction you may have to offer.
A new woodworking shop is opening up over by Parkland. Some might be interested:
I was very excited to see that the new Up 3D printer was set up and running when my daughter and I came to the lab today. A month or so ago my son asked to make the Mendocino Motor that was featured in Volume 31 of Make Magazine. It requires making several parts using a 3D printer. We tried making the rotor using the cupcake printer, but it broke loose from the platform when it was about 75% complete. We decided to wait until the new printer was in before trying again, and now it is here.
Betty, Andrew and I visited Blackline Supply this past week, a locally owned art and architecture materials shop on campus. They have all kinds of construction materials, but what was most notable to me, was their affordable and high quality wood. I believe a 3x24 inch sheet was around 3$, which means a full sheet to fill our laser bed would be about 12$. They're pretty close by, located in the basement of the McKinley Foundation on campus - go pay them a visit!
I had the pleasure of presenting twice this past week at the Fab8nz conference via video conference. Among many things we discussed research in Fab Labs related to literacy, learning and empowerment as well as the Powers of 10 concept and how we've gone about doing mini FabLab deployments. If you're interested the paper and one of the presentations is available for download below!
Possibly of intrest, the Illinois Green Business Association is having its first 'Green Business Summit', Sept 7, 2012 in Champaign.
For more info and registration, please see:
General info about IGBA at: http://illinoisgba.com
The Epilog Mini at the CUCFL can be used to engrave text and pictures on glass (e.g., mirrors or picture frames), and on glassware, including bottles, drinking glasses, and cookware.
An Example Project
An example project is to etch a personal design on a glass pie pan, purchased at a large store for $5 or less. Please see the report attached here [PDF].