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.
I wanted to be able to make Amharic letters and phrases quickly on the Epilog laser cutter. Cutting a path is always faster than rastering an image, so I downloaded the Fidel, and then modified in Inkscape to create letter stencils. These characters were modified such that "loops" (as in an "a" or "b") do not fall out when cut with the laser, but remain attached with a thin filament. Thus, letters and phrases can be cut out rapidly in wood, cardboard or acrylic, and used as signage or for a stencil.
Instructables featured this project this weeK:
What could possibly go wrong?
As if 3D printers weren't mind-blowing enough, iRobot (yes, the company responsible for the Roomba) has just filed a patent for a robot-assisted all-in-one fabricator that can print, mill, drill, and finish a final product — and all without human intervention. Read more about it at io9.
This project combines the well know image of "Kilroy Was Here" with sensor driven data aquired via an embedded microcontroller.
In her TED Talk, Ayah Bdeir (the creator of littleBits)
said "We want to encourage a world of creators, of inventors, of
contributors. Because this world that we live in, this interactive
world, is ours."
Join us for an open discussion this Thursday evening - all are welcome!
Back in October I used the big vinyl cutter to create my Halloween costume! I attended a Halloween party that also celebrated the fall birthdays of three friends. The party was themed for the states they were born in: Missouri, Tennessee, and California. My costume matched all three, with Dr. Pepper from Missouri, Mountain Dew from Tennessee, and Orange Crush from California! Everyone at the party thought it was awesome, but I ended up taking it off pretty quickly when I realized it was impossible to sit down. Slight engineering oversight. :P
The Fab Lab will be closed Thursday November 22 in observance of Thanksgiving Day. We will be open the following Sunday from1 to 6 pm
In a recent blog post Maggie Thrash wrote "A common misconception is that hacking=accessing other people's computers (see: any movie or news story about "hacking"). But the true meaning of hacking is much broader-- it's about problem-solving, rejecting limits set by outside forces, curiousity, and a true DIY spirit.
Short article about CUCFL in Buzz.
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!