Viewing entries tagged
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New Workshop: Intro to Inkscape!

The lasers are incredibly powerful tools, able to do anything from blast out furniture to etch text on custom business cards. In this workshop, get oriented to making files for the laser using Inkscape, the most common open-source vector imaging software.

We will go over basic concepts (why do we need a vector image?), design and basic tools of Inkscape, and tips and tricks for making an image our lasers will be happy with. 

Bring a laptop with Inkscape already installed and open (boot-up time can be significant). No experience necessary.

Tuesday, November 19, 7-9 PM, $50.

The winner of our leet Foursqare Check-In Challenge is Matt Towers! Matt, stop by so you can redeem your sheet’s worth of free lasertime!

The winner of our leet Foursqare Check-In Challenge is Matt Towers! Matt, stop by so you can redeem your sheet’s worth of free lasertime!

Here’s an oxymoron in action, a fail whale that works.   Our member Haven Skys has been playing with the idea of laser etched acrylic circuits, and has built his first prototype.    Silver conductive ink for the traces and a deep etch gives not only a circuit, but a working schematic styled resistor.   Add in a CR2032 battery and a couple of surface mount LEDs and you’ve got a working LED flashlight that shows off the win that is fail.

Here’s an oxymoron in action, a fail whale that works.   Our member Haven Skys has been playing with the idea of laser etched acrylic circuits, and has built his first prototype.    Silver conductive ink for the traces and a deep etch gives not only a circuit, but a working schematic styled resistor.   Add in a CR2032 battery and a couple of surface mount LEDs and you’ve got a working LED flashlight that shows off the win that is fail.

It works!

Thanks to Gabe for his awesome breadboarding!   

Remember kids, too many amps make smoke!

Procrastination can lead you down a pretty funny path sometimes.    A lot of you have asked us about flyers, business cards, brochures, and we’ve mostly just shrugged and pointed at the website.   Those things are important in a business, and it’s not like I don’t know that, but they’re fairly low on the stack of important things to do, and as I’ve said many times, I’m interrupt driven.   Last night, business cards jumped to the top of the stack because we’ve been doing some work for the Seattle Central Creative Academy Portfolio Show and around 6PM or so, we figured out we didn’t have anything to hand out at the show.   We have some nice veneer and a laser, so the most straightforward thing in the world for us to do is engrave and cut a business card.  Right?    So since this is one of those ‘straightforward’ things, and we have a big sign that says MAKE SOMETHING AWESOME on the wall, we started bouncing around ideas of what would make an awesome business card.   Would it be rounded corners?  Or maybe a cool die cut gear or something?  Should it fold up and become something else?   The hours started to tick away.   How about making something useful?  What can you make useful in a 2”x3.5” rectangle anyway?  I started to wander down the path of a DC motor.   A simple fold here, a bit of wire, a magnet.   This could maybe work.   Duncan and I pulled out the notepad.   To make a DC motor, we’d need to wind a rotor, stick some magnets on the side, and have brushes.   Kind of complicated.   Brushless DC might be simpler;  more awesome.    11:30PM, time for Inkscape.   With Duncan driving and an evolving idea, we start figuring out what we have at the shop, and whether or not we can do this in the time we have left.   Magnet wire?  Yes, we have 5lbs of it.  Magnets? hm.  only a couple, but good enough for a prototype.   Time for calipers, some wacky design and more caffeine.    By 3:00AM, we have a design.  Cut, assembled and Photographed.      Tonight we’ll see if we can drive it with an Arduino.   Maybe add our actual information to the card.   In the meantime, I’ve started in on a simple veneer card.  a 3mm plywood press-fit brushless DC motor business card might not fit in everyone’s wallet.

Procrastination can lead you down a pretty funny path sometimes.    A lot of you have asked us about flyers, business cards, brochures, and we’ve mostly just shrugged and pointed at the website.   Those things are important in a business, and it’s not like I don’t know that, but they’re fairly low on the stack of important things to do, and as I’ve said many times, I’m interrupt driven.  

Last night, business cards jumped to the top of the stack because we’ve been doing some work for the Seattle Central Creative Academy Portfolio Show and around 6PM or so, we figured out we didn’t have anything to hand out at the show.   We have some nice veneer and a laser, so the most straightforward thing in the world for us to do is engrave and cut a business card.  Right?   

So since this is one of those ‘straightforward’ things, and we have a big sign that says MAKE SOMETHING AWESOME on the wall, we started bouncing around ideas of what would make an awesome business card.   Would it be rounded corners?  Or maybe a cool die cut gear or something?  Should it fold up and become something else?   The hours started to tick away.   How about making something useful?  What can you make useful in a 2”x3.5” rectangle anyway? 

I started to wander down the path of a DC motor.   A simple fold here, a bit of wire, a magnet.   This could maybe work.   Duncan and I pulled out the notepad.   To make a DC motor, we’d need to wind a rotor, stick some magnets on the side, and have brushes.   Kind of complicated.   Brushless DC might be simpler;  more awesome.    11:30PM, time for Inkscape.   With Duncan driving and an evolving idea, we start figuring out what we have at the shop, and whether or not we can do this in the time we have left.   Magnet wire?  Yes, we have 5lbs of it.  Magnets? hm.  only a couple, but good enough for a prototype.   Time for calipers, some wacky design and more caffeine.    By 3:00AM, we have a design.  Cut, assembled and Photographed.   
 
Tonight we’ll see if we can drive it with an Arduino.   Maybe add our actual information to the card.   In the meantime, I’ve started in on a simple veneer card.  a 3mm plywood press-fit brushless DC motor business card might not fit in everyone’s wallet.

Sometimes, we see projects go from start to finish in a day,  mostly we see our shop projects take longer than we’d like, and other times, we get to see just a slice of something that can change the world. I’ve mentioned before that in our first week, someone came in and made a “DNA cloning machine”.   I still don’t really understand what PCR really means, I’m not a wetware guy.  I do understand the massive changes that happen in the world when you take a technology that costs several thousand dollars and bring it down to near-zero.  I also understand how awesome it is when people get together and build things.   It totally helps when there is a video to explain it all. LavaAmp is the result of the collaboration of Rob Carlson and his engineering partner, Rik Wehbring, founders of Biodesic, a Bioengineering firm, Jim Hardy, bioentrepreneur founder of Gahaga Biosciences, Joseph Jackson, a philosopher interested in Open Science and DIY Biology and Guido David Nunez-Mujica, a Computational Biologist. They all met at Science Foo Camp, and decided to develop, manufacture and market a simple, inexpensive device to perform PCR, which is the backbone of molecular biology. They are at the prototype stage, and gathering funds to go to production.  If you want to help change the world, please sponsor their project! I knew they were on to something when they wanted me to cut those polycarbonate donuts…

Sometimes, we see projects go from start to finish in a day,  mostly we see our shop projects take longer than we’d like, and other times, we get to see just a slice of something that can change the world.

I’ve mentioned before that in our first week, someone came in and made a “DNA cloning machine”.   I still don’t really understand what PCR really means, I’m not a wetware guy.  I do understand the massive changes that happen in the world when you take a technology that costs several thousand dollars and bring it down to near-zero.  I also understand how awesome it is when people get together and build things.   It totally helps when there is a video to explain it all.

LavaAmp is the result of the collaboration of Rob Carlson and his engineering partner, Rik Wehbring, founders of Biodesic, a Bioengineering firm, Jim Hardy, bioentrepreneur founder of Gahaga Biosciences, Joseph Jackson, a philosopher interested in Open Science and DIY Biology and Guido David Nunez-Mujica, a Computational Biologist.

They all met at Science Foo Camp, and decided to develop, manufacture and market a simple, inexpensive device to perform PCR, which is the backbone of molecular biology.

They are at the prototype stage, and gathering funds to go to production.  If you want to help change the world, please sponsor their project!

I knew they were on to something when they wanted me to cut those polycarbonate donuts…

Here at Metrix Create:Space, we don’t really sell coffee. We provide it as an amenity to our members and customers and we drink a lot of it ourselves. It does cost a dollar, but that dollar doesn’t go into paying staff, or rent, or even paying back the upfront cost of the robot (eventually we’ll pay for that thing somehow). It goes towards Vivace beans, our nifty poker draw cups, milk, and tasty tasty Oregon Chai. We’re not a coffee shop. We’re a workshop. We like coffee, it keeps us moving, so we have the good stuff. We do understand how coffee shops work , and how you and many of the laptop carrying, working-from-home mobile workforce out there live within their rules. You see, at one time, we worked on software, and we were laptop hobos. Working from home, or working ‘out of the office’ is a hard thing (well, it’s not hard like a salt mine or working at a desk or anything, but it can be inconvenient). For the most part, coffee shops have become the haven of the hobo. There are lots of social rules to setting up camp in a coffee shop. Mostly they involve picking up a coffee or a pastry every now and then, trying not to tie a table up every single day at the same place, tipping the barista kind of heavy so they don’t glare at you (too hard), not bringing in packed lunches and outside drinks. There’s a fine line you tread to not wear out your welcome, or run the place out of business. That’s why you’re buying the scones even though you don’t really like them. That’s why you don’t sleep much. It’s not the stress of the workplace, it’s the 4 latte a day habit. Coffee shops, have become the third place for workers, some by design, some by accident. For the most part though, coffee shops focus on their coffee, not their Internet. And for coffee shops, the Internet is an amenity that they have to have, rarely understand and don’t like paying for. Lots of coffee shops don’t even have a computer in them other than a cash register. Which is why their Internet is slow and laggy. Here at our workshop, we spend a lot of time working on our robots, building shop projects, buying tools and supplies and going about the things we need to do to make your projects go smoother. For that we need the Internet, and we like the Internet, so we make sure our Internet is awesome. Some of you may have noticed that there is effectively no lag at Metrix Create:Space. That’s because we have fast tubes (50mbps/10mpbs). We have a managed Cisco switch rather than a linksys hub. Our WiFi gear is from our ‘other store’, which primarily sells WiFi gear to people building WiFi businesses. We give you a publicly routeable IPV6 address. If the wireless is too slow for you (because 802.11g is only 20mbps), we even have a couple of wall jacks that you can plug in to, and get the full 50. Remember we mentioned that we like the Internet here? That may have been an understatement. Unfortunately, this makes us both appealing to the laptop hobo , and confusing. The rules are different here. It’s a new thing. We don’t have scones. The coffee doesn’t really pay for anything. How can you hobo without running us out of business? We know a lot of you are concerned about how we survive, because you ask us, and sometimes we wonder ourselves.  We have thought about your concerns, and are offering you an option. Today we are introducing Hobo Tokens and an actual tip jar. Hobo Tokens are a totally optional currency of goodwill. They let us know that you care about us, and remind us to keep that awesome Internet connection around. There are no rules, you can buy them and lock them up in a curio cabinet, give them away as gifts, or put them in the tip jar. They have no monetary value and are worth nothing in the store. Rest assured though, if you hobo hard, and you tip us in tokens, we know you care about the shop. Like the rest of the shop, this is kind of a weird experiment. They’re available online (we will mail them wherever you want) or at the counter for $5. 5 for $20 We’ll also put them on Thingiverse.   They take 3 minutes each to cut, so if you cut them yourselves, they’re $4.80 each.  If you have your own laser and material, they’re free goodwill.

Here at Metrix Create:Space, we don’t really sell coffee. We provide it as an amenity to our members and customers and we drink a lot of it ourselves. It does cost a dollar, but that dollar doesn’t go into paying staff, or rent, or even paying back the upfront cost of the robot (eventually we’ll pay for that thing somehow). It goes towards Vivace beans, our nifty poker draw cups, milk, and tasty tasty Oregon Chai. We’re not a coffee shop. We’re a workshop. We like coffee, it keeps us moving, so we have the good stuff.

We do understand how coffee shops work , and how you and many of the laptop carrying, working-from-home mobile workforce out there live within their rules. You see, at one time, we worked on software, and we were laptop hobos.

Working from home, or working ‘out of the office’ is a hard thing (well, it’s not hard like a salt mine or working at a desk or anything, but it can be inconvenient). For the most part, coffee shops have become the haven of the hobo. There are lots of social rules to setting up camp in a coffee shop. Mostly they involve picking up a coffee or a pastry every now and then, trying not to tie a table up every single day at the same place, tipping the barista kind of heavy so they don’t glare at you (too hard), not bringing in packed lunches and outside drinks. There’s a fine line you tread to not wear out your welcome, or run the place out of business. That’s why you’re buying the scones even though you don’t really like them. That’s why you don’t sleep much. It’s not the stress of the workplace, it’s the 4 latte a day habit.

Coffee shops, have become the third place for workers, some by design, some by accident. For the most part though, coffee shops focus on their coffee, not their Internet. And for coffee shops, the Internet is an amenity that they have to have, rarely understand and don’t like paying for. Lots of coffee shops don’t even have a computer in them other than a cash register. Which is why their Internet is slow and laggy.

Here at our workshop, we spend a lot of time working on our robots, building shop projects, buying tools and supplies and going about the things we need to do to make your projects go smoother. For that we need the Internet, and we like the Internet, so we make sure our Internet is awesome.

Some of you may have noticed that there is effectively no lag at Metrix Create:Space. That’s because we have fast tubes (50mbps/10mpbs). We have a managed Cisco switch rather than a linksys hub. Our WiFi gear is from our ‘other store’, which primarily sells WiFi gear to people building WiFi businesses. We give you a publicly routeable IPV6 address. If the wireless is too slow for you (because 802.11g is only 20mbps), we even have a couple of wall jacks that you can plug in to, and get the full 50. Remember we mentioned that we like the Internet here? That may have been an understatement.

Unfortunately, this makes us both appealing to the laptop hobo , and confusing. The rules are different here. It’s a new thing. We don’t have scones. The coffee doesn’t really pay for anything. How can you hobo without running us out of business? We know a lot of you are concerned about how we survive, because you ask us, and sometimes we wonder ourselves.  We have thought about your concerns, and are offering you an option.

Today we are introducing Hobo Tokens and an actual tip jar. Hobo Tokens are a totally optional currency of goodwill. They let us know that you care about us, and remind us to keep that awesome Internet connection around. There are no rules, you can buy them and lock them up in a curio cabinet, give them away as gifts, or put them in the tip jar. They have no monetary value and are worth nothing in the store. Rest assured though, if you hobo hard, and you tip us in tokens, we know you care about the shop.

Like the rest of the shop, this is kind of a weird experiment.

They’re available online (we will mail them wherever you want) or at the counter for $5. 5 for $20

We’ll also put them on Thingiverse.   They take 3 minutes each to cut, so if you cut them yourselves, they’re $4.80 each.  If you have your own laser and material, they’re free goodwill.

The member badges have been cut.   If you signed up for a membership in 2009, your very own, uniquely identifiable badge is now ready for you to pick up. Yes, there is a secret contest.    I’ve probably said too much.

The member badges have been cut.   If you signed up for a membership in 2009, your very own, uniquely identifiable badge is now ready for you to pick up.

Yes, there is a secret contest.    I’ve probably said too much.

Brandon had never touched a breadboard or played with electronics until two weeks ago. He got inspired by the vending machine and grabbed a Really Bare Bones Board, FTDI cable, Switched Reluctance Motor, prototyping breadboard and some snacks and started hacking away.

As of tonight (our two week anniversary of being open!) he has a working arduino-controlled single digit split-flap display.  He’s uploaded his laser design to the thingiverse, so you can have one too.

Rock on!

We love Thingiverse.  it’s a great spot to go get objects, put objects online to print or cut. There are a little over 1000 things on thingiverse currently, and it is a great starting point for people interested in creating objects with high tech tools.   To see if our little shop can stimulate the thingularity, we’re offering a 20% discount on objects printed or cut at Metrix Create:Space. We love custom made one-offs, but we’d like to see more things online.   Upload your design, or grab one from the thingiverse, and we’ll apply the discount to your machine time.   The only catch is that we have to pull the file from thingiverse.  Don’t make a derivative and give it to us.   You have to contribute to the site. If you’re a full member of Metrix Create:Space, this brings your discount to 40% on thingiverse objects!

We love Thingiverse.  it’s a great spot to go get objects, put objects online to print or cut.

There are a little over 1000 things on thingiverse currently, and it is a great starting point for people interested in creating objects with high tech tools.   To see if our little shop can stimulate the thingularity, we’re offering a 20% discount on objects printed or cut at Metrix Create:Space.

We love custom made one-offs, but we’d like to see more things online.   Upload your design, or grab one from the thingiverse, and we’ll apply the discount to your machine time.   The only catch is that we have to pull the file from thingiverse.  Don’t make a derivative and give it to us.   You have to contribute to the site.

If you’re a full member of Metrix Create:Space, this brings your discount to 40% on thingiverse objects!

It's October. The date is set.


Metrix Create:Space is open to the public on 10/15

12PM to 12AM.  7 Days a week.

Tools, Tubes, Laser Cutting, Coffee and 3D printing robots.  Capitol Hill.  Fuck yeah.