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Scenes from Circuit Church.  

Simply the fastest electronics design to fabrication exercise on the planet.  

From a list of parts to programming in under 6 hours.

  • You get your Bill of Materials at 6pm
  • ~2 hours design time on Upverter's Cloud PCB Design tool 
  • The circuit is cut on our LPKF Protolaser system
  • SMT Assembly, Soldering and Program/Test by midnight.

Every Sunday Night at Metrix Create:Space

Introducing Circuit Church.

We are proud to announce the First Circuit Church is happening this Sunday. 

Circuit Church is both a learning exercise and a skills challenge.  A night of quick turn electronics with a curated Bill of Materials (B.O.M.).   

Building hardware is hard, and like most hard things, only experience eases the pain.  Circuit Church is designed to skill us all up on making electronics from scratch, fast.  

DSC_0129.JPG

At the beginning of the summer, Metrix Create:Space added a LPKF Protolaser S to the robot roster and we built out our Advanced Circuit Lab as an adjunct to the Open Hardware Lab.   For those of you that don’t know, this machine allows us to create circuit boards more accurately and on more materials than chemical processing with no hazardous materials impact.   It’s more reliable than milling, and it is faster than anything else out there, including the fastest quick turn pcb houses.  It allows us to go from design to physical board in minutes rather than hours, days, or weeks.    

Just like 3D Printing’s rapid results change the way we think about physical fabrication, this tool changes the way we think about electronics projects, the speed in which we implement, the materials we pick, and the chances we can take when we’re not waiting weeks for an iteration.   

We know that having a tool like this is a game changer.

Additionally, we’ve been lucky enough to find Upverter, a cloud-based PCB design tool that gives us the ability to share designs quickly. It runs on limited resource computers, yet is powerful enough to do very complex boards and its free to use for Open Source / Open Hardware projects.  We’ve found that its easy to learn even if you only have a basic knowledge of electronics, and we’ll be learning more and more about this tool as we go down our path.

Circuit Church is a program that we believe will get us all up and running towards and making the future we want.   

Circuit Church is Sunday nights and costs $30.  
Space is limited, so call or come by to sign up.

Here’s the basic agenda:

  • We drop the BOM at 6pm
  • Participants design boards in upverter until 8pm(ish)
  • Designs get sent to CAM and are processed by 9pm.  
  • PCB/Parts are distributed
  • Assembly/Test/Showing off on the white tables until closing time 

All participants will bring a computer for designing their board in upverter.  

All participants get a chance at each step.  If you don’t finish a design, one will be provided for you for the assembly process.   Help will be provided, but this is not a workshop environment with step by step instructions.  This is an exercise to help you learn and advance your SMT skills in a fun and collaborative environment. 

Design For 3D Printing Workshop - 2/24

image

Join us on Sunday, February 24th 2013 at 7 PM for the first in a series of workshops on design for 3D Printing!

I will explain principles and considerations for the design of a 3D print.  No previous 3D printing experience is required as we build a foundation of knowledge for designing models with intent of printing them in plastic on a 3D printer.  

3D Printing has made its way to the consumer-level and the significance of this technology is changing the way we think about commerce, consumption, production, hacking, repair and design. 

It’s not just for prototypes anymore!  With 3D printers dropping in price and improving in print quality, countless people are using 3D printing to create everything from works of art to toys and models; robotic linkages and prosthetic limbs to wall hangars and switch covers.  But like all technologies, to get what you want, you need to give the machine what it needs.  

In the case of 3D printing, you need to provide the machine with a clean, feasible model to print.  3D printing has its limitations like all manufacturing processes do and you need to know what those are if you want to have consistently successful 3D prints. 

This first workshop covers a brief history of the technology, the mechanics of a 3D printer and the physical limitations, quirks and (mis)behaviors of 3D printing with plastic.  By the end, 3D printing should be a whole lot less mysterious or intimidating and you can move on to using design software to bring your ideas to life!

The workshop rate ($50) includes 2 hours of instruction.   Call (206-357-9406) or come down to the shop to sign up. Space is limited.  

No supplies are required but taking notes is recommended.  If you have an idea of something you are wanting to print, bring it up and we can break it down to determine the ways to make it printable! 

Feel free to look at some of my designs and the designs of others on the “Thingiverse” website to get a feel for the kinds of ideas and designs people are coming up with! 

http://www.thingiverse.com/ErikJDurwoodII/designs 

See you soon! 

Brent J. Rosenburgh

(a.k.a.  Erik J. Durwood II)

Two Years of Making

poured shots

Metrix Create:Space opened up two years ago this Saturday.   To commemorate the event, we are throwing a party.   Just like last year, we are shutting off the laser, cutting power to the kiln and breaking out the booze.  Safety is important.

Show up at 7 to get first crack at the cider and join the Create:Contest.  There will be prizes…

10/15 Saturday night. 7pm through Midnight.

Metrix Create:Space
623 Broadway E
Seattle, 98102 

Last night, Dominic Muren, Willow Brughe and I presented a night of “Fab Lab” to the Dorkbot Seattle crowd.    I saw later on twitter that some 120+ people showed up,  which is not only uncommon for dorkbot, but it shows that whole physical computing and home fabrication thing is generating lots of interest. Dominic’s talk was awesome, and it covered pretty much every way to digitally fabricate things.  He’s annotating the whole thing with links and should be uploading it to Humblefacture shortly, so if you didn’t make it to the talk, you should dig through the slides.  Probably the best list of fabbing technologies and software for modeling I’ve seen in a while.   Makes me want to rethink my current toolchains. Willow Brugh, director of Jigsaw Renaissance, talked about their space in SODO, admittedly hard to find and hard to type, it sounds like a fun place to hang out.  They’re a non-profit,  under the umbrella of Milwaukee-based Bucketworks, and they have some access to Artillery’s tools.  This is the second time we’ve met.  Last was at KUOW.   Hopefully I can get down to Jigsaw one of these days and check it out.   Sounds interesting.   Too bad it’s not within my ridiculously short live/work radius. Milo the makerbot hummed away for a while on a print, but ultimately it’s extruder failed.  The makerbot portion of my presentation didn’t get to have a live maple syrup smelling robot giving birth to a Mendel extruder.   Suck. We adorned him with flashy LEDs and magnets, but the demo gods were not amused.  More robot maintenance in my future.  Unsurprising. I had a presentation, but I tried to keep it informal,  I talked about the history of .\C:_ (most people ask), how it came together so quickly (i have the most awesome friends ever), and about some of the things that happen in our strange basement on Broadway.   Dorkbot threatened to put the video up on their website soon, and I’ve shared my slides on Google Docs.    I’m sure neither will make sense without the context of being there. The star of the night for me was Professor Mark Ganter, who wasn’t on the schedule, but who has voided the warranty on his departments 5 zcorp printers by printing ceramic and glass.   Apparently you can print different materials than $1000 per oz zcorp plastics, all of which are dirt cheap.   The glass dust he uses is a byproduct of glass recycling, and is next to free.   Printing in wood is easy if you have micron scale wood dust, which is something laser cutting produces.   The binders are as simple as cheap vodka and maltodextrin, both easily available at local stores.   He has dropped the costs on printing to nothing. This is huge stuff.   Commercial 3D printing is a racket, and the costs ($600 for a gallon of comercial binder) of something so potentially world-changing is ridiculous. Ganter is putting all of this up on Open3DP, another amazing move for a professor at a University that lives on patents What happens if you dont have a zCorp printer? There is a guy in Brazil who has made a Homemade 3D Powder Printer out of an old Lexmark printer.   Once we figure out the logistics of where to put something like this, and how we can make it relatively safe (glass dust is probably off the table),  I think we’ve got a new shop project.   And with that, more maintenance.  Awesome.

dorkbots!

Last night, Dominic Muren, Willow Brughe and I presented a night of “Fab Lab” to the Dorkbot Seattle crowd.    I saw later on twitter that some 120+ people showed up,  which is not only uncommon for dorkbot, but it shows that whole physical computing and home fabrication thing is generating lots of interest.

Dominic’s talk was awesome, and it covered pretty much every way to digitally fabricate things.  He’s annotating the whole thing with links and should be uploading it to Humblefacture shortly, so if you didn’t make it to the talk, you should dig through the slides.  Probably the best list of fabbing technologies and software for modeling I’ve seen in a while.   Makes me want to rethink my current toolchains.

Willow Brugh, director of Jigsaw Renaissance, talked about their space in SODO, admittedly hard to find and hard to type, it sounds like a fun place to hang out.  They’re a non-profit,  under the umbrella of Milwaukee-based Bucketworks, and they have some access to Artillery’s tools.  This is the second time we’ve met.  Last was at KUOW.   Hopefully I can get down to Jigsaw one of these days and check it out.   Sounds interesting.   Too bad it’s not within my ridiculously short live/work radius.

Milo the makerbot hummed away for a while on a print, but ultimately it’s extruder failed.  The makerbot portion of my presentation didn’t get to have a live maple syrup smelling robot giving birth to a Mendel extruder.   Suck.

We adorned him with flashy LEDs and magnets, but the demo gods were not amused.  More robot maintenance in my future.  Unsurprising.

I had a presentation, but I tried to keep it informal,  I talked about the history of .\C:_ (most people ask), how it came together so quickly (i have the most awesome friends ever), and about some of the things that happen in our strange basement on Broadway.   Dorkbot threatened to put the video up on their website soon, and I’ve shared my slides on Google Docs.    I’m sure neither will make sense without the context of being there.

The star of the night for me was Professor Mark Ganter, who wasn’t on the schedule, but who has voided the warranty on his departments 5 zcorp printers by printing ceramic and glass.   Apparently you can print different materials than $1000 per oz zcorp plastics, all of which are dirt cheap.   The glass dust he uses is a byproduct of glass recycling, and is next to free.   Printing in wood is easy if you have micron scale wood dust, which is something laser cutting produces.   The binders are as simple as cheap vodka and maltodextrin, both easily available at local stores.   He has dropped the costs on printing to nothing.

This is huge stuff.   Commercial 3D printing is a racket, and the costs ($600 for a gallon of comercial binder) of something so potentially world-changing is ridiculous.

Ganter is putting all of this up on Open3DP, another amazing move for a professor at a University that lives on patents

What happens if you dont have a zCorp printer?

There is a guy in Brazil who has made a Homemade 3D Powder Printer out of an old Lexmark printer.   Once we figure out the logistics of where to put something like this, and how we can make it relatively safe (glass dust is probably off the table),  I think we’ve got a new shop project.   And with that, more maintenance.  Awesome.

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.

If you’ve been around the shop lately, you’ve probably heard us mention that we’re going to build Johnathan Wards’ MTM PCB Mill.   We’ve been making good progress. We don’t have a shopbot, and our first attempt at getting some parts made on a neighbor’s CNC didn’t work out, so we lasercut our assembly out of 6mm plywood and did a bit of glue work to get a nice solid frame.  This not only looks nice, it gives us a lot more control over how we can build the thing.  Turns out the first failure was a good thing because other than the initial body,  our mill isn’t going to be very much like the original at all.   Which is of course the point of Open Source Hardware.   It’s not really a blueprint, it’s a starting point. We’ve been really interested in is seeing if we could build the mill without going through the MTM BOM.   Sure, it’s reasonable pricing if you’re looking at CNC mills, but buying 108 bucks worth of Frelon lined linear bearings when we already have a bunch of tools that make tools seems silly. We can make linear bearings. We have a makerbot and a spool of HDPE (slippery plastic for the uninitiated).  Add to that we have printer rods in the Junk Box, extra threaded rod from our second makerbot build, stepper motors, drivers, arduinos, DC motors, and pounds upon pounds of screws and nuts.  We started looking around the shop and figured out we can make this thing with stuff we have laying around.  Once it’s built, we can use it to make itself better too! Tonight was all about hacksaws and printing with HDPE for the first time.  It was a bit of effort, but we got all our rods cut and built an X axis that slides pretty smooth. We also got some ideas for the next round of cuts, which we should be able to fit in the scrap from the first round.   We’ll keep you updated on our progress, and publish our plans so you can make what we do, and change what you want. Once it’s done, we’re going to put this robot to work.  Come in and make surface mount PCBs in a little under an hour. If you’re wondering how to make boards (we sure are), we’ve started up a wiki page on the toolchain that the Center for Bits and Atoms uses.   It’s pretty cool stuff.

If you’ve been around the shop lately, you’ve probably heard us mention that we’re going to build Johnathan Wards’ MTM PCB Mill.   We’ve been making good progress.

frame

We don’t have a shopbot, and our first attempt at getting some parts made on a neighbor’s CNC didn’t work out, so we lasercut our assembly out of 6mm plywood and did a bit of glue work to get a nice solid frame.  This not only looks nice, it gives us a lot more control over how we can build the thing.  Turns out the first failure was a good thing because other than the initial body,  our mill isn’t going to be very much like the original at all.   Which is of course the point of Open Source Hardware.   It’s not really a blueprint, it’s a starting point.

makerbotting bearingsWe’ve been really interested in is seeing if we could build the mill without going through the MTM BOM.   Sure, it’s reasonable pricing if you’re looking at CNC mills, but buying 108 bucks worth of Frelon lined linear bearings when we already have a bunch of tools that make tools seems silly. We can make linear bearings. We have a makerbot and a spool of HDPE (slippery plastic for the uninitiated).  Add to that we have printer rods in the Junk Box, extra threaded rod from our second makerbot build, stepper motors, drivers, arduinos, DC motors, and pounds upon pounds of screws and nuts.  We started looking around the shop and figured out we can make this thing with stuff we have laying around.  Once it’s built, we can use it to make itself better too!

Tonight was all about hacksaws and printing with HDPE for the first time.  It was a bit of effort, but we got all our rods cut and built an X axis that slides pretty smooth. We also got some ideas for the next round of cuts, which we should be able to fit in the scrap from the first round.   We’ll keep you updated on our progress, and publish our plans so you can make what we do, and change what you want.

Once it’s done, we’re going to put this robot to work.  Come in and make surface mount PCBs in a little under an hour.

If you’re wondering how to make boards (we sure are), we’ve started up a wiki page on the toolchain that the Center for Bits and Atoms uses.   It’s pretty cool stuff.

Normally the vending machine is a random grab, but since it’s the holiday season and we’re big fans of both awesome and cheap,  it’s probably worth noting these two new $10 additions. The Bliplace Kit and the sack-o-duino. You may have seen the Bliplace on hackaday a while back, it’s Tanjent’s awesome wearable sound activated toy, but the sack-o-duino is something we cooked up here.  We couldn’t find any breadboard compatible arduinos for $10, so we came up with this. A bag of parts, ready to drop into a bread/proto board that will give you pre-flashed arduino on the cheap. Included in the bag is: ATMEGA 168 with arduino bootloader 10K resistor 16Mhz ceramic resonator 5V voltage regulator Green high intensity LED w/resistor 6 pin Header and 100 nF capacitor for your FTDI cable

Normally the vending machine is a random grab, but since it’s the holiday season and we’re big fans of both awesome and cheap,  it’s probably worth noting these two new $10 additions.

The Bliplace Kit and the sack-o-duino.

You may have seen the Bliplace on hackaday a while back, it’s Tanjent’s awesome wearable sound activated toy, but the sack-o-duino is something we cooked up here.  We couldn’t find any breadboard compatible arduinos for $10, so we came up with this. A bag of parts, ready to drop into a bread/proto board that will give you pre-flashed arduino on the cheap.

Included in the bag is:

  • ATMEGA 168 with arduino bootloader
  • 10K resistor
  • 16Mhz ceramic resonator
  • 5V voltage regulator
  • Green high intensity LED w/resistor
  • 6 pin Header and 100 nF capacitor for your FTDI cable

Tomorrow is The Blitz Capitol Hill Art Walk, and we’ve got two great artists presenting. Jessie Heaven Lotz, who’s photographs you may have seen hanging over the past month, and Amy Johnston, with her teeny tiny army of robot jewelry. More information is up on the wiki. Maps and fliers of the entire artwalk are available at Blitz.

Tomorrow is The Blitz Capitol Hill Art Walk, and we’ve got two great artists presenting. Jessie Heaven Lotz, who’s photographs you may have seen hanging over the past month, and Amy Johnston, with her teeny tiny army of robot jewelry.

More information is up on the wiki. Maps and fliers of the entire artwalk are available at Blitz.



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're Open!

We opened up yesterday and I was so busy I couldn’t blog about it at the time. I have to say, it was awesome to meet neighbors, get some members in the door and get an idea of how this show is going to go.

Thanks to the folks at CHS Blog for getting the word out, and thanks to the SeattleWireless HackNight crew, this never would have been possible without your hard hard work over the past few months.

The Go table turned out to be popular, with people teaching and learning how to play. Dave even showed us his App Engine driven Go game.

I finally got to meet Comrade Bunny, and she did a little write up on Life on the Hill about the grand opening. She also dropped off a flyer for the Seattle Mayoral Candidate Forum (presented by the CHCC), which reminded me I need to put up a bulletin board.

Everyone seems to have loved the vending machine, and there were a couple of arduino projects going on until close. The Hack the Badges still haven’t showed up yet, which is making me think the USPS might have wondered what all the blinking was about and delayed the mail.

Not everyone seems to have loved the espresso bot at first sight, but I think once they start hanging out, they’ll come around. I have been drinking this stuff for a month or two now and although I do love those Vivace lattes, the Vita beans have been doing pretty well by the robot. And you cannot beat the price anywhere on the hill.

It’s time to open the doors for day two, so I’ll stop writing and go do that.

I’ll try to get those lights installed on the tables too.

Setting up the web side.

We’ve got Twitter, Flickr, a Google Calendar, a Wiki and a tumblr blog.  There will probably be some custom webapps that we will need to make. but this seems like the baseline for any new URL.   Agreed?

Also, if you’re tagging on flickr or twitter or anything else, use #metrixcreate as the tag.