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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Our CNC Router is Nearing Completion

Rochester Makerspace's CNC RouterAlbert Mazzeo, who is a very skilled and experienced machinist, has been working almost daily on the CNC (computer controlled) router that we’ve been slowly building for a long time. As a result it may be operational soon. When finished, it will be able to cut intricate shapes out of wood or plastic, and do intricate 3D carving in the same materials.

Although the end of the project is clearly in sight there is still a lot of work to do. Albert will soon get us to the next phase which will require hooking up the stepper motor controller to a PC, installing Mach3 and other software on the PC, configuring the software, calibrating the motors, and installing limit switches and some other components. We could really use your help if you are someone with strong troubleshooting and computer skills, the ability to follow detailed instructions, and a willingness to show others how to use and maintain the machine. [We also need someone with a truck to help us get some more lumber to build a workbench for it.]

We also want to thank Bob Wagner for his help with this project. Bob also worked very hard on this project and many other around the makerspace. There has also been many others who have helped.

Stained Glass Demo & Upcoming Class

Stained Glass Demo

The Rochester Makerspace just held a stained glass demo with the Rochester Artists and Crafters Meetup Group.  The demo was given by Nancy Topolski, a very experienced instructor who will be teaching a 4-week basic stained glass class at our makerspace on Wednesday nights, from 6:30 to 9:30 PM, beginning on Wednesday, March 19.  The cost for the course is $90, plus a modest investment in materials which you can buy at local stores like Milestone Glass Creations, Classical Glass and Hobby Lobby.

The makerspace owns enough glass grinders and hand tools for at least 5 to 8 people to work together on stained glass projects.  Members can use the equipment whenever they want and non-members are welcome to use them during our weekly free community nights, on Thursdays from 6 to 9:30 PM.

Arduino group a hit with Makerspace members

Paul Flavin works on a remote control car that will run on the Arduino. Flavin moderates a group on the Arduino on Thursday nights at the Makerspace.

Paul Flavin works on a remote control car that will run on the Arduino. Flavin moderates a group on the Arduino on Thursday nights at the Makerspace.

Paul Flavin has always been able to spot a good bargain. That nose for an excellent deal has helped him become engrossed in a new hobby.

Flavin leads the Arduino group from 6 p.m. to 10 on Thursday at the Rochester Makerspace. The Arduino is an easy to use micro-controller with exposed I/O pins, programmable through a USB Cable.

Flavin started using the Arduino with remote controlled cars he bought at Savers and other discount retailers.

“It always intrigued me, on a conceptual and metaphysical level,” Flavin said. “It’s like measuring the progress of the child by when he can walk, balancing on two legs, it becomes automatic. The balancing is a beautiful example of a simple control problem.”

Group participants can use the Arduino in a variety of projects including designing and building robots and control theory. Learning the Arduino can help anyone’s knowledge in a wide range of fields including electronics, programming and robotics.

The “Raspberry Pi” board, which runs the Arduino, can be purchased for $35 at most electronic stores including Amazon.com and RadioShack. The Arduino Software is free, open source and available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

“I am kind of surprised, if you go to the library and just read it, you have to have patience and perseverance when you first use it,” Flavin said. “You can run into problems. It is good for anyone to learn.”

The Arduino’s popularity can be seen not only in the United States, but worldwide as well. The website arduino.cc features not only basic information on the technology, but links to groups from places such as England and Poland.

“The Arduino has been extremely popular worldwide, they have done everything possible to make it as simple as possible,” Flavin said. “You plug into a laptop and into a USB. There is no telling how big the thing can be.”
For more information on the Arduino group at the Rochester Makerspace visit the website rochestermakerspace.org.

Bar(n) Raising – A Project by Mike Turiano

boards-on-bar

Hey everyone!

Posted this to our Twitter and Facebook account about a week ago but wanted to share it with you here. One of our members, Mike Turiano, recently used our space and tools to complete a really cool repurposing project. Please check his website for and in-depth look at his project and other cool stuff he has completed!

A Message from Cassidy

Girl Making Snap CircuitsUsually girls don’t think that building things is cool because it’s for boys but that’s where they are wrong. Creating things is a unisex activity so anyone can do it.

The Rochester Makerspace can teach you things from how to make stained glass to how to make a circuit and they will help you every step of the way. So why not do what I did? Go to the Rochester Makerspace. You’ll be glad you did!

We Need an Electrician

After almost two months the electrical outlets our landlord promised us have finally been installed. However, there were suppose to be fourteen of them and the contractor only installed twelve. They also put “double” outlets in the main room instead of “quads.”

Ironically, the two missing outlets were going to power our electronics workbench.  The lack of quads will make it difficult to plug in the many shop lights Vince has donated to provide better lighting over workbenches.  There is also no outlet anywhere near the microwave oven and small refrigerator that Roger and Rob donated.

We were willing to pay to have some additional outlets installed. But we thought the quote O’Connell Electric gave us was a little unreasonable. Installation of additional 110-volts outlets would have cost about $300 each. The three 220/240-volt outlets we wanted for an air compressor that’s being donated, our thickness planer and the SawStop table saw hope to buy someday soon would have been about $700 each, even though they would all have been placed within about fifteen feet of the electrical panel. In all, the bill would have been about $3500 and there’s no way we can afford that.

We are going to get quotes from other licensed electricians. Some have been recommended to us but we haven’t had time to call or meet with them. We’d really appreciate it if someone would volunteer to do that, or if an electrician would volunteer their services or let us do some of the work to save money.

Free Open Nights on Thursdays

We still have much more work to do, but the time has come to shift from building a makerspace to using it.  We want to fill it with people and projects and to do that we’ve decided to open up the makerspace to everyone on Thursday nights.

We’d really like to have a big turnout every week.  Nothing draws a crowd like a crowd, so we hope you’ll help us by coming if you can. We encourage you to:

  • Bring a project or something to work on
  • Bring things you’ve already made to show others
  • Help us work on the space or some of our group projects.
  • See what we have to offer and meet other makers

We will be ordering pizza and asking for donations to pay for it.  It would be greatly appreciated if you will help us create a feast by bringing beverages, munchies or deserts to donate.

We’ll be open by 6 PM.  Please park in the rear lot of 850 St. Paul Street. We’re about a half-mile north of the Genesee Brewery, at the corner of Scrantom Street, in a big old factory that is painted dark red, and which has a fence around it. Unfortunately, we don’t have a sign yet.  You can come in through the loading dock if it’s open, or use the code “0850” to unlock the door that has our name and phone number on it.  The hallway lights are motion activated and we’re easy to find in the left rear corner of the building.

We’ve added a thickness planer to our woodworking shop

Grizzly G0550 Planer

We’ve added a like new, barely used Grizzly G0550 thickness planer to our woodshop. This 400-pound machine is used to create boards that have a smooth finish and an even thickness over their entire length. Our shop also has a brand-new Rikon Deluxe 14-inch bandsaw (that everyone raves about), a Jet 6-inch jointer, a full-size table saw, a full-size drill press, a scroll saw, and a chop saw. They haven’t been installed yet, but we also have a 2-HP dust collector and an industrial quality air filtration unit.

We are still in need of all kinds of woodworking clamps, along with more benchtop and handheld power tools. We also like to acquire a stationary sander and a lathe someday.

The planer uses 220-volts and so does an air compressor that is being donated to us, and the SawStop table saw we’re trying to raise $2,800 to buy. We’re going to have to pay a licensed electrician to install outlets for them and that’s a problem. The only quote we’ve had time to get so far was for $700 each, to install surface mounted conduit and outlets less than 15 feet from the electrical panel. We know we can get the work done for much less, but even so it’s going to be a struggle to pay for them. So please be understanding and generous when we plead for donations :-)

A Bandsaw and Jointer have been added to our Woodshop

Rikon Bandsaw We’ve added two major tools to our woodworking shop. One is a brand new Rikon 14-inch Deluxe Bandsaw and the other is a barely used Jet 6-inch jointer. We also have a table saw, a smaller bandsaw, and a collection of power and hand tools. In addition, we went to Buffalo this past weekend to buy an industrial quality air filtration unit to help control dust.

Unfortunately, we’re still waiting for the landlord to sand and refinish the floor in our woodshop, which is in a separate room to control dust and noise.  So we’re not quite ready to do woodworking yet, although we’ve been very busy building workbenches and tables.  We hope you’ll come and visit us soon if you haven’t already done so.

The Central Library Wants to Help Promote Your Artwork

The Rochester Central Library wants to promote local art and artists by displaying pictures of their work on a large screen monitor. Please call Nanci Nugent in the Arts Division at 585-428-8145 if you’re interested.

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