People of Southampton Unite! There’s a New Makerspace in Town!

somakeitmovein_small

The UK Southampton Makerspace, So Make It, has just moved into its first dedicated space, and are holding a grand opening on February 1st!

They have officially been around since early 2013, when they shared a 500sqft space in the back of a bicycle shop warehouse. It wasn’t much, but it was a pretty good temporary home. Toward the end of 2013, they realized they were big enough to justify a private space and decided to try crowd funding. They were fairly successful in raising the startup cash.

Let all of us from Hack a Day (and you!) be the first to congratulate So Make It on acquiring their own private space!

Do we have any Southampton readers in our midst? If so, stick around after the break for full details from So Make It on when and where you can join in the festivities!

[Read more...]

Touring Null Space Labs, Another LA Hackerspace

nulltitle

Null Space Labs prides itself on being the only hackerspace that’s not saving the world. Instead, they focus on more important matters such as repairing an industrial pick and place machine, hoisting laser cutters through third story windows, and generally being extremely awesome. Since some of the Hackaday crew is in LA, we decided to check in on the folks at Null Space, and they graciously granted us a tour.

It’s not an overstatement that Null Space is better stocked than any university EE lab. They have at least four million electronic components, and they honestly have no idea how many different types of components they have. As for tools, a 22 GHz spectrum analyzer and 2 GHz scope are tucked away behind a direct to garment printer. A gigantic laser printer, pro 3D printer, PCB milling and through-hole plating stations, and pick and place machine are just a few more of the fun toys available to Null Space members.

In the video below, [M] walks us through the main electronics work area, filled to the brim with tools and storage cabinets. After that, [arko] shows off the PCB mill and the back room with reels of parts strewn asunder.

[Read more...]

Touring Crashspace, the LA Hackerspace

Starsong

In case you’re not up to speed with the most recent happenings at Hackaday, we’re partying in LA tomorrow. This means visiting all the local hackerspaces and begging for a tour. First up is Crash Space, an awesome hackerspace that uses Starsong, the soldering iron alicorn shown above as a mascot.

Inside Crash Space are the usual Hackerspace compliment of tables, projectors, whiteboards, and more recycled computers than you can shake several IDE cables at. When we rolled up to Crash Space, they were just finishing up their weekly 3D printing workshop, replete with a Mendel Max, The Printer Which Shall Not Be Named, and a pair of printers from Deezmaker, a company started by one of Crash Space’s members.

For anyone wanting to roll their sleeves up and get dirty, all the action starts in the back of the building. There, they have a laser cutter, an ancient lathe and mill, drill press, and even a project that will become a vacuum former.

The folks at Crash Space were kind enough to show off their workshop for a video, viewable below along with a few pics of the space buzzing with activity.

[Read more...]

Dallas Makerspace Tour

dallasMakerspace

[Paul] sent us this video tour of the Dallas Makerspace made by member [Andrew Floyd], who walks us around and provides narration for a very impressive space. Once inside the 6000 sq ft facility, he takes us past the entrance lounge and into the electronics room, which has more electronics component storage than visible wall space, and down the hall to show off some laser-cut and 3d-printed creations.

Every makerspace has its specialties, and the Dallas gang shows off their awesome darkroom (complete with creepy, lurking Nic Cage) and blacksmith/forge work areas. They even have bi-weekly blacksmithing classes from a local master blacksmith. The space has since expanded, conquering their next-door-neighbors to expand project storage, add a biolab, a second classroom, a conference room, and more.

Enjoy the video after the break, and then head over to their website for more info: dallasmakerspace.org.

[Read more...]

Fire At The Geek Group

Geek Group

The Geek Group, an absurdly large and well stocked hackerspace in Grand Rapids, Michigan caught fire yesterday.

You may recall The Geek Group from their many over-the-top projects that include a quarter shinker, a 200,000 Watt Tesla coil, enough capacitors to kill a demi-god, and a giant robot that crushes TVs. From what TGG has shown on their website and their YouTube, they have an amazing space that could still be the home of quite a few amazing builds.

According to Geek Group head honcho [Chris], the fire was caused by an overheated electric motor. No one was at the space at the time, but the fire was hot enough to crack the exterior brick and melt porcelain insulators in their high voltage lab. To add insult to injury, this was only TGG’s second day of being open to the public.

The folks at The Geek Group are looking for volunteers for their cleanup, so if you’re around the Grand Rapids area and would like to pitch in, head on over around noon today.

The Geek Group Installs Robot, Destroys CRT Monitor

GEEKSMASH

The Geek Group recently documented the process of overhauling part of their workspace to accommodate Project Jeff, a massive KUKA KR-350/1 industrial robot.

We don’t see many behind the scenes industrial-scale projects here at Hackaday, but we’re definitely impressed with the clever techniques employed to pull off this precision install. At around 5 inches deep, the original floor was far too thin to handle the weight and tortional loads imposed by Project Jeff, so The Geek Group carved out a 15′ square space of old concrete and dumped it piece by piece in the rubbish. They then dug a new hole to a depth of 2.5′ and filled it with a fresh pour that amounted to 67,500 pounds of concrete. Sheesh.

That concrete will inevitably expand and move around, which meant installing a pool-noodle-looking slip cover to protect a buried conduit from damage, as well as placing some gaskets around the edges to prevent cracking while maintaining a seal. Around 10 minutes into the video, they tackle the challenge of embedding bolts that connect to the robot’s base; it takes some patience and creative ladder positioning to fit the template in the correct position.

As an added treat, The Geek Group smashed a CRT monitor in our honor, and while they claim software limitations and a steel frame prevented Project Jeff from completely annihilating the monitor, we like to think the skull and cross-wrenches just refused to be destroyed. Because, you know, science. Videos after the break.

[Read more...]

Battlebots in the Sky

quacc-battlebots-in-the-sky

Here’s one of those ideas that makes us wonder: “Why didn’t we come up with that?” The LVL1 in Louisville, Kentucky is hosting an event they call the Quadcopter Ultimate Aerial Combat Competition (QUACC). Kudos to them on coming up with a very professional name for the event. At risk of drawing cease-and-desist orders from the defunct TV program, we’ll always think of this as Battlebots in the Sky. (Lawyers: please don’t make us take that down… it’s an homage to the awesomeness that was at least the first few seasons of the show).

So why are we publicizing local events on Hackaday? It’s not the event, but the idea that’s spectacularly worth sharing! You’ve got to check out their contest rules as well as the Q&A list. Registration is closed, but the lucky ones who claimed a spot for the low price of $40 will be issued a regulation quadcopter today. They have a week to play around with it, testing out different ideas for disabling their enemy. A match ends when either one competitor defeats the other, or when a competitor’s battery runs dry. A new battery is the issued to the winner for use in the next round.

We’d love to hear your ideas for weaponizing (or adding countermeasures to) these delicate, lightweight aircraft. Aerosol accelerant and a BBQ igniter? How about shielding and a type of EMP, or some other system that will disrupt controller commands of your opponent? Obviously if you launch a similar competition at your hackerspace we want to hear about it!

[Thanks Gerrit]