Tales of Garage Design: Achieving Precision from Imprecise Parts

Designing parts to fit perfectly together is hard. Whether it’s the coarseness of our fabrication tools or the procedures of the vendor who makes our parts, parts are rarely the exact dimension that we wish they were. Sadly, this is the penalty that we pay by living in a real world: none of our procedures (or even our measurement tools!) are perfect. In a world of imperfect parts, imperfect procedures, and imperfect measurement techniques, how on earth are we supposed to build anything that works? Fortunately, we’re in luck! From the brooding minds of past engineers, comes a suite of design techniques that can combat the imperfections of living in an erroneous world.

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Hackerspacing in Europe: The Garage Lab in Düsseldorf

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The Garage Lab (translated) is a small hackerspace quite close to the Chaosdorf. As the name implies, it exists in a garage complex — each unit has a garage and an upstairs office. The Garage Lab shares their unit with a co-working space upstairs — basically, they get the garage at all the times, but only the upstairs on the weekend when it is empty.

It’s been around for about 2 years and has about 40 members (~20 of which are active). To be a member it is quite cheap, only €15/month or €10/month if you are a student. They mostly focus on 3D printing and electronics.

The space has several 3D printers, a large work area, and many hand tools. They run CAD classes quite often and are hoping to expand with 3D printing classes and other technical lectures. Our guide was a cool guy named [Axel] who works as a 3D designer at his own company, but loves spreading 3D printing knowledge with the world.

Check out the tour gallery!

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