Hand placing flash die to make USB drives

SONY DSC

It’s a stretch to call this one a hack, but USB thumb drives are around us constantly and we always assumed that the boards inside were machine populated (like with a pick and place machine). [Bunnie] tells us otherwise. He recently had the chance to tour a factory where USB flash drives are made.

The image above shows a worker populating a set of boards with the flash memory dies. The waffle-grid to the right holds the dies. Each is a tiny glint of a component. The worker is not in a clean room, and is using a bamboo tool to pick up the pieces. [Bunnie] explains that he’s seen the tools before but doesn’t fully comprehend how they work. He figures that the hand-cut manipulator has just the right amount of grab to pick up the die, but will also release it when it touches down on the dot of glue applied to the landing zone on the board.

If you’re into this sort of thing you should check out the PCB factory tour we saw a couple of years back. The article link is dead but the embedded tour video still works.

[Thanks pl]

Hackerspace intro: HeatSync Labs

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[Todd Harrison] wrote in not with a project but with a video tour of his local hackerspace: HeatSync Labs in Mesa, Arizona. He took a camera along with him over the weekend to record what you can expect when visiting the space. You’ll find the tour embedded after the break.

It starts off with something we love to see. The space is being used for a talk and it looks to be quite well attended. The building is one unit in a string of storefronts and this provides a big open space as soon as you walk in the door. Just past this gathering area there are a few rows of electronics work benches which include hardware like bench supplies and scopes, as well as soldering and rework areas. In the back corner they’ve got a great big laser cutter and [Todd] spends some time with one of the members looking through all the fun stuff they’ve made with it. The back room keeps the messy projects like wood working, machine tools, and welding separate from the rest.

The place is remarkably clean and we’ll organized. Make sure you stop by and check it out for yourself if you’re in the area.

This is the second time we’ve seen HeatSync Labs. The first tour was hosted by our own [Caleb Kraft]

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Hackerspace intro: Skullspace and AssentWorks in Winnipeg

The signs on the front door might be a little small, but the space which AssentWorks and Skullspace inhabit is anything but. [Matt] takes us on a tour of the Winnipeg, Canada makerspace and hackerspace.

The two spaces occupy one floor of the building but are partitioned for different purposes. AssentWorks, which is called a makerspace, is a business incubator. The tour shows it as a large and tidy area where small businesses can pool resources to maintain and stock the various shop and work areas. We can’t help but think of it as an OSB jungle as it seems all the interior walls have been built from Oriented Strand Board.

The second part of the video shows off the hackerspace: Skullspace. This is much less polished, but shows a lot of promise. There are several work spaces for electronics, machining, and woodworking. There is also an arcade room, a classroom, and a few other offerings. All in all there’s 8350 square feet of space between the two.

You can see the ten-minute tour embedded after the break. Continue reading “Hackerspace intro: Skullspace and AssentWorks in Winnipeg”

Southwest tour: OhmSpace in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

OhmSpace in Oklahoma City is the very first stop on our southwest tour.

When we arrived it was around 2 in the afternoon and the temperature outside was nearly 110 degrees. It was HOT. [Stan] met up with us to give us a tour of the space.  As you can see, the facility is huge. While at first glance it may appear somewhat disheveled, there is order to the madness. There is a nice community work area set up in the middle as well as several different stations throughout. Since the facility is almost just one giant room, storage is out in the open giving the illusion of a mess. We were there in the early afternoon, so there wasn’t anyone around working on anything, but you can see projects in various states of progress throughout the tour.

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Hackaday southwest tour

Earlier this summer, I took a trip through the southeast of the country. On this trip I was able to visit several hackerspaces and meet some really great people. We started at Squidfoo in Springfield Missouri. Then Moved on to Makers Local 256 in Huntsville Alabama. After that we saw 7hills hackerspace in Rome Georgia as well as Freeside hackerspace in Atlanta Georgia. The final leg of the trip took us to Chatt*Lab in Chattanooga Tennessee and the Hacker Consortium in Nashville.

For this trip, I am taking my family to the Grand Canyon. Well, that’s the part the kids are looking forward to. I’m looking forward to more hackerspaces and fantastic people. If you’re along the route from Springfield Missouri to Flagstaff Arizona, let me know (we’ll be hitting roswell NM on the way back too). We can go a little out of our way, but not hours.  I would really love to visit some hackerspaces on this trip and do a video tour. You can comment here or hit me directly at caleb@hackaday.com.

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Hackerspace intros: egMakerSpace in East Gippsland Australia

[Scott Lambshed] took some time to shoot a video tour of egMakerSpace’s new digs. This hackerspace is located in East Gippsland Australia, which is to the East from Melbourne. We know the banner image we chose isn’t all that descriptive, but just look at all of that space! They’ve got a bounty of rooms to use for everything from crafts, to machine/wood shop, to retro computing. There’s even a nice outdoor patio area which was a bit overgrown to start with but cleanup has already begun.

The group is just getting moved into what must have been an old hospital or school. Aside from some network infrastructure, a room full of couches, and a few tools, there’s not a lot in place yet. But one thing that is already looking quite good is their horde of electronics components. The latter half of the video shows boxes, bins, trays, and tackle boxes full of goodies just waiting to make it onto the next protoboard project.

[Scott] is hoping to get the word out in the area about egMakerSpace, and that’s exactly what these introductions are for. So grab you favorite video capture device and send us your own local hackerspace tour.

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