Chris building a BoomCase

Chris building a BoomCase

Our entire building at 915 Spring Garden is taking part in Open Art Studios this weekend, and we’ll be there too!

Almost 30 studios will be open to the public, including Hive76! There’s a ton of different medias people use, everything from textiles to clays to electronics.

Come join us on Saturday and Sunday, December 4th and 5th, from noon – 5 pm at Hive76. We’ll also be upgrading our MakerBot with a new MK5 Extruder so we’ll be printing in tip-top shape again soon!


… Soon, I’m gonna have to switch places with some of the students in the class

It was weird to hit the Wednesday Hive Open House and see a handful of original MSP430 projects.  The video above is an LED chaser effect that Chris Thompson whipped up based on concepts from the first session of the MSP430 class.  As the old saying goes — teach a geek to fish and you’ll soon have LED encrusted fish.

Speaking of LEDs, here’s a Morse Code blinker project that Chris did.  Mostly a cut & paste job, but if nothing else, it makes the point that there are plenty of  MSP430 code samples out there and that it’s relatively easy to use them once you know the tools.


If you are an artist who wants to create small, cost effective interactive systems or a stone geek who wants to actually make a computer do something physical, this is a must-attend course.  We’ll have labs that will show you how to flash gobs of LEDs with just a few IO pins, run stepper motors, read switches, generate sounds, read analog signals and even have MCUs communicate.   You’ll leave with sample code and enough experience to apply this tech  immediately.
We’ll be running this class again, for sure.

Send any questions to: mikehogan62 AT gmail DOT com

We love MakerBot, but we needed a better way to print larger objects (like parts for a Mendel). So I started experimenting in the lab at UPenn for how to get a heated platform up and working on 3D-PO.

The first design involved multiple layers of silicone fused together around a nichrome core. We told MakerBot about it, and they wanted more! Then Eberhard Rensch in Germany heard about it (go Internets!), and he went to town on a simplified software design. Awesome!

Of course the design is very simple, totally open (and transparent!). Hooray for Universities. So Mike and I bought a bunch of materials, refined the design a bit, and made a bunch more platforms. It was pretty risky but we trusted our gut and listened to all the awesome members right here at our favorite hackerspace. And we also made use of plenty of Hive resources to get the job done.

But we had gotten ahead of ourselves a bit… we don’t have the infrastructure to sell/invoice/ship/advertise this type of product. We could build that infrastructure, but we really love the core MakerBot community and don’t want to see market fragmentation. So we shipped them off to MakerBot to sell through their store. Check out this blog post and also the wiki page explaining how it works and how to use it.

It’s been an awesome experience: idea -> it works! -> invest in yourself -> Success!!

And about that Mendel… Fynflood’s assembling like gangbusters, check it out!!


our custom made heated build stage for our MakerBot CupCake CNC is working extremely well. here you can see 4 pulleys being printed at the same time. there’s no raft (saves time, plastic, and headache), and ZERO warping. excellent! the etched acrylic may stick a bit too well. we’ll have to try regular, unetched acrylic next (which will be less expensive anyway).

say hello to mass manufacturing.

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NopHead is a lead designer of the RepRap 3D printer, and designed the Skyhook that we’re using all the time while printing at Hive. He’s worked out some good temperatures for extruding different materials in this RepRap guide for Newbies, which i’m reprinting here for posterity:

HDPE.raft_temp = 200
HDPE.first_layer_temp = 240
HDPE.layer_temp = 220

PCL.raft_temp = 0 // no raft
PCL.first_layer_temp = 130
PCL.layer_temp = 120

ABS.raft_temp = 200
ABS.first_layer_temp = 215
ABS.layer_temp = 230

PLA.raft_temp = 0
PLA.first_layer_temp = 180
PLA.layer_temp = 160

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check out our work on making a heated build platform for MakerBot. The primary goal was to make it as light as possible since the stage is actively moving, so that means just some nichrome, a thermistor, and some silicone as a carrier. The silicone is also an insulator (very important!!) so no kapton tape is needed and we can see clearly what’s going on inside because the silicone is also clear. we currently use a reprap motherboard and extruder to drive the heat, looking at simpler electronic design soon (but this setup has the excellent PID in the extruder firmware 1.6!).

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Download SkeinFox v1.0 (OS X Leopard or Snow Leopard, git 1.6.5+) and checkout this instructional to see what this is all about. Basically this new software project (launched right here at Hive76!) will make MakerBotting a bit easier for everyone. Watch the video in HD mode for best quality. Join the SkeinFox Google Group to learn more or provide feedback.


It’s a bird! It’s a plane!

no… actually it’s our first printable upgrade to our MakerBot 3D-PO. This printable z-crank was designed by a hacker in Germany, uploaded to Thingiverse, and then printed and in use by us. No more yanking the z-belt for moving the z-stage or trying to precisely position the z-axis.


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Black ABS for 3D-PO is here

Our black ABS came in; thanks to Village Plastics! Raft-free printing by using double-sided tape on the build surface. Saves time and $$. Also check out these spectacular parametric-modeled screw-boxes from thingiverse (video of 3D-PO printing one below).


3dPO Lives!

3dPO, our newest robot is alive and well! Yep, these are all playing back at real-time speed. w00t!