FDM2000 progress

Adam, Peejay, Justin, and I met Saturday to see just how fµ¢%ed our old enterprise Stratasys FDM 2000 is.



To catchup: we got a Stratasys FDM2000 from a garage sale for a song and it came with lots of unknowns. It has sat in our hackerspace and moved with us for almost 2 years.

These things are in good order:

  • All 3 axes
  • Two extruder steppers and gearboxes
  • Two extruder heaters and the envelope heater
  • Onboard controllers
  • Lights
  • Model liquefier hot end

Problems that we found:

  • Support liquefier blew out. Need to tear down and fix.
  • Can’t connect via software. May be related to Adam’s serial adapter.

Great news! We have tons of consumables! Spools and spools of ABS, support material, some cool looking elastomer and foam for the build platform.


Apple gave everyone a new shiny thing to talk about today and I will not be left out of the discussion! Apple’s refreshed MacBook Pro contains a new Intel chipset Core i5 and i7, codenamed Sandy Bridge. Sandy Bridge chainOne lovely “feature” of this new processor is the Intel Insider built in to every Core i chip. This feature unlocks HD content playback on your machine for a limited time. Intel denies that this is DRM, and rightly so. DRM has been a hated buzzword among consumers and Apple alike. (No customer ever asks for more restrictions.) What Intel Insider has is worse: trusted computing, and for the worst reason too. It seems Hollywood has asked our biggest processor manufacturer to protect their business model with a feature that prevents streaming video from being recorded. Doesn’t that sound kind of unhinged?

Trusted computing is a hardware solution to the problem of trust. It has some noble goals. Your computer today may be exploited in some invisible way, but a trusted computing platform would verify all the code through it’s own protected hardware before allowing any software to run at all. The only way around this is to saw away at a encryption chip epoxied onto your motherboard. So, no malware is a good thing, right? That sounds fine until the keys to the computer are taken out of your hands and given to Hollywood/Intel/Apple/anyone-else because you, a de-facto pirate, can’t be trusted. Just wait until your repressive authorities request control of your shiny MacBook from Apple, and Apple acquiesces.

Add to that the recent processor recall, and it’s a scary time to buy new Mac hardware. Isn’t there room enough in the smart consumer market for some Linux hardware that Just Works? Today I’m one step closer to kicking my addiction for sandblasted aluminum and high-strength alkali-aluminosilicate glass.

Of course, I got all my opinions from the story 0wnz0red written Cory Doctorow for Salon.

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Hive76 is well known for sparking groundbreaking ideas. In the last year alone, we have been the home base for innovating products such as the USB Typewriter, Meatcards, Boomcases and Math Clocks.

We are proud, tonight, to continue this tradition. We would like to congratulate long time Hive76 member Adam Kaufman, also know as Adam[0] on IRC, for joining the ranks of our elite.

Take a bow Adam. You’ve earned it.


photo courtesy of fynflood

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The Prusa Mendel build is finally complete! Here’s a Stanford Bunny:

Prusa Mendel Bunny Print by jmil

PLA bushing sliding on precision ground 8 mm rods is actually quite smooth movement. I don’t think it can go as fast as the original Sells Mendel (which was ball bearings sliding over the rods), but it’s only half the printed parts and the z-axis is much smoother motion too. I will try oiling or greasing the bushings to try to get smoother and faster motion without losing steps. So definitely some tradeoffs but overall a super awesome bot. The Prusa is also fully parametric and entirely made from OpenSCAD. All sources are available on github FTW.

As this is the first bot I built that I actually own, I named this awesometown after my HS science teacher, Mr. Sloate, who really got me into Biology and now, robotics for Biology.

What will we print next?

We won!

We won!

Great news, The Citizen Science Quartely just picked the winner for the Open Science Design Contest, and:
WE WON!!!!!!!!1111!!111one

You can read more about the original entry HERE.

We’ll be using the Ponoko gift certificate to design a housing for the electronics and make it more kit-able. Bench Science FTW!

And definitely check out the Kickstarter for The Citizen Science Quarterly. It’s shaping up to be a really interesting mix of Bench Science in the DIY spirit. From the Kickstarter page:

“We’d like to create a magazine for the scientist in all of us.

It will have simple How-To’s, like extracting the DNA of a strawberry using kitchen materials. But on the next page could have a paper on the validity of using Bacillus Subtillus as a model organism. We’d feature extraordinary citizen scientists who are doing extraordinary things in abnormal labs (aka garages, closets, etc). We’d also give legal and safety tips to inform and protect citizen scientists from some of the dangers they could run into.”

Open Source Orbital Shaker

Open Source Orbital Shaker

Here is my entry for the Open Call for Open Science Equipment Contest.

I did this with help from Mike, Jack, Rob, Adam and others right here at Hive76. Thanks everyone!

Details and all source files for this project are available on Thingiverse.

The deadline for submission is December 15th, so if you have an idea for open source equipment you still have some time to submit your entry to the contest!

Open Source Orbital Shaker from jmil on Vimeo.

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!


Help Hive76 buy a laser cutter

Hive76, like all hackerspaces, is in need of a laser cutter. The simple engraver I own is not nearly awesome enough. We have been talking about this for a while but I have finally launched a Pledgie to collect funds for a serious-bizness laser cutter.

There is some guidance on what to expect and purchase on Adafruit’s wiki about owning a laser cutter and there are a few members with direct experience.

This process will include some sort of awesome laser fundraising party. If you have any other ideas, leave a comment.

Oh yeah one last thing: DONATE HERE!


Show and tell at Hive76

Francis Rabuck from Bentley Systems stopped by with some staff on Wednesday’s open house after seeing the Wall Street Journal article on hackerspaces. They came to see the space and chat about making stuff so we obliged them and showed off our best toys. Mr. Rabuck also brought a promo model of a Golden-i virtual display. Here is a Wired article about the tech and the item’s website.

In short, the Golden-i is a small voice controlled computer with a display that hovers over your eye. It’s odd to see the device perched on someone’s cranium, but saying “My Programs” does indeed go to the appropriate screen and displays a My Photos and My Videos app in a row with others.

I can see this being a neat (expensive) addition to a smartphone interface, but man, it has some prettying up to do. It looks a little 1998 right now. That may be fitting because Golden Eye came out in 1995. I don’t know what I’m saying. My p̶r̶o̶f̶e̶s̶s̶i̶o̶n̶a̶l̶ amateur opinion is clean up the lines, add some new materials like alloy memory wire for the arms, and hide the plastic. But no one asked me.

Bentley and Motorola think this could be used in niche markets. The example Mr. Rabuck gave was construction workers accessing plans on the job site and navigating hands free. In CrunchGear, John Biggs recommends ignoring niches for tablet development. I’d say that’s fine advice for any new tech. It should be launched and then (to paraphrase Burning Chrome) the street will figure out its own use for it. Then you sell them an app for viewing blueprints or a remake of GoldenEye 007.

We appreciate Bentley Systems and associates dropping by for a chat. Feel free to bring your futuristic tech for us to play with any Wednesday night up on the 5th floor.

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With the recent formation of Hive76’s Flickr pool, I thought I would take the opportunity to post some of the great pictures we’ve been capturing during our Teh Art of Electronics (sic,TM) sessions!

Originally designed to be a book study group, our introductory offering on the subject has morphed into quite the full-fledged intro course! Thanks to our resident gurus, the curious world of electronics has begun to unfold for some of Philadelphia’s creative minds. As a starting point, our students have learned about the relationships between charge, voltage, current, and power. We’ve since moved on to more complex topics and hope to finish out with learning about creating sensors!

So, if you’ve got some pictures of the space, or the the folks here at Hive76, and would like to share them with us, take a minute to hop on Flickr and join the group!

Hope to see you at our next [ open_house || class || event ] !

Disclaimer: These particular photos were taken with my phone, so please excuse the graininess for now. I’ll be sure to improve their quality with a better camera in the coming sessions.

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