Following up on suggestions from the board meeting to look at Stripe for charging member dues, I found a couple Rails tutorials and deployed via Heroku… it works with a few lines of (rails) code! The reason to maybe not use “gravity forms + stripe” just yet is because I think it is $200/yr — you need a Gravity Forms Developer License according to:
Yikes. Is that right? Different sites report different $$ so until someone at Hive tries it we may never know!

Well, we can just make our own embedded form, and Stripe can also deal with subscriptions painlessly, apparently. Try it with the herokuapp link below:
*****WARNING: it will actually charge your CC $1. I promise to deposit it back to Hive*********

Heroku is great, you deploy via github so we could also make the forms public (our private Stripe key is configured only in heroku and is NOT in the github repo). Here’s the rails app on github so we can collaborate; I put all the details for how I did this in the


Some more to think about:

1) Let’s make a member application fee of $1.00. This will ensure prospective members have Stripe setup BEFORE they become a member! Much better than if they are voted in but never actually pay…!

2) I think we should charge the Stripe fees *to the member*. This way we have dependable operational costs. You can see attached that a $5 charge results in only a $4.55 net gain because of the stripe fees, but this is still low cost and dependable for now (Stripe charges 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction). So we would need to charge users fee*1.029 + $0.30 (rounding up by cents; Stripe only charges whole cents) for each fee we designate. Then if Stripe changes fees in the future we just update this amount and Hive still has dependable operational costs.

3) Stripe is nice! Your CC will properly process whatever we write into stripe, here’s how it shows up on my card statement:

4) Right now funds get deposited into my personal checking account (!!) since I don’t have the Hive76 bank account number. Does someone want to give me that? Or I can coordinate this with the treasurer. Again, I promise to deposit your test charges back to Hive.

5) Obviously it needs beautification, choice between member rates, a way to subscribe, etc. But that’s all optimization for later, this rapid hack was about feasibility. It’s feasible to use stripe!

Here’s what you see in the Stripe Dashboard:



New to the laser cutter? Want a quick intro on the basic workflow of taking a design and cutting/etching it? Want a neat little hive76 keychain? Stop by and see me (pete [the tall one]) during open house!



Hot on the heels of their wildly successful Build My Lab contest (still 5 days left to enter!!), our friends at Tekla Labs are putting together another breakthrough event to unite DIYers and the science community (NOTE: These events are happening in Berkeley, CA).

Julea Vlassakis writes:

The Point of Care Diagnostics IdeaLab, Tekla Labs, and the Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases is excited to announce a series of coordinated events to promote global health design and innovation.

January 9, 2014 Diagnostics by Design: A Workshop on the design, development, and implementation of Global Health Technologies (details/registration here)

January 10, 2014 The 6th Annual CEND Symposium. Academia and the Global Health Pipeline: Basic Science Innovation and Translation (register here)

January 11-12, 2014 Diagnostics by Design: A Hack Day for Global Health (register here)

The Diagnostics by Design workshop is an interdisciplinary forum for discussing the challenges and lessons learned in developing and implementing global health technologies, specifically at the point of care. Through interactive talks, a panel discussion with experts from industry and academia, and a hands-on build session, we will explore the challenges associated with translating technologies beyond the lab. This workshop will draw on the expertise and experience of individuals from across disciplines to explore collaborative solutions to global health issues. The workshop will feature Columbia Professor and mChip inventor Samuel Sia as the keynote speaker. See our eventbrite page for a full list of speakers and panelists and for registration.

The Diagnostics by Design hackathon is an interdisciplinary effort to bridge the gap between makers and do-it-yourself innovators and the sphere of global health. The event is posed as a challenge to participants: with minimal materials or through innovative coding, tackle a technological or informatic need in the space of point-of-care diagnostics. These can range from generating DIY lab equipment alternatives for medical clinics with limited resources, informatics for disease monitoring, or redesign of diagnostic tools for resource-limited settings. Attendees will be given a kit with some materials and have access to 3D printers, laser cutters, mills and more. Visit our eventbrite page for more details and to register.


I have been “hanging out” with a research group at Penn (alas, there is not a more dignified way to describe this relationship .. but at least I am there by invitation and it’s awesome).  We needed to create some electrodes that were resistant to electrolytic degradation, and we were interested in some clever alternative to the old (and rather expensive) stand-bys, like platinum and gold.

It turns out that graphite is right up there at the tip-top of the Galvanic series, so it is about the most robust electrode material we could want.  However, we also wanted to be able to draw arbitrary electrode geometries and, while graphite is definitely suited to drawing, pencil lines are too resistive and too inconsistent to function as electrodes in our application.  Graphite in “bulk” form conducts well (in fact, too well for our needs), and it is hard to machine.   We wanted a technique that would let us “draw” relatively conductive lines  easily, and it quickly became became apparent that we needed something a little novel.  Somehow, I vaguely remembered seeing a few hacks where folks used light-scribe drives to create patterned graphene for super-capacitors, and I got to wondering whether I could make graphene too.  I am happy to report that the light-scribe method works as advertised and that it was every bit as easy as I had hoped.


Graphene Oxide “Puddle” on plastic substrate adhered to Lightscribe CD


Tagged with:


Our friend John Abella (of the Maker Faire 3D Printer Village and Delaware Makerspace Barrel of Makers) is running a two-day RepRap build workshop in Wilmington Delaware, October 5th and 6th.   Attendees will be building Prusa i3 printers with all top-shelf parts:  milled frames from Josef Prusa, genuine J-head hotends from, stainless threaded rods and hardened chromed smooth rods.

The workshop is being held at the Wilmington DoubleTree Hotel, and will have catered food for attendees.   Every person attending will leave with tools and basic supplies to maintain their printer and get started printing.   The workshop fee – all inclusive –  is $999.

Click here for the official flyer for the event

More info and class registration can be found here:


suggested by Kliment via IRC (/ht), the way to have a heavy toolhead moving about in 3D with high speed AND precision is to modify a ShopBot instead of a Rostock. Recall, the Darwin suffered this design challenge which led to the Mendel.

With RAMBo bypassing the stock motherboard we can drive the ShopBot to scary speeds (10x faster in XY and 100x faster in Z.). Precision should also be ~10x better than belt-driven motion, but needs more fine tuning.

and did i mention it was freaking awesome?

My ShopBot RAMBo Marlin firmware branch is available via GitHub (of course). Follow along in the GitHub log to understand our process.

Thanks to ShopBot and Ultimachine for all your help and schematics!!


Blender, the awesome open-source do-everything model/rig/render/animate program continues to be an important part of my toolkit. The Artist Community is definitely a huge bonus. So check out this excellent tutorial over at

So…I put Sean’s Harrow through it’s paces, and here are some of my newest desktop backgrounds.

First you get the basic render down. I use 32-bit color with OpenEXR file format, saving z-buffer info too, just, you know, in case you need it later. You should get something like this… kind of flat when viewed on a crappy computer screen, but i assure you there is a ton of color info there for fine tuning later.


With all that extra color depth, you can easily fine tune the contrast, like so.


Then you need to come up with the shadow version… Andrew Price from BlenderGuru does this in a new Scene. I like the stark contrast… when you look carefully the sharp edges tell you that you are looking at a perspective view.


Put it all together, and you get a softly-back-lit Logo. WIN!



Hive76’s own PJ Santoro will be doing the “Main Presentation” at

the Philadelphia Area Computer Society‘s kickoff meeting, Saturday,

September 15th.

His topic will be “Arduino: Where It’s Been, Where It’s Headed, and Why You Should Care”.

After the main presentation, a beginner class will be taught in the Linux SIG.

PACS Schedule available here.

Trippy RGB Waves Kit

Soldering is an essential skill to learn if you’d like to build your own electronic circuits. Come on in to Hive76 and we can teach you how to solder using Mitch Altman’s Trippy RGB Waves kit!

This specific circuit has a red-green-blue (RGB) LED that slowly changes colors over time. When you wave an object (like your hand) over it, you reset the color-changing pattern. With several boards laid out before you, this creates a wave-like effect.

You can check out a video of the circuit in action here!

When: Saturday, September 8th, 1-4PM

Where: Hive76

Cost: $20 (covers kit and instruction)



Rob Bishop, a developer with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, is going to be taking a short tour of US hackerspaces. We are pleased to announce that Hive76 has been included on that list!

Because we are expecting a very high level of interest in this event, we have decided that our studio space is a little too small to accomodate the number of people we are expecting to attend. Philadelphia’s University of the Arts has  graciously offered up some space for us to meet in. There are only 30 spots available, so act fast; this will sell out. Ticket purchased are limited to 2 per person. You’ll find the link below.

If you’ve been wanting to get a taste of the Raspberry Pi (:P), you will not want to miss this event. The event is free to the public, but space is limited! Rob will have Pi(s) for sale at $35 per board. They are still on back-order from major  distributors, so now is your chance to grab one!

Here is what to expect:

Rob Bishop from the RaspberryPi Foundation is touring popular hackspaces in the US throughout September 2012 with the aim of giving talks and workshops about the RaspberryPi to both the hackspace members and also RaspberryPi users in the local community.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charitable organisation founded with the aim of promoting the study of computer science and related topics, especially at school level. The Foundation is responsible for the design and sales of the popular RaspberryPi single-board computer. You can find out more about the Foundation and the RaspberryPi here.

The event at each hackspace will informally consist of the following;

  • Talk:
    • RaspberryPi: Past, Present & Future – An introduction to the RaspberryPi, including an overview of its history and development, details on the technical specification and an outline of future developments with many cool tech demos along the way. Followed by a Q&A session.
  • Tech Demos:
    • A chance to demonstrate various OS’s and other demos
  • Workshop:
    •  A chance to play with the RaspberryPi hands-on.
  • Show & Tell / Prizes: 
    • An opportunity to display RaspberryPi projects from the community with prizes for notable projects.

The tour will be blogged/vlogged on the RaspberryPi website and we hope to attract RaspberryPi enthusiasts and hackers/makers from across the areas we will be visiting, allowing us to meet and support our community.

Here are the details on where we are meeting and at what time:

University of the Arts, Terra Hall, 5th floor

211 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Monday, September 24th, 7:00PM-10:00PM


Update: Corrected UArts address
Tagged with: