Standing Workstations

So the word is out that sitting is bad. And most people have pretty bad ergonomics when they are sitting, anyway. This was certainly the case for me: my desk sits 30 inches above the ground, which is about 6 inches too high for my chair. If I were to raise my chair, then my knees would be overly strained. As you can see, my wrists are at a pretty awful angle.

Bad Ergonomics is Bad

Not to mention that I also have a serious clutter issue.

Clutter Clutter Clutter Clutter

And I can’t even see a large part of my second monitor.

Hidden Monitor
Whatcha doin' back there? Ya hidin?

I yearned for something that would, I don’t know, kinda… fix it.

Actually, now it kind of looks like an escalator for laptops.

And then I remembered, “I work in a freakin’ hackerspace! We have things, like tools, and wood! I could, you know, bang some hammers together or something.So I said…

So I took some measurements and tried to get a better idea of how this would work.

I was actually wearing shorts today, but didn't feel like drawing the back of a shoe.

And then I got really serious.

Aha! Why did I not just use real graph paper? What was the point of drawing a grid first? IDK, I was bored.

And after a couple of hours of banging hammers together, I had something.

It's ugly, but I don't really care. I am the awesomest boy in the world now.

You can’t really see it under there, but I also now have access to my printer, which before was under a pile of papers and other boxes.

Training workshop on Sunday @2pm

There has been some interest from members for our lovely Sells Mendel 3D printer Bronzebot. We also have a brand new (from the garbage) large format Designjet printer.

So we are running a quick workshop to show members and others how to use these new tools. Stop by if you are curious. It will be like a mini open house.

Training workshop
Sunday, 3/25, 2pm
at Hive76

RSVP with a comment if you’re coming. See you there!

A service for instantly selling DIY kits

Humanities major and business guy here. Since joining Hive76, I’ve been blown away by how easy (and fun!) it is to make stuff yourself. But I also noticed that sourcing parts for projects you read about isn’t always that easy.

And – a lot of my friends here have great ideas for DIY kits, but they don’t want to take care of sourcing, shipping, collecting money, etc. Who can blame them? There’d be many more interesting kits out there if someone solved the sourcing problem.

That’s why I launched Kitify a few weeks ago. Kitify makes it easy to document and list a bill of materials for a DIY project (a little like Instructables, but you have control over the presentation), and with one click you can also sell your project as a kit that we put together for you. You tell us what’s needed to build the kit, we sell kits on your behalf, and you get paid.

Kitify was fun to build, I had to learn quite a lot to get it off the ground. Check it out! And if you’re interested in selling a kit, let us know through our contact form and we can either help you get it set up on Kitify, or give you other advice on marketing, logistics, design, and lots of other areas.

Weekend Wrap-Up with a Look Towards the Horizon

If you happened to pass through the door of Suite 519 in the 915 Art Studios building this past weekend, you know what a busy time it was. Things kicked off early Saturday morning with the focused goal to start and finish a new 3D printer build, the MendelMax. A few folks started to filter in after a while: some to lend a hand, some to hang out, and some to work on their own projects. At around 2 PM, more people came in for our hosting of the monthly Philadelphia Star Trek meetup group. Afterwards, Dan was awesome enough to run through an impromptu class on how to develop your own Pong clone using the Unity 3D game engine with some of the Trekkie attendees.

Sunday also got off to an early start with the Ubuntu Bug Jam hosted by Hive76’s own jedijf. Jim was pleasantly surprised to have some Linux newcomers on hand and jumped at the opportunity to teach some command line skillz in a way only he can. In true geek fashion, they were rolling along on IRC by the end of the session! Shortly after the Bug Jam got underway, Jordan and Matthew were back at the MendelMax, determined to have it printing well, and packaged up to be shipped out by the end of the night. On the heels of the Bug Jam was the first installment of the Philadelphia Game Developer Collective which brought such a turnout that we actually ran out of chairs! This meant that our next meeting, the PAFA build group, had to get together in the lobby to hash out some last minute details and designs. While these two groups were meeting, and the MendelMax was being built, Brendan and Robert were plugging away at the hand-built custom control panel that they’ve been working on. It really looks awesome.

Flys like a dream!

Despite all of these things happening at the same time, everything could not have gone better. We were able to introduce some new people to our space, greet a few familiar faces, teach some new technical and mechanical skills, brainstorm new ideas and projects, and get some really great work done! I was pleasantly surprised with all of the spontaneity happening within and around the edges of these groups.

That said, if you missed all the action this past weekend or would like to come back for more, we’ve got some up coming events that you won’t want to miss!

Wednesday, March 7: Our ever popular weekly open house! This is the number one best way to meet the people behind Hive76 as most of our members are here on Wednesday nights. You’ll get a nice tour of the space, exposure to some of the projects that are in the works, and plenty of great conversation! Always FREE!

Thursday, March 8: PAFA After Dark: Turned On! Finally, come out to see the fruits of our labor! Hive76 and the Hacktory have teamed up once again to bring you some awesome interactive installations to play with in between checking out the excellent art of Henry Ossawa Tanner. Tickets are available for $10 (non-PAFA-members) here.

Saturday & Sunday, March 10 & 11: Art Hackathon @ Hive76! Come join Hive76 for an eight hour, two day art hackathon where participants will have a chance to really get creative under a common theme with recycled materials and various art supplies. A fee of $25 is being requested for supplies and food. Email ASAP to RSVP.

Monday, March 12: Our March installment of MMMM is coming up! If you’ve got a soft spot in your heart for microcontrollers or are eager to learn a thing or two about them, this is the workshop for you! Designed to be beginner friendly, this workshop is open to everyone. This is a FREE event!

Be sure to keep an eye on the Calendar for upcoming events, or better yet… join our discussion list or hop in our IRC channel, #hive76 on freenode and have a chat! Hope to see you soon!

Timelapse: Building a RepRap MendelMax 3D Printer

We got Matt Wettergreen’s MendelMax up and printing in two days. Thanks to all those at Hive76 who helped out with the build, especially Chris, PJ, Brendan, and Rob! Here’s a timelapse from the first day:

Below is a video of the finished bot printing with the latest Marlin firmware (smooth acceleration and fast travel times)! It turns out PLA sticks to a heated aluminum bed provided in the MendelMax kit. Wow. Completely Awesome. I couldn’t believe how little of the heat from the aluminum bed actually radiates away (you can only barely feel the heat an inch off the bed at 75 degrees celsius). That’s a huge feature.

Congrats to the Mike Payson and the MendelMax Team on their inspired Mendel remix. It’s a fantastic RepRap 3D Printer.