Restarting Open Houses

During COVID, we’ve kept open-house restricted to members and those who pre-registered via email. As vaccinations become widely available, we’re beginning to ease back on those restrictions. Starting this week, non-members interesting in touring Hive no longer need to pre-register via email – you can just show up. Our COVID rules still remain in full effect, so you’ll need to wear a mask and we’ll still be enforcing a maximum occupancy at the space.

Updated COVID Rules

As the pandemic evolves, management has update our COVID-19 rules:

Mandatory Masks: masks should be worn all times within the space, even if you’re the only one there. You can take your mask off for eating/drinking.

10-person max occupancy: number of people in the space will be limited to 10 people, and members are encouraged to social distance as possible while in the space.

Wipe down touchpoints: cleaning spray and paper towels are provided through the space. Wipe down contact areas after use as part of cleanup.

Wash your hands: Hand-sanitizer is provided at both entrances in addition to the soap and sink in the bathroom. We recommend washing hands frequently, including when arriving and before leaving.

 

Upgraded Soldering Station

We’ve been busy upgrading the space. We recently shifted our soldering station to it’s new home near the classroom. With that comes new wire organization, improved task lighting, and less dust from the woodworking projects. It also frees up space in our front room for bigger projects.

Hive76 is Moving!

After a good run at Bok, Hive76 is moving! Starting next month, we’ll be located at 1821 E Hagert St. In the meantime, open house will continue as usual – assuming no more freak snowstorms, that is.

This time around, we have the opportunity to build out the entire space ourselves, and we’re taking full advantage of it. More details to come very soon, but here’s a sneak peek at what we’re working on:

Intro to Electronics Workshop Oct 12th

Thursday October 12th at 7:30 PM join us for an evening of learning and exploration! In this class students will be taken through the basic fundamentals of electricity all the way to creating circuits and experimenting. Every student will get a comprehensive kit of parts with designs for a variety of different circuits. The class is open to people of all skill levels with a suggested age of 16+. This is a ticketed event please see the ticketleap link below.

The format of the class will be a short lecture followed by a hands on workshop using the kit of parts. The kit of parts include a wide variety of resistors, LEDs, capacitors, integrated circuits, transistors, and diodes etc. Each of these components will be introduced in the lecture and have accompanying circuit designs showing how they work, please bring something to take notes.

For mobility accommodations please contact the organizers in advance of the event, thank you.

Attendees must purchase a ticket through our Ticketleap event page https://hive76.ticketleap.com/introelectronics/

Charles Affel has taught electronics workshops at Hive76 as part of DIY Music night.

Testing credit card charges with Stripe in a simple Rails app

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:
http://www.gravityforms.com/add-ons/
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*********
http://members-hive76.herokuapp.com/

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 README.md:
https://github.com/jmil/member-dues

Thoughts?

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:

Use 3D printed fixtures to avoid support material

If you are familiar with 3D printing, you may know of one of the most frustrating constraints in the process: overhangs. For those new to the tech, Material Extrusion machines like the RepRap and Ultimaker extrude molten plastic into air to produce 3D objects. But molten plastic is subject to gravity, so each bit of plastic needs to be supported by a previously printed layer.

There are a lot of solutions for this constraint. Designing an object not to have overhangs is one approach. Most 3D printers also use one or more materials to print supporting scaffolds for overhanging features. But removing the printed scaffold can sometimes be a mess. Take the example show here of a soap dish: 

This model will print really well with the large flat surface placed on the build plate, but the four feet shown in red project below that surface. To print this as is, you would need support structure underneath the entire print with just the feet touching the print bed. Support scaffolding can be a mess, but I have a new method that can avoid support material altogether: flip the print over and print on the nice flat surface. With this approach, the trick is holding the model in place upside down while the feet are printed. The molten plastic will bond to the previously printed part, and the feet will become a permanent part of the soap dish.

3D printed fixtures are already a selling point and common practice in the professional additive manufacturing field, but I haven’t seen any examples of this among the DIYers and consumer 3D printer operators. A 3D printer has the ability to make any tool needed, even single use fixtures for a simple soap dish model. It only takes a bit of CAD to produce a working set of fixtures that will be printed and left installed on the print bed. Take a look at the embedded 3D model below and I will describe the process step-by-step.

  1. CAD your model. I use Fusion 360 because it is quite powerful, and free to use until I start making money.
  2. Create separate bodies for the fixtures and features that will be printed separately. Here the fixtures are in green, and the feet in red. They need to be separate bodies (not joined) so they can be exported separately.
  3. I created the fixtures for this soap dish by starting with a sketch that is in plane with the flat top of the soap dish. Then I extruded that sketch with the option “to object” so it would match the dish’s contour. I also included an offset. See that dialog box here:  

  4. It helps that this model, the fixtures, and the feet are all symmetrical. The slicing software Slic3r will automatically center our parts in the printer, a feature we will rely on in this process.
  5. Create the additional features as separate bodies, see as red in the model above.
  6. Export 3 separate STLs: model, fixtures, additions. You can export STLs with multiple shells like the 2 fixtures or 4 feet with this trick.
  7. Slice and print your main model as normal.
  8. Slice the fixtures STL, but use the Brim setting to ensure really good bed adhesion.
  9. Edit the fixtures Gcode to remove your end.gcode and anything else that might turn off a heated build plate. Our fixtures need to stay stuck to the 3D printer. My first attempt failed because the print bed cooled down and the fixtures popped right off.
  10. Slice the additional features STL.
  11. Edit the additional fixtures Gcode to remove any start.gcode including homing commands.
  12. Add G92 Z0 to the top of this additional features Gcode. G92 will set the printer position to Z0.
  13. These two Gcode files will printed back to back with your intervention in the middle. Pay attention to the time.
  14. Print the fixtures Gcode. When it ends, place your model into the fixture. If it doesn’t have a snug fit, tweak the CAD to find the right geometry to hold your model. It doesn’t need to be clamped in, just secure enough that the nozzle won’t move your model.
  15. Now manually move the nozzle so that the tip is right at the flat “underside” of the model. Also home X and Y in case they shifted.
  16. Print the additional features Gcode.  Keep a finger on the power or reset button. My second attempt to print this failed because I forgot the G92 Z0 and smushed the nozzle into my print.
  17. If all goes according to plan, the printer will add your additional features directly to your existing model.

Check out a timelapse of my third and successful attempt at adding feet to my soap dish.

This technique could be used to make more permanent fixtures that can be reattached to the printer. You could use this to 3D print customizations onto previously printed or mass produced items. It may require more plastic than support material, but could save the time and effort of removing stuck-on scaffolding. It’s always good to have multiple options to the same result.

If you do 3D print some fixtures, please share the process or results with me! Happy 3D printing!

p.s. I’m running a 3D printed gift exchange this holiday season. If you have the skills and the means, please join up and 3D print a gift for someone else! Join here.