Archive for the ‘Class/Workshop’Category

Bitbeam Presentation – CNC Build Club

Bitbeam

This week we have a presentation by Jason Huggins (@hugs) on Bitbeam and the Tapster robot he built with it.

jason-huggins-with-tapster

When:

Thursday, May 9th @ 7:00pm, upstairs in the electronics area

Topic:

Jason will give an overview of Tapster, his open source, 3D printable, mobile app testing robot. In addition to explaining why creating a mobile testing robot is not the worst idea you’ve ever heard of, Jason will give an overview of Bitbeam, the open source building toy that he developed, which Tapster’s made out of. He’ll cover his making journey as he’s experimented with laser cutters, CNC mills, and 3D printers to make Bitbeam. For fun, the talk will also include live demos of Tapster playing Angry Birds.

About Jason:

Jason Huggins is CTO and co-founder of Sauce Labs, a software test infrastructure company, and is the original creator of Selenium, a popular open source web testing tool. In 2011, for an art project he was working on, Jason created Bitbeam – a 3D printable LEGO-Technic-compatible construction toy. Jason lives in Oak Park, Illinois.

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CNC Stuff

Following the presentation we will break away to work on various CNC projects. The ongoing group project continues to be the mid-sized CNC Router. The machine is now fully functional under Mach3 control. We can talk about the Mach3 setup and cut a few things.

YouTube Preview Image

06

05 2013

Intro to the Microsoft Kinect – Recap

Us in 3D

We had a great presentation by Jarvis Schultz on the Microsoft Kinect last night as part of the CNC Build Club.  Jarvis works with the Kinect as part of his PhD research in robotics at Northwestern University.  We had an overflow crowd of close to 30 participants.

Us on Kinect

The presentation was an introduction on how to get started with hacking the Kinect.  He described what is known about the internals and the data you can get out of it.  He talked about the preferred open source software tools and libraries.

Kinect Depth Field

He gave several live demos.  The pictures you see above are shots of how the Kinect saw the crowd at PS:One.  The still shots don’t do justice to the coolness of watching it live.  His presentation is in PDF format here.

kinect_1

kinect_crowd1

kinect_crowd2

 

 

 

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03

05 2013

Microsoft Kinect Presentation – CNC Build Club

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Thursday, May 2 @ 7:00pm

Presentation

This week we have a presentation from Jarvis Schultz on using the Microsoft Kinect motion sensor input device and other related devices.  He is going to give an overview on how they work, what kind of data they can produce, what software is needed to interact with them, and what you can do with the data once you have it.  He will include some live demos of what the data looks like, and what you can do with it.

Jarvis is a fourth-year PhD student in Mechanical Engineering working on robotics at Northwestern University.  He is part of the Neuroscience and Robotics Laboratory, and he has been working with the Kinect since it was first available, and it has become an integral part of his PhD research.  Further information is on his research webpage in case you are interested http://nxr.northwestern.edu/people/jarvis-schultz.

Thanks to Steve Finkelman for arranging this.

CNC Router

Starting Pile Of CNC Parts

Following the presentation and discussion we are going to continue with the CNC Router project. We are going to add the limit switches for the X,Y and Z axes. Limit switches can protect your machine from over travel, but also provide an accurate and repeatable home position.

mach3-main-screen

We are also going to setup Mach3 as the machine controller. We will try to do this while hooked up to the projector, so everyone can participate in the process and learn how to do it. Mach3 is a professional level commercial controller and is a huge step up from the typical DIY solutions, like GRBL.

linuxcnc_logo

After a few projects with Mach3 we will probably also install EMC2 which is an open source, Linux based alternative to Mach3.

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29

04 2013

Last Night’s CNC Build Club

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We had a great meeting last night.  We had over a dozen people working together to wire up a CNC control box.  At one point we had three soldering irons going at the same time.  Here is the pile of parts we started with.

Starting Pile Of CNC Parts

 

Here are some people wiring the box.  A really nice job was done using wire ferruls wherever we could.  How many hands can fit in that little box?

CNC Team Work

Here is the nearly completed box.

Box Almost Done

 

Thanks to Chris, Matt, Aeva, Patrick, Donald, Steve, Jason & Alex, Cat, John, Will, Gabe, Norm, Allen and Colin.  Next week we will be testing the motors, adding limit switches and configuring the software.

We will start with Mach3, then switch to EMC2 when we find a dedicated PC for that.  Chris and John I think mentioned they do time at Free Geek.  I am sure they could find a little PC.

Special thanks to Automation Technologies Inc for giving/lending all the parts.

- Bart

 

 

26

04 2013

Orientation for the new and/or curious: 4th Sundays at 4pm (N00bs’ Paradise)

120px-Rainbow_At_Maraetai_Beach_New_ZealandInterested in learning a little about PS:One?

New to PS:One and want to learn how to get along here?

Come join us on the 4th Sunday of every month at 4pm for N00bs’ Paradise: an event specifically for the new and/or curious about PS:One.

You’ll learn:

  • how to immediately get started learning and doing awesome things at PS:One
  • the one and only rule you need to remember at PS:One
  • what mailing lists and IRC channels you should join
  • how to get discounts on classes, tee-shirts, stuff around town, and even monthly dues!
  • how to get certified on equipment
  • how to donate stuff to PS:One
  • how to create a new class, event, group, meeting, or what have you
  • do-ocracy and how to do-ocratize things

The basics:

  • Who: anyone who wants to learn more about PS:One and how it works
  • When: Sunday April 28th, 4 pm until about 6pm (and every 4th Sunday thereafter)
  • Where: PS:One 1st floor lounge
  • Cost: free

Here are the class notes – please feel free to read beforehand (Note: these notes are not a good substitute for class attendance).

25

04 2013

CNC Build Club

Automation Technologies 3D Gantry

The CNC Build Club meets just about every Thursday at 7:00pm.  This is a weekly meeting of Chicago area people passionate about designing, building and learning how to use digital fabrication equipment.  Non members are welcome .  Each meeting starts with a round robin introduction followed by a little discussion and often a presentation or training session.  We also often have a group project going on.

This week we are going to start putting together a small CNC milling machine.  The machine was lent to us by Automation Technologies Inc.  Right now the machine is just the mechanical platform.  We need to add the motor controls, limits switches and setup some software.  The goal is to create an easy to use work center that we will do some projects on.  The plan is to sell the machine at a discount to someone in the group when we are finished. If you don’t know anything about CNC, don’t worry, you can still help.  The goal is to teach, learn and use.

KL4530S

We have a meetup group you can follow for upcoming events

We have a Google Group too.

 

25

04 2013

NERP tonight: The revolution is over! Let the battles begin!

NERP is not exclusively raspberry pi, the small computer interest group at
Pumping Station:One in Chicago.

There are a bunch of credit card size and smaller computers out there, but the
one closest to the Raspberry Pi in purpose and features is the Beagle Bone. The
BeagleBone is a credit-card sized Linux computer that connects with the Internet
and runs software such as Android 4.0 and Ubuntu. NERP first saw the Beagle
Board during Drew’s high-level overview in March.

beagle-hd-logo

The current Beagle Bone (~$89) costs more than the Raspberry Pi, but the Bone
has better perfomance. Tomorrow, 4/23/13, circutco.com will publicly announce a
new, more powerful, more featureful, and cheaper Beagle Bone. The price for the
new board will put it closer to the Pi. The revolution is over, but the
competiton for the smallest, most powerful, most versatile, and cheapest
embeddable computer has just begun. Adafruit, one of several Beagle Bone
resellers, is getting revved up for the new release.

http://www.adafruit.com/products/1278

Tonight Brian Chamberlain will give an in depth introduction to writing code on
the Beagle Bone. Brian’s talk will  “…cover how to setup and run remote
debugging on a BeagleBone from within the Eclipse IDE. It will include a
walkthrough of the key steps for setting things up. Then a demonstration of how
to step through lines of code, inspect variables, and generally cause havoc on a
simple program running remotely on the BeagleBone. Also, as a segway from our
normal RaspberryPi discussions there will be a brief overview of the BeagleBone,
its features, and how it compares to the RaspberryPi.”

Find NERP and Pumping Station:One
at http://www.meetup.com/NERP-Not-Exclusively-Raspberry-Pi/
and http://pumpingstationone.org

NERP meets at 7pm 4-22-13 at Pumping Station:One, 3519 N. Elston Ave. in
Chicago. NERP is free and open to the public.

Ed Bennett ed @ kinetics and electronics . com

22

04 2013

CNC Build Club

Every Thursday night…

The CNC Build Club meets to build, use and learn about CNC machines.

April 18th at 7:00 PM.
Open to non- members

Quantum Delta 3D printer

Quantum Delta 3D printer

Over the last three weeks we built this little delta 3D printer.
There are a few little changes to make to it this week, like a spool holder on top.

This medium sized CNC Router Read the rest of this entry →

17

04 2013

NERP – FPGAOK

FPGA1

FPGA2

I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback from the NERP FPGA workshop we did a couple weeks back.  There were a few people who asked me to post the Verilog code that went along with the two demos we did.  I added comments to the Verilog files in an attempt to clear up a lot of the stuff we cruised through to avoid turning this purely into a Verilog class.  The most useful comments will be in the VGA controller module we wrote: vga640x480.v.  Anyway, all the required project files to synthesize the logic we wrote are right here:  NERP_demo.zip

The software we used to build everything is the Xilinx ISE WebPACK 13.4.  You have to register with Xilinx and generate/download a license on their website to use the software.  Just remember that the above project will only work on the Digilent Nexys2-1200 board that I was using.

If you’re interested in grabbing a budget board for messing around with FPGAs or CPLDs, there are a few notable options:

  1. Papilio One
  2. CoolRunner-II
  3. DE0-Nano
  4. Basys2
  5. XuLA-200
  6. BORA

Also, thanks to Drew Fustini for the lovely photos you ‘re seeing above.  Actually, this whole FPGA thing was Drew’s idea.  So, if you were really itching to do some Raspberry Pi that week and walked in to find a bunch of nerds talking about programmable logic gates, then all your blame should be focused towards him.  On the other hand, if you enjoyed this FPGA crash-course you should thank him for that and any subsequent class/workshop he forces me to do.

MORE PHOTOS HERE

12

04 2013

Beer Church Tasting & Tour – Ours & Theirs: Revolution Brewery

Hello all beer brewers, hackers, and those just interested in the methods of making and tasting beers. This Saturday the 13th of April at 12:30PM we’ll be meeting up at Pumping Station: One to taste our own beers and anything you feel the need to share with us. We’ll try at least 3 of our own homebrews made by Beer Church, followed by a short work session and introduction to our own beer making equipment.

Revolution Brewery Tour

At 2:15PM we’ll head over to Revolution Brewery’s Kedzie location for a private tour with only our group. Up to 40 people can participate and will share the total $75 fee for the tour – which comes with 2 complementary samples of Revolution’s beers. With just 8 people, we’d pay less than $10 each. The tour will involve visiting and seeing the workings of the production brewery that Revolution uses to create such brews as Cross of Gold which they generously donated 2 kegs of for our Locktoberfest event last fall – and we enjoyed for some time afterward at our bar.

We expect the tour to teach us aspiring brewers a great deal about how a “real” brewery works, given that we’ll have the ear of one of Revolution’s staff throughout. After the tour we’ll have a few sips of their brew and head back to PS:One. If we’re feeling up to it, perhaps we’ll create something off the cuff. The new fermenter is nearly complete thanks by the large to the efforts of Tucker & the contributions of some Beer Church regulars last weekend, and will at least be able to support a simple Ale fermentation.

We hope to see you this Saturday for a pleasant afternoon.

tl;dr

When: Saturday, April 13 2013 at 12:30PM until 4:00PM or later.
Where: 3519 N Elston, Chicago IL
Why: Because you like making & tasting beer.
Who: Anyone 21 years of age or older.
What: Beer tasting, brewery tour, potential beer brewing

12

04 2013