Archive for the ‘Class/Workshop’Category

New Year, New Beer, Beer Church is Here

Don’t let the polar vortex’s return prevent you from standing around a boiling cauldron of delicious smelling beer wort as we prepare to create what’s bound to be a unique beer. We usually base our recipes on existing ones, but tweak them in interesting ways.

To start off, we’ll have a beer tasting featuring any homebrew you bring, a Gingerbread Brown Ale that we brewed in December, and the aged return of 14 month old “I Didn’t Mead It That Way”, a session mead made with hops and fermented with wine yeast for a very unique and floral flavor. Tiny beer steins will be provided – please bring a bottle of something if you can. We might even pull some mystery bottles from our homebrew cellar and see if we can remember what it is!

Once we’ve had a taste, met each other, and talked over the basics of brewing in the process, we’ll move on to shopping for ingredients (Brew & Grow is right around the corner, and you’ll get to learn how to weigh and grind ingredients) & of course brewing the beer. This is just the first day of a weeks long journey that a beer takes from the boil kettle to your mouth, but it’s the most labor intensive and the most interesting to see, so we like to show people this step. Watching a bucket ferment isn’t as fun. Since we’re going for something relatively straightforward (recipe to be a surprise), we’ll probably be done brewing in around 3.5 hours. We’ll get into the brew by around 3PM. The steps include mashing, sparging, boiling, chilling, and pitching. You can lend a hand with most of them if you like, and learn a lot in the process.

mmmm, beer

Nitty Gritty

When: Sunday January 19th 2014, 1PM
Where: Pumping Station: One, 3519 N Elston, Chicago
What: Beer tasting and brewing hands-on
Who: Anyone 21 or over, Pumping Station: One members or not!
Why: Because beer is a fun way to spend for your Sunday afternoon

18

01 2014

Prompts with the Writer Zen Garden

20131122_0006

Tonight the Writer Zen Garden met in the lounge for another Prompt Circle.  Using various kinds of writing prompts, we write for between 10 and 20 minutes at a time, experimenting with lots of little new ideas or linking each of the ideas together. This is a great, low pressure way to get onto the page, whether you’ve always wanted to write and haven’t taken the plunge or if you’re a seasoned writer but need some new inspiration.

We started with a freewriting exercise to “prime the pump.”  Freewriting is just like it sounds:  start with where you are right now and just write.  We set the timer for ten minutes but if you’re trying this on your own, use whatever time works for you.  Write whatever is in your mind, and let it flow out of your pen.  Freewriting exercises are better done with a pen and paper because it more intimately connects you to your thoughts than the keyboard (working on a keyboard involves both hands and therefore a cross-hemispheric operation on the brain).

We then experimented with some prompts from Ursula K. LeGuin’s book, Steering the Craft.  The first was to write a scene with no punctuation whatsoever.  A good scene to write is something that has a lot of action; she suggests the opening of a revolution or a one-day sale.  I have found that when we read what we wrote out loud, it naturally develops its own syntax and is much easier to understand.

Next we wrote a scene with sentences of seven or fewer words.  This forces the writer to focus on the words used to get the story across and trims the fat, so-to-speak.  After that we experimented with one from Josip Novakovich’s book, Fiction Writer’s Workshop.  Describe a scene with a party or gathering that you observed, and see if you can fatten it up with imagined details.  We then switched gears to play with a dream; writing a scene from one of our own dreams and peppering it with fantastical elements.

The final prompt was a light one: write a scene of a space opera (think Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy).  While no one at the table self-identified as a science-fiction writer, it seemed to be the most fun prompt of the evening.

If you’ve been tempted to write before but don’t know where to start, or you’ve always wished you were more creative, then join us for a couple hours of fun, conviviality, and writing prompts.  All you need to do is bring a pen and notebook or, if you prefer, a laptop.  We’ll do the rest.

How does it work?  That’s easy!  We bring an assortment of writing prompts (a “prompt” is something that gets you started with a story, scene, or description), and we write for short bursts of ten to twenty minutes.  You’d be surprised at how much you produce and how fast the time flies.

Why not give it a shot?

The next one is Saturday, 01/11/2014, 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. in the Lounge.  Hosted by PS:One members Amanda Clothier (writing as A. Catherine Noon) and Lyn Cole.

Hope to see you there!

For more information about Writer Zen Garden, please check out our Meetup page.  We are an online and in-person creative community with a forum, blog, and supportive members.  You have nothing to lose but your skepticism.

Write on!

28

12 2013

Knitting Machine Workshop

Threading the tension masts

Threading the tension masts

Carl, Nathan, and David

Carl, Nathan, and David

Tension Swatching

Tension Swatching

Sheila on the chunky machine

Sheila on the chunky machine

Two Brother knitting machines: the chunky 230, the standard 930

Two Brother knitting machines: the chunky 230, the standard 930

 

Patrick can't resist..

Patrick can’t resist.

 

Because why wouldn't you carry a knitting machine on a bicycle when it's 20 degrees outside?

Because why wouldn’t you carry a knitting machine on a bicycle when it’s 20 degrees outside?

09

12 2013

Writing the Night Away with Writer Zen Garden and NaNoWriMo!

20131113 Pic 1November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.  The objective is to write 50,000 words or more during the month.

One of the ways to do that is to attend a Write-In, an event where participants support each other, engage in word wars, and commiserate on the vicissitudes of the writing life – and otherwise abuse their vocabulary.

Tonight’s Write-In in the lounge was no exception.  We came, we wrote, and we played Go to unwind.  Writers worked on short story compilations, manga, speeches, and novels.  If you’ve always wondered what it’s like to write a novel, then by all means join us!  The next PS:One Write-Ins are Wednesday 11/20 and Wednesday 11/27 from 7:00 to 9:00 P.M. in the Lounge.

The Writer Zen Garden hosts a number of events at PS:One, including our popular Prompt Circle, Artist Way Clusters, and Plotting Workshops.  Check us out on Meetup or stop by an event.

Write on!

13

11 2013

CNC Build Club – 4 Axis Milling

4th-axis_large

 

(picture from CNCCookbook blog)

This week we are going to play with the rotary axis on the little CNC mill.  We are going to assemble it and calibrate it.  We will use a demo of DeskProto to run a job on it.  We will of course start with the CNC Ninja Squirrel, then try some other projects.  It you have something cool to try, bring a file in STL format and a round piece of material to mill it out of.

hs

 

Join us Thursday Nov, 14th at 7:00pm.

 

13

11 2013

Orientation and Open House: Sunday October 27 at 4PM

knife flamesPS:One orientation (previously known as N00bs’ Paradise) is happening Sunday at 4pm in the downstairs lounge.

Never been, but want to learn more about PS:One?
New member?
Old member, but want to know all the secrets of the inner workings of PS:One?
Want to get certified, but don’t know how?
Want to doocritize, but haven’t even heard of do-ocracy?
Then this event is FOR YOU!
Free, open to all event – just show up at 4pm on Sunday the 27th

You’ll learn:

  • 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 equipment to PS:One
  • how to create a class, event, group, meeting, or what have you
  • how to request a class, event, group, whatever
  • how to blog
  • the wiki.
  • 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, October 27 at 4pm
  • 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

10 2013

CNC Router Class and Training

KL4530T

 

This week at the CNC Build Club we are going to do a CNC router class, training and certification.  If you want to learn a lot about CNC routers come to the class.  We will start out with a little class room training that is open to all including non-members, then move to the shop where we will do hands on training and certifications.  This will be limited to 8 people and they must be PS:One members.  If you want to be one of those 8 people, please be one of the first 8 to RSVP the meeting at Meetup.com.

16

09 2013

Frank Hammer Genetics & Epigenetics talk tonight!

Frank Hammer, a retired scientist from Monsanto, will be giving a talk tonight on Genetics and Epigenetics. The session is divided into two parts:

1st Discussion

1. General genetics, which would include the structure of DNA,
2. How the four bases or nucleotides, adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine are paired,
3. What is a gene,
4. What is messenger RNA (mRNA)
5. How mRNA codes for proteins,
6. What is a codon,
7. How proteins are manufactured in the ribosome,
8. Answering questions.

2nd Discussion

1. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is how we multiply DNA millions of times so it can be forensically and biologically analyzed,
2. Epigenetics, its causes and effects,
3. Answering questions.

Frank’s Bio

Frank has been involved in the life sciences for about sixty years. Has written two book chapters, many reports, including one about antisense which was published by Frost & Sullivan. Frank has eight patents, in the fields of food technology and diagnostic biochemistry. His avocations are reading and writing poetry.

And that’s all Frank wants to say about himself… Find out more at the meeting :)

See you all soon!

When/Where

Tue, August 27, 9:00pm – 10:00pm
PS:One, 2nd Floor
3519 N. Elston Chicago, IL 60618

27

08 2013

PS:One Orientation: Sunday August 25 at 4pm

Us in 3DPS:One orientation (previously known as N00bs’ Paradise) is happening Sunday at 4pm in the downstairs lounge.

Never been, but want to learn more about PS:One?
New member?
Old member, but want to know all the secrets of the inner workings of PS:One?
Want to get certified, but don’t know how?
Want to doocritize, but haven’t even heard of do-ocracy?
Then this event is FOR YOU!
Free, open to all event – just show up at 4pm on Sunday the 25th

You’ll learn:

  • 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 equipment to PS:One
  • how to create a class, event, group, meeting, or what have you
  • how to request a class, event, group, whatever
  • how to blog
  • the wiki.
  • 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, August 25 at 4pm
  • 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).

23

08 2013

CNC Gonzo Build #2 – Recap

ps1_draw

The project was to build a “single axis” drawing machine in one night.  This machine uses two independently controlled carriages on a single piece of MakerSlide rail to control a pen at the tip of two linkages.  The primary purpose of the project was a fun group build and a learning exercise in setting up a non-Cartesian machine using inverse kinematics.  Kinematics in this case means mathematically describing the machine to the CAM controller.  The One Axis DrawBot is a very simple non Cartesian machine.

kinematics

The equations used are shown above.  The ends of the linkages on the carriages end are at joint[0] and joint[1].  The pen is at pos->tran.x and pos->tran.y.  The first two equations convert the desired pen location back to actual machine locations.  They were plugged into the CAM program.  The last two equations do the opposite and convert machine locations to the pen location.

img_0003

img_0004

One Axis Drawing Machine

We had one team assemble the machine, one team wire the electronics and one team setup the controller.  It took about two hours to complete that phase.  We try to use newbies wherever possible, so adding solder training into the mix usually adds a little time.  The next step was to setup the CAM controller.

mach3

 

formulas

We borrowed the  CNC router computer and control box to run the machine.  This has Mach3 CAM controller software on it.  Mach3 has a “formulas” feature that we used to enter the kinematics.  We quickly had the machine running, but it was soon clear that Mach3 was not completely up to the task.  In the formulas mode, it appears to disable the DROs (digital read outs) which tell you exactly where the machine is.  It was also difficult to home or tell the machine the current location.   Moves in the Y axis are non linear and need to know the current location.  This resulted in Y axis moves that were not 100% accurate.

xy

 

The other problem was coordination.  If you tell a CNC machine to move from X0, Y0 to X1, Y0,  it accelerates up to the desired speed then decelerates to the end point.  If you tell it to move from X0,Y0 to X1 Y10, the two axes are moving different distances, so it needs to coordinate the different axes speeds and accelerations. The X axis would move quite a bit slower to coordinate with the longer Y distance to get a straight line.  Mach3 was coordinating the two machine axes, but it was not coordinating the pen axes.  Moves in only X or only in Y were nice and straight, but moves in both X and Y had a bit of a curve to them, but they did accurately arrive at the end point.  A graphic with a lot of short moves would not show any on the problems above so we ran a quick “PS:One” graphic.  Watch the video and be sure to wait for the applause.

YouTube Preview Image

We will switch to using EMC2 (LinuxCNC).  This has a true inverse kinematics feature that should fix the problems.

There is some discussion on the EMC user mail list to help us with this project.

Update 6/23/2013:  Here is the latest (untested) version of our LinuxCNC kinematics file mykins.c

 

16

06 2013