What’s cooking in: CNC–plus new area host needed!

PS1 is looking for a new host for the CNC area. Becoming an area host is a great way to deepen your expertise and help determine the direction of the organization. In the words of outgoing host Ash Anjani:

Being area host is a very rewarding experience. Not only do you get to be at the forefront of helping members with new technologies that they aren’t familiar with, but you get build on your own knowledge of understanding how the equipment operates and best practices. The best student is a teacher, and I am walking away from area host a much better individual and a more adept maker.

The specific responsibilities of area host include:

  • Maintaining and organizing the area
  • Overseeing training and authorization
  • Working with the Board of Directors to address the long-term needs of the area
  • Acting as an ambassador for the area, and promoting its use and projects.

Applications are due this Sunday, April 15. If you are interested, please send a note to vicepresident@pumpingstationone.org describing why you are a good fit for the position and outlining your plans for the area.

CNC is one of the most dynamic areas at PS1. Here’s a round-up of recent happenings and equipment updates.

Epson 9800 wide-format printer

This is not quite ready for general use. We still need to set up restrictions so that only authorized users can make prints. The machine also needs a fitted cover.

FormLabs Form 1+ SLA 3D Printer

This printer requires a proprietary resin, and although it is more difficult to use than other 3D printers, it can also generate prints with potentially desirable features, such as translucency, high resolution, smooth surfaces, and suitability for us in metal casting.

We ordered three liters of resin (castable, ceramic, and clear), which should arrive in May. Here is the Kickstarter campaign where you can buy your own resin, if interested (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1181157044/functional-resins-for-sla-dlp-3d-printing).

Update: the Kickstarter failed. So we ordered 4 250-ml bottles of monoprice resin for testing. Apparently cheaper resins (like those described in the Kickstarter campaign, are becoming available from Chinese manufacturers.

We also ordered four Z-Vat glass trays (http://www.zvatindustries.com/) that last considerably longer and have much less distortion than the FormLabs trays.

Update: These were briefly out of stock, but are now available. Next week we should be getting three trays and two slip covers.

FDM Printers

Thanks to Zack Sasnow for helping to finish the plywood enclosure for the printers. We still need to buy a vinyl curtain to cover the front and provide insulation. Other needs include a replace SD card and an extension cord for the fancy lights.

Epilog Mini Laser

We will soon be ordering a replacement motherboard so that we can get this machine back in service. We still need an airline hook-up.

ShopBot CNC router

We recently took the ShopBot down for a day to perform a tune-up. Some more involved fixes in the works include:

  • New pinion gears. Some ShopBot owners have upgraded their motors to 7.2:1 for more torque and higher resolution. This requires a controller upgrade, though. We are getting pricing information.
  • New motor driver. Currently we are using the fourth axis driver, so the fourth axis is out of commission.

Tormach CNC mill

As mentioned in the last newsletter, Tucker was able to get us ten free training sessions with Tormach, which means that part of the training budget will go to lodging and meals, and most of it will be saved. The first four trainees will hopefully attend classes in April, schedule permitting.

The electrician should be setting up power for the Tormach within the next few weeks.

New authorizers

We now have four CNC volunteer authorizers who have been doing a bang-up job: Joe J., Joe M., Deanna, and Jeff. Many thanks to them for all their help.

Everything else

  • We ordered a shop filter that needs to be mounted the ceiling.
  • We also got a floor mop and Ash spent a few hours mopping. He reports that the floor is now less nasty than before.
  • A 6″ to 4″ splitter and tee were purchased to handle exhaust from the Universal laser. It still needs to be hooked up.
  • And we need to move the 6″ x 6″ x 4″ tee over to the Epilog.
  • And we need to install an air hose with compressed air for clean-up.


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