Friday last, Max Mahoney (Chemistry) and Amy Brinkley (Library) hosted a sign making event in the Innovation Center, in preparation for last weekend’s March for Science in Sacramento, and Max shared these photos:

March for Science Sign Makering!

March for Science Sign Makering!

It’s great to see the space filled with students and faculty, making things.

Some photos from the very successful cyanotype photography activity Max Mahoney (Chemistry) and Christa Oberth (Chemistry) and Heike Schmid (Art) led last week, using using the exposure boxes we built…

A view of the internals, and the wiring harness, which was scavenged from a PC power supply:

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Max attaching a heat sink to the light bar. We finished the final box at about 1:45 PM, and the activity started at 2!

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The boxes lined up in the Chemistry lab:

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Fired up and working – students developing their prints:

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A view through the fan port:

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My kodama print:

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We were initially worried about the LEDs heating up, but the fans – poached from some recycled external CPU cooling units, and heat sinks, also from the parts bin – pulled so much air that the aluminum bars (themselves functioning as heat sinks) to which the LEDs were attached were entirely cool to the touch throughout the whole process. The LEDs in these particular units are super bright and powerful, and students were very pleased with the resolution, detail, consistency, and intensity of the finished prints.

Max Mahoney (Chemistry) and I have been working on version 2 of some UV LED boxes for use in a cyanotype photography activity.  We’ve been talking about these for a long time, so it’s nice to finally get to building.

Max Makes

Each box will have three 10 watt 380 nanometer UV LEDs arranged on a piece of aluminum bar stock. We were able to build up the prototype in about a day, working out some of the details about the access hatch, and the arrangement of the lights and so forth.

Success!

We also used the new laser to engrave one of the side panels.

Dogbox!

Today Nicole (student) helped out mass producing three additional boxes (for a total of four).

Nicole Building Boxes

As it turns out, these LEDs get HOT, so we brainstormed some fan arrangements, and settled upon a design.  We quickly developed a diagram using Illustrator, running a paper prototype on the laser to ensure that our measurements were correct before engraving and cutting the final piece out of 1/4 hobby plywood.

Cyanotype Exposure Box End

Looking forward to getting these buttoned up and in use at the end of the week!

Fidget spinners are suddenly all the rage in the Innovation Center.

Fidget Spinners are all the Rage in the Innovation Center

So far folks have 3D printed them on the Ultimakers, laser cut them out of acrylic on the new laser, and just today cut some out of HDPE plastic on the Carvey.

Nathan's Spinner

Easel (the software the runs the Carvey) even has a spinner add-on that enables easy design and tweaking.

Easel Fidget Spinner Maker

I see a big old bag of bearings in our future!

CCSF Makers!

Spent part of the day with these fantastic maker educators from City College of San Francisco.  They’re participating in the CCC Maker grant, and visited the Innovation Center to see the space and talk about our makerspace development process.  Happy to have made more contacts in the community college maker community, and looking forward to the continuing development of the CCC Maker community of practice.

The laser was installed yesterday, and while makerspaces are more about culture, community, and possibilities than they are about machines, this thing sure is a sweet machine. 🙂

Laser Learning

Following the install and orientation, we spent the better part of the day cutting, engraving and scoring wood, paper, and acrylic.  Once we got the hang of it, CJ (student) and I decided to push the machine with a test cut through 3/4″ pine.

Ryan and Rick (foreground above) assure me that this much flaring is normal, especially with material this thick (and without air assist, which we’ll probably be adding as funding permits).

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On Thursday, March 16, I facilitated an activity about Equity in the Re/Design of Makerspaces as part of a CCC Maker training about New World of Work.   Presentation materials below…

Slides:
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Zfpj34dwmmuU7bPEU4YmNOKWqH6ZfbPkn1MiquVbcWs/edit?usp=sharing

Re/Sources:
National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. 2017. Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2017. Special Report NSF 17-310. Arlington, VA.
http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/

Vossoughi, S., Hooper, P. K., & Escudé, M. (2016). Making Through the Lens of Culture and Power: Toward Transformative Visions for Educational Equity. Harvard Educational Review, 86(2), 206-232.
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/fa5b/4e88c78f380b4727d445afa33bea5212a21d.pdf

2016 Student Success Scorecard – California Community Colleges
http://scorecard.cccco.edu/scorecard.aspx

Stanford University d.school
https://dschool.stanford.edu/resources

Sarah Kuhn – Professor Department of Psychology & Center for Women and Work, University of Massachusetts Lowell
https://seadnetwork.wordpress.com/white-paper-abstracts/final-white-papers/thinking-with-things-feeling-your-way-into-stem/
http://thinkingwiththings.com/

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After much hemming and hawing, institutional and otherwise, and surprisingly much electrical work:

Pulling Power

our first laser cutter – a Universal PLS6.150D with two 60 watt tubes – has arrived. It’s sitting down in Receiving, awaiting an install next week!

Laser

There are a lot of pent up projects just waiting for its radiation, so we’re excited to get it up and running and get some things cut and engraved.

Lots of visitors in the past couple of weeks, starting with Oak Ridge High School students, who came to talk about their upcoming hacakathon – http://orhacks.com – and how we might partner.  They also drove the Double around.

Students from Oak Ridge High School Driving the Robot

A couple of days later, we hosted Foresthill High School students, who took a tour of the college and then spent some time in the IC with me to learn about our programs and makerspace development efforts. They’re planning a space of their own, and were eager to hear about everything from gear to floors to furniture. CJ and Alex (FLC students and some of my most skillful assitants) volunteered to help, showing students around and helping them print some stickers on the new vinyl cutter.  We also scanned some folks using the Skanect/XBox Kinect setup, which is always a crowd pleaser.

Scanned

Later that day, about 30 (mostly) 5th graders from Georgetown Makerspace (our sister lab) spent the afternoon in the lab, driving the robot, building with (borrowed) LittleBits, preparing and cutting a tile on the Carvey, getting scanned, and learning about the aquaponics setup.

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Busy couple of days, but great to connect with regional maker educators to share information and resources.  More photos…

Field Trips 2017

Nathan and Thomas (students) have been printing using the new Ultimaker 3 with the PVA water-soluble support material, and we decided to run a quick little experiment to confirm what we thought we already knew:  that warm water would dissolve the PVA quicker than cold water.

Ultimaker 3 PVA Filament Test

After 25 hours, 50 minutes, we pulled both sets out of the water to compare.  Turns out that our assumptions were correct, at least for this barely scientific test.   Even without any real proper measuring of the leftover gummy PVA on the prints, there was clearly less undissolved support material on the ones initially placed in hot water than on the ones places in room temperature water.  I think we’ll borrow a hot plate stirrer from the Chemistry department and maybe try to run a few more controlled and better timed experiments.

Ultimaker PVA Side by Side