Earlier this week, Diane Carlson (Sociology) and I held a preview event for Making Social Change, our Sociology + Making course, as part of FLC’s Social Justice Spring events. We decided to create some drop spindles and spin some yarn, based on an activity Erica Tyler (Anthropology) developed as part of last summer’s Making Across the Curriculum faculty professional development program.
We cut the whorls using the laser cutter (which has been christened “Danger Scissors”)…
Note the engraved design, inspired by Gandhi’s spinning wheel. Diane cut the dowels using a good old-fashioned chop saw…
…after which she and Erica taught us how to turn wool into yarn.
We also walked students through some other digital fabrication techniques, using the same spinning wheel motif source file to create objects using the Carvey, vinyl cutter, and 3D printer. Looking forward to helping bring this course to life in the fall!
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:
It’s great to see the space filled with students and faculty, making things.
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. 🙂
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).
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.
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.
I’ve been working a lot lately with members of Folsom Lake College’s Peer Mentors, a group helmed by the the great Juan Flores (fellow faculty member and father of my lab helper from the other day). The Peer Mentors are working on developing tiles for the mosaic tile project, with the goal that they will in turn help their assigned mentees to develop tiles. It’s our hope that involving new college students in a technical and very accessible project will give them a connection to the makerspace early in their college career, and that having a physical artifact on the wall will help them feel connected to the college. Jess (student, Peer Mentor, and astrobiology enthusiast) was the first student from the group to have her design ready.
The new rough/fine pass feature of Easel is a good one, and should help to preserve the tremendously delicate 1/32″ bits. We actually ended up doing three passes with successively smaller bits, and Jess quickly mastered the process, producing this really nice design.
KC Boylan (Communication and Media Studies) stopped by later in the day to cut her tile…
and Kathleen Kirklin (Interim President) did hers a couple of weeks ago…
The project is turning out to be a great way to foster community as we continue to develop the space, and it’s a maker skills confidence builder besides. With nearly a dozen tiles finished, I need to work with Ian Wallace (Theater Arts) to get some time on the big ShopBot to route out the waffle frame so we can get these up on the wall!
The new Ultimaker 3 arrived the other day, and Thomas Schmitt (student) unboxed it and got it set up and calibrated. Thomas has been designing a bobbin for fly fishing fly tying, and some of the project parameters, including a threaded rod and a hollow tube that serves as a thread guide, seemed to provide a good test case for a first print on the U3. The machine comes standard with dual extruders, and ships with a roll of PVA, a water-soluble filament.
The first print came out really nice, and the water-soluble support material is a game changer, especially for printing certain fine details and hollow areas. Some of the tricky biology models that faculty want to print are finally going to be within reach.
Assembled a team of faculty and students to continue work on the Rostock Max v3 (part 1, part 2). As before, the project is nicely modular, so while Max (Chemistry) and CJ (student) worked on the electronics…
…Diane (Sociology), Alex Hartigan (student), and Thomas Schmitt (student) focused on the main assembly.
As it turns out, instead of three each of the inner and outer bits that hold the bearings for the carriage, the kit included four and two. We talked about some options, and the crew decided to mod one of the errant parts to make it work, which involved sawing off a bit of it…
…and drilling a couple of holes…
…while I contacted the vendor about sending a replacement. We think our modified part will work, but I’m working on getting the right part sent, just in case.
We’ve probably got at least another day of work before the printer is finished, and as folks began drifting away, Levi (receiving) delivered 12 new lab stools. CJ, Alex and Thomas hung around and helped assemble them.
Still waiting on the workbenches, which should be here in the next couple of weeks. Lots of energy, and lots of making!