We have NEW pricing and discounts for everyone to enjoy…
Commercial Rate – $2/min.
Student Rate [with current student card] – $1.50/min
Wellington ‘Maker’ Member, Pensioner and Beneficiary rate – $1.25/min
*plus setup fee and materials [if required]
Commercial rate – $145/hr
Members/Students/Pensioners/Beneficiaries - $100/hr
UP! Plus 3D Printer: [and this is the best news EVER!]
We’re offering our Members use of this for
and we only ask that you pay for any ABS/PLA filament you use @0.40c/gComment here
Kai Ma asked if he could run a paper modelling course and we at the Space thought that would be a great introduction into basic hand skills for our community at large.
It’s evolved – how about a ‘Banksy’? Flash-build a giant scaled version of Wall-E and install him one early morning somewhere high profile in Wellington?
4 attempts, several months, and $3.5k later, we finally received an intact laser-tube.
So last night, much midnight-oil was burned… setting up and calibrating…
… and although it’s successfully etching patterns etc, there’s still a bit of work to do before it manages an actual cut.
So – the workshop we were going to be holding this coming Wednesday (July 11th, 6.30pm) is postponed until the following week… just to be on the safe side etc.
If you were intending to attend, feel free to drop round… we can still talk about projects and plans etc… it’s just that we can’t guarantee to have the laser-cutter online.
Thanks for your patience.Comment here
Ok… so that was our very first workshop, course, introduction… did it work? Yea, kindof… would we do it again the same way? Possibly not.
Firstly, thank you, thank you, thank you to the people who turned up… and thanks for helping us through what was (for us) a learning experience.
We knew we didn’t want to do formal courses on CAD, but didn’t really know where the people attending the tutorial were at in terms of ability or aspiration etc… and really, as this entire endevour is about sitting in a circle and collaborating, rather than instructing from the front… that’s what we tried to do. There were eight people in attendance – as well as Lee, Steve and me… and I think this was a pretty good size. If we’re going to do actual physical stuff in future, rather than a show-and-tell session, then I think we’d need to split into two groups. I think a good workshop working-sub-group size is 4.
So we tried not to make it about sitting at the front and talking… but wound up doing a whole lot more talking than we ever imagined we would. I think future events of this type need to be a lot more hands-on… with a lot more doing, than showing-and-telling. To be fair, we were kind of hobbled by DHL Couriers, smashing our laser-tube AGAIN… so the main bit of kit that we’d like to have work-shopped on, was, as ever, a blue box sitting against the wall… and our 3D printer was trapped in a delivery van, somewhere in the midlands as well.
Aye well… we will live and learn, and improve with mighty quantum leaps.
Everyone who attended said “see you next week”… which was wonderful, because to be 100% honest, this utterly experimental approach to sharing/teaching has been one of the scariest things we’ve ever done.
Anyhoo… here are some notes of what we covered in terms of basic theory, a PDF of which is available here, the HTML below. This contains links to the various applications and resources that we said we’d provide links to
Thanks for coming.
Summary – Week One
For a digital machine to cut out, build up, or etch a shape… first we need a picture of the shape… a digital file that you make on your computer. These files come in various shapes and sizes, many of which you will have seen before… a laser-cutter for example, can reproduce (as an etching), pretty much any image you can find on the internet… with varying degrees of success. To do more finely-tuned work though, we need to create special files.
(Firstly, a bit about file types…
To identify file type look at the end of the file name, for example this document is titled “Introduction to Design 1.pdf”, showing that it is a PDF type of file. Or right-click on the file and select “properties”)
2D Image files – What are vector & raster files?
Vector files are drawings made up of straight lines, rather than shaded areas. They use simple shapes (known as geometric primitives) such as points, lines, curves to represent a design. Each of these primitives is defined by points in the x and y axes. Vectors can be used to control the laser-cutter or CNC router to cut out shapes (“profiles”), or etch a design. The tool/laser follows the vector like a pathway… so it is a very fast way of working.
Programs which produce vectors; Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, Inkscape, AutoCAD, Solid Edge 2D.
All of these export or save as .dxf file format, which is the most useful for taking 2D designs to CNC machines.
A Raster image, or bitmap, is a rectangular grid of coloured or grey pixels which represent an image. A profile cannot be cut using a raster image, though a vector could be traced from a high resolution image with clearly defined edges… so if you have a complicated black and white shape, often you can just photograph it, import into your drawing app, hit “trace”, and it will draw an outline for you.
A vector can be also manually traced using a raster image as a guide. A raster or bitmap can be used to etch images on the laser cutter, or engrave on the router.working
Example file types; .bmp, .png, .gif, .jpeg (poor), .psd, .tif.
Programs which can produce & edit raster images; Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, MS Paint, GIMP.
An image resolution of around 300dpi (dots per inch) should give good results.
3D model files
These can be built in 3D modeling software or ready made models can be downloaded from the internet. These are a mesh of polygons & triangles which define a 3D form. 3D model files can produce components on the 3D printer, or forms for the CNC router to machine from a block of material.
.stl (STereoLithography) files are the most useful for taking designs to our machines, STL files describe only the surface geometry of a three dimensional object without any representation of color or texture.
.obj can also be used by converting them to .stl files.
Example 3D modelling programs; Autodesk 123D, SketchUp, Tinkercad, DAZ Studio 3D, Rhinoceros, Solid Works, 3D Studio Max.
Tip- when looking for a model on google, search for file type too, for example; “Horse 3D model stl”.
Digital Machines (CNC)
CNC means Computer Numerical Control. This means a computer converts the design produced by Computer Aided Design software (CAD), into numbers. The numbers can be considered to be the coordinates of a graph and they control the movement of the cutter. In this way the computer controls the cutting and shaping of the material.
Different machines require different file types in order to produce cut profiles, 3D prints or etched & engraved images.
Laser Cutter / Etcher
Laser cutters/etching machines are capable of very accurate work as a laser is used to etch or cut material precisely. The pathway of the laser is defined by a vector for profile cutting or etched linework (text for example). When etching an image a raster image can be used, the results depending on resolution of the image.
Our laser cutter can cut up to 18mm Acrylic or wood.
Capacity: 1400mm x 900mm.
Required file type: .dxf for profile cuts or etched linework, .bmp for etched images.
3D designs produced in CAD software (or downloaded from the internet) can be sent to the 3D printer software. The software then controls the printer building the model by calculating where to deposit material one layer at a time. The printer automatically manufactures an accurate and realistic model by adding a layer of resin to the model at every pass of the print head.
Our machine’s capacity: 140mm x 140mm x 135mm.
Required file type: .stl, .obj.
Routers can cut profiles from a .dxf file, or carve 3D models from an .stl file. All designs require setting up for machining in a tooling setup program prior to machining. Larger 3D forms can be made by splitting a form into layers the same thickness as the material and re-assembling these after machining.
Our machine’s capacity: 2440mm x 1220mm x 120mm.
Required file type; .dxf for profile cuts e.g. cut plywood shapes, .stl for 3D forms e.g. sculptures & moulds.
A Big Maker Event is coming to Wellington!
University of Illinois
Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
RepRap Project/Diamond Age
Unconventional Concepts Inc
Institute for Large Scale Innovation
Fab8NZ is the 2012 annual international Fab Lab event which gathers field practitioners and laboratory researchers from the Fab Lab network and beyond, for a week of hands-on workshops and a one day academic symposium on the principles and applications of digital fabrication.
Fab8NZ will be hosted by The College of Creative Arts at Massey University, in conjunction with the Centre for Bits and Atoms at MIT, The Fab Lab Network and the Affect Research Centre, from 22 – 28 August in Wellington, New Zealand.
The annual fab meeting is a combination practitioners and laboratory researchers of symposium, workshops and AGM for from the Fab Lab network and beyond, the fab lab network. It is an opportunity for a week of hands-on workshops and for the network to come together and a one day academic symposium on the share best practice, as well as plan for principles and applications of digital the future. To this end, the full meeting is fabrication. heavily subsidised to allow maximum integration for the diverse countries and cultures involved. There are a number of ways that people outside the network can engage with this year’s event:
The seven day forum is reserved for members of the existing fab lab network, and individuals or collectives who are seriously considering starting a fab lab in their local community.
These workshops will include a limited number of spaces available to the public with the skills, concepts and philosophies particular to the fab lab movement. Designers, artists, creators, makers and hackers are welcome to attend, but this will occur on a first come, first served basis.
The symposium will explore many different topics related to fab labs and digital fabrication through a world-class speaker line-up. The symposium will include a mix of live-video and in-person presentations by some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field and is open to the public, who are encouraged to come along to this innovative event.
All attendees are welcome to attend the fab8nz open house and inauguration of Fab Lab Wgtn at Massey University following the symposium.Comment here
It turns out that the Introduction-To-Everything courses are quite popular… but people don’t want courses, they want workshops.
Less Schooly, More Make-Stuffy.
Which makes sense to us too… because instead of trying to anticipate what people need to learn… to do what they want to do is putting the cart before the horse… it makes more sense to start with a project… then figure out whatever’s needed to bring it to life.
And the whole “standing in front of a classroom” situation was a little scary in any case
So… as we’ll be working together, working something out – rather than handing down codified knowledge from on-high, we’ll move the price from $40 an evening to $20 a go.
It might take more than one go to figure something out… but there’s flexibility within that in any case… and $20 is a very cheap way of getting access to equipment, and people who have (in their own small way) a LOT of experience in the fields that they have a lot of experience in…
… and we will probably save you $20 just by sourcing your materials for you, as we have bulk deals with a lot of suppliers.
So… it’s now over to you – time for you to imagine something that you might like to make.
Personally I use Pinterest to accumulate ideas etc… it’s a really good place to mosey about in, looking for inspiration.Comment here
By Popular Demand, we’re running a series of courses for people who have never used 3D Printers or Laser-cutters before, but would like to dip their toe in the water… and learn the basics of designing for these amazing new machines.
So… starting on the Wednesday the 4th of July, and every Wednesday for the following 4 weeks, we’re offering a series of evening courses. The courses will be held from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at Bizdojo… 38 Vivian Street. They cost $40 per evening… or $175 for all five (bargain).
These initial courses are designed for beginners, and will cover:
So if you’re keen to learn, and be at the forefront of an exciting new wave of empowering technologies that is sweeping the globe… this is a fantastic place to start.
If you’re interested, get in touch with Nick or Lee at info@http://wellingtonmakerspace.comComment here
Our shiny new 3D Printer has just printed its first actual thing:
It’s a rabbit. Now we know how it’s done, we can make hundreds of them. We can turn on the apocalyptic-rabbit-making-machine and leave the building.
The quality is pretty good – .2mm… which gives a very light texture – bit jaggy on the near-horizontal curves, but this could be cleaned up with a bit of a light sanding… and to be fair, it’s fairly unusual for any digital fabrication machine to make something that doesn’t have the odd bit of post-production. I can see this machine running flat out – it’s probably really good for making jewelery – for molds etc… massively speeding up various prototyping, and possibly allowing the makerage of things that would otherwise be incredibly difficult.
Which is from here, where there are quite a lot of examples of Voronoi stuff.
I like a bit of Voronoi me. Check out this shelf
You want one of those? We’ve got a machine that can make it.
Or create your own unique design… it’ll sit there whirring away while you watch… and then you go home with a work of art that is not for sale, anywhere else on the planet. Because you made it yourself.Comment here
The number of days before we officially open is now well and truly into single figures… although to be fair, I’m not entirely sure we’ve settled on an exact day, and to be fairer still, it does kindof seem like we’ve already opened… people have slipped by us and are already here, already doing stuff.
So I’ve changed the front page of the website. Less of a work-in-progress now, more of a… an actual makerspace.
It won’t feel until we’re actually underway until we get this laser-cutter happening
And this laser is not yet happening, because the tubes keep turning up in bits:
You see those things at the end? Those are bits. Broken bits. It’s almost less hassle to just go to China and bring one back as hand luggage… so today we ordered another one, with a ten day turnaround. People say “oh it only takes 3 days”. Bollocks it does – it takes 2 weeks. 10 days is 2 weeks, because people get confused about the difference between “days” and “working days”.
Pain in the arse. We should try to make our own. Eliminate dependencies.
Anyway, never mind… we have actually managed to acquire a 3D Printer from UP!… 3d Printing Systems…
And it has just completed its first ever print, that I shall make a special (underlit) plinth for, to treasure for all time… if I’d had the foresight, I could have saved my first ever computer program… from 1979. This is my first 3D Print. It’s a work of art:
It’s free-styling. Pollocking. It’s what your hair looks like in the morning etc. Absolutely brilliant.
We’ve started doing a night-market as well:
Which we will gradually build up to look a bit like Bladerunner… might as well go for broke, because although it’s a really good way of meeting people, we did not sell one single bean… possibly not surprising as we weren’t actually selling beans, but about 150,000 birds crapped on my car and I got a parking ticket as well. And a cold. It was about 40 below zero etc. I think we’ll do it for the next 2 weeks, then give it up until summer comes round.Comment here
We’ve just set up Cobot for the Makerspace… Cobot is an application that allows you to book resources (eg: rooms, laser-cutters, people etc), as well as sign up for memberships etc.
all of whom appear to be called Alex/Aleks apart from Thilo… and it saves us a huge amount of work trying to install/write wordpress calendars, hooking it up with paypal etc etc.
We will also be setting up a shop, which should give you an idea of the sorts of materials we can supply for you, as well as products created by our members.
Tomorrow is the first day (or night) that we will be running a stall in the new Cuba Street Night-Market, which is here:
And which will hopefully look like:
In addition to that, we’re also doing the Frank Kitt’s Market on Saturday.
Our first market day was last week… went quite well, and it’s kindof a fun thing to do anyway, although it does require getting up at freezing-o’clock in the morning… or in the case of the night-market, staying out until freezing-o’clock at night. The Night market is from 5 until 11. You see? You see how dedicated we are? It boggles the mind.
If you have an idea or a product that you’d like us to sell for you, let us know.Comment here