Laser Cutting at Hull Makerspace

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I spent a very pleasant afternoon at Hull Makerspace laser cutting last week while the car was being MOT’d. I wanted to cut some chassis parts for the air quality sensor. I turned up with some files and my lovely Surface Go and set to it. By the end of the day I’d got exactly what I want and even been able to use the cutter myself.

Laser cutting panels is much, much faster than 3D printing them, and I think that the new design (you can see it on the right, looks really classy in smoked perspex. It will end up hidden in a box on a lamppost somewhere, but at least I’ll know the insides look nice.

They were busy giving help on programming and making stuff and there was a lovely buzz about the place. If you are interested in making stuff you should get down there and take a look around.

Laser Cutting at Hull Makerspace

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I really like it when I head out of the house with the intention of achieving something and then actually manage to complete the task. Today I headed down to the wonderful Hull Makerspace with the intention of completing my air quality sensor mount design and maybe even cutting it out of perspex.

And that’s exactly what I did.

Fair enough, some of the holes are in the wrong places and some are completely missing. But a little drill work and my first prototype is now ready to be fitted.

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The holder has our custom circuit board on one side and the SDS011 sensor on the other.

Achievement Unlocked: Joined Hull Makerspace

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Today I went for my induction at the Hull Makerspace and paid up for my first month of membership. I’m rather pleased that my recent financial shenanigans mean that I’ve actually saved the monthly membership fee before I spend it, which must be a first for me.

The induction session set out how they see the Makerspace working and I’m really keen to get in there and play with stuff.

My ambition is to have used every single machine in the Makerspace by the end of the year. This means that I’m going to have to have a go at making pottery and using the scary lathe and CNC machines as well as laser cutting.

Looking forward to it.

Hull Makerspace open for business

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I’ve been saying for ages that Hull needs a Makerspace. And now we’ve got one. And it’s bigger and better than my wildest dreams. It’s in the library in the middle of town and it is packed with equipment and expertise in equal measure. Membership costs 20 pounds a month (which it turns out I’ve already raised thanks to my last two financial deals) and gives you access to valuable machinery and tuition.

I’m looking forward to making robots, air quality sensors and daft lights among other things. You can sign up here for an induction session that will get you stared making.

Fun at Hull Makerspace

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I spent a very happy three hours at the Hull Makerspace today. I’d been invited to take a look and have a go with the machinery, so I did both.

They’ve got the two most important ingredients just right. Lots of tech and lovely people to help you use it. The tech includes a really nice laser cutter, complete with proper cooling and ventilation systems, which makes it a dream to operate. I took my Hull Pixelbot design files off Github and they were able to feed them straight into the laser cutter and make the robot chassis that you can see above. This of course prompted design work on another version which will be entirely laser cut, rather than needing some 3d printed components. Not that this is really a problem at the Makerspace, they have a couple of 3d printers to play with as well.

It’s that “being next to the machine” immediacy that makes the Makespace such a nice place to work. Knowing that I can turn round a design really quickly means that I’ll be able to experiment a bit. There are also things around the place I’ve never used before, including CNC machine, a lathe, a band saw and a vinyl cutter. Some of them scare me a bit (which is apparently a good mindset to go in with) but I’m really looking forward to finding out how to use them.

Membership will open in the new year. It will cost 10 pounds a month for students and the unemployed and 20 pounds for everyone else. If you want to use some of the more “expensive to feed” devices like the laser cutter there’ll be an extra charge depending on how much you use them, and you will also have to pay for consumables.

For years I’ve been saying “What Hull needs is a really good Makerspace”. Well, we’ve got one now, so it is up to us folks in the region to show just what we can do with it. You can keep track of what they are up to here.

Talking Hull Pixelbots at the new Hull Makerspace

I stole this picture from  Hull Makerspace . Thanks for that. 

I stole this picture from Hull Makerspace. Thanks for that. 

Today I got my first look at the new Hull Makerspace. 

It's splendid. It's a huge room full of potential; connected to a bunch of other rooms also full of potential. The stuff they are installing is fantastic, including pottery kilns, a CNC machine shop, a paint booth, wood working, sewing and of course frickin' lasers (not mounted on sharks, that would be silly, but for cutting things with). 

I'd been invited to give a presentation at a Code Club meetup. Code Club is an an organisation that does just what it says on the tin. It sets up code clubs, usually as an after school activity, where kids learn the basics of coding. They're getting going in Hull, but they could always use more help - contact them here for more

We also had a talk from Matthew about his efforts putting a Raspberry Pi in the sky, Becky on why we should all be taking part in Code Club and Jon, giving details of the next Raspberry Pi Jam in Hull. 

When it was my turn I showed off the new Hull Pixelbot in perspex,talked a bit about HullOS and we had some fun making robots move via Azure IoT Hub and MQTT. Such fun.

Thanks for the invite folks, I look forward to seeing a lot more of the makerspace in Hull.