Its Wednesday again people!
And we are continuing our weekly ritual of taking a Workshop at the local Fabrication Laboratory. This week’s attraction: The Vynil Cutter!
It is a beauty. Kind of.
Its purpose is quickly explained, cut some foil following a Vector, a path. The reason for me even mentioning that it cuts along a Vector is for you to understand what that actually means.
Today’s visit to the Fab Lab started by bumping into the group of new guys and girls taking the tour through the Lab for the first time, just as I did a couple weeks ago. I am still amazed by how many people come there and sign on every Wednesday, and how diverse they are.
Shortly after I sat down there, a guy I’ve seen a couple of times at the Fab Lab came up to my roommate and asked him what tool the workshop was on today.
Well, my roommate speaks German, but not really that kind (quite the strong local dialect), so I jumped in and told him.
He is somewhere between 40 and 50 years old and just had this “eager-to-learn” grin on his face, to be honest, he looks like an odd fellow but he is incredibly nice and motivated!
Cheesy line coming up! Watch it! “Never judge a book by its cover.” Yeah. I just did that. I’ll have to take a shower now.
I’m back in full beauty!
As I might have said at some point back in the days of this ageing blog, there is a workshop for a different device every Wednesday evening at the happylab I “belong to”.
After a 2-week workshop break because of…. to be honest, I don’t know why and I don’t really care.
Back on topic: This week, it was the 3D printers turn to shine and I am about to tell you what I got out of it.
The presentation started with a disclaimer which went something like “We just assume that you already have a 3D printable .stl-file, because explaining how to model stuff would make this presentation go way overboard.”
That’s cool. I still don’t really have a clue how to design now, but I do not think that this is going to be a huge problem with all the know-how floating freely on the Internet!
So we went right down to the technical stuff of what our cute “Dimension BST” can do. Let’s go then, shall we?
Unfortunately, I have been a bit off rails lately.
But don’t you worry, I m back and trying my luck on using a laser cutter! (not that anyone missed me by any stretch of the Imagination =P)
So I have been working on an Event and had some private trouble, but well, shit happens, and sometimes said shit needs/deserves a lot of attention ;).
Now, in continuation from where I stopped a week or so ago (I could check the date but I am too lazy). I went back to the Happylab the next day with my nice little minion file prepared to see some laser cutting action!
Exited as I was, I stormed in, and, hold your breath!
Of course, the machine was in use at that moment. That was to be expected though, because it’s the time where architecture students have to finish their Projects, so the laser cutter is in heavy use.
So I went up to the guy there, and smacked him in the face!
Everything went well, except me forgetting that today is a holiday in Austria, well well, silly me.
Let me start a bit earlier.
This morning I started making my first design to be laser-cut.
So the guys at the workshop yesterday gave some examples of different materials that are perfectly suited for Laser-cutting. One of them is called “Laserply”. It is basically a plasticy-ish plate that has a thin layer in a color like blue/red/yellow etc. at the top, and the core of it has a different color (they have black and white as far as I know).
You could check out the different variations in the store if you wanted to. ;)
It seems quite basic, but by burning away the top layer (engraving), you can make the core show, which allows you to do 2-colored Laser-cuts.
So as soon as I saw the yellow one with the black core (which looks awesome with text engraved), I thought of designing one of the minions from the movie “despicable me”, and so I did.
(took a couple hours ^^)
This file should be printable now, without going into detail: The black lines and areas are going to be engraved, and the incredibly thin red outline you can (hopefully) see there will be cut.
With a ton of enthusiasm, I went to the “Fab Lab” to have it cut. Well, normally you can buy the materials right in the Lab itself. Unfortunately, today was a holiday in Austria, so the guys running the shop were not there. =(
Cool thing though is that the only 2 people in the Lab at that time immediately offered to lend me some of their materials. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make any use of the stuff he offered, so I left.
So yesterday was my first visit to a “Fab Lab”.
“How was it?” – you zero readers of this blog ask. (I don’t have a problem talking to myself, doing it all the time anyways =) )
First thing you’ll notice is that it is not as shiny as the pictures on the website suggest. But thats actually a good thing, it means that people are actually working there, not just staring at the machines. There is architects Laser Cutting their projects for University, there is something “baking” in the 3D-Printer for the next 6 hours, and someone is working on the CNC-Machine, I could not figure out what he was working on, but he made something!
So how do you start? Do they just let you go berzerk on these expensive machines and hurt yourself?
Quite the rhetorical question eh?
First of all, a bunch of surprisingly quiet and shy people gathered up right after the entrance, made up from all kinds of people.
I saw two 16-year-olds, a couple art and engineering students, and some “home-improvers” or DIY-ers that were 50 years plus old.
Next, we got a tour of the “Fab Lab”, which ended with me signing on to it of course.
Next thing right after signing on was the first of a series of what they call “Workshops”.