Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Work Day Tomorrow. 5/31 2-6 pm

Yes. Always assume that there will be a work day on Thursday unless you hear otherwise. Sorry for the late notice.

Some info on the Big Red Z-Axis

As Beth mentioned in her previous blog post, a lot of progress has been made with regards to controlling Big Red. In the interest of keeping this accessible to everyone, I wrote up a little paper on what I've learned from fiddling with the program and reading user guides. It's a little bit over the top... but I'd rather have something over the top than something bare-bones when explaining this to someone.

The PDF can be found at the following link:

Let me know if anyone has any questions!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What You Missed: General Meeting 5/29

So a lot was covered at today's general meeting.
I also am going to use this blog to reveal our new logo:
 This isn't it.

Maker Faire

 Maker Fair is THIS weekend.  Adam and I are scrambling to get everything pulled together in time.  As such, we'd LOVE your help with the prep.
What we need:
~A Poster - we need a nice LARGE poster with our name (new logo) and anything else that is fast information for the various Makers to know immediately who we are and what we do
~Fliers - we need something written up that can be printed en masse and passed out to interested parties.  This should contain our various contact information: the blog, the website, the Facebook page as well as more detailed information on who we are and what we are doing
~Ideas - we'd love for more ideas on how to make our booth more interesting and interactive.  Just remember, it's THIS weekend, so we need ideas of fast/easy things to do.

E-mail Adam or I ( with anything you come up with.

Volunteering at the WOOF Faire Booth:  So we ran into a glitch after the meeting when we realized that we are severely limited to the number of volunteers we can have manning the booth.  We are trying to negotiate for more slots but have to plan that we're restricted.  That being said, let Adam or I know if you are interested in volunteering at the booth and how long.  We're going to favor those who are planning/willing to volunteer more than others in order to fall under our restricted number.


Fearless Leader

Our faculty adviser, Mark Ganter stopped by at the beginning of the meeting today to introduce himself to the members.  Not only did he introduce himself but also introduced one of the Grawmets we will be unveiling  at the Faire this weekend.  Much excitement abounded.


The Seafair Milkjug Boat Race is July 14th.  We have the room ME 252 up until that point but technically have to give it up then.  We are hoping with our presence at the Maker Faire this next weekend and Seafair, that'll we'll be able to negotiate more space.

Matt, Adam, and I are taking courses this summer so we will be around and keeping a WOOF presence.  Currently, we are discussing having all day build days for those of you still around who want to work on bots or other WOOF related projects.  For those of you moving away, we are hoping to be able to still help via e-mail.


Matt took money for new parts and took down a list of missing parts.  If you are working on your own bot and had to miss the meeting, get a hold of Matt if you are missing parts/ready for new ones and want to get in on the next order.

Big Red's Progress

We got an update of the various stages of the Big Red projects.
All during the meeting Brandon (Batman) had been vigorously pounding away at Big Red's computer, sorting through the program it came with to see what it could do.  After the meeting we shot this teaser video and the image shown at the top:

And finally presenting our


This is just a semi-temporary guy.  We'd LOVE it if one of you takes on my challenge - and creates a better logo for the club.  Go embrace your inner graphic artist - I challenge you -

That's all for now!
Your hard (ish) working officer

Monday, May 28, 2012

Meeting Tomorrow! May 29 at 4 pm MEB 252

Come on in tomorrow to get caught up on the Clonedel build, Big Red and the Seattle Maker Fair. The meeting starts at 4pm, but the room will be open starting at 1pm. Feel free to work on your machine or hang out during this time.

Money Matters
Mark H. and I spent a bunch of time working on the parts order for the Clonedels. You have options and the price range goes from around $230 to $320 depending on what you decide to go with. I'll give a breakdown with high and low prices. Keep in mind that shipping and tax aren't included.

Higher Cost
Lower Cost

Stepper Motors
Stepper Motors
Stepper Drivers

Power supply
Power supply
Hobbed bolts
Hobbed bolts
Mig tip
Mig tip
End stops
End stops
Heated Build Platform



Note: The heated build platform is totally optional. The lower cost electronics can be paired with more expensive motors for more torque. The in terms of power supplies there are some creative solutions that can be as cheap as $3. We’ll talk more about the details at the meeting.

Don’t be surprised by tax and shipping!


Food for thought regarding Seattle Maker Faire.

Date of Maker Faire: NEXT WEEKEND!!!
 if you have not checked out the website, there is a great post about WOOF on the main page.

This will be an great opportunity to present our club to the public.  We plan on introducing a new 3d printer design, demonstrating the frostruder (which is always a big hit!), displaying the filament extruder (Thanks for all hard work Matt!), showing off our plans for Big Red/Milk Carton Derby, and giving general information about our club/future plans/dropping hints that we are always looking for donations!

We need your help to make this event a success.

I have very little event experience so I might not be thinking of everything but the things we need by next weekend are:

-Logo for the club
-plan for general layout of the space

-ideas for promotion items that can be handed out and then the actual items
-ideas and help to make our exhibit interactive and captivating
-Anything else I am not thinking of...

A couple things to remember:
--This is the clubs first public event
--How we handle this event sets the tone for the club going forward

and most importantly:
 There will be MANY wealthy people in the "maker" community in attendance at this event that encourage, with donations, the kinds of activities that the club is promoting.
We can take this to the next level if we can pull this off!

Please come tomorrow with any ideas regarding the needs listed above or anything you think will be helpful for next weekend


Friday, May 25, 2012

4pm Meeting Next Tues May 29: MEB252 Open 1-5 pm

The main meeting time will be 4-5 pm. The room will be open at 1pm so that anyone who can't make it at 4 can swing by and so that people can work on their machines if they want. Beginning at 4 pm we will discuss:
  • The next parts order - Questions, comments and cash
  • I'd like each group working on Big Red report on what they have so far. No worries, nothing formal.
  • Seattle Maker Fair
  • Our plans for the summer
  • Anything else? Leave a comment below.
About the parts purchase:
Clonedel frames are popping up all over the place and they need electronics, motors and a few other items. I'll have the parts list and the prices up later on today. We are hoping to submit the orders on Tuesday evening so bring your money to the meeting on Tuesday. If you can't make it to the meeting but want parts email me. I won't buy parts unless I have money. Additionally, you are free to order your own stuff if you don't want what we are getting.

About Big Red:
Work is getting done, I know the both extruder teams are moving forward. The grinding/shredding team is already in build phase.

Last night I fired up the first version of the shredded HDPE extruder and it worked like a charm. I made a video but it was so dark you can't see a thing. I'll make another this weekend. Here are some pics of it and what it made.

The extruder is basically just like the one here minus electronics and a bit rougher. I used printed gears instead of a chain to make it more compact so that Big Red can carry it around.  I now need to adjust the gear ratio a bit to keep it from burning my motor out.

Keep in mind I'm still using the plastic that is loaded with paper. All of the bumps are accompanied by a little piece of it. I made about 10 feet of the stuff. Without paper and a little higher temp, I think that we will be getting some pretty smooth thread. Maybe not filament quality but probably good enough for printing directly.

In the close up picture check out the section of plastic in the middle of the pic. Except for one fleck of paper it has is fairly consistent diameter.

This is the quick and dirty version. Now it is time to make a more professional model.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Work Day Thursday 1-6 pm MEB 252

Come on in and build your frame or help push the Big Red project forward. This would be a great time for the various groups to meet, develop an action plan and get working. As soon as we have a working extruder that we can attach to Big Red, we can practice printing with it. Lets try some air printing on Thursday.

If you can't come in to build but want to take your materials home to work over the long weekend, that is OK too.

Scroll down to see Big red in action!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


At the club meeting today we hooked up Big Red and got it to move. We were able to run some G-code on it and could manually send it instructions via keyboard or Play Station controller (which was way more fun in my opinion).

The only thing we could not do was get the z-axis motor to work correctly. This stems from the fact that Big Red is a re-purposed plasma cutter. We discussed some work arounds and ideally we will be able to run the machine straight from Lab View when all is said and done.

If you haven't seen it in person you should stop by MEB 252 during our club meetings and check it out. Thanks everyone who has had a hand in getting this rolling. It's really coming together!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Work Day On Tuesday 1-4 pm MEB 252

Yay! The threaded rods are in, so there is nothing stopping you from building your frame. Come on in to MEB 252 on Tuesday the 22nd and get to work. We will also chat about what is left to buy so I can submit orders if you would like to buy with the group.You can also work on Big Reg related stuff such as hooking up its electronics and getting it to move.

Last Friday we had an excellent work day. Big Red is now in one piece and looking great. Hopefully Brandon will post a link to his time-lapse video if it came out. Adam also cast more Clonedel parts so if you didn't have a set but you paid for one, now you do. And finally, Matt (not me) gave us a boost by cutting all of the smooth rod for us. Thanks Matt, that was a bit help.

Hope to see you Tuesday. MEB 252 not Loew.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Upgrade Friday to Build Day

On Friday in addition to setting up Big Red, we will also get as many other jobs done as we can with regard to building the Clonedels. That means if you are building a printer you should come in ready to do jobs like:
  • Finish drilling out your parts,
  • Cut up threaded rod and begin assembling your frame
  • Divvy up the nuts and bolts.
  • Begin planning your electronics and motors so that we can get an order in asap.
The idea is to just get done as much done as we possibly can.

Getting Close to Build Time

Adam and I have been kicking around the idea of having a build day this weekend. Sat or Sun. It all depends on whether or not the threaded rod makes it here is time. It is supposed to arrive today or tomorrow. I'll let you know when it makes it here. In the mean time, you should take a look through the visual build guide to get the idea of what you will be doing. During the first build day we will assemble the frame.

Don't forget tomorrow at 1:30 MEB 252 if you want to help with Big Red.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Place for Big Red

Beth and Adam did some excellent work to secure us with a place to set up Big Red. It is temporary, but we don't have much time anyway. It is in the drafting room in the ME building (ME 252). Space is a scarce resource on campus and we are incredibly fortunate. Thanks to all those that helped us out.

To celebrate, at 1:30 pm this Friday, we are going to carry a few hundred pounds of steel up 4 flights of stairs. Anybody wanna help out? We'll need at least a few extra hands. Once we have everything upstairs, hopefully we'll have time to begin putting it together. So now the various groups really do need to get moving.

Extruder #2 team - As soon as you get your extruder working, we can begin printing with Big Red. We can print parts with my machine if you need. Just let me know.

HPDE Printing team - If you would like to play around with printing parameters, print bed materials etc., you are welcome to use my MakerBot. Just let me know when you want to work and I can bring the machine in.

Shredder team - As soon as we get drawings ready I can start printing off trial parts. Don't forget the end caps.

Extruder #1 team - I'll bring what I have in to our meeting on Monday. When are we going to meet?

Boat design team - Great work. We were thinking that we could use your drawing to make a poster and advertise ourselves a bit. Any interest? Maybe talk with the funding team about this.

Funding team - I know you guys have been putting in a ton of work, and we appreciate it.

It is a busy time of the year but you will need a study break at some point. Why not use that 1/2 hour to help make the plastic boat of your dreams a reality.

UPDATE:  Putting up Big Red went rather well.  So here's some pictures of what you missed out on! ~Beth


More time to dream...

That's right, you have more time to dream about what you will print when your printer is finished. We have delays with the cutting of the metal rods (see Brandon's comment. Valiant effort Brandon!). Also the threaded rod still  isn't in. If by any chance you just want to take your rods home and hack saw through them yourself (totally doable). Just let me know and I'll fork them over.

No casting Thursday. Cast a  thanks to Adam instead. He's got it covered. By Monday you should be caught up with everyone else as if by magic. Unforeseen scheduling issues caused the change in plan...

Sorry for all of the delays on the Clonedel build. You know what they say. "Good, Fast, Cheap... Choose two". Guess we didn't choose fast. Hopefully next week we will be back on track.

Rumor has it that we might have a spot for Big Red. We will definitely need to meet next week (date to be determined based on our potential new space) to work on the Big Red project. Hat's off to Kyle and Aaron for doing some excellent boat design and to Mark and Walter for great progress on the chipper.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Almost Ready..

Sorry for the long silence. School... Anyhow, we are still waiting on the threaded rod. Lowe's said that they would be in by the end of the week.  In the mean time, We need to cut the smooth rod that we have. Brandon volunteered to cut them in the shop. Is there anyone who would be willing to help him out? He's going to begin tomorrow afternoon. If you want to help and are shop certified come to Loew Tuesday at 3:30.

Last week we drilled all of the parts in our possession. Sorry we missed you Chris. If you have your parts at home and want to drill them out, send me an email and we can arrange a time.

As for casting,.. The the smooth cast is in and I am working on a time to go in and pour some parts. I'll post more when I have more info.

Lastly, BIG RED groups should get working. Meet on your own in small groups. Post meeting times and what you come up with on the blog. We need to get moving if we are going to finish by July.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It's Official!!!

We are now officially recognized by the UW as WOOF (Washington Open Object Fabricators) . The Student Activities Office just approved us as a group. We even have a certificate.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Shipping Delays

We got the orders in and most of them have shipped, but they won't be in until after Thursday. Casting will be delayed. Clonedel assembly will be limited to drilling out your parts if you already have them. The drilling will happen 2-6 pm Thursday in Loew 013.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

It's Been a Busy Weekend


  • The nuts and bolts order is in for the Clonedel build.
  • We have already got some minor success printing with HDPE
  • We now have a very rudimentary and somewhat functional filament extruder
Go to the Clonedel page for an update on the build.

The Big Red page now has links to each team's sub-page. Hopefully they will get info posted soon.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Meeting this Thursday

That's right, this Thursday May 3 our room in Loew 013 will be open from 12 noon to 6 pm. When should you show up? Depends on what you want to do:
  • 12 noon - 6 pm: Pay Dues ($5), Buy in on the group nuts and bolts order, print something small on Matt's printer, talk shop.
  • 4 pm - 5 pm: BIG RED MEETING Join a team focused on a one aspect of the Big Red project. Plan a regular meeting time for your group, brainstorm ideas, and get to work. 
Check out the Clonedel Build and Big Red pages for details on those projects. Also follow by email if it is easier for you (see top right of page).

Looks  like Thursdays will be our build days for the Clondels. It will be open time to work on your machine and ask questions. We can add other days as we need them so let us know.

Finally, don't be shy to leave comments or questions on the blog. Your voice will add momentum to the group. Use it. If you would like to put a post up, or start a new page on the blog just let me know.

See you Thursday.