Thursday, March 27, 2014

A few announcements over spring break...

Hey all you WOOFers! Hope you've been enjoying your spring break!

WOOF is staying busy...

Ulticrater kits have "shipped", and there's been a lot of progress on them already! If you ordered a kit, get excited -- these are looking great.

Big Red's finally moving about and oozing plastic! We're having some trouble with our stepper drivers overheating, but we've got a plan for that.

And lastly, our Replicator's new parts came in. It's printing beautifully again, so if there's a model you've been itching to make real, now's the time!

Just like any other Friday, WOOF will be open from noon to five tomorrow (3/28). Come on in -- there's a ton of projects to work on!

P.S. We're still looking for volunteers to talk about 3D Printing to people at the Pacific Science Center! Email to get some details, and stay tuned for a blog post on it soon.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Announcement You've Been Waiting For

Hi all,

Drum roll please... The Ulticrater kits will be ready by mid-afternoon on Friday, MAR 14 (happy Pi Day)! There's a bit of final machining on Friday morning but after that the kits will be fully aggregated.

13 kits ready to go
You are free to pick up your kit any time you want as long as the room is open. We're always here noon-5 on Fridays. 

If you're taking your kit home to build it on your own time then you'll need to get access to the documentation. We will have our rough draft done by the last day of finals. It's in a google doc so to get access you will email me and I'll share it with you. I'd advise double checking that you have access to the required tools before you start assembly at home so you avoid hitting any stopping blocks. I'll post that list in the next 24 hours.

If you're building your kit on campus then you will need to sign up for an assembly time. By 2 pm Friday we will have a sign up sheet posted on the WOOF room door. Space is limited for each session so be sure to sign up as early as you can. The first build session will be offered on the Friday of finals week. There will be more offered throughout spring break including Saturdays.

Remember that there are two types of build sessions: supervised and guided. If you feel comfortable building your bot from the documentation but want someone available to answer questions, then you will attend a supervised session. If you'd rather have us explain each step to you, you do it, then we explain the next step, then you do it, etc...,you will sign up for a guided build session.

One last thing: the officers have decided to have a pizza party during the first week of spring quarter if we get a high completion rate of the Ulticraters. It will actually be a Printing Pizza Party, because printers, pizza, parties, and alliteration are all awesome. If all that isn't enough motivation to get your printer done then I don't know what is. I'd personally love to see all the Ulticraters in the same place printing at the same time (the pizza will be a bonus).

I'm very excited because this is shaping up to be our best club build to date. I'm looking forward to having a 100% completion rate before spring quarter begins.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Big Red Updates

Hey everyone,

We've been kind of quiet about Big Red lately... The work being done on it is relatively "boring", and we didn't want to dull the excitement of the Ulticrater announcement.

Last year Big Red's electronics were completely fried due to a mishap with the Z-Axis. We took this as a blessing in disguise, as it forced us to move away from the closed source (and awful) DynaTorch software.

We've had some great minds work on the overhaul, and all of the work is finally nearing fruition. 

Now the devil is in the details. The last few weeks have been in cable management and safety concerns. Tedious and boring, but very important (since once we start printing, no one will want to stop to fix some wiring!)

Look at that cable chain!
We're hoping to really wrap things up this Friday. If you need a break from studying for finals, come down to WOOF, and help us out! We'll be doing everything from securing wires with zip-ties to soldering endstops, to overall safety checks, so all skill levels are welcome!

See you there!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Another Update

Hi all,

To keep all you fine folks up to date with our progress I wanted to let you know we're still chugging away at preparing the kits. Big thanks to those who helped distribute parts into the kits last week. There is a better than 50% chance that the kits will be ready by the end of business Friday (7 MAR). Here are the bullet points of our current state:

  • We have made a determination that we will include power supplies with all the kits. You can thank the club's newest friend, Steve Weidner, for our ability to do so.
  • The last of the ordered parts should arrive by the end of the week. There's only one order we think might not arrive on time, but I'm working on a workaround in case it is delayed.
  • We're making headway on the documentation. Those of you who chose to build your printer on your own should have great assembly instructions. Thanks to Mark 13 and Rose for all their work on it so far.
  • We're still working on machining the various parts. Thanks to shopmaster Eamon for helping us in this department.
  • Printed parts are printing. Thanks to Prof. Ganter for giving us use of the bots in his lab. It's been a printing party all weekend!

    Running 5 bots simultaneously is harder than you might think, but makes you feel super productive.
Thanks to those of you who responded to my email survey last week (sent on 21 FEB). If you didn't receive the email please reach out to me so I can get it to you. If you did receive it and haven't responded yet please dig through your inbox and respond. We are using the responses to establish build seminars for the kits. In the next few days we'll have scheduled time slots you can sign up for to come in and build your bot. Our goal is 100% completion by the time spring quarter starts.

Until next time, Don't Forget to be Awesome.