Baltimore Node

It’s been a while (two years) since I’ve been to Baltimore, and since I got to visit Baltimore Hackerspace last time, I really wanted to visit Baltimore Node, which I originally tried to visit in 2011! This time I succeeded.

Maze was kind enough to show up and give us a quick tour. He said that they have about 35 members now, and oddly enough Michael D. who was one of the original members of Milwaukee Makerspace is/was a member. I was hoping he could give me a tour but oddly enough he was back in Milwaukee when I was in Baltimore. Missed Maker Connection!

Han in Carbonite

In the front room is our old pal Han Solo… in carbonite! We’ve discussed making one of these at Milwaukee Makerspace but it hasn’t happened yet. Supposedly this one was made from a mold that was made for the film, but wasn’t the one that was used in the actual film. It still looks good, though! There’s also some fine furniture, a box fan, and an old-timey lamp on the wall.

OK, I’m just gonna get this out of the way. Baltimore Node has a blue box. It’s not a TARDIS. It’s a bathroom, which they affectionately call the “Baff-Frume”.

Baff-Frume

I didn’t get a photo of the inside, but it’s pretty much a toilet and a roll and not much else, surrounded by thin plywood walls. I mean, it works, and luckily, it’s small so it should be easy to clean!

Baff-Frume

And hey, how many spaces can claim then have a rocket almost as large as their bathroom? (It appears there is also a ventilation fan. Good call!)

German Scary Death

The side of the “Baff-Frume” features a wonderful poster showing all of the best ways to get electrocuted or otherwise killed in Germany. Dr. Prodoehl points out her favorite.

German Scary Death

As we all know, everything is more terrifying in German. Especially operating a forklift. Unheimlich!

3D Printing

3D printing, with a MakerBot Replicator (1st gen) and an old MakerBot Thing-O-Matic. There’s also an inkjet printer, but I think it just prints ink on paper in two dimensions. There’s also a video game cabinet in the back. We started talking about MAME cabinets, so I can’t remember if this was a MAME cabinet or a specific game.

Electronics

Electronics area, soldering irons, components, oscilloscopes and all that jazz…

LED LED

There was a big big LED thingy that was moved to the new space probably didn’t get installed and up and running yet. I asked Maze how many LEDs there were and he said “A lot!”

Shop

The shop area is in the back. The space was previously used by the current landlord who does wood working on another floor of the building. Having a maker as a landlord is probably an ideal situation.

Tools

Plenty of tools for making, and it’s even fairly organized… Screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers. Come on down to Cunningham’s Hardware!

Laser Cutter

Here’s the big-ass Chinese laser cutter. Also, someone likes trains, or is planning to maker a laser-cut train, or something. Say it with me “Motion card SoftDog no same!”

Crafty

The craft area, where at least two people can get crafty at the same time. Maze said every now and then someone comes in and wants to do some sort of crafty thing.

(I always appreciate that spaces will have some small collection of things for a specific making discipline. I think it was i3Detroit that also had a really small craft area. The effort is worth recognizing.)

The Last Thread

I’m going to call this one “One Thread to Rule Them All” or maybe “The Last Thread” or something. It’s not even conductive thread! :)

Thanks again to Maze for the quick tour. I love seeing other spaces and checking out the equipment and projects, and just seeing how they are laid out and function.

Sadly, I did not get to Hive76 in Philadelphia during this trip, which was my second (failed) attempt. I’m hoping to visit other spaces this year if possible. I keep a list of spaces I’ve visited here.

Idler Block

When you need a part for your 3D Printer, you just print a new one, unless the part you need breaks, preventing you from printing the part you need… or something like that.

I ended up making a replacement part from a piece of wood. Yeah, wood. I used a saw and a drill to make it. Ridiculous, but true!

Idler Block

It actually took me two attempts to make one from wood, but damn, it worked! I got the printer up and running again, did some prints that turned out fine, and then printed a replacement part.

The funny thing is, I’m pretty sure I printed a replacement part months ago, but I think it failed, or I lost it, or something else.

Idler Block

I took the opportunity to slightly improve and strengthen the replacement part in the hopes it will last a bit longer. I uploaded it to Thingiverse and YouMagine so I can easily find it when needed.

inches mm
1/16 0.0625 1.5875
1/8 0.125 3.175
3/16 0.1875 4.7625
1/4 0.25 6.35
5/16 0.3125 7.9375
3/8 0.375 9.525
7/16 0.4375 11.1125
1/2 0.5 12.7
9/16 0.5625 14.2875
5/8 0.625 15.875
11/16 0.6875 17.4625
3/4 0.75 19.05
13/16 0.8125 20.6375
7/8 0.875 22.225
15/16 0.9375 23.8125
~ 1.0 24.5

Handy chart for conversion between stupid Imperial units (fractions and decimals) and smart Metric units.

See Also: Mixing Imperial and Metric

Get to this quickly using p2url.com/inmm

The Floyd Leg

You may have seen The Floyd Leg somewhere online, maybe from the Kickstarter campaign that pulled in over $250,000, or perhaps Instagram or Pinterest?

It’s an interesting take on table legs, and well executed. From a marketing standpoint, I like the story they’re telling. (And I’m a jaded marketing expatriate!)

The thing I like about The Floyd Leg is not that it’s the greatest idea ever, but that it’s an idea that became a product that became an ecosystem of inspirational way to use the product.

I mean, take a look at these c-clamp legs I spotted at ReStore a few days ago:

C-Clamp Legs

Chances are good that some guy in his workshop said “Dang! I need some tables legs… well, here’s a few c-clamps, and metal pipe, and I’ve got a welder…” and then, bam! C-Clamp Legs!

The “C-Clamp Legs” didn’t become a product, or have a campaign where you could pre-order them, or a web site with lovely photos and videos, or any social media accounts. The C-Clamp Legs just solved a problem someone had.

Sometimes making is about solving your own problems, and sometimes making can be about solving problems that others have as well. If you can make money doing the latter, good for you!

Stabuilt Blocks

I’ve been looking into press-fit construction techniques for a while now, and I stumbled across this 1917 building set “The Embossing Co Stabuilt Blocks” yesterday. (Nice font, eh?)

Stabuilt Blocks

It consists of a bunch of wood blocks with round round holes and pegs that hold them together. (I know you’re probably thinking I’m a big fan of LEGO, or maybe TINKERTOY. You’re half right. I’m more interested in the design of these things, and in making my own than I am in building things with them. I’m weird like that.)

Stabuilt Blocks

I didn’t examine all of the pieces, but one of the longer pegs looked a bit off with the cuts on the end. Maybe many were off like that? It almost gave it a DIY look. The DIY aspect is what I liked about this set. You could (somewhat) easily make one of these yourself if you had access to a basic wood shop.

With digital fabrication techniques you can easily create your own press-fit set. In fact, it’s a thing. For MIT’s “How To Make (almost) Anything” class one of the assignments is press-fit construction.

Vincent Chow's Desktop Organizer/Decorative Art Piece

There’s not a good master index, but you can browse through some of the student work from the past years and stumble across their press-fit assignments. (2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, etc.)

If you don’t get lost in all the documentation of other interesting projects, check out this Fab Academy page about press-fit construction, which has even more links at the bottom.

I’ve got a few projects for 2015 that will rely on press-fit pieces, so if you’ve got any good links, send them my way!

« Older Entries | Newer Entries »

support:


photos:


buy the button:

Buy The Button

top recent artists: