Today we are officially opening the LAMM Space at White Cross for use by members. The Space has been closed during the Covid pandemic for the safety of everyone but we have now been able to procure supplies and formulate a procedure for the safe use of the community workshop.
At this time the Space will only be open to paying members. We will not be opening for public open days for the foreseeable future. Once the crisis is fully abated we will publish a schedule for public opening times.
There are a few rules for the use of the space. All members must follow these for the safety of everyone:
Using the Space
Only one person in the Space at any time. Please make sure to announce in the LAMM Telegram channel if you are in the Space and when you leave. Please check the channel before going to the Space to ensure it is free. If you live in the same house as another member then it is safe for you to both be there at the same time.
Use the sanitation station provided by White Cross and follow all guidelines for public spaces.
Gloves, masks, wipes, hand sanitiser and surface sprays are available in the Space. Please make sure to use protective covering to reduce the chances of infection and remember to dispose of them waste in the bins provided. Please make sure to wipe down all equipment with the cleaning spray provided even if you are wearing a mask and gloves.
Please respect other members property. Please clean all tools and equipment away after yourself.
Do not remove any cleaning or protective equipment from the Space for your own use without permission from the Directors.
Please let us know if any replacement cleaning or protective equipment is needed.
If you show symptoms…
Do not come to the Space if you have had any symptoms in the last 14 days.
Do not come into the Space if anyone you live with has, or has had, symptoms in the last 14 days.
If you show symptoms after visiting the Space please let the Directors know immediately and let us know when you were at the Space and what equipment you used.
Keep monitoring the Telegram channel for any up-to-date information. Also to request times and to communicate with other members.
We want you all to have a safe return to the community workshop. We apologise that there are measures in place and rather dictatorial rules to follow about usage.
A big thanks has to go to Kay Kempers who has made the Space safe for us all to visit and has secured all supplies and made all the signs.
Last night (Wednesday 6th March 2019) Lancaster and Morecambe Makers held a very successful 4th Annual General Meeting of all members. The event is a statutory duty and a pleasure as we get to discuss our previous year and hopes for the coming year.
As a member of the board I wanted to make a quick blog post to thank all those who attended and all our members for the year 2018-2019. Published on this blog below is the official Statement from the Board.
2019 LAMM AGM
Report from the Board
The past year has been a stable one for LAMM, I think we all needed to take a deep breath after the first few years of starting the Space and let it find its feet.
On an organisational note, we have both maintained existing members (who rock) and added to the membership (with more people who rock). We have stable finances, and although we would love more enabling us to grow further we are happy that there is no volatility.
Accounts were filed as required by law, bills were paid on time (as required by serious folks in suits) and various board members have tidied up and sorted the admin tasks. We don’t name or individualise as the board works as a team. The occasional bag of cash was banked from the Snack Space and we would like to thank you all for your honesty in regards to every cash pot and the dropping in of at least (and in many cases more) than is needed to keep things afloat.
We are serious when we say our members rock. The board are merely members as well. Our task is to make sure the administration and day to day running of the org happens and to act as a guarantee for all legal and business proceedings. The job of the membership is to make LAMM.
Our Members did that this year. We took part in several local events including Light Up Lancaster and Make My Day. Thanks to all who gave their time and energy (and robots!). Thanks to those who took the initiative.
The Space has recently been rearranged (thanks to everyone who helped, suggested and came along to do the hard work) and the new layout gives a more open feel and more access to workspaces.
Thanks for a great year everyone and we look forward to the next year with renewed enthusiasm.
In the last few weeks a few different conversations have focused on how our rules for members work, as we only have the four, in regards to all the edge cases. Let me broadly refresh you on the rules for members:
0. Don’t be on Fire
1. Follow the Code of Conduct
2. Protection of underage members
3. Don’t do anything stupid so we have to make up new rules.
I personally don’t want a lot of rules, however that means that we don’t have absolute guidance on some matters such as:
Animals in the Space
Laser and other machinery usage
My proposal then is to have a set of guidelines for members on this website, under a new section called, conveniently, Guidelines. I would like any guideline to be published in a format that is easy to find, accessible and able to be amended and altered. These are not set in stone, they are guides for sharing and co-operation.
I would also like to be able to vote on them, and that is what I will propose we do at AGM’s and other meetings, and via member polls. I will be suggesting this is the practice we follow at the AGM in 2019 and I will be asking for a vote on this and a couple of guidelines at that time.
Sunday was the ‘Make My Day’ festival located on Morecambe Promenade, set up by The Exchange, a maker group operating out of Morecambe. LAMM had been given a stall at the show to display our own set of interests and skills, consisting of 3D printed objects, a set of computers to dismantle and the incredibly popular slime production.
Shaded under a gazebo Elly, Bill, Dave and Andrew welcomed visitors to the stall to educate them on the wonders of making things. On one side was the computer area, offering a mix between ‘how its made’ and ‘scrap heap challenge’. Dave supervised all age ranges to take apart the many defunct laptops that had been donated to us. It was really great to see the excitement that taking things apart inspires, stimulating the curiousity that is the foundation of all makers. Asking that always important question ‘how does it work?’
The main attraction of the day was undoutedly the slime factory. Where Elly and Bill aided the crowd in turning PVA glue, poster paint, bi carb and shaving foam into a gloopy, slimey mess. The audible astonishment when the activating contact solution was added to the mixture was really something to behold. A special mentinon to both of them for the hard work they put into doing this as they rarely had a moment to themselves.
The festival was excellently run, with a great assortment of stalls and attractions offering so many different activities for participants to enjoy. A lovely lunch helped the volunteers to keep going and the weather made it a really ideal day.
A great thanks to everyone who volunteered and the organizers of the event. These attractions are so important to keep the spirit of creating and community alive. Knowing the drive to create is what got us as a society to where we are today, events like this ensure the next generation will keep the tradition alive.
This Saturday 17th March 2018 is our usual Open Day and it is also World Create Day along with Hackaday.io.
There are over 100 spaces participating this year! Here is everything you need to know to make #WorldCreateDay the most amazing world wide event makers have ever seen!
Here is the link to our event on Hackaday.io, so maybe sign up if you are coming along: https://hackaday.io/event/78299-wcd-shadowcat-systems
Use the hashtag #WorldCreateDay and Tweet about our event!
Take pictures & tweet them with the hashtag #WorldCreateDay, and encourage people to do the same. Make sure to ask for permission to use them in images shared online! The more you post the more likely you will be featured on Hackaday.com!
Follow the Tweet wall linked below to see all the creation happening world wide! Everyone at our event can follow along (and join the buzz themselves) if we put it on a screen somewhere.
In the third post of the month/night after a cabinet and a Google hat I wanted to quickly talk about Prusa Control. Prusa Control, for the uninitiated, is a cut down version of the, very useful and powerful, Slic3r software for the Prusa printers.
Prusa love Slic3r and there is no reason to doubt it. They build a custom profile for the software and make sure it is shipped and linked across their brand. however they note that it can be over-whelming for beginners. That’s where Prusa Control comes in.
Prusa Control is aimed at ease and speed and with just settings for the Prusa 3D printers and there is something lovely about that. I have installed the beta and used it for a first print in my new cabinet.
It worked really well.
In fact I would say close to perfect. I printed with a brim and with loose settings (.2 at 15% infil for speed and ease) and I got a near perfect print with good bridging and detail and a wonderful layer height that is regular with no breaks or interrupts. The brim was light and they clearly had taken care to make sure it was a well printed but easy to remove printing support.
So for new users and for experienced users wanting to cut out the interface and get straight to the printing then it is worthwhile having Prusa Control next to Slic3r in your toolkit.
I also liked how smooth the layer height display worked after generating which is very quick and efficient.
The second blog post of September, and actually the second of this evening, concerns a recent build of an electronic item I did with my son (#1Son, Ben).
I managed to pick up the Google AIY Hat for the Raspberry Pi with MagPi for a very affordable £5 and Ben and I decided to build it together and to video it for our YouTube channel.
The build was complemented by printing a box from a design on Thingiverse instead of using the cardboard one. Rather than say too much more I have copied the video link* (and you can also play the video below) so you can view it without leaving this page.
If you like the video please give us a thumbs up, and if you have constructive criticism then please feel free to comment.**
As always I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t have so much support and encouragement from my LAMM peeps, thanks guys, and especially, as always, to TBSliver who is always there with advice and support. He gets a big shout out and lots of free dinners at my house ;P.
** A part of me says that if you have negative or destructive personal criticism then I should probably know what it is or alternatively you can write it on a piece of paper and place it under a rock on Mars for me to find when I decide to be a Spaceman in some alternate reality :). I really would like to hear any good criticism, positive or negative that helps me in the future.***
*** Obviously, and I shouldn’t need to say this but a small part of me realises this goes to YT and Twitter as well so has to add this caveat, if you have any criticism of Ben then do the decent thing and keep it to yourself, children have far more impressionable egos :P.
I haven’t managed to get to the Space much in the last couple of months (again! – though at least I did my duties as a director, such as making some posters (see another blog to come soon) and attending meetings doing admin etc.) mostly due to summer holidays and the pressures of family life. However home projects haven’t stopped and I have a couple of blogs to talk about what I have been up to on the home front.
The first of these is all about my 3D printing cabinet. I was gifted a 3D printer (Prusa i3 Mk2 that I constructed with the affable TBSliver) detailed in a video to come soon. It has been working well but I often have prints that lift on one side.
After some discussion, with the amiable (and affable and affordable) TBSliver we decided it could be the drafts in the room. So again from a suggestion by the amazing TBSliver I decided to build a cabinet to hold my printer. To do this I used:
Two tables from IKEA – the well known LACK tables at £5 each (£10)
Two packs of cabinet hinges from B&Q at £4 each (£8)
One pack of straight braces from B&Q at £4 (£4)
One small knob from Wilkinsons (£2)
Some grip surface – spare piece that I had in my workshop
Screws, Superglue – all from other projects
Two magnets recovered from a hard drive that was dismantled
One 4 bar extension from Wilkinsons (£3)
Cut sheets of 3mm clear perspex with holes in three pieces for fixing (£60 including all cutting and delivery from the Plastic Man).
Total cost: £87
This might seem like a high sum, especially the perspex, but they are large sheets at 890mm by 550mm x 4 – and close to £12 for delivery. The actual sheets were £12 or so each and were delivered on time and well cut and transported so a bargain if compared to similar online retailers. I heartily recommend the service.
Construction was simple:
Glue down some non-slip matting
Align the two tables and fix together with straight braces (2 on each leg)
Align the pre-drilled screw holes of the perspex and carefully screw down (do not over-tighten as perspex will crack
Glue hinges to the perspex door and leave to cure for 24 hours
Screw door to frame.
Forget that you need a hole for the knob!**
My only issue is that the tables were a little flimsy and not very accurately made (a <1mm difference in legs from the cut and glazing process) which coupled with some slight inacuracies of the angle of screw holes can give ever so slight deviance in the build. However for £5 it is a small price and easily correctable once we bolted the whole frame together.
The finished box is quite pretty (IMO) and site nicely on the side dresser where I have my specialist tools and electronic knick knacks. in the utility room of the house.
Once again a big thanks to the wonderful chap who is TBSliver for all of his help, advice, support and praise, greatly appreciated. LAMM members are wonderful creatures.
(** I solved this issue with the careful use of a soldering iron)