What is Freeside?
In the last meeting of the Entrepreneur discussion group, we talked about business plans for our different ideas. Most businesses (Profit/Non-Profit, Product/Service...) that require some level of investment, fit into a similar planning pattern. We looked over one planning tool that I developed in Excel as an example of that pattern, which is then reflected in the example business plan that I posted to out Dropbox share (email me if you'd like access).
The model works by developing the product and estimating it's price and market potential (revenue projections). Next, you develop the cost model (bill of materials, equipment, facility, labor, administrative). These costs are allocated by product (or service) and together, the revenue and cost projections form the key financial data (Annual Operating Expenses, Pro-Forma Income Statements, Cash Flow Analysis, Breakeven Analysis By Product, Working Capital Requirements). All of these are based on research and best-guess assumptions.
The final result is a %ROIC (Return on Invested Capital). This is the number that investors really care about, because it reflects the % return on their money. Finally, Sensitivity Analysis looks at how robust the model is. If your sales, product mix, price, materials costs, etc... don't meet your expectations, how far off can they be before your model isn't viable?
At the next meeting on March 24th @ 6pm, we'll review the model for any newcomers and apply it to some of our ideas to gain a better understanding of how it works and what it means.
Location: Freeside Atlanta
Time: 7:30 - 10:00 pm
|Here's Newt on the MIG while Charlie and I are playing around with aluminum on the TIG.|
|Here I am, grinding down a piece for an ugly, abstract sculpture to practice on.|
According to Matt, they do the classes as 3 weeklies on Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays with 2-4 person groups. Drop a line on the Freeside mailing list if you're interested and they'll put together a class.
Sign up today!
If you have an idea for what needs worked on, please add it to the task list here:
If you need something for said task, such as a ladder, please feel free to add it to the list here, and we'll try our best to see it shows up.
Incidentally you might notice that many of these items don't have a responsible person. If you can please try to take ownership of at least one task. If you don't know what the task involves, it's possible no on else does either. Take it anyway, and ask the list for advice!
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask one of the officers directly (so as not to spam the list) or to ask the list.
See you there!
Stanford University will be offering free online classes this semester in a variety of fields. Students will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the class too. We at Freeside are forming a study/discussion group to help people through these classes and kick around ideas related to the subject matter, with a focus on the Technology Entrepreneurship classes. any of the classes are open for discussion, so feel free to grab what interests you.
The group will meet on Saturdays at 6pm. Classes still haven't opened yet, so it's not too late to sign up for one. You can find the main class here - http://www.venture-class.org/ and the links to the other classes are at the bottom.
The following classes will be offered this semester:
Making Green Buildings
Software as a Service
Natural Language Processing
Probabilistic Graphical Models
Design and Analysis of Algorithms I
Meetings will be open to members and non-members, so feel free to drop in. We'll post and update on the Freeside mailing list once these classes start.
I've been running Sprinter on a RAMPS 1.4 control board for my MendelMax since I built it a few weeks ago. This is the most common firmware in use, with the most community support. However there are other firmware options that are faster and more cutting edge, at the expense of having more bugs and a smaller user base. Today I switched to Marlin because I read that it handles acceleration between moves more smoothly, and can draw smooth arcs as well (a much more experimental feature).
I chose this funnel as my test print because the cone and cylinders comprising it cover a range of arc sizes.
On the left we have a print with Sprinter. There is a strong ridge at the layer change point near the left side, and additional ridges on every edge around the model. This print took about 40 minutes.
In the middle is the exact same gcode run by Marlin. The edge ridges are gone, but the layer change ridge is more pronounced, especially on the cylinder at the top. This is much closer to what the original model looks like.
On the right is Marlin with arc gcodes produced by Slic3r. It looks through the model for series of points that look like arcs and replaces them with arcs. This produces an exceptionally smooth model everywhere except for the layer change ridge. There was a mostly unrelated print failure around 70% of the way up, everything above that should be ignored for the purpose of this comparison.
This has been an educational experience. I've learned how to begin configuring a new firmware (Marlin has a LOT more functionality with regards to runtime configuration), and I got a print quality increase as well. Switching away from Sprinter is not for the faint of heart, but I'd advise everyone to try it at least once.
PS: The latter two prints produced progressively less vibration in my printer as well, which should allow me to greatly increase my print speed in the near future
About $30 in parts and many hours with Zane's brain.
Check out their group at http://www.7hillsmake.org/ and tell them Freeside says "Hello."
Our Dr. Glass and Sparr fight it out on who can create the fastest. From Dr. Glass:
This was part of a "Day Project" at FreesideAtlanta.org
In all fairness, Sparr and I became challenged in a Speed-Modeling contest. Me on Lightwave 3D and he on OpenSCAD. Sparr was victorious, but agreed to let me upload my model anyways. Thanks bud.
I'm including this original as well as the Freeside Atlanta emboss.
- Real Time Clock Module (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/99)
- 24xAssorted LEDs (In my case: 3UV, 2 Blue, 4 Red, 3 Yellow, 12 White)
- 24xResistors, 220ohm
- Solderless Breadboard
- Assorted wires
- 3x74HC595 shift registers
- A Shadow Display Box
- Frosting Spray
To put this thing together I used Elco's ShiftPWM Library to control the 24 LEDs. You could go bigger, but I wanted this to all fit into the box.
Personally, I had some PCBs from a previous project that I could fashion to make the LEDs easier to mount.
Everything is hooked up like in the schematic:
The "To SCL" and "To SDA" lines go to the Real Time Clock Module.
Load the program below in and you can set the time on the clock with the following command in serial monitor:
You can then set the alarm with a command:
The alarm will attempt to be done with the cycle at the appropriate time set, so it will start with the UV LEDs and move through the progression fading the LEDs in and out as indicated in the arrays at the top of the program.
Frost both sides of the glass for good distribution of light, then cut away the side of the box so that you can power the Arduino with it mounted inside the box.
This is a very sped up version of the alarm sequence looks like this... the lights at the beginning are part of the power up sequence of the Arduino.
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