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Freeside is a Georgia nonprofit corporation, organized to develop a community of coders, makers, artists, and researchers in order to promote collaboration and community outreach. Learn more »

My First Tool Box

I was looking for ideas for tools to put in the little blue tool box I have been refinishing. I am giving this to a kid I have been working with and I was wondering if people had ideas for what tools a teen should have.

What tools would you have wanted when you were a kid? What tools are you always needing?

Here is what I have so far:
Small hammer
Metric and standard socket set
Metric and Standard Allen Wrenches
standard screwdriver bits and small screw driver.
Small hand saw with switchable blades.
Three different types of pliers.

Entrepreneur Discussion Group update




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.

Intorduction to Arduino Class

Join us a Freeside next Thursday for an Introduction to Arduino Class. The class will be aimed at the basics of Arduino Programming, so some programming experience in any environment would be preferred, but is by no means necessarry. We will even have a limited number of Arduinos and Computers, however if you have the ability, please bring your own laptop and Arduino to work with.

Location: Freeside Atlanta
Time: 7:30 - 10:00 pm
E-Mail: freesideatlanta@googlegroups.com

Pictures from the Welding Class

Just finished the Saturday series of welding classes at My Inventor Club. Matt from Freeside taught this one, but Shane from MIC does a series too.
Here's Newt on the MIG while Charlie and I are playing around with aluminum on the TIG.
Gloves and trendy jacket belong to the house, I just had to bring the glasses. Ear plugs may be a good idea too.

Here I am, grinding down a piece for an ugly, abstract sculpture to practice on.
All in all, we learned and then got to play with Oxy-Acetelene welding and cutting, grinding, portable band saws, MIG, Stick, TIG, and cut-off wheels. I came in with no experience and left with at least enough knowledge to not burn my own eyes out.

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.

Arduino Class

Sort of late to the show but here we go:

Sign up today!

http://wiki.freesideatlanta.org/classes/arduino

Next Buildout March 3!

Next buildout is scheduled for March 3, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM. For those not in the know, Buildout is when Freeside's members get for the purpose of making the space better, socializing, and eating food. Incidentally non-freesiders are more than welcome to show up, help, socialize, and then *maybe* become members afterward. Buildout's a great time for anyone to show they care for the space.

If you have an idea for what needs worked on, please add it to the task list here:
https://sites.google.com/site/freesideatl/build-out/to-do

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.
https://sites.google.com/site/freesideatl/build-out/shopping-list

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 Online Courses


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:

Entrepreneurship
     Lean Launchpad
     Technology Entrepreneurship

Medicine
     Anatomy

Civil Engineering
     Making Green Buildings

Electrical Engr.
     Information Theory

Complex Systems
     Model Thinking

Computer Science
     CS 101
     Machine Learning
     Software as a Service
     Human-Computer Interaction
     Natural Language Processing
     Game Theory
     Probabilistic Graphical Models
     Cryptography
     Design and Analysis of Algorithms I
     Computer Security

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.

Reprap Firmware comparison, smoother prints

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

Lights to the North

Zane, a member of the 7Hills Makerspace (http://www.7hillsmake.org/) to the north of us, has made this great light display for in front of his house. "...powered by a bluetooth enabled Arduino..."

About $30 in parts and many hours with Zane's brain.

http://zanecochran.com/entry.php?blog_id=335



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.