What is Freeside?

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 »

Open Source 3D Printing Meetup.


Freeside Atlanta will be hosting an Open Source 3D Printing meetup. Like most events at Freeside this will be free and open to the public. We will have a number of 3D printers on hand to show off and will be building a new one during the meetup. This is a great opportunity for people to learn more about 3D printing and to see some printers in action. There will also be a special guest who operates ultimachine.com and has built a successful business around this emerging technology. Hope to see you there!

When: December 4th 2010 @ 10am


More Info on Open Source 3D printing:

Add to your Calender:


The Egg Bot is Alive



I finally had some time (around 2 hours or so) to sit down with the Egg Bot and work with straighting everything up and finally getting a good egg out of it. Trying to go to high or low on the egg just stretches the image out and makes the design on the egg look terrible. (see our first try of the FreeSide Logo on an egg )
Different colors are done by creating layers in your image (like in photoshop), The software allows you to print one layer, change the color marker and then print the next layer, while remembering where it's at on the egg. As you can see in the above video, it works pretty well.

Sufficeintly retro technology is indistinquishable from science fiction

I came across this lovely bit of lost knowledge while cleaning out the space last week:


Wire recorders were a big deal in the 40's and 50's. They work by storing sound magnetically on a thin steel wire. The sound is great. The recording playing in the clip was taken off WSB radio almost 70 years ago and recorded to the wire. It sounds as if it was fresh off the air.

So why did this interesting spinning box go away? Several reasons. First, when you can cheaply make tape or vinyl, who wants to sell the latest top 40 hits in several hundred feet of steel wire? No one.

Next, hear that recording? Good, because that is the last time that particular wire will ever play. On the rewind it became tangled and unusable. Further research shows that this was a typical issue for users.

Finally, newer, better, and cheaper tech came out that spelled death for the wire recorders. Sure it survived a little while as a dict-a-phone or in radio studios, but in the end wire lost to tape.

Now if I can only find out who brought this in so I can give him/her/it credit...

Free Classes this Weekend!

The Freeside Calender is full of great classes this weekend including:

* MakerBot Operation @ 1pm-3pm Sat. 9/25/2010
* Python 101 @ 4pm-6pm Sat. 9/25/2010
* Welding (Full) @ 11:30am Sunday 9/26/2010.

This weekend's welding class is already full, but if you are interested in attending a future welding class just show up to our weekly meeting on Tuesdays @ 7:30pm to register. The MakerBot and Python classes are both free and open to the public, so feel free to show up and bring a friend.

Please keep in mind that your donations are what allow us to keep doing these classes for free.

Geeks Without Borders (GWOBorg)

A representative from Geeks Without Borders will be visiting Freeside at 7:00pm, September 19th.

From http://gwob.org/:
GWOBorg is an international coalition of passionate problem solvers working together to assist people whose survival is threatened by lack of access to technology or communications due to violence, neglect, or catastrophe.

Electronics 101 - Mk II
This Thursday, September 16, 2010 @ 6:30pm
Repeats bi-weekly


Learn how to design, build, and modify electronic circuits, starting from the ground up.
Current topics include basics, transistors, and op-amps.

653 Metropolitan Pkwy, Suite 6066
Atlanta, GA 30310

Free w/ $10 suggested donation.

Freeside @ Dragon*Con

Dragon*Con is this coming up this weekend and it's been a regular topic of conversation around Freeside. A lot of Freeside members regularly attend Dragon*Con and this year some of us are even participating. At least three Freeside Memebers will be participating in a panel about 3D printing and rapid prototyping on the EFF Track. We plan to give an overview of the current state of DIY 3D printing, the future, and discuss some intellectuality property issues. We will have a MakerBot and RepRap Mendel for demonstrations. This panel is scheduled for 2:30pm on Friday 9/3.

You can also look for a few Freesiders in the parade driving a Delorean.

So if this is you first year attending Dragon*Con, or if you are a seasoned pro, you are sure to have a good time. If you see someone a Freeside shirt, don't be afraid to strike up a conversation!

Freesides New Lathe

On Thursday, we acquired Freesides very own Busy Bee Lathe. Our good neighbor Walt helped me move it over the weekend as this sucker weighs in at over 1800 lbs. We will hopefully have this up and running soon and available for use by members. Walt has offered to help train us on how to use this in exchange that he can come over and drool on it from time to time.

Electronics 101


Electronics 101
This Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 6:30pm
Repeats bi-weekly


Learn how to design, build, and modify electronic circuits, starting from the ground up.
Expect egregious amounts of science.

653 Metropolitan Pkwy, Suite 6066
Atlanta, GA 30310

Free w/ $5-$10 suggested donation.

Freeside Anniversary Party and Open house - August 7th - Final reminder!

Our Opening / Anniversary party and Open House are happening this Saturday!

All are invited to come by our space, see some goings on, and learn more about freeside.

The doors open at noon, and the space will be open until 9pm. After that, a members (and their guests) only party for those who make Freeside great!

Please bring cash for the grill or donations to help keep Freeside running smoothly!

Freeside Anniversary Party and Open house - August 7th

Coming soon! Freeside welcomes the world into our space for our Anniversary party / the launch party we never had! (We've been way too busy building the space out to throw a party, but it's time to change that!)

Details are forthcoming, but for now, you should:

- Start building a Bar bot of some sort. If we have enough entries, there will be a bar bot contest! The rules are simple - no open flames, nothing dangerous, judges opinions are final. 21+ only are allowed to participate. You will need to supply your own mixers and spirits, so keep that in mind!

- Contribute! If you have a project you'd like to show off, let us know! We would love to have a mini-fair during the day. LIkewise, if you know any artists, musicians, or DJs that you think might want to come out, put them in touch with us!

More details are forthcoming. This will be an open house during the day, and a party during the evening. We can provide crash space for visiting hackerspace members if needed!

For more details, send a message to nullset. He uses gmail.com, or to the freeside-atlanta google group.

See you on the 7th!

Welding Workshop




Check back for our Welding Workshop dates and times.

Circuit Bending Workshop



Attention all Noise Makers, DIYers, Hackers, and Punks, Wednesday June 30th will be Freeside Atlanta's next Circuit Bending WorkShop. The Workshop is free and open to the public. Instruments can be provided for a donation. Electronic Kits are also available for purchase. Please RSVP if you are planning on purchasing a kit or need a toy. You can RSVP via our EventBrite page.

Sunday Sunday Sunday! Oxy/Acetylene Welding

This Sunday Matt will be teaching us Oxy/acetylene welding. OFW is nearly "obsolete" welding process but it teaches the basic hand motions & filler rod manipulation skills necessary to learn TIG.

We can handle 3 people at most because We only have one rig and you'll have to take turns using it. (plan on spending at least 4 hours at the space). If you want to learn TIG, this is your ticket in. Anyone who can show proficiency in O/A welding on thin sheet is welcome to use the Dynasty.

In order to keep the class available at no fee, We ask that you please bring your own materials - clean 12,14,or 16 gauge mild steel sheet or tubing is preferred (scrap is fine, clean sheet is available in small qty at any Lowes or Home Depot).RG45 filler rod will be provided.

Same dress requirements as last class:
Cotton/ flame retardant clothing (no nylon, polypropylene, rayon etc.)
One Tee shirt
One long sleeve shirt or welding jacket
Long pants (no shorts, kilts, dresses, Speedo thongs etc.)
Closed toe footwear (no sandals)

IF YOU ARE NOT SURE YOU CAN SHOW, PLEASE DO NOT SIGN UP.

Suggested Donations for the class at $15-20.

F3 Live!

F3 June is live and streaming on USTREAM. Enjoy!

[F3] First Friday Flash talks tonight!

If you are looking for something to do tonight (6/4) in Atlanta, then consider stopping by Freeside for the June edition of our Flash talks. Topics so far include:

"Coffee Roasting 101"
"Tying Your Shoes - You're Doing it Wrong"
"Patents - Using and Abusing"
"Digital Design"

There is always room for last minute talks, so if you have something that you would like to talk about for 5 minutes show up and share the knowledge. The talks will start around 7:30pm but feel free to show up early to checkout Freeside and meet some members if it is your first time.

Snapshots of Freeside

Another round of snapshots of interesting things happening at Freeside. Meetings, projects, space improvement, and more!


Rocking chair repair End table repairClassroomNew libraryChillinBathroom doorstop, afterTesting A7 for the thermistorTech Zone Remix extruder boardhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/sparr0/4665145505/Biodiesel rig and kilnTemporary lightingDrinkinLaptop and speakers

Click through to Flickr for details and notes.

Living Walls, The City Speaks


The Living Walls Conference is an exhibition and conference focused on street art and its role in engaging public space. The Conference will run from August 13th-15th. International street artists will make use of Atlanta's streets to showcase their work. Friday August 13th, the event will consist of a lecture series held at Georgia Tech. On Saturday August 14th, the event will consist of an exhibition and Pecha Kucha style presentations held at Eyedrum's. An exhibition of poster art, wall painting, and wheat-paste will be open in Eyedrum's galleries from August 13 through the end of September. Please check out the Living Walls Conference website as well as donate to this cause so Atlanta can host this great event.

Making a Lamp at the Hackathon

A couple weeks ago I'd seen an online image of a lamp that was created using iron pipes and pipe fittings. The lamp was very industrial looking but it had a price of $250.00. So for last weekends Synchronous Hackathon #7, I bought $50.00 worth of parts at the local Home Depot, used a switch we received in one of the Electronic Mystery Boxes and had some soldering help from Sparr. 2 Hours later, we had a working lamp and it saved me $200.00.

A nice little surprise in our inbox...

Courtesy of Justin Leggett

Hackathon + Tours UStream

We are now broadcasting on UStream, for about the next 50 hours. The synchronous hackathon is ongoing, and the West End Tours event will be going on tomorrow during the day.

Watch Now!

Events This Weekend

This weekend is a bustle of activity here at Freeside, and we welcome anyone to come and join us in hacking and festivities!

Starting this evening is the premier run of 48 Hour Startup. Come this evening to mingle with other people, bounce ideas and create teams that will last for the duration of the weekend. Create a web Startup, software, or a viable hardware prototype using our rapid prototyping technologies available at the space. Create your marketing materials and a business plan, and you're successfully completed 48 Hour Startup.

For more information on how this has been done before check out Atlanta Startup Weekend. Come at 7pm to mingle and create your teams, and the clock starts at midnight Friday.

Second, starting May 15 is Atlanta's West End WE Tour, which includes venues such as the Metropolitan, the B Complex, and the Wren's Nest. Come take a tour of the space and watch people work on their projects, or simply come and relax with us and talk to us about what fun events and projects we have in the works.

Finally, starting May 15-16 is Synchronous Hackathon #7. Link to our UStream account will be up and running soon. Come watch the madness of the 48 hour Startup and the West End Tour from the comfort of your own home if you so wish (though we'd rather you be at the space with us) or just come and work on your own individual projects.

Latest Happenings

I took a bunch of photos while I was at the space recently. New artwork, decorations, projects under construction, in progress, or completed, etc. Click the thumbnails for descriptions and notes on Flickr.


TTL cableProbeScopePower Supply FanSecurity BitsPedo Bear StencilConcrete CountertopSandblasting CabinetSean's StencilsPaper lanternsMotorcycleGrow BoxTube Speaker OutsideHead LampTube Speaker Inside

Restoring a 3D printer


While browsing ebay, I noticed a lot of 2 3D printers for sale.

These machines were produced in the late 90s and use inkjet print technology to print in a plaster-based powder.

Once they arrived at Freeside Atlanta, they were unpacked and inspected. The machines were not in working condition, but fortunately all of the electronics seemed fine.


The biggest problem with these printers is that the binder solution is essentially a sugary mix run through very fine tubing. If not used frequently enough, the sugar crystallizes, blocking the tubes. I spent several hours cleaning all of the piping, taking care not to damage anything or lose any of the tubing. In the end, a total of around 40 hours was spent inspecting the hardware, disassembling / cleaning / reinstalling the tubing, and very hesitantly turning it on.

I am happy to say we now have one functional Z400 3D printer. Unfortunately, the material cost is rather high.
I wonder if our friends over at Open3DP labs can help with that! We are currently experimenting with some of their recipes.

Our second printer will be online as soon as we can fabricate a new plexiglass lid. It should be in very good shape as well, and simply needs a new ink cartridge.

I am happy to answer questions and demonstrate the hardware during Freeside meetings!

Click below for a video of a few layers of a print. Hopefully, I will be able to produce a complete stop motion animation soon.

Something F3 This Way Comes (This Friday)

First Friday Flash Talks, May Edition
10 Presenters | 10 Topics | 5 Minutes Each
(Learning and Debauchery will Ensue)

This Friday, May 7th @ 7:30pm
Free* and Open to the Public
Food, Drinks, and Merriment will be Provided

675 Metropolitan Pkwy, Ste 6066
Atlanta, GA 30310

* ($5 suggested donation per attendee
help keep quality events such as this one happening)




Topics This Month Include...

"Pseudoreplication in Experimental Design"
"Rhythm and Movement in Your Body Part III - Cranial-Sacral Rhythm"
"Coffee Roasting 101"

and many more...

Concrete Countertops


On Saturday 4/10 we will be trying our hand at pouring Concrete Countertops. We will be getting started around noon. Feel free to come by the space and give us a hand, or just to lend moral support!



Outerz0ne and Synchronous Hackathon This Weekend


This weekend, March 19-21 is full of all sorts of hacker-related fun. It's going to be legendary, so bring a friend (or three).

Starting this Friday @3pm and lasting until Sunday night is Outerz0ne6 at the Wellesly Inn Atlanta Airport. Put on by HackerConsortium member SkyDog and friends, this year is going to be chock-full of wonderful talks and events on a variety of geek-tastic topics, including a panel on FreesideATL. A good portion of our members will be there participating and supporting the cause and we encourage anyone else to do the same.

Secondly, its Synchronous Hackathon #5 time, March 20-21. With cameras out of commission at the moment, currently we are planning not to have UStream up an running this month, but that doesn't mean there won't be projects going on. Expect some various projects being done throughout the weekend, and people resting from the excitement of Outerz0ne. If you have never been to the space and/or are a prospective member come bring a project and join in the fun.

Finally, members from Hacker Consortium will be coming over Sunday night (time TBD) to come see the space. Come represent FreesideATL for them, meet like-minded people from Nashville, TN and recover from the weekend's festivities.

Looking forward to seeing lovely people this weekend.

Sewing Lab - Machine Basics (Rescheduled)

Sewing Lab: Machine Basics has Returned!

March 20, 2010 @ 2pm
Saturday, March 27, 2010 @2pm

Back by popular demand, we're doing another session of Sewing Lab 1: Machine Basics. With Outerz0ne in Atlanta this weekend, the class has been rescheduled until the same time the next weekend.

Check the blog early next week to RSVP

For those completely new to the realm of sewing, we'll be breaking down the mechanics of how the machine works, how it's changed over the years, and basic troubleshooting. And we'll learn some stitches while we're at it.

A machine will be provided, but feel free to bring your own, along with the instruction manual if you have it.

As per usual, this class is free to the public, and a suggested donation of $10 is encouraged to cover supplies.

This class is 18+

Flashtalks Begin!

We are streaming our flash talks on UStream.tv

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/freesideatl

EDIT: Stream is over. Thanks for watching.

Are you Ready for F3?


The First Friday Flash Series Continues!

This Friday, come out to Freeside for the second installment of F3 to watch more 5 minute presentations on topics of learning and debauchery.


Topics this month include:

"Projection Optics"

"Whetware Hacking: Ecosystems"

"Urban Exploration and "The Lifestyle of Abandoned Buildings"



This Friday, March 5 @ 7:30pm
Open to the general public. Participation and merriment encouraged.
Food and refreshments provided.

675 Metropolitan Parkway, Suite 6066. Atlanta, GA 30030



For more information on upcoming events at Freeside Atlanta, go to http://wiki.freesideatlanta.org

Impromptu Hackathon? Why Not?

After our weekly meeting yesterday (every Tuesday at 7:30, open to the general public, if you didn't already know) we decided on an impromptu Hackathon this weekend.

While this is not the same as the Synchronous Hackathon that is held every third weekend of the month, we will still be streaming live on ustream.tv while working on a variety of projects.

We encourage any other hackerspaces that feel up to a little impromptu hacking to have at it with us. If you are so inclined, go ahead and contact us and we'll put up the link to your ustream.tv along with ours.

As always, non-members and curious parties are welcomed, and encouraged to attend, get a tour of the space, work on projects or just generally be in good company.

We look forward to seeing you!

Scanner Teardown

Scanner Teardown 05

The number of scanners we can't, won't, or don't use at Freeside continues to grow, while the demand for stepper motors and controllers also grows. These two problems suggest a mutual solution, which I approached with gusto today. Follow through the process after the jump, click through to flickr for more details and notes.

My Shmoocon

<- Pictured: Duckie and Adam.


Well another year, another Shmoocon. For those who are unfamiliar with Shmoocon, it's a medium sized hacker convention in Washington DC that is held at the beginning of the year. The big change this year is that DC had a record breaking snowfall of around 3 ft. This certainty made getting around for food a challenge. While many people didn't make it, the other new cool thing is that they streamed all the live talks to UStream. This year, one of the best talks was Freesides and DC404's own Taylor Banks and Adam Bregenzers "Becoming Jack Flack: Real Life Cloak & Dagger" The room was quite packed from front to back at 10:00am Sunday presentation. This was especially amazing as the previous night was the open bar party.












Another talk I really enjoyed was:


Most of this talk was based off of things you can learn on DIYdrones.com . However it was really nice to hear someone talk about it in person and show footage recorded from a Drone they flew over the hotel in bad weather the day before. I was quite impressed. I am convinced now that this is going to be my project. UAV's flying around the Atlanta Metropolitan Warehouses just seems like a fun idea.


Here are some more pics from Shmoocon:

To the left is one of the famous competitions at Shmoocon, the Shmooball launcher. This puppy here used an RD feed with video and targeting system and launched a Shmooball faster than an eye can see. While Shmooballs are very soft this thing will leave a bruise.

First Friday Flash Talks Live Stream

We are now streaming from the space and the Flash Talks should be starting in the next 15-30 minutes.

Click here to watch!

Premiering this Friday at Freeside Atlanta...


First Friday Flash Talks

10 Presenters. 10 Topics. 5 Minutes Each.
(Learning and Debauchery will Ensue)


Topics This Month Include...


"Dollar Bill: Intuition and Faith"

"How to Count Cards"

"Origami How-To"

"Bio-Signature on Alien Planets"





This Friday, February 5, 2010.
@ 7:30pm

Free and Open to the Public.

Food, Drink, and General Merriment will be Provided.


675 Metropolitan Parkway, Suite 6066. Atlanta, GA 30030


For more information on upcoming events at Freeside Atlanta, go to http://wiki.freesideatlanta.org

Circuit Bending Workshop

The year is off to a great start and it is almost February, which means it is almost time for our next Circuit Bending Workshop. Calling all Noise Makers, Hackers, Makers, and DIYers to Freeside Atlanta next Saturday, February 6th from 3-5 pm. Toys will be available to hack and bend for a small donation. As always Workshop and Classes are free and open to the public at Freeside Atlanta, however in order to keep Freeside Open we are asking for a $5 donation for this Workshop. This workshop is taught on beginner to intermediate level.

Sewing Lab 1: Machine Basics This Saturday!


In conjunction with a previous, more informational post, this is an RSVP reminder for Sewing Lab 1: Machine Basics, this Saturday starting at 12pm.

If you are interested in coming, please RSVP here.

Also, if you are bringing your own machine it would be recommended to come a few minutes early to set up, and don't forget some bobbins.

All other supplies will be provided!

This event is on the Makezine Event Calendar for this week!

For more information about the space, and how to get there, head on over to our wiki page.

Hope to see you there!