PiWars 2017, let the fun begin

Tim Richardson @Geeky_Tim and Mike Horne @recantha are running PiWars once more, this time though rather than the usual December date it is taking place over the weekend of the first and second of April. The team from Ipswich Makerspace has entered the last two events and we found them thoroughly exciting, challenging and exhausting. Our blog from last year can be found here

Despite Keith having said never again after the last one, it didn’t take much to get him back on the team and to submit our entry for PiWars 2017. When I heard the event was very much over subscribed I got pretty nervous and was worried we wouldn’t be chosen to compete. I hadn’t really “sold” ourselves in the application; it hadn’t been necessary in previous years. I believe Tim and Mike had over 140 entries for only 76 were places. After some nail biting and with much relief I received an email from Mike on 30th September saying our entry had been accepted. We had a place :-D.

So who are the Ipswich Makerspace team?

Currently the team is made up by Phil, Jon, Keith and Steve. Our profiles can be found here in last years blog:

What is the plan

Line sensor PCB mounted to chassis

Line sensor PCB mounted to chassis

The rules have changed this year, particularly with regard to size, so that last year’s bot was too big, meaning that we needed to go for a complete rebuild. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, whilst the 3D model looked very nice the actual bot was not that aesthetically pleasing, mostly due to all the wires on show.

TractorBot 2015

TractorBot 2015

This year we are going to try harder and make the robot look nicer.

Let the fun begin

AutoDesk Fusion 360 walkthrough

The fourth Thursday of the month is approaching, that can only mean one thing. It’s talk night.

On Thursday 23rd June Keith will be giving us a broad overview of 3D modelling in AutoDesk Fusion 360. This is a powerful, easy to use modelling environment free to Makers for Windows and MacOS. It can produce very nice 3D renders as well as easily outputting files for 3D printing or laser cutting, with advanced CAM features and also allows movement studies and stress analysis to be carried out. Keith will outline the general workflow which he has come to know well whilst designing last years Pi Wars entry along, with a live demonstration and quick overview of the move advanced features.

See the event page for more information

Makerspace for the Win!

I had a great evening at the Ipswich Makerspace last week. For a while I had been pondering a broken sellotape dispenser, so I decided to do something about it. The sellotape was held by a large spool, with a smaller tapered spool inside. The smaller spool has two prongs which are supported by the main dispenser. The problem, one of these prongs had snapped off.

So i took the spool, a vernier gauge and drew it up in Autodesk Fusion 360. Exported the stl file and with help from a few of the others at Makerspace got the 3D printer going. The print was not perfect, the printer needs a bit of tuning, but it worked and I now have a fully functioning sellotape dispenser again.

Makerspace for the Win!

New Venue

The last meeting was held at a trial venue, 83 Grimwade Street. It tuned out it is actually rather nice and has lots of potential, including the ability to have permanent storage and eventually equipment.

So all future meetings will be held here.

The internet is being installed Friday apparently, so as long as it all goes well we should also have online access. If anyone has a spare large flat screen TV they no longer want, it would be most welcome so we can get the retro games room on its way.

Look forward to seeing you all there next week on 25th February.

Ipswich Raspberry Jam

Ipswich Raspberry Jam

Ipswich Raspberry JamMost of you will already know this, but in case you do not, the second Ipswich Raspberry Jam is being held on 27th February 2016 at the UCS Waterfront Building. It has been added to our event page so for more information see this page.

The Ipswich Raspberry Jam website can be found here

Tickets can be purchased here, they only cost a nominal £1.50 to cover administration. Tickets are selling out fast, so get them while you can.