Open Lab Projects

Posted August 1, 2012
Category Open Lab News
In the first six months of Open Lab Idaho's life, we've seen plenty of activity, and we are finding our community lots of fun projects to do. There are plenty of things we do on a regular basis. From robots to art and maker meetups, OLI is full steam ahead. Below we've got a few of our favorite projects that have been making lots of really cool progress over the last few months.

Telepresence Robotics-  Local robotics enthusiast Dan Ray has been kind enough to take a few of the OLI members under his wing and teach us some practical lessons on making robots that are controllable remotely. Using Arduino, hacked Roombas and a couple cool tricks, we've been able to create a team of robots that can be driven via the internet.  Some of us have even started thinking about making robots that could simulate rovers that perform scientific tasks.

3D printing with powder-  Our allies Reuseum Educational had a ZCorp 3D printer donated and it needs a big overhaul. So far, OLI members have cleaned and retrofitted the machine to be able to print with experimental materials, and are in the final stages of hacking to get the printer working.

Screen printing- We are the first to admit that the current membership is mainly comprised of individuals with tech backgrounds, and that makes it easy to wow ourselves with skills from forms of art that we don't normally expose ourselves to.  We've already had a couple workshops and demos with local screenprinting gurus Inkpony, and the Design Bandits, and in the near future plan to have them back for an all out barrage of screenprinting and tech madness... stay tuned.

Raising Makers Club-  Given that we have a lot of fun stuff that we've done, one of our biggest duties is the share that, and so members of OLI and Reuseum Ed. have undertaken the task of introducing  young inventors and artists to new ways of making things and seeing their ideas through. Our next meeting is listed on Reuseum's Events Calendar and will be a blast... literally.

With all of these major projects underway, and a plethora more residing on our forums, working towards building our room to house machines and tools is also a big priority.  As soon as this fall, we hope to be comfortably housed with enough work areas for study and tabletop stuff combined with room for tools and fabrication machines. Stay tuned and don't blink, you might miss something!

March Meeting Highlights

Open Lab Idaho forges ahead at it's second official monthly meetup! Many members showed up early in the afternoon, and stayed until very late in the evening. The board got more details ironed out, and some basic network infrastructure was planned and installed. We saw projects of all types, from drip-irrigation systems to bi-pedal walkers built with 3D printed parts. Also present were a couple of Linux projects, a controller adapter for MAME in an NES console, a giant 3D printer that had to be delivered in a pickup, as well as a homebuilt multi-touch surface. We are looking forward to seeing your project at Open Lab Idaho next month, no matter what it is! Check out all of the pictures after the break!

[gallery columns="4" orderby="post_date"]

Open Lab Idaho Official Logo Announcement

Posted March 18, 2012
Category Open Lab News
Open Lab Idaho,

I am pleased to announce that the board and executive teams have chosen an official Open Lab Idaho logo! Originally, we had not defined how the logo would be chosen, but Dave sent out a call to our members, asking for logo ideas. We received nothing less than an overwhelming response; 40 logos to choose from! Several logos saw quite an evolution as different members modified and added to existing designs.

A few weeks ago, the board decided to vote internally on the logo submissions, and choose the best three for a vote by the membership. We ended up narrowing 40 logos down to 4, and began discussing the pros and cons of each. It quickly became clear that while all four were great options, one in particular met widespread approval by the board and executive teams, in addition to individual members in personal queries. The board and executive teams also wished to reduce the amount of time spent in flux with no logo, prompting them to select an official logo by majority vote. Read on after the break!

We chose the official logo for several reasons.

1. Crowdsourced. Many Open Lab Idaho members contributed ideas and design work to this logo. It represents the work of a large part of the OLI membership.

2. Modular. This selection isn't just a logo, it's a family of modular logos that can be rearranged and reworked, depending on the application. While we will have a core official logo, we found that this family of logos (See below) would grant OLI members the ability to modify the logo, based on where it will be used. Derivative works, interpretations, and 3D prints are inevitable!

3. Communicates. This logo family effectively communicates that we work on mechanical (gear) and electronic (chip) projects, in a scientific and innovative atmosphere (flask). The flask could also represent chemical projects when OLI travels that road. I personally tested the 3-Logo variant outside of OLI, and found that people immediately understood OLI's purpose after seeing the logo.

[caption id="attachment_63" align="alignnone" width="599" caption="Three-logo Variant."][/caption]

4. Professional and Timeless. The official logo is equally as professional and timeless as logos from successful companies and organizations such as Nike, Apple, Ubuntu, and Aperture Science. It isn't trendy, and should remain pleasing in appearance for years to come.

[caption id="attachment_60" align="alignnone" width="600" caption="The core logo in banner form, with the Ubuntu font."][/caption]

5. Clean and Simple. This logo looks great in large and small applications. It is simple enough to embroider on a polo shirt, shrink to the size of a dime, or print in simple black and white. It is also has no orphaned pieces, which will make vinyl cutting and 3D printing much easier.

[caption id="attachment_61" align="alignnone" width="600" caption="The core logo, in descending sizes."][/caption]

The board and executive teams would like to extend their gratitude to everyone who submitted ideas and designs for this project. We will always be needing artwork for posters and announcements, and many of the logos submitted would work perfectly for such applications. Even if your logo wasn't selected, we will most certainly need it in the future.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me (FuelCell250) via personal message on the forums. If desired, I will be more than happy to relay your messages to the board and executive teams. Official logo files will be made available in PNG and SVG vectored formats shortly. Thanks again Open Lab Idaho!

[caption id="attachment_62" align="alignnone" width="600" caption="The official Open Lab Idaho logo and font family."][/caption]