September Events!

It's September and with summer wrapping up, we are excited to put new energy into the many pursuits we are cuurently undertaking at Open Lab Idaho. By the end of the year we hope to have our new expansion complete and be able to house fabrication and scientific machinery like the OLI laser cutter project, CNC, Z-corp powder printer, and workstations for electronics and chemistry. All this has been made possible by your enthusiasm and support.

When you participate in our community, by sharing ideas, giving advice, giving a presentation to other members or coming to the space to build stuff, what you give is valuable.

Our core membership is currently paying monthly dues to fund the expansion of our space, and if you choose, it is most appreciated if you can help in this way. This fall funds raised will be used to purchase building materials, equipment and supplies needed to expand Open Lab into, well, a full lab. From then on we cannot foresee what projects and idea we might take on, but we will know that we are able and outfitted to pursue them. Anyone who would like to contribute and sign on as a core member will receive a special token of our gratitude for making the space and lab possible.

In the month of September, we are planning several great events in collaboration with Reuseum Ed, you are welcome to attend any or all of them and we hope to see you there!

Raising Makers At Reuseum Ed. on September 8th, 10am to 12pm

Open Make Weekends on September 15th and 29th 11am to 6pm - Bring down a project and build, tinker and collaborate with other like minded geeks!

Walk-in Workshop on September 22nd - Make your own clone! We'll be 3D scanning you and exporting your data into cross-sections that you can cut out of cardboard or have printed on a 3d printer. Immortalize yourself before the zombie apocalypse! Take home materials are $10, scanning is free!

We are planning some great programs and events for you to join in on, and we hope that you'll come down and give our growing community the value it needs, which is you!

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]

February Meetup Highlights

Posted February 26, 2012
Category News
Our first month in operation has seen us put the final administrative touches on our young organization, and as promised, that means that we get to concentrate on our user projects!  Last night, Saturday the 25th most of our membership collected and had a blast printing things in 3D, scanning ourselves using ReconstructME, calibrating some printers and overall having a blast.  In the near future, we will begin facilitating classes and workshops. Starting off in March we are happy to announce 24/7 access to Open Lab by all full members. If you are interested or just plain curious about what Open Lab is, or might become, feel free to stop by on one of our Saturday evening meetups!

One thing we are rich in is our community spirit, ideas and projects, and the will to make things happen.  Our plans for the future are big, and I believe that we are off to an absolutely fantastic start. Pictures to prove it after the break!

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First General Assembly 1/14/12

Come on come all to the first general assembly of Open Lab Idaho in 2012!  We have great ambitions for the future and even though the year is quite young, we have hit the ground running. At our next meeting, we will be inaugurating our membership and voting on our membership fees.  Right after that... we build. It doesn't need to be said that working on projects and getting our community coordinated are our top priorities.  The meeting will be held at the Reuseum ( 108 W. 33rd St. in Garden City) at 6pm after the shop closes. Our Reprap User Group will be down as well with their printers and we'll be doing some tinkering into the evening, so feel free to stay and check it out!