Solid Edge Pop-up Event


Come join Siemens and CamLogic for a night of Solid Edge training at i3Detroit. Attendees will be given a hands-on introduction to the Solid Edge CAD software and be guided through the process of making an individualized desk weight using one of our laser cutters.

Food will be provided by Mexi-Casian.


Attendees should register for a free trial copy of Solid Edge before the class

Students must be at least 18 years old or be accompanied by a legal guardian who is also attending this class.

What to Bring:

A laptop computer with a modern browser installed. All other materials needed for class will be provided.

Event Time:

Thursday, June 11th, 5:30PM until 9:00PM

Click after the break to get tickets

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i3 Awarded Grant

In April, awarded a grant to a team of i3 members who are developing a bicycle-based Flywheel Energy Storage System, which will help bicyclists save energy as they come to a stop and give a boost when they need to get going. The grant will support the team by covering 40% of the cost for Tormach CNC equipment including a PCNC 1100 with rotary table, allowing 4-axis CNC milling. The team, led by Ken S, is currently fund raising to match the grant funds and beginning the detailed design for the components of the flywheel system. Check out our video proposal submission here, and check out i3Detroit’s YouTube Channel and the project’s wiki page for updates.

Rostock MAX Training Class!

There will be a class for Rostock MAX machine operation real soon now!

This class will teach users the basics of machine operation, including:

  • Slicing a model
  • Starting up the machine
  • Changing filament
  • Printing
  • Finishing a print
  • Shutting down the machine
  • Troubleshooting and error recovery

Need to Test Some LEDs?

I’ve been buying some 3W LEDs from various sources for a project.  Each of those sellers makes wildly improbable claims about the brightness and chromaticity of their LEDs, but I didn’t have a good way to verify them and see which are best.  I found a light meter in the i3 Detroit eLab, but getting consistent readings from that was difficult.  The readings depend upon ambient lighting, angle to the LED’s axis, distance from the emitter, etc.  I finally came up with an idea for a (relatively quick) little jig to get consistent readings which at least allow me to compare LEDs to each other.  As a bonus, the materials are very cheap and it’s easy to build.

Complete LED tester

Complete LED tester

LED mounted on the base of the jig.

LED mounted on the base of the jig.

The LED is mounted under a piece of shim stock cut to form electrodes.  The electrodes can either contact the pads on the heatsink, or the leads on the LED itself.

This is the view from the end where the light meter probe fits into the laser-cut opening.  Because no problem worth solving cannot be solved with a laser cutter.

The interior of the chamber is painted with flat black paint to reduce the effects of any light leakage at the joints and reflections from the walls due to angle of view of the LED.

View of LED from the business end of the jig

View of LED from the business end of the jig

This jig is easy to connect to a current-limiting power supply, and it blocks out ambient light well (the meter reads 0 lux with the power off).  What it does not do well is provide removal of heat from the LED’s heatsink.  So it’s important to run the LED at a current level that does not generate a lot of heat, possibly wrecking the chip.  I used 600 mA for an LED rated at 700 mA and wavelength of 660 nm.  Blue LEDs generate more heat, so they would have to be tested at an even lower power level.  But the point here is to compare LEDs within the same lot or between lots, not to get calibrated readings that can be compared to standards.  That would require a much more expensive meter.

Why buy all these LEDs?  I’ll save that for a future post.