pre-fab PCB sizing testing

Ready to send a PCB off to the board house, but don’t want to wait two weeks and spend thirty dollars to get back a board that doesn’t fit where it’s supposed to?  Another use for 3D printing emerges!

Read more

Computational Infrastructure Upgrades

i3Detroit has been the fortunate recipient over its existence of several generations of donated enterprise-grade hardware, and has been running a pretty decent network.

The network computers serve several purposes:

  • Running our phones with a VM of Asterisk PBX
  • Managing space infrastructure, like the power meter that helps us split the power bill with our building mates
  • Running tool-specific VMs for various CNC machines around the space

The usual suspects show up: the HP Proliant DL360 G5, the mystery box that probably has Athlons in it, a pile of Cisco green labeled MARS.

This pile of cobbled-together aging hardware has served us well over the years, but in a flurry of failing hardware, the shockingly exponential price curve of DDR and DDR2 RAM, the increasingly-notable power draw of old hardware…it was time for a change.
Read more

i3Detroit: Now available at the speed of light!

Almost a month ago, a few i3 Detroit members decided that the wait was over: we had been talking about it for over two years and we couldn’t wait any longer.  We were ready to reach out and take our place boldly, sharing our thoughts with others through the filter of experience and across the bandwidth of our maker community.

All we needed was a few good people, and our plan started to resonate.

Read more

What to do with Labor Day Leftovers

We have a couple of rocket scientists and many members interested in model rockets, so one of the members threw out the idea of launching rockets and having a BBQ in the local park.  Aside from the usual power line, roof, and tree issues it went off well.  Until it was over.  There were leftovers.  Corn.  Rocket engines.  Other stuff.  But mainly corn and rocket engines.

So one of the rocket scientists suggests boring holes in the corn for engines.


We made sure to leave the husks on.  Center of pressure and all that.  We didn’t want unstable ears of corn bombarding the neighborhood after all. Here’s the prep:


And here’s the second launch (on YouTube). The first launch didn’t go so well because the corn was a bit heavy. We broke the ears in half for the second launch (actually, one was already broken by the ejection charge in the first launch).
The Launch Video
Oh, and the engine from the ear, er, rocket on the left? It was in the street a block away.

Someone suggested using the ejection charges to make popcorn.  We’ll leave that for a later date.

Yuri’s Night Celebration


Yuri’s Night celebrates the first manned space flight. i3Detroit is hosting a Yuri’s Night event on Saturday April 12th starting at 7PM, open to the public. Come to i3 and join the celebration. We will have demonstrations of planetary dynamics, observation of the night sky, water rocket launches, space themed refreshments, videos, and games!