LAN Party Oct. 12 8pm-?

It’s time for another LAN Party at i3Detroit. This time around we expect Terraria to top the list of games we will be playing. If you are not familiar with Terraria it is like a 2D Minecraft meets Metroid meets Contra. The v1.2 release happens Oct 1st so we’ll have tons to build, explore, and battle at the LAN on the 12th. The game costs $10 on steam and runs on almost any windows PC. It’s possible we’ll play a few rounds of TF2, L4D2, LoL, and others while we’re at it. The event is free to i3 members and waiver signing guests. So come on by Saturday October 12th and play some video games.

UPDATE: There are emerging plans for a Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone Doom tournament. Come frag with us on these super tiny computers!

UPDATE 2: The i3Detroit Terraria server is live at port 7777. Come join the fun.


Have you ever been looking at a computer, wanting to put software on it from a CD, but the machine has an empty hole where the CD-ROM drive would be?

Sad Fab Lab server, with an empty hole in its heart where the CD-ROM drive should go...

i3Detroit has been privileged to work with [lain], the creator of the isostick, a USB thumb drive designed to act as a bootable USB CD-ROM drive. It takes a microSD card, and offers up on USB both a USB mass storage device for the card’s space, and a USB CD-ROM device containing the mounted image.

Two isosticks, sitting in the e-room

What image, you say? Any ISO (CD/DVD/BD image file) you put on the microSD card. Just put the full path to the ISO into a special configuration file, and the next time the isostick is power-cycled, the image will show up as a disc in the CD-ROM device, available to both your OS and to BIOS as a bootable device.

We have used our two isosticks numerous times over the last month or two, most notably to put all the software for the equipment in the Fab Lab on our new Fab Lab server.

isostick is a cool product, and you should go check it out! From October 1st to October 31st, the discount code BootAllTheThings will get you $25 off at the isostick shop!

Full Spectrum 40W Laser Cutter Up and Running!


At the Red Bull Creation this year, i3Detroit won a 40W Full Spectrum Generation 5 Hobby Laser with a 16″ x 12″ bed.

This prize was awarded to i3Detroit as the Team Choice award prize.

After much design work, purchasing, and duct installation, we now have the machine up and running in the Fab Lab. Wiki page for the machine.

We will be having training classes on the machine in the coming weeks, so watch this space and our mailing list for information.

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Software Freedom Day 2013!


i3 Detroit will be celebrating Software Freedom Day this year with an event on Saturday, September 21st from 1pm to 7pm!

We will be demonstrating various Linux distributions on popular open hardware platforms like the Raspberry Pi and Beagle Bone Black. We will also have some VIA 6 based mini-ITX systems in varied states of completeness to give away with donation. Additionally we will have some 8GB USB 2.0 drives which we will load with whatever FOSS software you like for a $7 donation, which is just $1 dollar over the best price available for that hardware.

Of course we will be open to any other appropriate activities if there is interest and time. 😀
Maybe we will play with CHIRP, the Free Open Source Software for managing your HAM Radio. Or maybe we’ll be flashing some Androids, don’t worry they love it!

We will also have Pizza available and other food upon request! Soda etc as always is available for 50 cents.

Successfully Working Suede on a Laser Cutter

When I was finally cleared to operate the 150W laser cutter affectionately called “Bumblebee”, the first thing I did was to turn in a complete circle, eyeballing everything within walking distance as a potential target for a laser-drilled hole.  After making an acrylic coaster and a few boxes, my focus shifted (no pun intended), and I started to think about making things I had a use for… the sorts of things that would not only look good, but would last a long time.

The first project I settled on was an archery bracer, made of buckskin suede.  Rather than start with an existing pattern, this was created from scratch in Illustrator.  For the 3/16th of an inch thickness of suede, a series of 1.5 mm holes in the pattern was enough allow the pattern parts to be laced together.  3/8″ holes were cut to place grommets in the suede, providing lacing positions.  The pattern consisted of an outer wrap, intended to go all the way around the arm, and an inner piece which would sit flush against the forearm.  Between them, a series of 10 “plates” of chipboard would provide armoring, absorbing the shock of impact in the event that the bowstring hit the bracer.

The armor bits were cut first from chipboard, and then the buckskin was placed into the cutter.  Soft leather naturally has a wave pattern to it unless its been laid or pressed completely flat, so it’s important to smooth out as many wrinkles as possible prior to starting the cut.  Immediately after the cut, the grommets were installed, and the armor bits were tied onto the doubler piece.  The rolled edge was whip-stitched by hand and a braided leather cord was used as the lace for the doubler.  Project complete!2013-09-07 08.48.53

**** IMPORTANT!   When planning to work suede on a laser cutter, remember that the cut edge will be covered in soot from the burn of the laser and cut pieces should be handled as minimally as possible to keep soot from being tracked onto the worked piece.  The best remedy for preparing pieces for handling is to cover the entire face of the piece in a layer of corn starch and use a toothbrush to smoothly and evenly brush the starch off of the suede face.  The corn starch will carry the soot with it, leaving the edges of the pieces clean.

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