Bombs Away! Watermelon Drop Recap

An after-school program group for teens from the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs Center (MCWS) came by i3Detroit for a special event. We wanted to do an event that involved a team challenge, brainstorming, designing, and building. A lot of schools and organizations do egg drop contests. The goal would be to design some mechanism to protect and egg falling from a 10ft or higher. We wanted to amp it up to something a little more bigger and badder — a watermelon drop contest.

The group divided up into 3 teams. Each team had a coach from i3Detroit to assist with some of the more dangerous fabrication.


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Painting, Mask Making, Paperclips

What’s been happening at i3 lately? A bunch of things. But, here are some highlights.

Karriane G. taught a few classes on leather mask making. It was perfect timing right before halloween. Students learned the basics of forming with leather, and were able to follow through creating their own design,  adding hardware such as studs and grommets, and finally painting their creation. They’re all set for a masquerade!

Leather Mask Making

Kevin F. has been busy teaching oil painting classes. These have been insanely popular, often filling up within a day. It’s so amazing to see people come in and learn new techniques. Most of the students came with little-to-none painting experience, but all left with smiles on their faces.

Oil Painting Collage

Matt O. has been working on his halloween costume. Can you guess what it’s going to be? Here’s a hint: “It looks like you’re trying to write a letter!”


Of course making a giant paperclip out of metal would be insanely heavy, so it’s actually that universal crafting material, the grown-up version of popsicle sticks: Schedule 40 PVC! Bent and formed by a combination of hot air, teamwork, carefully placed screws, and minor burns.


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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