2014-11-22 14.23.31

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.

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PCB Mill Dust Collection System

Recently, we discovered that the dust collection vacuum unit for our LPKF Protomat C30/S was leaking powdered fibreglass dust all over the under-desk cabinet in which it lives. This of course being unacceptable from a safety perspective (powdered fibreglass is not a carcinogen, but is a major irritant in general) and from a cleanliness perspective, we took it upon ourselves to figure out what went wrong.

It turns out that the machine had been operated for an indeterminate amount of time without pre-filter bags, and the filter had failed under the load of nearly 3mm of caked-up fibreglass and copper dust. D’oh.

So, a quick Google search yielded exactly zero sources for filters (but LPKF will sell you the bags, $35/5).

In true hacker spirit, this did not phase us at all. After all, how hard can it be to build a dust collection system from scratch?

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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!”

paperclipwithframe

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.

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