At the weekend a dozen People Who DoES came to help move our temporary workshop into our Exciting New Dedicated Workshop space in the room next door.
Using an impressive array of technological (3D printed models on laser-cut floorplan, contributed CAD drawings) and organizational (anarchy/democracy) methods, our volunteers worked tirelessly for several hours, pausing only for cake and sandwiches.
Our co-working space is now larger and tidier, while the workshop is looking great. We’ll be celebrating the move on Saturday 11th August, for the inaugural Makerday (10:00-17:00). Hope you can join us!
See all of our photos from the move here!
Over the past month we’ve had another Italian students at DoES Liverpool on an internship, we asked him to write a blog post about his experience and here it is:
DoES Liverpool is a co-working space where people come to share an office, but also to use tools like the 3D printer or the laser cutter.
During these 4 weeks at DoES Liverpool I’ve helped to make things that I thought were almost impossible to make. But a great idea, together with an Arduino and a laser cutter can become an real product, like the WhereDial, an “Internet of things” device inspired by the Weasley family clock in Harry Potter which can keep your family updated with your location.
The device consists of an Arduino that connects to the internet to get information about your location and moves the dial to the right position.
All the wooden parts are made with the laser-cutter, which has also been used to make 3d “prints” with sugar by melting it with the laser.
During these 4 weeks I learnt and did many things:
I used tinkercad.com and the 3d printer to print all the desks and furniture that were missing on the 3d model of the office.
I updated the code running on the arduino of the WhereDial to make it use 5 small LEDs to alert the user if there are any errors during the acquisition and parsing of the information from the server.
And, since last week was Does Liverpool’s first anniversary I also used the laser cutter to make some of these little cakes to celebrate it.
I really enjoyed the days spent at DoES Liverpool, always making something new with tools like the 3d printer that I’ve never used before.
It was also a first for me to see the “making of” of a product. I always thought it was a difficult and long process, but with a laser cutter and an Arduino, prototyping something becomes easier and fun. So if you have an idea for something but don’t know how to make it you should definitely come here and try to make it.
DoES Liverpool will be celebrating its first anniversary in the next week! We’re putting on a few activities to celebrate and we’d love you to come along.
Friday 13th July Daytime – lucky for you as we’ll be offering a day of free Hot Desking. Come down and try out the space, use our laser cutter, maybe even 3D print something without paying a penny. You don’t even need to bring cake (though we won’t complain if you do)! A great opportunity to get some work done while meeting up with other freelancers and laptop workers.
Friday 13th July Evening – the luck continues as we’ll have a few drinks to celebrate the success of DoES over the past year. We’re still making plans but at there very least there’ll be alcohol and the opportunity to look around our existing space as well as the new room we’ll be taking over in the next few weeks.
Saturday 14th July Daytime – an extra special Maker Day, celebrate a year of making, by making! Bring your projects or bring yourself and get involved in someone else’s projects. We may even have some projects to enable us to hack DoES Liverpool itself!
Saturday 11th August Daytime – another special Maker Day for the grand opening of our new workshop space, come along to see our new space and find out how you can get access to and make use of it. Or bring your projects and get making, again we’ll probably have some projects on the go to hack DoES too.
(Click on the links to head over to lanyrd and let us know you’re coming, that’s optional but is a great help to know who’s coming)
Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported DoES Liverpool over the past year, we couldn’t do it without you, literally. DoES Liverpool’s services are paid for solely from people paying for our services, our running costs are not subsidised at all. So thanks to all of you friends, hot deskers, permies, workshop members, event sponsors, interns and everyone who has been involved in our events over the past year; here’s to great things in the future and hope to see you in DoES Liverpool soon!
For the fact fiends: DoES Liverpool CIC was incorporated on 10th June 2011, so by that date we’ve already missed our birthday! Worry not though as we didn’t really do anything until the 8th July when we moved into our space in the Gostins building, after that we didn’t actually open to the public until the 18th July. With all these dates it’s difficult to pick one so we simply chose an appropriate Friday which just so happened to correlate with Maker Day!
(If you want to make one, you can find the design for the laser cut cake over on thingiverse)
Over the past month we’ve had two Italian students at DoES Liverpool on an internship, we asked them to write a blog post about their experience and here it is:
DoES Liverpool is a working-environment where a lot of things are built and designed.
In this our month of work experience we were able to transform our theoretical knowledge learned at school, into practical skills, thanks to the possibility of using sophisticated machines and tools of creation.
In the first week we worked with the Arduino and the Arduino Ethernet, helping John with his project, the WhereDial. Afterwards we worked with Adrian on a kind of clock, that takes information from the Google Weather’s server, moves a servo and can show you the atmospheric conditions in a specified location, selected in the Arduino’s code. The main structure of these projects is built using a sophisticated machine, the LaserCutter, that can, using the picture created in InkScape, design wooden shapes with high precision.
We have also learned how to use the 3D printer, and with it, we have built a lot of models, designed with TinkerCad and printed with ReplicatorG, to put on the wooden floor plan, that we have designed with inkScape.
Here, in DoES Liverpool, the objects aren’t made only using wood or ABS plastic, but also with the fantasy and intelligence of the people who work here. In fact, recently we saw the creation of little objects made using sugar and the laserCutter, exploiting the phenomenon that everyone knows as sintering!
So if you want to make something great, come here to DoES Liverpool and make it real.
Ahmed Kouza & Edoardo Bastianetto
Over the last year, DoES has hosted events like Barcamp, Google Developer Breakfasts, and groups like Makernight, Lean Startups, the SpecFic Writing Group and Liverpool Sewing Club. We’ve also welcomed many guests, from occasional hotdeskers to permanent residents – techies, entrepreneurs, and artists.
We’re in great shape to carry on doing all this and more… but sometimes it feels like there is Too Much Awesome to hold within our 4 walls. We’ve got a great opportunity to expand next door into what we call the “Dinky” room.
Here’s what we could do with the room:
- It has plumbing for a kitchen!
- Move the current workshop tables into a dedicated space in Dinky
- This would free up desks and clutter in the main space to have more capacity for desk workers
- We’d also be able to move the laser-cutter into Dinky, freeing up the central room to be entirely a shared meeting space.
But of course, we need money for this: it would normally cost around £650/month, but we could currently take it on for £325. It looks like at the moment we could almost afford it. As DoES has always been very careful with managing our money well, we don’t want to take on something without being sure it will work out.
- If you were thinking of taking a permanent desk, or a workshop membership at DoES, this would be the perfect time!
- If you know someone who is looking for a desk or workshop, why not point them in our direction?
- And if you’re like to support DoES, but don’t need a desk, why not think about becoming a Friend who DoES?
Would you like to support your friendly local co-working and hackspace, but don’t need a regular desk or workshop access? That’s the problem that Francis Irving from ScraperWiki had. And when he looked at us sadly with his adorable puppy eyes, we knew we had to help him out! 
So, you can now become a Friend who Does Epic ShiStuff (allegedly) for a mere £9 a month. You’ll get your very own laser-cut membership card, and a host of membership benefits, currently mostly consisting of a warm glow and the eternal love of everyone here at DoES .
 an alternative explanation of events is given in Francis’s post on being our first DoES Friend
 however we are considering many options for the future, such as: money-off vouchers! Free kittens! Sparkly stickers!
Well GEC2012 was such a great week it’s taken us a long time to recover!
Before GEC week even started we had some great coverage in the Liverpool Daily Post. Monday featured talks by Peter Bond and Ian Scott talking about invention and innovation. We had attendees from Canada, Spain and New Zealand who all seemed to enjoy the talks. In the evening the Knowledge Cafe 101 event was well attended and we had some interesting attendees to the Open Evening coming to see what DoES Liverpool was about.
Tuesday’s Lean Liverpool went well and we very much appreciated Mark Holmes not only giving a talk about The Startup Owner’s Manual by Steven Gary Blank but also donating a copy! Maker Night again saw new people being introduced to DoES Liverpool and discussing the interesting projects they want to work on, unusually there was a bit of a software bias to some of the ideas but the 3D printer and laser cutter were both active throughout the night as well!
The Open Source Entrepreuneurship talk went down really well and Adrian has done a great write-up and linked to the video over on his blog.
Finally Ignite returned to Liverpool for the 9th time with a fitting 9 great talks, including me (John McKerrell) talking about the birth of DoES Liverpool and giving instructions for how to set up your own amazing co-working maker space. See that link for the slides to my talk and see the videos of the talks on the UStream channel.
We also have to thank ScraperWiki for stepping in at the last minute to help sponsor the events we held in DoES meaning we could offer free tea, coffee and beer throughout. It’s great to have support from people like ScraperWiki and ACME meaning we can put on some great events!
Just a quick round-up post to tell you what happened in our Monthly Meeting last week and to let you know about our activities for GEC 2012 next month.
GEC2012 is aiming to be “a festival for business where people, passion and potential will be celebrated, inspired and accelerated.” One of the aims of DoES Liverpool is to inspire people and help them to create new and innovative businesses in Liverpool so we had to get involved. GEC 2012 is running a fringe calendar of events, essentially an open calendar that anyone can submit events to, so we’ve put together a great selection of events to run throughout the week.
We’re working with Knowledge Café 0151 to create a day of talks and discussion on entrepreneurship and alternative economics, with Digital Creativity in Disability and DefNet Media we’re holding an Open Source Entrepreneurship panel to answer your questions about collaboration between startups, we’re also helping to put together a great line-up for Ignite Liverpool 9. Along with these events we’re also running our regular Lean Liverpool event and Maker Night and opening them up to the attendees to GEC.
We held our second open meeting last Thursday, 23rd February. As agreed at the first meeting we will be alternating between lunchtime and evening so this was our first evening meeting. Attendance was pretty low but we still had some good discussions. We had an update on plans for the GEC 2012 as mentioned above, Adrian confirmed that Maker Days will be starting on the 10th March and we discussed a new RFID PAYG system amongst other things. For a full round-up of the meeting take a look at the minutes, note that the next meeting will be at 12:30 Thursday 22nd March, be there!
Our recent meeting went really well. We had a good mix of people turn up, including someone making his first visit to the space. I’m not going to go into depth about what we discussed as the minutes will cover that but we wanted to highlight a few things, first things first, you can find the minutes of the meeting here on the wiki.
Second thing to mention, hinted at there, is the wiki! We now have a wiki for DoES Liverpool, anyone* can edit pages on the wiki so it’s a great place to put information about DoES, about projects we’ve got going on, pledge drives, events, all sorts of things. For now here’s a few important pages to highlight:
- Minutes from the meeting
- Pledge drives
- Submissions page for the monthly newsletter
- Information about our laser cutter
* – because of problems with spam we’ve had to restrict edits to users within a specific group but just let us know your username and we’ll add you to the group
The wiki still needs some love and attention, the front page could do with some more information about what DoES is and a bit more organisation so if you want to help out with that, sign up for an account, let us know and get started!
On February 16th we’re going to be holding an Open Day at DoES Liverpool, come along and make use of our hot desks for free! This would usually be a Jelly Liverpool day but as it’s not on next week we decided to open our doors instead. We can’t offer a free sandwich but you’ll get free tea and coffee and use of our internet and power. Bringing cake is entirely optional and it won’t count as a paid hot desk for our existing members. Come down and try us out!
DoES Liverpool is looking forward to unveiling the new laser cutter they have recently received to enable members of the community to better understand the potential of rapid prototyping using digital fabrication. The laser cutter will be available for use by members of the community free of charge and will be unveiled at Monday’s Maker Night from 6:30pm in the Gostins Building, Hanover Street.
The laser cutter supplements the existing digital fabrication tools available in DoES Liverpool – a 3D printer and a CNC machine – and will vastly extend the prototyping capabilities available to the community.
Many members of the community have already been working with laser cutting, using the device that is available during Maker Nights in the Art and Design Academy of Liverpool John Moores University but the availability of one within DoES Liverpool’s workshop means that work can continue on projects beyond that monthly visit.
“I’m very excited to see what interesting things will be built with the help of the new laser cutter. One of my own projects – the WhereDial, a device for showing locations of friends and family as they check into places using their mobile phone – has taken a long time to develop as I’ve had to wait a month to try each new iteration. I will now be able to iterate my designs much quicker and should be able to get the product to market very soon.”
Preparing designs for the laser cutter is surprisingly simple. Any vector drawing package can be used such as the free and Open Source Inkscape or commercial packages such as Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw. Once prepared designs are simply sent to the laser cutter which can very quickly engrave and cut the designs from plywood or perspex. Objects can then be constructed, any problems revised and a new version cut out very quickly. Help is available from the DoES Liverpool community for those who need it and lots of designs are freely available on the internet too.
In fact it’s possible to cut more exotic materials too, Maker Night regular Beth Edmondson works with leather and fabrics to create interesting clothing designs and decorations. Local artist Susan Brown has also been experimenting by using the laser to etch her own designs onto perspex blocks which she then uses to make prints.
John adds, “People have developed lots of different designs that can be cut out and built, many of which are freely available on the Internet. From small sculptures of animals, through clocks, containers and camera mounts, all the way up to 3D printers. Though many of these involve other parts – nuts, bolts, motors or other electronics – their strength and structure is based on a very simple 2 dimensional design cut out on a laser cutter like ours.”.
Maker Night is a free to attend event organised by DoES Liverpool with support from Open Labs at Liverpool John Moores University providing a space for people to learn, experiment and work on projects related to physical computing, digital fabrication, Arduino and electronics. They’re informal, friendly events and everyone is welcome, of any ability level. The next event takes place in DoES Liverpool’s space on the 4th floor of the Gostins Building, Hanover Street.