Laser Cutter Improvements

DoES Needs You!

As you’re all probably aware, one of the best things about DoES — other than the sense of community, great prices, wealth of knowledge, networking opportunities, amount of different tools available… there are too many best things! — is our laser cutters. Sophia the Smaller Laser and Gerald the Gigantic Laser are the most popular and busy machines in the workshop, and are a valuable asset, not just for DoES, but for the whole Liverpool area.

From time to time, they do need minor repairs, and we try to carry those out as quickly as possible. However, it is finally time for them both to have the kind of overhaul that has been necessary for a while, to ensure that both cutters keep running at optimum capacity for you, for as long as possible.

To ensure this, we are going to be buying various bits of new hardware to keep Sophia and Gerald happy –

  • a chiller for each cutter so they’ll cut more powerfully and for longer, even on hot days,
  • a new, more powerful extractor fan for Gerald (that won’t need vacuuming out every 2 weeks!),
  • built in ducting, to simplify using the cutters, and improve the airflow control (less smoke in the workshop),
  • a new lens for Gerald,
  • new, fresh mirrors for both cutters,
  • a dedicated CO2 extinguisher for the cutters.

As you might imagine, this kind of upgrade won’t be cheap, and that, hopefully, is where you come in.

We’re asking for help from the DoES community to put towards the cost of these upgrades. We expect them to cost around £1400, (although £850 would cover the cost of the chillers and extractors) and want to raise as much of that as possible by 3rd July, at which point we will take whatever is collected, and get to work improving!

We understand that you all give so much to the DoES community already, and thank you for that, but hopefully you’ll be able to help us past an investment hump, and make your workshop even more epic.

How to donate

The best way is by bank transfer to:

Account Number: 65487257
Sort Code: 08-92-99
Reference: LaserPledge

Make sure to include that reference so we know you’re not paying hotdesking!

If you’d like an invoice for you accounts, just email accounts@doesliverpool.com to ask Sean for the amount you’d like to donate.

You can also give any of the organisers cash, if that’s easier for you.

Or you can donate by Paypal:




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Press Release: Bringing Internet of Things to Internet World 2013


You might think that “things” have always been connected to the internet. Computers, mobile phones, even printers have been connected for years. A lot of the current talk and investment in Internet of Things is large sensor networks and taking information from our environment. What we at DoES Liverpool like to think of when we talk about the Internet of Things is a whole lot more personal and unexpected. How about a bubble machine that blows bubbles when people mention you or your business on Twitter? Or perhaps a clock or dial that instead of showing time or statistics shows where someone is? These are just two of the ideas that members of the DoES Liverpool community will be bringing to Internet World this month.

But first, what is DoES Liverpool? We are many things. We are an online community of creative and often tech savvy people, of tech startups and “makers”. DoES Liverpool is also a physical space. It provides a co-working office space for members of the community to hot desk from or to take a permanent desk. There’s also a shared workshop with lots of equipment available for use; traditional tools such as soldering irons and band-saws to the more modern digital fabrication equipment like the laser cutter and 3D printers. We also hold regular events on many topics from specific programming languages like Python and Clojure through to more business focussed events like Lean Liverpool and Saturday Startup Club. We have a great community coming up with some wonderful ideas, and we’re looking forward to showing some of these to you at Internet World 2013.

DoES Liverpool logo on our Makerbot

Adrian McEwen has been putting things on the Internet for many years. He led the team who developed the first full web browser for a mobile phone, and his code (he’s slightly ashamed to admit) made it onto the Amstrad Emailer. He was recently described as an IoT pioneer by Kevin Ashton, the person who coined the term “Internet of Things” in the first place! Adrian will be bringing two of his IoT inventions to Internet World. Bubblino, the aforementioned twitter activated bubble blowing machine, was actually one of his first IoT projects but is well loved at conferences around the UK and has now been sold to various people in the UK and Europe. The Acker’s Bell was a more recent commision to provide Liverpool Startup ScraperWiki with a bell that would chime each time they made a sale. The mounting for the bell was designed and laser cut in DoES Liverpool with Adrian developing the software and electronics. Usually living in ScraperWiki’s office in Liverpool the Acker’s Bell will be visiting London for you to see at Internet World 2013

With another DoES Liverpool co-founder, Hakim Cassimally, Adrian has spent the last year writing the definitive IoT book – Designing for the Internet of Things. Both Adrian and Hakim will be available to discuss their book and IoT in general, and of course you can pre-order the book on Amazon!

Inspired by the clock owned by the Weasley family in the Harry Potter books, the WhereDial provides a delightful way to make a personal connection with a family member or friend. The WhereDial is made from laser cut plywood or colourful plastic and features a list of location categories around the dial. Through the cloud based location aggregator – MapMe.At – the WhereDial can retrieve a person’s location from FourSquare, Google Latitude and a variety of other services. It then rotates the dial to show where the person is. It’s a great device for people who are less comfortable using mobile phones and computers but is also a really handy glanceable object that fits nicely on the desk of a technophile too. The WhereDial was designed and is built in Liverpool by John McKerrell, also a co-founder of DoES Liverpool.


Perhaps saving the best for last, the final headline item that we’ll be bringing to Internet World 2013 is the Good Night Lamp. Darling of CES and Gadget Show Live, these lamps have a superstar team behind them. They are the brainchild of Alexandra Deshamps-Sonsino, previously a co-founder of smart product design studio Tinker London and the organiser of the monthly Internet of Things meetups in London. She launched the Good Night Lamp as a startup a year ago by committing to taking a booth at CES; 10 months of development later and with a live Kickstarter campaign garnering much publicity she took CES by storm. Her team includes our own Adrian McEwen as CTO; John Nussey as Head of Products and interior designer & architect Konstantinos Chalaris as Lead Designer.

We really hope you will enjoy our exhibition and go away inspired, potentially with some ideas for an IoT product of your own! DoES Liverpool is all about inspiring people to start interesting businesses and while our focus is in Liverpool, we know that IoT is going to take off around the world!

Press Release: Community Co-Working Space, DoES Liverpool, Opens New Dedicated Workshop Area

DoES Liverpool, community workshop and co-working space in central Liverpool, has celebrated its first year of operation by expanding its space and creating a dedicated workshop area. With a 61% increase in floor space DoES has been able to create five specialised areas meaning that users can get the best out of each part of the space and avoid causing disruption for other visitors. DoES Liverpool is giving the public a great opportunity to visit and try out the space during the Grand Opening on Maker Day 11th August 2012.

The workshop now boasts some more traditional woodworking equipment such as a band saw and bench grinder to complement the existing digital fabrication facilities of the MakerBot CupCake 3D printer and LS3040 laser cutter and engraver. Stations for soldering or just general making are available for use during the regular Maker Night and Maker Day events or throughout the week by signing up for a workshop membership or paying for a single day’s use. Storage is included in workshop membership and available for purchase by other visitors. As ever, the first day’s use of the equipment and space is free if you bring along cake to share!

Removing the workshop equipment and much of the storage space from the main room also freed up more space for co-working. A cool new hot-desk hub has been created using an original Gostins dining table, and an existing pod of desks available for permanent members has been expanded. The meeting room now doubles as a comfortable break-out area with a large screen display available for viewing presentations and videos.

Richard Foulkes, Director, propertytranslator recently returned to DoES Liverpool after trying out other serviced offices in Liverpool, he said:

I’ve rented serviced offices from corporate landlords in the past and DoES has always offered a friendlier atmosphere in comparison. The recent improvements in layout and planned new facilities should make the office space an even better working environment going forward and I’m sure I’ll be using it more often.

As a regular visitor to the space, freelancer Joanna Leng offered her thoughts:

I enjoy working out of the DoES Liverpool office one day a week. I get a desk, electricity, wireless network, hot drinks, friendly intelligent conversation and networking all for £8 per day. DoesLiverpool also run lots of clubs and user groups – there is plenty going on. It is very creative.

This week they opened up a new work shop next to the office area. It is light and spacious and now if someone is using the laser cutter or 3D printer I can chat to them but I do not have to hear the machinery. I can also use the laser cutter to make some Xmas presents while I am there. The meeting room allows me to organise meetings here rather than at my home.

 

Further changes are planned including a newly fitted kitchen and electronic locks which will allow DoES Liverpool to expand its hours of operation beyond the standard work day.

For more information about Maker Day see makernight.co.uk, for more on DoES Liverpool – its services, facilities and prices – visit doesliverpool.com

Happy Birthday To Me!

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)

DoES Liverpool Unveils Laser Cutter at Maker Night

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.

John McKerrell, one of the organisers of DoES Liverpool, had this to say:

“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.

Laser Cut Piggy Bank

See our flickr photostream for more laser cut goodies.

DoES Liverpool provides first outpost as Google Developer Outreach looks beyond London

DoES Liverpool are pleased to announce our newest resident – Google.

When Google Developer Relations were looking to reach beyond their established base in London, the DoES space in central Liverpool ticked all the right boxes.  It gives them a base from which to strike out and make visits across the North West, as well as somewhere that people can call in for an “office hour” meeting – where they can find out more about how to use Google’s products and services to help their business.

“We’re looking to go where the developers are”, said Paul Kinlan, Developer Advocate at Google for Chrome and HTML5, “and this will give us the chance to start working more closely with developers and businesses in the North of England.”

Paul will be working from DoES Liverpool for a couple of days each week, and the rest of the time the desk will be available for his colleagues who specialise in other Google products to use for similar purposes.

They’re interested in hearing from any startups, businesses or developers who want to talk about the Google Developer platforms, but they aren’t going to just sit and wait for people to knock on their door.  They’re planning to hold events at the DoES space, and are keen to speak or get involved with other tech events both at DoES and also across the North.

DoES organiser Adrian McEwen said “Although rather different from our usual mix of startups and freelancers, there’s a great fit between Google and DoES Liverpool: we both want to find and help local startups.  It’s a great opportunity for all involved – DoES, Google and the North West.  We’re very excited for what it means for local developers.”

About DoES Liverpool CIC

DoES Liverpool CIC was created to further grow and support the community of people interested and involved in technology that has been building over the past few years in Liverpool and the surrounding areas. It aims to help small businesses and start-ups by creating a space within which they can work, network and build up a business.

DoES Liverpool CIC currently runs a space in Gostins Building on Hanover Street, Liverpool offering affordable co-working desks, workshop and hot desks. It also uses the space to host events such as Maker Night and the Liverpool GeekUp.

For more information about DoES Liverpool CIC visit their website on http://doesliverpool.com/ or email hello@doesliverpool.com

About Google Developer Relations

The Developer Relations organization at Google is focused on driving the success of Google’s developer products and the open web by creating a thriving ecosystem of 3rd party applications and businesses built on them.

We work with technologies such as Chrome, Android, App Engine, Google Maps API, HTML5, and also support our core Google Apps and Ads businesses. For a full list of the products we support, see code.google.com.

We are in Google’s Engineering organization, though we also work closely with Product Management, Marketing, PR, Business Development, and others.

You can get in contact with Paul via his Google Profile page http://plus.ly/paul.kinlan

DoES Liverpool Launch Press Release

Local Companies Join Forces to Create a New Sort of Workplace

Liverpool entrepreneurs, software developers, artists, and electronics engineers
are invited to DoES Liverpool’s new permanent space, to co-work, hot-desk,
experiment, and collaborate. There will be a free “taster” day on Friday 22nd July;
if you miss that, your first day of hot-desking is free if you bring cake!

Since the beginning of 2011, a disparate group of coders, artists, designers and
engineers has met up monthly to collaborate, learn about, and experiment with
physical computing, laser-cutting and how to make things. These Maker Nights,
run by DoES Liverpool in conjunction with the LJMU Art & Design Academy, are a
way to bring together the community of makers from Liverpool and the
surrounding area.

Building on the success of Maker Nights, DoES Liverpool has now put into action
the longer-term plan: to open a space where making can go on all the time, rather
than just once a month.

The DoES Space is a mixture of office and 21st-century workshop – the people
there are as likely to be soldering the electronics for an Internet-connected bubble
machine or prototyping product cases on the 3D printer, as they are to be sitting at
a desk tapping away on a laptop.

This blend of interests and activities is a key part of the DoES ethos – “we want it
to be a melting pot for business and creativity in Liverpool,” says Adrian McEwen,
one of the organisers. He’s moved his Internet of Things startup to the space,
where it rubs shoulders with an iPhone developer, a provider of attention
management systems and web developers.

They’ve all taken desks in the Hanover Street space and they are inviting others to
join them. The space is split into two open plan areas, plus a freely bookable
private meeting room. The remaining desks are available either to rent by the
month, or just for the day: perfect for freelancers looking for somewhere to escape
to from the dining room table for a change. For anyone wanting to see what it’s
like working in a co-working space, they’ll even give you a free day’s trial as long
as you bring cake for everyone to share.

One corner of the larger open-plan area is given over to the messier, workshop
activities. It’s here that you’ll find the 3D printer (which was assembled by the
attendees of Maker Nights) and a desktop CNC mill donated by another member
of the Maker Night community. “DoES encourages people to experiment, and to
learn new things”, says John McKerrell, the resident iPhone developer, “whether
it’s finding out how to solder, or sharing tips on what accounts package to use, the
chances are someone else in the space will be able to help”.

The DoES Space is open now, and will hold a free “taster” day on Friday 22nd
July. The next Maker Night will also be held at the space on the evening of
Wednesday 27th July from 6:45pm. For more details visit http://doesliverpool.com or email hello@doesliverpool.com

About DoES Liverpool CIC

DoES Liverpool CIC was created to further grow and support the community of
people interested and involved in technology that has been building over the past
few years in Liverpool and the surrounding areas. It aims to help small businesses
and start-ups by creating a space within which they can work, network and build
up a business.

DoES Liverpool CIC currently runs a space in Gostins Building on Hanover Street,
Liverpool offering affordable co-working desks, workshop and hot desks. It also
uses the space to host events such as Maker Night and the Liverpool GeekUp.

For more information about DoES Liverpool CIC visit their website on
http://doesliverpool.com/ or email hello@doesliverpool.com

About Maker Night

Maker Night is a regular meeting organised by DoES Liverpool CIC in partnership
with LJMU Art and Design Academy to provide a space for people to learn,
experiment and work on projects related to Physical computing, Laser cutting,
Arduino, Electronics and 3D printing.

They are informal, friendly events – sometimes one of the members will give a talk
on a topic, or lead a workshop on how to build something in particular – but mostly
it’s about building cool stuff and sharing expertise and enthusiasm. Everyone is
welcome, of any ability level, for more information visit http://makernight.co.uk/ or
join the mailing list http://groups.google.com/group/does-liverpool