Workshop

"Work/experience in DoES Liverpool"

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.

Enjoy

Ahmed Kouza & Edoardo Bastianetto

 

"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.

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"Season’s Greetings from DoES Liverpool"

We thought we should have a little festive gathering for everyone who has been a part of DoES Liverpool over the past 5 months.

This Friday (16th) from 4pm we’ll be having some mulled wine, mince pies and frivolity in DoES Liverpool. We’d love if you could join us, come along and celebrate with everyone!

On Friday evening there is also the Twitter pub crawl. After our mini Christmas party we’ll probably grab some dinner before heading off to the pub, anyone who wants to come along is welcome. Click here for more info on the pub crawl.

Best Wishes,

All at DoES Liverpool

"The Birth of the DoES Space"

When we first moved into the Gostin Building there was a fair bit of work that needed to be done to the space to make it presentable. Nothing too major, mainly collecting furniture and equipment from a few different sources (some from an office that a few of us had shared before founding DoES, and some that was kindly loaned to us by local tech startup Scraperwiki), plus giving the whole space a lick of paint. It had last been used for some sort of strange art project and there were an assortment of outlines of people and objects drawn on the walls.

Given that we’d be doing some work on it I took the opportunity to play around with some time-lapse photography. During the time we were moving in, and doing the decorating, I stuck an old Canon camera on a tripod in the corner. It was running the CHDK software with a script that took a photo every five minutes. A bit of playing around afterwards with ffmpeg, and Open Shot (for the titles) and we had this little video to show off the transition…

 

Birth of the first DoES Space from Adrian McEwen on Vimeo.

That doesn’t give you a sense of what the space is like now that it’s in use, so I thought I’d include this photo of the main space as it is now, but you should really come down for a visit in person 😉

A Panorama of the DoES Space

Of course, if you’d rather have some music to accompany the video, I can recommend watching it from here

"Workshop Membership at DoES Liverpool"

In addition to running the free Maker Night at the Art and Design Academy and at our own DoES Space, for anyone wanting to have more frequent access to somewhere they can come and tinker more often we offer a monthly Workshop Membership. This gives you access to benches to work on, our collection of tools such as soldering iron and multi-meters and you also get a storage crate so you don’t have to cart your projects around with you.

Outside of normal working hours we aim to keep the space open until 9pm Tuesday to Thursday, and on Saturdays – but check in advance so we can make sure someone is around.

Monthly Membership is £30 per month.

Members also get discounted hot desking at £6.50 per day.

If you have a permanent desk with DoES Liverpool you get Workshop access and storage included in your desk price.

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