"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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"EMF Camp Report"

Our correspondent Francis Irving sends this report whilst on the train back from the excellent EMF Camp:

It is part the UK’s national hackerspace festival with an amazing number of spaces turning up from all over the country. Stunning.

And part an out shoot of Chaos Communications Camp (CCC), so there were lots of continental Europeans on the crazy circuit of such spinoff camps.

Highlights for me were:

  • Seeing quadcopters fly high and wide
  • Sociology of computer security talk (by Jessica Barker)
  • Why is there no hacking of housing infrastructure? And a call for more (Vinay Gupta)
  • Learn to speak dog body language
  • Arm knitting workshop
  • Playing the terrifyingly realistic Nuclear Poker arms race simulation card game
  • Physical version of Space Team game

Plus generally hanging out with a wide range of geek friends from all sorts of places.

Overall there was lots of talks, workshops, and good opportunities to make makery connections. And if you have a project, get help, advice, customers and so on.

e.g. A friend of my Tom Oinn gave a short talk about a simple Arduino based wheel robot with easy mounting points (eg for robot arms) he has made, and in the audience someone from Ragworm appeared, seriously interested in selling it.

Also, was good to hear unprompted reports of DoES startup Housahedron from Berlin expats!

All told, our national maker infrastructure is getting pretty good.

Would be fun to have DoES camp next time, but only if we have fun stuff to show, and the work of organising it isn’t by our overburdened usual suspects!

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