CNC height map creation process

September 15th, 2015 by otto_pjm

I’ve had some questions on how to set the parameters in ImagetoGcode, an application built into LinuxCNC, the control software used for some (soon to be all :) ) CNC routers at the Hack Factory. There are lots of ways you can do this, and your material, application, and bit size all play a role in getting the settings correct. I’ve been cutting a series of lithophanes on my router over the last month or so, so I’ll be going over how I determine what settings to use for them.
For these lithophanes I have a set finish size in mind which is 5″ tall max, and a format of ethier 5″ x 5″ or 5″ x 7″. I know from experience that in Corian, I want to have about an 1/8″ or a little less of depth variation for the images, and I want to use a pixel size of about .005, which is the same size as my bit.

Here’s the ImagetoGcode screen with the settings for one of the planet lithophanes I’ve created.

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September Quarterly Clean-Up

September 11th, 2015 by orion

Quarterly Clean-Up

September 26th 10am – 6pm

Focus: Member Storage and Classroom

It’s here again folks and you know you want to get your hands dirty getting this place clean. Quarterly clean-up runs the same as always with two reminders.

Reminder: Update your tags and take home inactive projects

We’re making a special focus on cleaning up Member Storage this time around so if you’re  reading this, then there is a definite possibility that your materials may get red tagged or, if they’re already red tagged, moved to Up For Grabs or thrown out at our discretion. This is, of course, for the courtesy of all of our members and we do value your possessions and projects as much as you value this space so please come in and update your tags, downsize your storage and take home any inactive projects or supplies.

Reminder: Cleaning Deputies

Each area manager should either be in attendance, as is good cleaning practice, or a cleaning deputy should be assigned to marshal the cleaning of their individual area so as to streamline the cleaning process and alleviate the wandering confusion many of us may have felt on our first clean-up. Feel free to volunteer yourself on the Google Group to be a deputy for certain areas or, if none are available on the day, to deputize yourself if you feel you have a firm grasp of the area and its cleaning needs.
(Holsters not necessary but encouraged.)

For those without guidance, look for the tell tale star marking a cleaning deputy when you arrive and they’ll direct you towards a cleaner, happier Hack Factory.

Mock-Up Deputy

And, as always, Twin Cities Makers…

Hack Well. Hack Hard.

Annual Member Meeting: Saturday at 3:00PM

August 24th, 2015 by danbackslide

4193414021_7d9411b521_zTwin Cities Maker will hold its annual Member Meeting on Saturday, August 29, 2015 at 3:00PM.

At the meeting the Board will present an overview of the last year, and where we’re heading in the next year. Members in good standing (i.e. dues paid through August) will be able to vote for new Governing Board members, and also on a proposed change to the Bylaws. The proposal is included in the linked information packet.

  • Voting in person can be done starting at 12:00 noon. Polls will be open until 6:00PM.
  • The meeting itself will start at 3:00PM.
  • We’ll pull out the grills after the meeting!

If you can’t make it to Saturday’s meeting, you can vote using the linked ballot, or you can assign your voting power to another member with the proxy form. Details on using each are also included in the information packet. You can email your completed ballot or proxy form to

We hope to see as many of you as possible on Saturday!

The information packet, including the ballot and proxy forms, can be downloaded from Google Drive here.

Post-Cleanup Cleanup Time

July 1st, 2015 by danbackslide

The Island of Abandoned StuffThis past Saturday was Quarterly Cleanup. We spent most of the day going through member storage, sorting out stuff. As you can see in the picture, there’s now a set of shelves full of parking-ticketed items. These items were all last dated before our previous cleanup — in other words, they’ve been sitting since at least 3/28, and some of it much longer than that.

If you were contacted about having material for pickup, please come in and grab it as soon as possible. We’re going to keep these items on the shelf until July 15 — after that it’ll go to up-for-grabs.

As a reminder, here are the rules for member storage:

  • The base storage unit is an 18 gallon plastic tub. Anything that will fit in that space can be stored as long as you remain a member.
  • Anything that doesn’t fit in the tub space must be an active project. We don’t have the space to store things that aren’t being worked on, or supplies being saved for someday.
  • Everything in storage must be labeled with your name, a contact phone number or email address, and the date. The date should be refreshed at least once a quarter, so we know you’re still around and keeping an eye on your stuff.

CNC Interest Group meet-up

June 16th, 2015 by otto_pjm

The CNC Interest Group meet-up will happen again this Sunday 6/21/2015 2:00 PM at the Hack Factory. It is open to everyone, but machine use requires membership. If you have been wanting to get a project cut on a CNC or get checked out on the CNC machines, this is where you want to be to get the process started. Hope to see a good group of folks Sunday.



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