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 Post subject: Let's decide on a group project! [Decided: Prototyper]
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:58 am 
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OK everyone, I'm getting itchy to collaborate on a group project to attract interest and actually start "making" something useful in a big way.

Though of course we've already collaborated on several projects constructed by individuals, the Group Projects forum is for building assets to benefit and add value to our organization.

So what can we start to build for our space? It will be something that is an asset of Twin Cities Maker and be available to members. Should we build a RepRap? A laser cutter? A welding station? A video projector?

As individuals, we may collectively have some or all parts of a machine already. We can run a poll here once we have some options.

Let's build it! But what?

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 Post subject: Re: Let's decide on a group project!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:56 pm 
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Will be an item of discussion at tonight's meeting.

My vote is for some sort of rapid prototyping device- either a low-grade laser cutter/etcher (something that might cut vinyl, for instance) or a RepRap (or similar).

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 Post subject: Re: Let's decide on a group project! [Decided: Prototyper]
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:59 pm 
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At the business meeting on Wednesday, it was agreed that a RepRap or similar automated prototyping machine would be a great project for the group.

We discussed that we could probably build something a little more robust than the standard RepRap design, and that we'd want interchangeable tool heads if possible, such as a laser cutter, ink printer, routing tool, etc. Also it seemed that among our members we probably already own most or all of the necessary parts. We thought it might be possible to put this together in a day or so, assuming we have all the right parts, at someone's garage or something. Someone mentioned that in order to maximize usefulness, we could make the hardware/software compatible with the RepRap. We also agreed to bring this subject up at a meeting sometime, to discuss first before diving into a build.

If people are willing to donate their spare parts, that would be awesome!

To approach this project methodically, I suggest we have at least these things going for us:
  • A basic design or designs to consider
  • Full parts list for the project
  • Sufficient discussion in the forum to finalize a plan

Let the making begin!

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 Post subject: Re: Let's decide on a group project! [Decided: Prototyper]
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:26 am 
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I'll offer up an Arduino and whatever programming skills I can muster.
I also have a couple old flatbed scanners collecting dust on a shelf
that might be useful for motors or mechanical bits.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's decide on a group project! [Decided: Prototyper]
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:45 pm 
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So I suppose we should start with some sort of task list. Anybody on top of it enough to start that or is further research required?

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 Post subject: Re: Let's decide on a group project! [Decided: Prototyper]
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:52 pm 
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noise wrote:
So I suppose we should start with some sort of task list. Anybody on top of it enough to start that or is further research required?
Good idea, but I'd say the first task would be to set up some organizational tools. Probably the tools offered by Google Docs would be sufficient to organize parts and tasks. I'll volunteer to keep up the main spreadsheet and such for this via Google Docs.

I'm not saying this has to be a full blown project management deal, but just some rudimentary record keeping to define who has what, who's getting what, who's writing code, etc.

Why don't we first then look at the parts list for the official RepRap, and check off what we have and what might need to be purchased? Anyone want to research this and get back with a full parts list, and comments on what might be unclear for the build?

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 Post subject: Re: Let's decide on a group project! [Decided: Prototyper]
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:16 pm 
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Could probably just use Google Docs for PM too just to keep it simple.

Although it would be nice to have something more rich to manage all of the ongoing projects in a shared manner.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's decide on a group project! [Decided: Prototyper]
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:17 am 
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I'd love to help!

If no one else wants to, I volunteer to start and manage the Google Docs doc.

Also, FWIW, I may be getting a loaner Epilog Zing and we can use that to make an enclosure, a la the Makerbot.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's decide on a group project! [Decided: Prototyper]
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:52 am 
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jwb wrote:
I'd love to help!

If no one else wants to, I volunteer to start and manage the Google Docs doc.

Also, FWIW, I may be getting a loaner Epilog Zing and we can use that to make an enclosure, a la the Makerbot.


Is that what John Park had?

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 Post subject: Re: Let's decide on a group project! [Decided: Prototyper]
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:00 am 
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Yep.

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