Nova Labs Maker Spark/Flash Talk Night, 7 Nov 2018, 7pm

Spark/Flash Talk night coming THIS WEEK to Nova Labs!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 7pm

Some of us talk to much, but someone invented an event to fix this! Imagine a presentation where one has to primarily communicate in visuals with as few words as possible?

Add your maker spark to this fun, experimental event. Or come and be the audience. We really need both to make this community event a success. Everything that makes Nova Labs work so well, starts with YOU and all of us willing to try new things and take risks with new experiences.


Sign up here. .


All we need right now is your title or topic.

Presenters need to prepare a slideshow consisting of 20 pictures, graphics, or visuals.

Each slide can only be up for 20 seconds each with you adding a few words to help.

400 seconds. That’s all.

6.7 minutes. Easy!

The challenge is not the time, it is to see if you can make your point visually, with as few words as you can.

Topics can be anything you’d like. Your maker project, your latest experiment in woodworking, you latest forging techniques, your last epic idea, your struggles to set aside time for making, your business, your “maker-thing”, your joys, your hobbies, your philosophy.

Hint: Since none of this is published and we are not charging for this event, your pictures DO NOT have to be original or even yours. Just go for it and take the fearless plunge into sharing. Get your collection from the Internet, any photo repository, or use original graphics/visuals.

Maker Spark is an informal and fun gathering where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts, maker photo snaps — just about anything. We’ll model this after the maker movement’s Flash Talk but add style elements from the global PechaKucha Nights movement.

The CNC Trifecta is in Place

The trifecta: laser cutter, 3D printer, CNC mill. We've got 'em all!!!

In the world of computer controlled tools, there are three which top people’s list of most appealing.  Yep, we have all three and they’re all installed and working. This is a proud moment for the members of Nova Labs!

Nikolai built another of his rock-solid benches which we proudly note are made from rescued materials. Then, through the efforts to Ted and Neil, the pieces of the mill came together. However, it was only at yesterday’s Open House that we got to the point of being confident that we were done … and we are. The trifecta is in place!

Now we move on to the next phase. In order for the CNC mill to be used by members we need to develop and schedule training. Proper use and safety education are critical to responsible shop operation. People will avoid getting hurt; tools will avoid being damaged. It’s a part of how we operate Nova Labs and it’s the right thing to do.

If anyone would like to step forward and help with this effort then please contact Ted.

Just think of it … it you help develop and deliver training then you get early access! 😉

CNC Mill Arrives

From this view of the gantry you can see where the router mounts, the tracking hardware and the z-axis stepper motor.

It’s a wonderful thing to have friends. In this case we’re talking about Neil being a friend of Nova Labs. Recently he moved to the U.S. and will be moving overseas again soon. With all this moving about he decided that taking his CNC mill with him was just too much hassle. So what did he do? He found a community of people much like himself who he knew would take good care of his baby. Neil will colocate his mill with Nova Labs and we’re very appreciative.

Today Neil borrowed a truck and delivered the disassembled mill. We will need to build a 4’x8′ bench after which Neil will help us assemble and position it. The mill has a horizontal cutting area of 2′ x 4′ and a vertical travel distance of 6″. It’s a complete system save the computer which we have several of. Hopefully in early July we’ll be in business.

As with all our CNC tools, people are champing at the bit to start using it.

Thank you, Neil!

Continue reading

Mongo is put in Place

Lifting 650 lbs of laser off it's pallet.

Anticipation is cruel if you’re a geek and you know a laser cutter is on the way. Well, at long last Charlie the Mongo Laser Cutter arrived at Nova Labs, all 650 pounds of her!

This is no ordinary makerspace laser cutter, no, Charlie is a giant. The cutting bed is 1000mm by 600mm which approximates 39″x24″ … that’s big! Not only is it big but it’s powerful, it’s 100 watts. We can’t wait to get it operational!

We’re remarkably fortunate to have such a luxury and have Palantir Corp to thank. Jason, a member of our leadership team, works at Palantir and worked tirelessly to get his company to fund our laser purchase. This wasn’t the first time that Jason was successful in his efforts. We also have Palantir and him to thank for our MakerBot 3D printer.

It’s looking like Nova Labs will soon have all the modern tools for personal fabrication!

Continue reading

Addtional Lumber Storage

Teamwork building loft storage in the shop.

We’ve talked about Ops Socials before, when on Wednesday evenings we get together to do work around the space. It’s a social event where we get things done and have some fun.

Recently the project of the day was new shelving in the wood shop. We’re always fighting the battle of too much stuff with too little space. However, we’re makers so we do something about it.

It’s the people make Nova Labs special and Ops Socials are a way to see that first hand.

Continue reading

Weekly Ops Social

Ops Night with Justin and Ted

Things need to get done in and around our facility and to ensure a regular focus on making our space livable, the Operations team runs a weekly event we call the Ops Social. As the name implies, it’s both fun and productive.

Each Wednesday at 6:37 PM exactly (not really) the Ops Social kicks off. Recent projects have included building shelves in the wood shop, swapping the electronics and clean labs, and unpacking and positioning our laser cutter. It’s a great time to contribute, make friends, and have a good time. Often there are pizza and drinks too so come directly from the office. 😉

There’s work to be done but also fun to be had. Come join us.