Empower2Make Launch Party, Nova Labs is Hiring, Capitol Hill Maker Faire Demo

JULY 2018 NEWSLETTER

Carl Hutzler demonstrates a clock made by Paul Chase to Congressman Mark Takano at the Capitol Hill Maker Faire that took place on June 12 in Washington D.C.

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
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Nova Labs hit the road in June with maker demonstrations at the Capitol Hill Maker Faire. Further afield, team leads Jeanne Marshall and Jennyfer Peterson represented Nova Labs at the first annual Nation of Makers Conference. Jeanne and Jennyfer will share stories from NomCon at the upcoming member meeting.

Tae Edell is winding up her work at the front desk kiosk to pursue new opportunities with the Smithsonian. Since she starting working here last year, Tae has been a fantastic brand ambassador for Nova Labs. Tae consistently provided a warm welcome, always ready to lend a hand and answer questions. Behind the scenes, Tae kept things running with grace and creative solutions. Tae’s last day is Friday, July 6. After that, you may still find Tae here, from time to time, working on her own maker projects, contributing pro bono on Empower2Make, and, training her replacement – currently Nova Labs is recruiting. Be sure to stop by this week to congratulate Tae on her new venture and to thank her for her many contributions.

The Empower2Make launch party is coming July 11! The woodshop is humming with summer projects, a class lineup with a mix of old favorites and new offerings, and a new wood lathe. For the youth, there are a variety of summer workshops offered.

Happy Making!

Marybeth Haneline
Board President

RSVP to Upcoming Member & Associate Meeting


BOARD UPDATES 

This month, the board approved one new key member and reviewed MakerFaire Nova finances. The 2018 MakerFair Nova was a great success in and of itself, but it also brought in over $13k in net revenue! The board also approved a budget for a new commercial water heater for the makerspace to replace the broken unit. Furthermore, the board approved a measure to allow Physical Security Interest Group classes. This allows lock-related classes to be taught at Nova Labs by a licensed locksmith under the auspices of TOOOL US guidelines.

In addition, the board spoke with both Jennyfer Peterson and Jeanne Marshall about their trip to NOMCon (Nation of Makers Convention) to gain insights into the state of the American maker community, best practices, and creative solutions to common problems.

>Provided by Jim Girardi



NOVA LABS IS HIRING |  Makerspace Administrative Assistant

Nova Labs is looking for a customer service superstar who makes everyone feel welcome, assists with communications and membership tasks, and helps classes run smoothly at the makerspace. This is part time position of 20-30 hours per week; includes some weekday evenings and weekends.

Learn more: Makerspace Administrative Assistant
Contact us: jobs@nova-labs.org


EMPOWER2MAKE LAUNCH PARTY

July 11, 7 – 9pm
RSVP: https://www.meetup.com/NOVA-Makers/events/251491255/

We’re opening Orange Bay to host the launch party for the upcoming Empower2make event. The 72 hour make-a-thon to develop assistive technology takes place Sep 14-16. All are welcome celebrate the kick-off of this Nova Labs banner event and share a meal with our close maker community. Meet participants, explore examples of developed products in action, and find out how to get involved. Prospective makers, knowers, partner sponsors, and their families are welcome to attend to see if the event sparks your interest.

Please RVSP on meetup.
For more information on Empower2make check out our website Empower2make.org or email info@empower2make.org.

> Provided by Bo Pollet Wernick


CAPITOL HILL MAKER FAIRE

NOVA Labs and Maker Faire NoVa attended the Capitol Hill Maker Faire on June 12 in the Rayburn House Office Building. We exhibited many maker-inspired items from the NOVA Labs community and helped spread awareness of the 6th Annual Maker Faire NoVa coming up in June 2019. We were excited to have the Chairman of the House Maker Caucus, Mr. Mark Takano (D-California), stop by for a tutorial on the 3D printed clock created by Paul Chase. Mr. Takano, as well as Capitol Hill legislators and guests, signed the clock, which will be exhibited at NOVA Labs.

>Provided by Asma Chaudhary & Carl Hutzler


SUMMER MAKER CAMP FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

Nova Labs partnered with Eric Duer at STEMSKILLS to host the first week of the Summer Maker Skills Camp for High School Students with Learning Challenges. The focus of this week was on job exploration and technology skills with the goal to build confidence through developing workplace skills. Emphasis was placed on specific skills that the kids could continue to explore on their home computers. Pulling from the knowledgeable Nova Labs maker community and using our facilities, the students were introduced to Arduino and programming, laser cutting, woodworking tools and glue ups, drones, t-shirt making using the silhouette/heat press, and soldering. The six kids had various learning differences, but our maker volunteers rose to the challenge!

Special thanks to Jennyfer Peterson, Bryce Peterson, Curt Welch, Nick Carter, Bob Coggeshall, Susan Parsons, and our wonderful summer interns, Annie Morgan and Ella Parsons.

>Provided by Jennyfer Peterson


MOBILE ROBOTICS WORKSHOP

This month, the FIRST Robotics Team 1123 brought their unique mobile workshop created from a former Greyhound bus to visit. In it there are tools, workbenches, etc. to aid in their robotic efforts. They brought their bus to the Nova Labs Robotic Interest Group free monthly meetup. Meetup members got a tour of this amazing bus and asked questions. This was clearly one of the “biggest” show-and-tell projects ever seen in Nova Labs history!

>Provided by Steve Geyer 


WOODSHOP UPDATE
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NEW WOODSHOP LATHE

The Nova Labs Woodturning Program provides members with formal training in wood lathe safety, spindle turning, and bowl turning techniques. In addition to formal training, members have access to experienced turners who perform demonstrations of advanced techniques and provide mentoring when members are working on their individual woodturning projects. Finally, the program offers project-oriented classes where members can turn things to help them get started…like a pen, an ornament, a tool handle, or a rolling pin.

Members have access to lathe tools and accessories, sharpening equipment, and three different lathes – a mini-lathe suitable for turning pens and small bowls and two full-sized lathes capable of turning anything from a very small toothpick up to a 16″ bowl, a 44″ baseball bat, or a small lawn totem.

The most recent addition to the lathe fleet is a Nova Galaxi DVR lathe. This lathe is manufactured in New Zealand (home of some really amazing woodturners!) and has numerous features that make it well-suited to Nova Labs – the similarity in names is just a happy coincidence! The Galaxi weighs in at 436 lbs. providing a rock-solid turning platform for larger and more complex projects. The direct-drive motor uses 2 HP of tiger-blood infused power and a computer-controlled motor management system to provide an exceptional user experience. A turner can vary the speed continuously from 100-5000 rpm at the turn of a knob without switching pulleys and belts. The motor speed-control also helps the lathe maintain the selected speed regardless of load and can even detect a “catch” and  shut off power instantly if one occurs.

In order to use the Galaxi, previously certified members will be asked to participate in a short familiarization session, which can be provided an ad-hoc basis for free by Frank, Rick, Mike, or Zack. New Lathe 101 classes will include this information. The Galaxi will be placed in service during the week of 6/18/2018. Notification of readiness to use will be provided on the Nova public web site as well as the Nova Labs slack woodworking channel.

>Provided by Rick Weil and Frank Sogandares 

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NEW CLASSES IN THE WOODSHOP

What are you making this summer? We are making cutting boards & slab tables at Nova Labs.  Nova Labs is offering two premier woodworking classes at the premier makerspace in the DMV area. If you have ever wanted to learn woodworking from tree-to-furniture, this is the time to do it!

WW: Live-Edge Slab Tables
Farm to table? We are gonna do tree-to-table! Learn to turn a massive slab of wood into a functional piece of furniture! In this class we will learn all about SLABS! Featuring a field trip to a local supplier, Local Wood of Leesburg/Berryville VA, students will learn all about how slabs are milled, dried and made ready for market. Students will purchase slabs, then flatten and prep their slab for finishing. Students can design and build wood bases during class time, or purchase pre-made legs. Consider this a build-a-long: you get access to the tools, expertise and guidance of an experienced woodworking instructor. Make butterfly keys, discuss epoxy pours, discuss (and if it’s a nice day, actually spray) spray and oil-based finishes. This is the PREMIER WOODWORKING CLASS of Summer 2018.

Be the hipster you know you can be!
Sign up at Meet Up to attend this great class! Plus, you can attend the Day 1 Session for only $10!

July 26, 6pm @ Leesburg Local Wood VA
July 27, 7pm to 10pm
July 28, 9am to 4pm

That’s over TEN HOURS of small group instruction.  LET’S DO THIS!

WW: Cutting Boards
Two-Day class: Seven shop hours. Friday July 13, 7pm – 10pm & Sun July 15, 10am – 2pm

Have you ever wanted to learn woodworking, but didn’t know where to start? In this course, build a beautiful wood cutting board while learning the ins-and-outs of the major woodworking machines in the woodshop.  We learn the basics about makerspaces, hardwood vs. softwood, shop safety, milling dimensioning and more. This is a popular class, offered quarterly…in fact, it might already be full!

Learn to use the SawStop Table Saw, Jointer, Planer, Miter Saw, Band Saw, Disk/Belt Sander, Oscillating Sander, Drill Press, Small Band Saw, Scroll Saw – every tool except the lathe and the kitchen sink!

>Provided by Patrick Waters, Woodshop Cowboy


JULY SUMMER CAMPS AT NOVA LABS

Nova Labs Robotics

These workshops are put on by Nova Labs Robotics teen mentors and coaches. The lead mentor is Elena, captain of Marshall High School FRC Team 5549 – in her fourth year of volunteering with Nova Labs Robotics. Ian Willebeek-Lemair is also assisting with the camp.  He is a rising sophomore at Virginia Tech, majoring in Aerospace Engineering.Nova Labs Robotics: Robot Makers
Rising Grades 5-9
July 30 – Aug 3, 9am – 4pm

Build and code a robot to solve increasingly complex challenges. Kids will get to bring their strategies to life with servos, sensors and LEGO EV3 Mindstorms.
Register: https://www.meetup.com/NOVA-Makers/events/247205408/ 
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TEQ Strategy Teen Summer Drone Workshop
Session 1: July 9 – 13, 10am – 3pm
Session 2: Jul 16 – 20, 10am – 3pm

Students will learn how to build their own drone from scratch, which they will keep at the end of the session. Taught by a Drone Prototype Product Developer and university professor, this intensive workshop designed for students who want a deeper understanding of how to assemble, program, and operate drones.

For more information & registration, contact:
Teqstrategy.com/droneworkshop
workshop@teqstrategy.com

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STEMSKILLS: Summer Tech Camps & Pre-Employment Skills for Students with Disabilities
Ages 15-20
Sessions: Jul 2-6 (except Jul 4), Jul 9-12

STEMSKILLS offers camps for young people with autism, ADHD and LD. It will give students interested in STEM fields a change to learn necessary skills to thrive in the workforce.For more information & registration, contact:
https://www.stemskills.org/
eduer@stemskills.org

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STEM Summer Camps from Mindframe Education
Rising Grades 3-6 & 6-12
Weekly Sessions from Jul 9 to Aug 17

Mindframe summer camps include hands-on, project-based activities with real world tools with topics ranging from robotics programming and app creation to website development and digital filmmaking.For more information & registration, contact:
MindframeEducation.com
info@mindframeeducation.com

UPCOMING EVENTS IN JULY

Sundays, 1 – 4pm
Tiny Woodshop Series
Have a passion for woodworking, but very little space? This series will cover building shop furniture, using and maintaining hand tools, and working in a small space. With these skills and some inexpensive tools, you can build a tiny woodshop of your very own.

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A CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
Nova Labs is seeking volunteer help for the following:

  • Open House tour helpers, 2nd Saturday fo each month
  • Helpers Nova Labs activity tables, STEAM Day, National Air and Space Museum at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Volunteers get free parking, free day access to museum
  • Fall interns at college and high school level
  • Wiki Information Maintainers

Contact volunteering@nova-labs.org if you’re interested!


 

Introduction to the Lapidary Arts

Lapidary Arts at Nova Labs

On Saturday, March 24, 2018, Nova Labs members met in Blacksmith Alley for the second offering in the Introduction to the Lapidary Arts course series. Christopher J. Evey instructed the class on 3 types of rock saws used to process rough gemstones into pieces ready for shaping and polishing. Carrie Hafer, Brad Clements, Marnie Dollinger, Rob Bowers, and Stacey Lanzilotta attended the class.

Students working at the cutting and grinding machines

Students working at the cutting and grinding machines

Chris began the class by walking through the setup and operation of the Raytech trim saw and the Diamond Pacific Genie Trim Saw Attachment. These saws are used to cut small pieces of rough gemstones and more commonly, cut segments from stone slabs into the pre-forms that will become cabochons. Next, the class shifted focus onto the larger saw, the Lortone Panther, which is a 14 inch diamond saw used to cut flat slabs from large rough rocks. Surprisingly, the saw did not turn on when activated; however, this flaw turned into a teaching moment as the students witnessed how to repair electrical wire connections to this vintage equipment. Brad and Chris successfully rewired and soldered a loose connection to solve the issue and restore power to the saw.

Brad's Oregon Thunderegg

Brad’s Oregon Thunderegg

With the large saw running, the class began to cut some of the rocks they brought to class. Brad cut a beautiful Oregon Thunderegg he purchased specifically for this class. Rob cut a quartz crystal geode acquired during his past vacation. Carrie cut a few slabs from some nice quartzite that she later ground into cabochons.

Throughout the day, Chris made his grinding station available so that student who were not otherwise engaged with using the saws could attempt to stay warm by making cabochons. Stacey, Marnie, and Carrie each made their first cabs during this class.

Rob's Quartz Geode

Rob’s Quartz Geode

The class wrapped up after some additional cabochon instruction and cleanup. The students expressed an interest in more lapidary classes and suggested a course on where to find gemstones and how to identify them. Additionally, all the students voiced an interest in a Nova Labs-sponsored field trip in the local area to collect rocks.

Marnie (Front) and Stacey (Rear) at the Cab Machine

Marnie (Front) and Stacey (Rear) at the Cab Machine

Chris and Carrie discussed potential interest in the purchase of a cabochon grinding machine at Nova Labs. In examining space in the Crafters Cove area of the Orange Bay they thought perhaps a small rolling bench that could fit under one of the wire racks might work to store a grinding machine. This machine would need to be rolled out to the shop in back for use so as not to disrupt other members and cleaned up each time before being returned.  Chris agreed to continue to support investigating and discussing potential lapidary equipment in support of our rock hounds and future classes for Nova Labs.

Carrie's rock slabs and first Cabochons

Carrie’s rock slabs and first Cabochons (photo by Carrie Hafer)

Provided by Christopher Evey

Molding and casting demo by Reynolds Advanced Materials

Cast items on display. Photo by Steven Strasburg.

Cast items on display. Photo by Steven Strasburg.

Jay Mazur, from Reynolds Advanced Materials, stopped by Nova Labs on January 25 to lead a demonstration on various types of mold making materials, applications, and techniques. Hailing from Macungie, PA, Reynolds Advanced Materials is a distributor for Smooth-on, a supplier of many different casting supplies to hobby and industrial markets.

Classrooms A and B at Nova Labs were full for the demonstration.

Classrooms A and B at Nova Labs were full for the demonstration.

Classrooms A and B were both full of people interested in learning more about what can be done with urethane, silicone, rubber, epoxy, and more. Some of the materials had pot-life (the time you can work with the material after mixing the various parts together) in the two or three minute range, while others remain workable for much longer. A cast of a large silicone dime in Smoothcast 300Q (Q for “quick” apparently!) even had a dramatic reaction going from clear to opaque in a few seconds, surprising everyone in the room. It was pulled from the mold and passed around the room hardly 30 minutes after being mixed and cast.

Pouring high in a thin stream to reduce bubbles. Product was Mold Star 16 Fast - it has a 6-minute pot life and 30-minute cure.

Pouring high in a thin stream to reduce bubbles. Product was Mold Star 16 Fast – it has a 6-minute pot life and 30-minute cure.

Jay offered tips for working with various products:

  • The ‘double pour and mix.’ – you start by mixing in one cup, then transfer to another cup to ensure that you can thoroughly stir all the hard-to-reach material at the bottom of the container.
  • For foams, mixing part B a LOT before you combine with part A will help – you can add a lot of air to part B without worrying about the pot life (one flexibile foam he demonstrated only had a pot life of 50 seconds, so pre-mixing really helps).
  • You should also keep some clay on hand, just in case the wall around the part you are casting begins to leak.

At the end of the multi-part demonstration, Jay mixed a product called Alja-Safe and had everyone do a life cast of their thumb. After the 8-minute cure time, the same fast-cure urethane used on the dime was used to create reproductions of each person’s casting. At least a few people said that these would be used to create literal USB thumb drives!

For more info, check out www.reynoldsam.com

Here are some more photos from the class. All photos by Andrew Albosta unless otherwise indicated.

 

Thermoforming at Nova Labs

About a week ago, maker Eric K. demonstrated plastic thermoforming for an enthusiastic class at Nova Labs. He used the thermoformer he built himself and maintains at Nova Labs. You may have seen the video of Adam Savage’s vacuum forming machine, which works similarly, but Nova Labs’ machine is even bigger, with a total forming area of 2 feet by 4 feet!

Here’s some video of the Nova Labs thermoformer in action during the class:

A thermoforming machine has essentially four parts:

  1. A hard surface with many holes on it
  2. A vacuum pump underneath, which (when activated) sucks air below
  3. A movable platform onto which you attach a sheet of plastic
  4. A heating element

To make a part, you first place an object on the hard surface, and then clip the plastic onto movable frame. The frame is lifted so that it’s close to the heating element, where the plastic is then heated until it’s soft and droopy. You then lower the plastic and frame toward the platform and object, and flip a switch to activate the vacuum. The plastic is then sucked onto your object, wrapping around it.

ThermoformingThere’s a lot more to it than that, and Eric did a great job of explaining the ins and outs of using a machine like this. For example, you want the plastic to sag to about the height of the object you’re wrapping. The object itself should be solid, not hollow, or it could collapse and damage the machine.

Eric was also kind enough to bring a number of small wooden objects, and each student thermoformed their own object. He even showed off several parts that he was thermoforming for large drone work.

Removing a thermoformed objectThermoformer controls

This class — and many others like it — was provided at Nova Labs. Check out the NOVA Makers meetup for many more!