“Here is the original 3D printed prosthetic hand.” 3D Printer build group lead Paul Chase demonstrated the working prosthetic as we prepared for the FIRST Global Innovation Awards. Next Paul pulled out a newer model hand with missing components that didn’t work. “Why would I want to bring that?” I asked. Paul answered my question with a question “Is there value to iteration?” So I packed the hand to showcase the progressive nature of innovation the next day with young entrepreneurs (John Link pictured leading the demo). All of the participating teams presented innovative ideas that won a spot in the final rounds of the international pitch contest. I asked if anything had changed since the regional competition that led up to this event; Every team had improved on their design.
In addition to Nova Labs encouraging young entrepreneurs at the FIRST Global Innovation Awards, Nova Labs hosted Launch100 — our inaugural pitch event to foster entrepreneurship in the broader community served by Nova Labs. Launch100 is featured in this issue with the focus on the entrepreneurship called out in our mission.
The value placed on iteration is serving Nova Labs well as we continue with the initiative to roll out policy in an iterative fashion, learning and listening as we go. A Safety Policy and Code of Conduct have been approved. The shop is reorganized to better serve our growing needs — a huge effort that affirms the wonderful commitment of the volunteer membership to keeping our space beautiful and functional.
The Board is pleased to welcome Jim Girardi to the Board of Directors following a search to fill the vacancy from the previous treasurer’s resignation. Jim, an enthusiastic maker and member of Nova Labs, brings financial skills and a love of entrepreneurship. Jim Sweeney and Jim Girardi will work on transitioning the treasurer role over the coming months. Please join us in welcoming Jim Girardi to this leadership role.
Red Blue Collective has a vision to develop a local ecosystem for physical product innovation. This first Launch100 event demonstrates how entrepreneurs and industry can come together with fantastic community support. We are already discussing the next event!
Thank you to all our sponsors for supporting the event and the vision. Please visit the Launch100 page to learn more about its sponsors and participants.
In addition to covering event costs and offering a substantial prize, Launch100 raised funds for a sheet metal shear and brake…
We would also like to acknowledge the incredible hard work of the Nova Labs community. A massive amount of people came together to organize the shop, arrange the orange bay and generally get the space show ready.
June 15th was Launch100, the pitch event organized by Red Blue Collective and hosted by Nova Labs. 105 people registered for the event including attendees, participants, and sponsors. 10 teams pitched a wide variety of products. Demos filled the Orange Bay with interaction while everyone ate and socialized.
>>> provided by Callye Keen
When Nova Labs first moved into Nova Labs v2.0 — the Isaac Newton Square location — everyone was ecstatic about the cavernous workshop space. We had much more space than the equipment and tools to fill it. Ever since, machines and tools have been added or upgraded as the need arose, and the space has been used ever more efficiently. It’s now common for many interest groups or members to be using the shop area simultaneously.
As some of the interest groups coalesced with new members joining (particularly the woodshop and metalworking areas) subject-matter experts (SMEs – we call them stewards) emerged to organize and lead the signoff classes and identify new tools we would acquire over time.
They were instrumental in identifying safety issues, some more obvious once the shop got heavy enough use. For instance, the access path to the Green Bay area (hand tools and assembly) through the wood shop power tools became problematic. New features, such as a centralized dust collection system, needed to be incorporated. And lastly, the success of the blacksmithing group led to a jumble of equipment in the hallway.
This led to a set of discussions about reconfiguring the entire shop – not a trivial exercise. On June 10th, the planning by the woodworking and metalworking stewards manifested in a call for help to the Nova Labs community. Over 30 people helped remove equipment off the shop floor, move the Green Bay hand tools to the corner near the shop entrance door, expand the metalworking area to include space for the blacksmithing tools and equipment, and move the power tools to the back corner (formerly the Green Bay.) Whew!
Every single machine, bench, board and metal offcut was moved. Volunteers carted away old paint, unused shelving, and were able to fill the dumpster to overflowing. Big thanks and congratulations to the stewards and leaders who coordinated this event, including but not limited to Patrick Waters, Bill Stein, Curt Welch, and Mike Hogarty. Also to the team who helped, unfortunately too numerous to name.
There have been focused cleanup, sorting, and organizing efforts in each of the shop areas since.
>>> provided by Brian Jacoby
Navy Admiral running FIRST Global stopped by Nova Labs. In less than a year, Joe Sestak led the charge to bring nearly 160 nations to Constitution Hall for the inaugural FIRST Global Challenge — a new FIRST initiative. The former Admiral and Congressman commanded an aircraft carrier battle group during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said the FIRST Global effort is harder yet rewarding.
Teams from 164 nations participate in the inaugural competition this July in Washington D.C. Admiral Sestak said that the power to convene is the greatest strength of democracy.
Volunteer support for FIRST Global is coordinated by Nova Labs Robotics in collaboration with area FTC and FRC teams. Training for officials is taking place at Nova Labs which is housing one of the fields.
Thank you to John and Eric Link, David Link, Joshua Yalowitz, and John Youmans for leading the effort to get the robot corral into ship-shape condition in advance of the Admiral’s visit! Check out some pictures of ‘during’ and ‘after’: Robot Corral : Ship Shape
>>> provided by Marybeth Haneline
The new Rabbit Engraver/Cutter Laser has arrived. With a 47.2 x 35.4 inch bed — it has a larger work-area than Mongo. Mongo is also getting an overhaul — new controller, new mirrors and lens, red dot pointer, improved ventilation and much better safety (in addition to the recently installed new laser tube!) Both now support 8 bit grayscale 3D engraving. Both lasers will function the same once Mongo’s upgrades are completed next week, and both have new computers running Windows 10.
New training is required to be able use the lasers and refresher courses are offered on Meetup or email the listserv to set up another time. The software is available for download and can be used from home to setup your job prior to coming to Nova Labs. Tutorials are available on YouTube. Get a jumpstart with the links below!
A huge thanks to Jeff Chanesman, Mike Hogarty, and Patrick Thompson for facilitating and supporting the install and overhaul.
Thank you to Maker Faire NoVa team and to BTI360 (leadership team pictured), whose funding made this purchase possible.
Download RDWorksV8 for Windows systems for your computer: Software
YouTube Training Series: Training
>>> provided by Marybeth Haneline
We are open! See our COVID-19 Phase III reopening guidelines.