We used the giant CNC table at the shop to cut out my idea for a way to stop my dog from digging out her tie out stake.  It’s a 12 inch diameter circle cut out of 1/8″ thick polycarbonate.  It has a 3/4″ diameter hole in the middle to put the corkscrew-like stake through.  No more digging!  I call it the DigStop Disk!

The Alabama state championship for the FIRST Lego League robotics was held at Grissom High School on Saturday, January 12, 2013.  A mother of one of the students from team ACRONYM used the general mailing list we have set up for the community to get some help with a little python scripting and GUI creation for an RFID sensor project.  Since a few of the members and other people from the mailing list were able to help by providing links to web sites on the topics she needed as well as some direct RFID tips and tricks they decided to put Makers Local 256 on their paperwork as official mentors!  Here are some photos from the event:

By cutting a special pattern into wood you can bend it into curves without any significant stress.  This is called kerfing.  There are lots of examples on the internet on doing this with saws.  We are Makers Local 256.  We do things with lasers.  Here’s our first attempt at kerfing wood with the laser cutter.  Pay no attention to the charred part.  That’s just where we didn’t pay it enough attention.  RESPECT THE LASER, CHILDREN!

We made our first tool by melting aluminum and pouring it in a sand mold made from a wooden version of the tool.  The idea was to make a tool that would help make other tools easier.  So we decided on making a sand tamper to pack the sand tighter around the next things we plan to cast.

We decided it might be bad to breathe the exhaust fumes from our 40 W hobby laser so a few members decided to do everyone a favor and rig up this elaborate duct system to make things a little safer for everyone.  Now instead of filling the shop with various gasses and particles it is blown out through this duct work and outside through the giant exhaust fan upstairs.  Safety first!