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From taking the class in the Fall of 2015, to teaching in 2016 and 2017, working in the MIT Architecture Fab Lab, to the Fab11 and Fab12 Conferences, to setting up a lab in Shenzhen, China, How to Make (almost) Anything, or HTMaA has been a central experience for me as a maker. Here are some highlights of that journey!
My Original Project Page (Week 7 was my favorite week!!)
The Lazy Bartender, a 3-axis bartending machine
Summer in Shenzhen, Part 1
We built machines in a hotel room!
And set up the Shenzhen fab lab, SZOIL!
Summer in Shenzhen, Part 2
The Fab12 conference was help in the summer of 2016, in Shenzhen, China. Committed to the idea of Fab Lab 2.0, or a lab that makes machines to make new labs, this conference was all about Making Machines that Make
I was called in to help with logistics, the main workshop (Pop Up Factory), and translating. Sounded easy-- but we ran into shipping and customs issues. Without the original machines, how would we produce new machines to teach a workshop on machine building in a week?! We started a new company, Gestalt Solutions, Co. Ltd.
to fix the problem!
We decided to build new machines, from scratch. This included gathering the first batch of electronics, get custom boards made, buy test equipment, reflow ovens, soldering equipment, cardboard, other tools, and more, to create both the mechanical parts of the machines, and the controls of the machine. Luckily, we had Huaqiangbei.
We made calls, we edited PCBs for components that we could find in China, we made numerous trips, and ran all over Shenzhen trying to get our machines done. We called in favors to get our PCBs made overnight, utilized all the laser cutters and 3D printers we could find to make our parts (cardboard stages, bushings, etc), and we made it just in time for the 3 day workshops. We redesigned the workshop to be a machine-building pop-up factory in the hotel (again!). Below, Cranor and I are working through the pick-and-place station, right after the soldering-stencil station and before the reflow station.
Just in time for the closing day of the conference, we had 25 single-axis reconfigurable stages
made, all programmed and ready to go. Here's our 4-axis drawing machine getting put together.