Do to yet another members recent issue with paypal we have enabled bitcoin payments. Now once you login to lazer.hive13.org you have an option to pay through Mt. Gox with bitcoin. This works similar to the paypal button but the prices are dynamically set to equal the $30/hr charge we use for paypal. After a payment it may take a while for the laser minutes to show up, at least until we can have the callbacks fully tested.
With paypal locking accounts and Dwolla’s new crazy terms of service, we would love to offer bitcoin for membership subscriptions as well but unfortunately I don’t believe there is any good way to do this without paying an escrow upfront. Until then we will use the laser site as our first official testbed.
Who wants to fire the lazer?
We are officially opening up the laser cutter for use. For those who don’t know we have a 60W laser cutter at the space now that can cut up to 3/4″ thick wood and plexiglass (among a few other things). If you are a member of the Hive you will want to take a laser cutting class in order to operate the laser on your own. If you are not a member but want to use the laser cutter for a project that s fine as well but you need to have a certified member operate it for you.
Members will soon receive free minutes per month to use the laser cutter. Additional minutes will cost $.50 and you can buy your minutes in one hour chunks. This price is the same for non-members but your operator may request a free before hand for time and setup.
To keep track of all your minutes, buy minutes and transfer purchased minutes there is a new site!
Lazer Manager: http://lazer.hive13.org/
For more information about the laser see: http://wiki.hive13.org/Laser
Note: It may take a few hours for new purchased minutes to show up until the paypal functionality is 100% tied in. Free minutes are not finalized yet but student/full members will have the same amount and if you are a cornerstone member you will most likely get double those minutes.
This idea was shamelessly lifted from another space after Craig showed us a business card cut/etched from cereal box cardboard from them. I think the space in question is in Hawaii. (Update: That space is Maui Makers and Jerry Isdale in particular. Look to the first comment – he posted a link to the card he made that was the inspiration for this.)
Anyhow, no one had yet engraved a bitmap successfully with the laser cutter, so I set out trying to do this (more or less coincidentally – I couldn’t figure out how to export a filled shape from Inkscape in a vector format LaserCut would grok, so I rasterized it).
I tried first on the corrugated cardboard that we have a near-infinite supply of. However, this didn’t engrave well for me – its top layer is too thin and once you’ve burned parts of it off you have only the sparse ridges holding the other parts of it on. Maybe someone else will have better luck with less power. (This is not the first corrugated cardboard issue we’ve had…)
Cereal cardboard, interestingly, both cuts and engraves really well (though in the following photo, I set the power far too high and it visibly burned through). I would have preferred to etch from a vector logo, but it seems easier to get different shades if you start from a raster image and Floyd-Steinberg dither it to a halftone monochrome image, as LaserCut requires monochrome.
The LaserCut file is here: http://hodapple.com/files/hive13%20business%20card.ecp. If anyone wants to make a better-designed variant, please do – I consider this to be just a draft. A faster version might also be good. This one is around 7 – 8 minutes per card, but the speed probably could be cranked up a bit.
P.S. I suffered a cereal-induced sugar headache in the process of making these business cards. You all better be nice to me.
This is an idea cjdavis had mentioned some weeks back: Using the laser cutter to cut out custom filters that mount to a camera’s lens and create custom bokeh shapes. I finally tried it yesterday.
We had on hand a large pile of little card-stock rectangles salvaged from the garbage; we thought they were blanks for playing cards and we had no use for them. However, I discovered, our laser cutter can cut them very quickly, and they are large enough that a 52mm circle fits inside (which matters because 52mm is the filter size of all my lenses).
My first one looked something like this:
…and it fit perfectly inside my 18-55mm lens (perhaps a little too perfectly, because it was sort of a pain to remove…). Here are a couple test images I shot:
I could have centered it better, and I still should calibrate the size a bit, but I’m impressed with how it turned out for something that took all of 5 seconds to cut.
Here’s one with another pattern (this time on my 35mm f/1.8):
Full Flickr album is here. I can have SVGs or DXFs up if anyone asks, but really, these patterns are dead-simple to put together by hand in Inkscape or something similar.