CNC Mill training

tj-and-sharad_with-millRecently, HacDC member, TJ Johnson, generously reconditioned and bought new bits and a shiny vise for the TAIG CNC Mill HacDC has on extended loan from Vince Rossi & Adam Metallo of the Smithsonian Institution 3D Digitization laboratory. Over the coming weeks, TJ will be teaching a handful of single-session classes on using the mill.

tj-at-mill_and-cube-projectOn 1/26/13 a few of us crowded around TJ as he went through a presentation of slide-based and hands-on instruction covering care & maintenance, jargon, safety, and milling. The fun part of the class consisted of learning to use the software to fabricate a cube-shaped aluminum object with a complicated milled out shape within.

The classes of 2 or 3 students are designed to provide 1-on-1 instruction while maintaining safety. All remaining sessions are filled but TJ will schedule more sessions soon. Because of the small class size, these will likely not be announced via our MeetUp group so if you’re interested, join our discussion email list to find out when they’ll be held next.

HacDC mentioned in Shimon Schocken’s TEDtalk


During 2012, HacDC hosted a regular study group following Shocken & Nisan’s “The Elements of Computing Systems: Building a Modern Computer from First Principles.” In October, Shocken gave a TEDtalk about open learning in which he mentions HacDC (beginning at 7’52”).

The TEDtalk description for “The self-organizing computer course,” describes Shocken’s experiment in open learning:

“Shimon Schocken and Noam Nisan developed a curriculum for their students to build a computer, piece by piece. When they put the course online — giving away the tools, simulators, chip specifications and other building blocks — they were surprised that thousands jumped at the opportunity to learn, working independently as well as organizing their own classes in the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). A call to forget about grades and tap into the self-motivation to learn…”

HacDC-incubated Project Byzantium is an Access Innovation Prize finalist!

Project Byzantium ad-hoc mesh network

A Project Byzantium ad-hoc mesh network (detail). (Image from their HOPE9 [2012] presentation; courtesy of Project Byzantium.)

Sez the Project Byzantium team,

Project Byzantium’s application was for the Blackout Resilience category. We were recently notified that we are a finalist in this category, and have been invited to New York to attend the awards ceremony on 10 December 2012. We are honored to have been selected as finalists, and will be in attendance…”

The Access Innovation Prize is a new initiative that will award 5 lots of US$20,000 to individuals, organizations or networks that have the best actionable ideas of how to use information technology to promote and enable human rights or deliver a social good outcome. $100,000 will be granted in 2012.

Congratulations to our colleagues!

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Mini Maker Un-faire DIY Fair @ MLKJr Library

MLK Library“The Adaptive Services Division of the DC Public Library will host a Mini Maker Un-faire DIY (Do It Yourself) Fair in the Great Hall of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday, Nov. 18 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  The Library is accessible from the Gallery Place and Metro Center subway stops.” More…

HacDC will be among the participating organizations at this event.

Admission is free. Register at http://dcdiyfair2012.eventbrite.com/