Julia Longtin to present at @31c3

Cast aluminum part fabbed via lost PLA with aluminum melted using kiln made from consumer microwave oven magnetron.HacDC member Julia Longtin will give a talk at the upcoming 31st annual Chaos Computer Club Congress in Hamburg, Germany, Earth, Milky Way. She will lecture about a process she has been perfecting over the past year for 3D casting aluminum parts via the lost PLA method using repurposed consumer microwave ovens to liquify the metal.

We use microwaves to cast aluminum from 3D printed [PLA] objects. This gives us the ability to cast high quality 6040 aluminum pieces using a 3D printer and commercially available consumer microwaves.

We manufacture microwave safe kilns for melting aluminum. We create microwave transparent molds that allow us to burn out plastic without heating the mold itself there[by] creating a quicker method of accomplishing the lost PLA process.

Julia‘s process is being developed as a contribution to the larger FOSSCar initiative, which aims to use an open source production and development model and recycled materials including refurbished and repurposed off-the-shelf technology to fabricate a road-worthy car.

Jiffy 3D Aluminum

HacDC community member Julia Longtin and collaborator, Mason Mooney, have been developing a fascinating method to 3D print aluminum via a lost PLA method. It is remarkable for its use of commonly available consumer products such as microwave ovens, sugar, and hair spray. They have posted it to Hackaday and we are sure you'd agree that it deserves as many up votes as possible! Please spread the word if you agree!

Finished aluminum part, after removing from mold

“Our system uses consumer microwave units to perform burn-out of PLA from molds, and a second microwave to liquify aluminium, to be poured into the mold. 3d printer inspired mechanics will move the aluminium from the microwave, into the target mold under human control across the network, so that there is no risk to the person operating the machine.

“Lost PLA is usually dangerous, and time consuming. with this, we can go from [PLA] printed part to cast aluminium part in 3 hours!”

UPDATE (8/20/14): Julia et al. made the front of Hackaday!

HacDC Summer School 2013

Attendees at Summer School 2013 kickoff kit-buildHacDC Summer School 2013 is doing a whiplash, 4-workshop tour of physical computing using Arduino, Processing and Sparkfun’s Danger Shield. A group of curious attendees, many from non-technical backgrounds that range from law and philosophy to the arts, have learned to solder by assembling the Danger Shield (DS). The DS is an ideal learning project and fits in perfectly with the free series’ exploration of physical computing. It has a variety of input/output devices and is well suited for simulating the kind of sensing and control of the physical environment that makers need for their home brewed projects and media art.
Soldering during Summer School 2013 kickoff kit-build
The workshops have covered soldering, the basics of Arduino programming and interfacing, a crash course on programming in the astoundingly great environment of Processing, and next week’s closing workshop will tie it all together when they will use the DS via Arduino to manipulate live video capture.

This popular series was designed and developed by a handful of HacDC members and we hope to eventually offer it online. It will complement a curriculum on physical computing with a follow-up workshop series on microcontroller programming and a lead-in series on basic electronics. Join our MeetUp Group to stay informed about future sessions.

Feel free to visit HacDC if you want to learn about all aspects of DIY electronics and programming, or to work on your own projects. We have a range of equipment that can help you make stuff!

Awesome photos by doubly awesome HacDC member, MissionControl! (Licensed CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Open Hack Night: Wednesday, Aug 25

Ash’s Electronics class wound down last Wednesday, but that’s no reason to stop soldering!

Elliot will be trying to make a bridged, push-pull amplifier out of a couple of LM386s. (There’ll be plenty for experimenting, if you feel like helping out or making one for yourself.)

Otherwise, come on by and just get yer hack on.