Of Spaceships and Solder

Like Hackerspaces the world round, CCHS tries to spread the good word and introduce people to the joys of making.  How to Solder kits almost always pop up when we attend an event because they’re fun and (relatively) easy even for people who have never held a soldering iron before.

CCHS has always had kits, but about two years ago we ran in to a problem.  Functionally they were fine, but we’d been finding it harder and harder to get components that fitted and the design was a bit bland.  Why not take advantage of the wide range of colours now available from PCB shops in China for $cheap I reasoned?  Why not stretch my KiCad fingers and try for some smooth arcs?

So late one Friday evening, I firmly ignored the tantalising calls from friends playing online games and dedicated an evening up to my metaphorical armpits in CAD drawings and PCB layout (which honestly is just more CAD).

And here they are.

I blew the special effects budget on the flying effect!
All the Colours of the rainbow!

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Loving the mathematics of sea snails

Sourcing inspiration for unique design ideas sure does lead me down some truly weird and wonderful paths. Last week it was all about snails. Tropical sea snails to be precise!

The original Oliva Porphyria sea shell is a thing of beauty on its own. With its distinctive geometry, it’s hard to believe this pattern comes from nature:

Tropical sea snail shell detail
Image attributed to Hectonichus on Oliva Porphyria Wikipedia article.

But how could I possibly emulate this in woollen form?

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Wherever you go, there you are

We’ve had quite an epic few years traveling Europe and seeing some awe-inspiring projects that would knock the socks off any layman. I mean, we’re both makers at heart, but there’s nothing quite like seeing what other people have been doing to remind you how little you’ve done and how much more there is yet to do.

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

We’ve finally settled down in one location and it’s high time we shared some of the things we’ve been up to. From automated gardening to converting a knitting machine into a network printer, we’ve got a tonne of ideas we can’t wait to share with you.

So, here’s the obligatory “hello world!” and “watch this space”.

What projects have left you particularly inspired recently?