Lorain Wind Turbine Climb

Today I lost my “Tower Virginity”. That is a term used by wind turbine workers for the first climb on a big wind turbine tower.

The Lorain County Community College has a 2-year Associates degree in Alternate Energy with a major in wind turbines. I was lucky enough to be invited to listen to a class and join them to climb a medium-sized turbine in Cleveland!

The climb itself doesn’t take a lot of time but there can only be three persons at a time on the tower so we had to wait for some hours. But it was absolutely worth it!

Tomorrow will be my first day in the fab lab and I am looking forward to getting some work done myself!

Pyramid Art Center, Baltimore Fab Lab, MICA, Sparktruck

Yesteday I managed to squeeze 4 visits into one Day. I started in Silver Spring at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, which is not really a Fab lab related place but has very nice Art Studios, a gallery and a great print shop.

The Baltimore Fab Lab (& Facebook Page here) is in located on the Campus of The Community College of Baltimore County.

As I had many meetings scheduled I didn’t even try to work on my Wind Turbine but I had a very good Interview with the Lab Manager.

…and on I went to Downtown Baltimore to see MICA’s prototyping workshop. (Maryland Institute College of Art)

A very lucky coincidence had it that the mobile Fab Lab “Spark Truck” of Stanford’s D-School was there to visit and had just pulled up as I arrived.

A very heavy shower of rain gave me the opportunity to get to speak to the guys who drive it for a few minutes (it was very busy when there was no rain and the truck is rather small.)

They managed to squeeze in an almost complete Lab including two Makerbots and a Laser cutter.

Check out their Map and compare it to my Itinerary! almost the same Route reversed and one of us is traveling without a Fab Lab in the trunk :)

Tomorrow I’ll Drive to Lorain, Ohio. I am very excited because the have a wind turbine Lab next to the Fab Lab(!)

Washington DC – McKinley Tech High School, HacDC Hackerspace

I had a nice research Day in Washington DC today. I spend some hours at the McKinley Tech High school

where I could see some Engineering and Graphic Design classes.

The students specialize in one of the four S.T.E.M. programs. These four are Biotechnology, Information Technology, Mass Media, and Engineering. It’s a public school but the students have to apply and pass tests in order to get in.

The school also works on establishing a cooperation with the local Fab Lab DC that I unfortunately couldn’t visit because it’s closed for while I am here.

After School I walked towards the Capitol and did sightseeing for a few hours. On my way I found this nice-looking animal:

And in front of the Botanical Garden I came across a (by now) very familiar type of wind turbine.

I think it is positioned in a bad spot for producing a lot of current but as the park is frequently visited by passing tourists it’s in a very good spot for promoting wind energy.

I spend two hours in a very comfortable Armchair opposite of the turbine to relax and think about the next version I am going to work on.

After another 3-Mile walk from the White House to the Columbia Heights Area I arrived at my final destination HacDC, where I spend a very nice evening in an extraordinarily friendly athmosphere discussion how to generate power from DC and stepper motors and meeting a ton of nice people.

There were a lot more people present this evening, I just got my camera out way too late.

A very nice 3D Printer, a quite new version of the RepRap Mendel

And a 3D print…

Tomorrow I am headed towards the Baltimore Fab Lab. More to come…

New York Hall of Science and NYC Resistor

I just arrived in Bethesda, Maryland at Kat’s and Mike’s Place.
Yesterdaywas my major research Day in New York. I went to the New York Hall of Science and to the Hackerspace NYC Resistor.
Both places were interesting to see although I didn’t get to talk much to people there because in New York people seem to be very busy all the Time.
The New York Hall of Science is going to host the World Maker Faire in the end of September. Besides their regular Science exhibits they host a Makerspace in their Building that seems to be focused on children’s education.

Unfortunately the person who is in charge of the Maker space was busy while I was there so I didn’t get much more Information than this. I will try to get some more details via email.

The NYC Resistor is a Hackerspace in Brooklyn that is open to the public on Monday and Thursday nights. For the rest of the week it is a members-only Space. It has about 45 members and most of the tools are owned by the space.

Because I was coming from the Hall of Science I didn’t bring my Wind Turbine and thus didn’t have much to Hack at the open Hack night (that’s what Thursdays are called there) So I got a short tour, some pictures and went to sleep after a long day in New York.

Please excuse the picture qualitiy, the battery of my camera died when I took a picture of the entrance to NYC Resistor…


AS 220 Labs Providence

I arrived in the Providence area on Sunday. Because of Labor Day Weekend I went to the AS 220 Labs on Tuesday and today is my second day here.

I tested one of the new wings for the turbine I made in Haystack before I started gluing the other two. Right now I am waiting for the glue to cure which gives me time for a small blog update.

AS 220 is a rather big space for all kinds of arts in Providence with three different buildings in the downtown area. AS 220 Industries is a part of that complex and hosts a Fab Lab, a Printmaking Workshop and a media Lab. AS 220 Labs is the Fab Lab in AS 220 Industries.

There is not too much traffic in the Lab right now so it’s very good working conditions for me as the space is very well prepared to host visiting Makers. I think the glue is dry, I have to get back to work for the next update…