Updates from Maker’s Asylum Mumbai

Sanchit, Kushal, Seeja and Khushboo who are architects had been working on getting a plan ready for the new Asylum which was followed by a lot of destruction and bringing down all the walls inside.The planning was done very carefully to accomodate all the needs of the maker community. After going through a lot of re-iterations, we finally settled with the plan. In the last few days, we saw a good amount of action at the Asylum. Community members pitched in big time to build the new space. They came, they saw and they made. Our champion makers Viren and Rupin took charge of the carpentry work, while Anool was trying to upcylce the old light-frames. Meera Dabir, a professional painter, took charge of painting the walls. Few old chairs were refurbished and painted by the members with a spray gun. The space was buzzing with energy. We spread some maker love at Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology as they hosted us for a seminar on 3D Printing for their technical festival. Lots of exciting things lined up. Stay tuned.

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What’s been happening at the Asylum

After wrapping up all of the stuff from our previous location in Lower Parel, we've been getting a lot of inquiries about workshops and membership at the Asylum. Well, we have some good news. Having found our new home in Andheri East, we will be back on track with the workshops and membership very soon. We're currently working on setting up the new space, and very excited to have you all there as soon as possible. And while we were working on it, we had some good times in the last few weeks. Here's a sneak peek:   Maker's Asylum got to be a part of Capgemini's Innovation Lab launch event held on 9th September '15. It felt great to be appreciated for our efforts by company representatives of Volkswagen, Wockhardt, Johnson & Johnson, Marico, Intel, etc. Many of the audience being from an IT background found the concept of makerspaces quite intriguing, and that led to some interesting conversations.   After packing up all our tools and machines at our previous location in Lower Parel, we scoured the entire city for that perfect new place for the community. And we found one  that was just right for the community. We found home in the swanky Marol Industrial area in Andheri East. And with that we took a giant leap from a 800 sqft area in Lower Parel to a 9000 sqft area in the new space.   As Homegrown(Blog/Publication) celebrated their 2nd anniversary on 16th September '15, we got invited to their party at Todi Mill Social and a chance to hangout with 23 other start-ups they hosted. The energy there was thrilling.   While at the Asylum in Andheri, we hosted Rohan Puri of MIT Media Labs who gave a talk about making smart decisions as an early entrepreneur in the start-up biz, accelerating crisis situations to help you grow and fooling yourself for the good of your company.   And finally, we moved out all the tools, machines and all the community built projects from Lower Parel to Andheri. We laughed as we looked back at all the 'maker' fun we had there. First time we moved, everything fit inside a car. Second time we moved, we got 1 small tempo. This time, we needed 2 tempos, 2 cars and a Crane!

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Updates From the Delhi Asylum

It's been quite the month for us at Maker's Asylum. For those who've been keeping tabs, you know exactly why. For those who haven't, let me explain. This month marks a new chapter in the story of Maker's Asylum. The design school that allowed us to set up a space for our tinkering within their campus, informed us that we had to move, setting off a chain of events that is sure to lead to bigger and better things for the Asylum and our community. But more on that later. Losing what had been our home since the beginning of the year forced us all into overdrive. Between kicking off a crowdfunding campaign, rallying the community and searching for a new home for our inmates (as we like to fondly call them), we still managed to keep on tinkering and exploring.  While the team in Mumbai was hard at work finding a new space, the team in Delhi was busy spreading the love for making. Here's just a  few of the things we've been upto in the last couple of weeks. Interacting with Students We hosted a group of students from Model School, Soami Nagar along with some of their faculty and mentors. We had a great time interacting with the students, answering their questions while explaining to them the virtues of the DIY and maker movement. [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778305./120700278276332/?type=3&theater[/embed] [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442850639./120700284942998/?type=3&theater[/embed] We also conducted a 3D printing workshop for the students at Amity University Gurgaon. Faced with a group of curious students, we gave them a complete lesson on the history, techniques and future of 3D printing technology. [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778305./128239777522382/?type=3&theater[/embed] [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778305./128239827522377/?type=3&theater[/embed] [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778305./128239830855710/?type=3&theater[/embed] Workshops & Tool Training Sessions It is no secret that Internet of Things (IoT) is where some of the coolest ideas are at right now. We hosted an 8 hour workshop on designing connected hardware & IoT with our friends from Funstore. [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778302./133850443627982/?type=3&theater[/embed] From setting up Raspberry Pi's to designing projects and making mobile applications, the participants went through the paces with designing connected hardware. [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778302./133850453627981/?type=3&theater[/embed] [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778302./133850310294662/?type=3&theater[/embed] Of course our regular tool training sessions are always fun. Given the variety of tool trainings we conduct, there's always something for everyone. May that be 3D printing. [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778305./129548840724809/?type=3&theater[/embed] Or laser cutting. [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778302./135843070095386/?type=3&theater[/embed] Or power tools. [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778300./143806305965729/?type=3&theater[/embed] We also conducted a fun workshop on making laser cut lamps recently. We laser cut the designs. [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778300./144682735878086/?type=3&theater[/embed] Spray painted them. [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778300./144682745878085/?type=3&theater[/embed] Put it all together with a little bit of electronics tinkering. [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778300./144682659211427/?type=3&theater[/embed] Which in turn leads us to what we've been building lately. Ongoing Builds & Experiments Needless to say, between the lamp making workshop and actually prepping for it, we've been making a ton of laser cut lamps at the Asylum. We might not have a fancy reception, but our decor is top notch I tell you. [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778302./134457270233966/?type=3&theater[/embed] [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778300./141447586201601/?type=3&theater[/embed] Of course we rarely ever stop exploring once we find something fun to work on. Since the lamps seem to have gotten everyone at the Asylum excited, we also explored other types of product design. [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778300./146226472390379/?type=3&theater[/embed] [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778300./147163225630037/?type=3&theater[/embed] But as I like to joke, there's only so long we can go before the engineers start to get fidgety and want to make more mechanical stuff. So we did. [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylumdelhi/photos/pb.101621430184217.-2207520000.1442778300./148064848873208/?type=3&theater[/embed] Of course that's only a handful of the things we've been upto lately. Stay tuned for the next update where we showcase more of what we've been upto at the Asylum. If the wait seems too long however, we're open 7 days a week, 10 AM to 8 PM, just saying!

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Building a formula car

A team of engineering students, DJS Racing, from DJ Sanghvi college of engineering, Andheri, Mumbai came to the Asylum in search of a space to build their car. They were participating in Formula Student Germany, an international design competition to be held in Hockenheim, Germany from 28th July to 2nd August 2015. The event requires the team to design, manufacture and test a car that can best meet the event specifications and score maximum possible points. We offered them our space, tools and some training to build their dream. What we got in return was mad fun and a ton of learning. Team The team comprised of students from second year, third year and final year mechanical engineering. The third year students are mainly involved in the core design and manufacturing of the car under the guidance of final year students, while the second years are in the learning stage and just observe and help their seniors. The team is divided into various departments for proper distribution of work. The departments Chassis Engine Suspension Steering Cooling Transmission Marketing Every department had a department coordinator and a sub-team that works under him. Other than the department coordinators there is a team captain and a technical head. The Test The competition involves static and dynamic events. Static events score the teams based on documentation of the design report, cost report and summary of the business plan. Dynamic events actually test the vehicle for its performance. There are various sub events involved in dynamic testing such as, skid pad test, acceleration event, brake test etc. These events test the vehicle for each sub system. The Stages Static events Design report: Cost report Business plan presentation Dynamic events Skid pad test Acceleration test Brake test How It Works In order to come up with a vehicle that best meets the event specifications, the team needs follow a proper design process. The team started with some assumptions based on the data from their senior team, followed with design of every sub system. Every sub team needs data from other sub teams as there is an interdependence of the sub systems. Next, the sub systems were designed and analysed using software tools. This was a iterative process to arrive to an optimum solution. After the design was ready the team proceeded with manufacturing. Manufacturing involved fabrication of individual components, followed by assembly and integration of sub systems. The final step is the testing of the vehicle as per the event requirements. Fire up them engines!  

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Making a $1 Kit To Teach Soldering

Every B.Tech student at my college is required to take a basic electronics class in the first year. Keeping this class in mind, some faculty members asked me to design an orientation activity for the incoming batch of 400 students that would introduce people to electronics. Inspired by the slew of really cool badges from DEFCON (https://www.defcon.org/html/links/dc-badge.html) and Anool (https://hackaday.com/2015/08/17/developed-on-hackaday-lets-build-some-more-hardware/) I decided to build a badge that doubled as a learn to solder kit for the incoming students. I wanted to make the circuit completely analog so that students could see it as an extension of the basic electronics class they take, that they can see an actual application of the transistor, capacitor and diode circuits they will go on to learn to build in the semester. This also had the added advantage of being very cheap.   Admittedly, the fact that the circuit had to be as cheap as possible means it isn’t terribly interesting - it’s a bunch of photoresistors that control the brightness of leds. cover the photoresistor with your finger and leds should become brighter. That said, this was my first foray into getting more than 1-2 boards fabbed, and turned out to be quite an interesting learning experience in that regard.     Also many thanks to Anool, who not only gave me some tips on improving my board layout but created his own version of the layout, which spells out my college’s name on the board. You can find schematics, parts list and both versions of the layout on my Github (https://github.com/CalmDownKarm/BML-Badges) My layout: Anool's layout:   Just a note, the 1$ price tag is at scale - my college needed to make something like 300 of these. If you only do <100 and use OSHPark or PrestoPCB, the unit cost will be much higher.

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Save our community Maker Space

We have till August 31st to vacate our current space… The team at Maker’s Asylum is currently faced with a challenge; we’re losing our maker space in Mumbai and the hunt is on for funds to rent out a new location. But we aren’t worried. When Maker’s Asylum started in 2013, it was only possible because the community came out to show their enthusiastic support. They joined in to build tables, donate tools and volunteer their time. It would not have been possible without your help. We are certain that this time as well, we will be able to raise the funds necessary to acquire a new home for our Maker community with your support. Currently, we are a community of 140 members with 500 footfalls from curious minds every month and 6,000 social media supporters. The good part is that we’ve ignited the Maker Movement in India. The bad part — we’ve lost the space we’ve called home for the last six months. The design school that let us use a portion of their cafeteria for our activities needs us to vacate. In order to continue feeding the hungry community of Makers, we need to find a new space to rent, and soon! For our community, the risk of losing the space means projects being abandoned midway, practical learning being put on hold and tinkers left without the access to tools that make their ideas grow. Why We Need Your Help We’re raising funds to rent out a new space that will support the strength of the community. The funds will help us pay off debts incurred after purchasing the tools. Without your help, we risk losing the space and rendering our growing family of makers homeless. You can help us MAKE this happen. Other Ways You Can Help If you can't contribute financially, you could: Come teach a class at our new space Help spread the word Donate tools for the new space Or join us in Building our new space!   Here’s the link to our Indiegogo campaign; https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/support-our-community-makerspace-in-mumbai/x/11597668#/story Support us!

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Building a Miniature Wooden Cabin

The idea for this project came from a post by Akshat on the Maker’s Asylum Facebook group. Inspired by the post and with the encouragement of the guys on the group, I took it upon myself to build a miniature version of the cabin. I began by scrounging for materials at the Asylum. I found 2 small plywood sheets, which were 3mm thick - perfect for what I had in mind. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20342216621/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] I then measured and marked the lines needed for cutting. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20309903576/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20336164615/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] Using the jigsaw, I traced the lines I had made earlier to get a precise cut. It’s really helpful to mark your lines before you begin with the jigsaw, it ensures not just ease in cutting, but guarantees a precise cut. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/19713497394/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] The front and back panels of the cabin were to be of the same dimension, so I cut out two identical shapes out of the plywood. It took a bit of finesse as the shape I intended to cut was curvy and tapering. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/19713494824/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] The side walls were easier to cut since they were a simple rectangular shape. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20148062890/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] The plywood I had available was too thin to be nailed together. Rather I chose to use a quick bond solution to join the pieces together. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20342184911/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20309868636/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] For the door of the cabin, I chose to use strips glued together instead of a solid piece of wood. I began by making lines for the strips. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20149487919/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] I then cut out those strips using the jigsaw. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20148044440/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] And voila! Our cabin now had a door. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20342165251/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] To make the door be able to open, I used a piece of thick paper as a hinge, and attached it to the rest of the structure. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20327636832/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] For the roof, I chose to go with strips again, joining them with a quick bond solution. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20148081908/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/19713449594/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] And just like that, we had a cool little wooden cabin ready. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20309833326/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] A coat of clear varnish .. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20149452759/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20336092795/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20148058578/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] Cha ching ... [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20309818156/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20342126201/in/album-72157656855788141/[/embed] [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/20150207570/in/dateposted/[/embed]

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Hackaday Prize Worldwide : New Delhi

Having been open for a month now, the new-paint-smell had barely lost its edge, when the lovely folks from Hackaday reached out to see if we’d like to host the 2015 Hackaday Prize Worldwide event at our Delhi space. We couldn’t have been more excited. A week or so of planning and co-ordinating culminated into the event we hosted on the 18th of July, 2015. We’d planned a workshop followed by a show-n-tell and some quick talks and demos. Despite it raining sporadically on the morning of the event, a sizeable crowd flocked to the asylum, some even coming in from as far as Bangalore. Walking in, there was a light spread laid out - grab a sandwich, a cookie perhaps, some coffee and wait for the workshop to start. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/19826133095/in/album-72157655665803128/[/embed] Soon enough, Anool began his bit - giving a brief talk on Hackaday and the Open Source movement followed by his KiCad workshop. He took the group through the entire process- starting from designing a schematic, adding custom components and footprints to libraries, to actually laying out traces on the board. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/19205222183/in/album-72157655665803128/[/embed] He did this by leading the class in designing a breakout board for the very popular ESP8266 Wifi/Microcontroller module. The workshop was fairly comprehensive, though he had to rush through some things in the end, Anool made sure everyone kept up with him as much as they could. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/19818774062/in/album-72157655665803128/[/embed] After the workshop, we broke for refreshments, and then headed off to check out the show-n-tell. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/19638089840/in/album-72157655665803128/[/embed] It was truly inspiring to see all sorts of makers from incredibly diverse backgrounds come crawling out of the woodwork to show off the cool stuff they were doing. [embed]https://flic.kr/p/wcjgu7[/embed] [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/19818738882/in/album-72157655665803128/[/embed] Some rather memorable projects were Mahesh’s Laser Generated Lissajous Figures, Jithin’s Python powered scientific instrumentation platform and Utkarsh’s projector. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/19638042698/in/album-72157655665803128/[/embed]   [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/19830869251/in/album-72157655665803128/[/embed] [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/19818687632/in/album-72157655665803128/[/embed]   For more adventures from the day, check out Maker's Asylum Flickr

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Making a Bench out of Scrap Wood

One of the key tools at any workshop is the Laser Cutter, so needless to say we were excited when ours was delivered to us at the Delhi Asylum a couple days after our launch. Like any industrial product it came packaged in a wooden crate to ensure safety in transit. At the time we put away the crate into our junk area, excited as we were about the laser cutter. [embed]https://www.facebook.com/makersasylum/photos/pb.268461276514039.-2207520000.1437741550./1141141045912720/?type=3&src=https%3A%2F%2Ffbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net%2Fhphotos-ak-xfp1%2Fv%2Ft1.0-9%2F1902808_1141141045912720_8340281379051033913_n.jpg%3Foh%3D84abe23cb5435b311b987ed2ab610ebb%26oe%3D5647E710%26__gda__%3D1447408537_7358a0409966d49193405e44ee297c6f&size=960%2C720&fbid=1141141045912720[/embed] The Idea A few days later however, on seeing the crate getting drenched in the rain, an idea popped up in my head - an idea that looked like a bench. Convinced that it needed to be done with as little usage of resources as possible, I decided to give it a shot. With the wood in place, and the tools available at the Asylum, it seemed a simple enough build. But there were a few small details that needed to be sorted out first. So I spent about 20 minutes selecting the perfect planks needed for the build. I wanted to keep it simple, so I cut up the planks into equal lengths and used plywood as a base upon which to fix them. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/19915358225/in/album-72157655709557642/[/embed] Fixing the planks onto the plywood Initially my idea was to nail the planks directly on to the plywood but the plywood that I found in our scrap area wasn’t thick enough to be penetrated by 3mm nails. Had I tried to hammer in the nails, it would have damaged the plywood. Instead of nailing the planks on to the plywood, I strengthened the plywood with small wooden columns. This effectively increased the thickness of the plywood. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/19590019652/in/album-72157655709557642/[/embed] Joining the Planks Joining the first plank with the two plywood supports at the ends was little tricky. There was a risk of ruining the symmetry if done incorrectly. So I used 3’ C-clamps on both ends to join the plank with the pillars at each end. Without the need of holding the plank and supporting structure with my hands I could easily take measurements and make adjustments. Satisfied with my work so far, I hammered in the nails and removed the clamps. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/19408969040/in/album-72157655709557642/[/embed] Making the Backrest With the base of the bench in place, I had to make a backrest for sake of comfort. I had already cut the base plywood such that it could be fixed with the planks placed vertically on it. So I did the same as I had earlier, and attached wooden columns to the plywood, and nailed the planks onto the columns. At the top end of the backrest I attached a plank horizontally, so small objects could be placed upon it. An aded convenience. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/18976017633/in/album-72157655709557642/[/embed] Arm Rest With the backrest in place, I made grooves into the backrest, where the planks for the arm rest could be slid into. A simple solution for a simple problem. To hold the weight evenly, I added pillars underneath the planks, and with that I was done with the arm rests. Finish With the bench made, it was all about finishing it. I decided to keep it simple, and sanded it down to an even texture across the bench, and also used it to carve out some curves as needed. To finish it off, I coated the entire thing in simple wood varnish, both to give it a sheen, as well as to protect it from the elements. [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/125352978@N05/19623100772/in/album-72157655709557642/[/embed]    

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Playing with Analog Circuits

With the prevalence of Arduino and easy to use micro-controller platforms, people often overlook analog circuits. Our Delhi Interns Gursehaj and Karmanya wanted to make a completely analog version of a common digital circuit and given Karmanya’s predilection for LEDs, they decided to make a VuMeter. A VU meter represents the amplitude of an incoming audio signal, mostly for aesthetic purposes. The heart of the circuit is the LM3914 display driver. The driver takes input in the form of a signal from 0-5 Volts and represents the amplitude of the signal in either bar or dot form. The chip also regulates current to the LEDs which reduces the number of resistors or other components in the circuit as the entire circuit can run off any 9-12V supply. This this circuit the 3914 driver is connected to 30 leds, with 3 parallel leds connected to each pin. The leds themselves are of the ultra bright variety and their light gets diffused through the drinking straws. A potentiometer between pin 7 on the chip and ground controls the current supplied to each led. We used an opamp (AD620) to amplify the signal from the audio jack (~200mV peak to peak) and bring it between 0-5V which the 3914 required. The advantage of using an AD620 or LM386 is that they both require only a gain resistor between pins 1 and 8 to manipulate your opamp gain. Going by the datasheet of the AD620, another potentiometer was used so that different sources (phones,laptops etc) could be accounted for.  

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