Monday, October 3, 2016

Laser Rapid Protyping $$ 🎓🎓 💪

There are two kinds of automated milling  machine, also called computer numerical controlled (CNC): Additive and Subtractive.

  1. Additive CNC machines go by the common phrase "3D printing".   They slowly add more and more stuff - usually plastics, but metal and/or glass are possible - until you achieve the programmed result.
  2. Subtractive is the opposite. You start with a big block of something and carve away, removing the stuff you don't want, till you achieve the programmed result.

Laser Rapid Prototyping is a laser subtractive CNC machine that burns away wood, plastic, etc. till you get the desired result.

NYC Resistor is a 'hacker collective' in Brooklyn that offers space to do projects, as well as a ton of interesting classes about how to do projects.  They are part of the "Maker Movement".  Note, while Laser Rapid Prototyping is not itself social, NYC Resistor is a very social group.  I suspect that any other group that offers similar access to a laser rapid prototyping machine will be similarly social.

They offer both a class:

and the right to use the laser (minimal supervision) after you complete the class.  You can carve plastic sheets, wood, plywood, and similar objects with the laser.  You can also etch stuff into aluminum - but their laser is not powerful enough to cut something made out of aluminum.  (with the possible exception of aluminum foil).

You can make everything from signs to complex machines - I made a rubber band gun.

The laser class is moderately priced, and while it takes some effort for most projects, no muscle is required. 

Gender wise, it's fairly well balanced - NYC Resistor offers everything from sewing to computer construction classes so they tend to attract a wide range of people.  It does trend younger - 20's, 30's more than 40's or 50's.   Kids are generally welcome.

Note, NYC resistor has other classes as well - but Lasers are the hottest class.   And the coolest class.  They also offer a good social environment to work on various projects while surrounded by the kind of people that have interesting hobbies.   If you live in NYC and have room mates, this alone makes them worth taking a look at.  

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