This week I’ve got a lot of challenges coming up and I could sure use a hand.
Maker Faire & VHS
My local Vancouver Hack Space is moving to a new location this month. I’m helping with the egress crew – that is to say, getting all the stuff out of the old place. It’s about 10h/week out of my time that would otherwise be spent on improving the store. A plan is already firmly in place and ever so slightly ahead of schedule. All I can do is ask people to show up and help move stuff. If you’ve got a truck, van, or car, it would be very welcome.
Get a Working Laser Cutter
The VHS laser cutter is offline until they finish moving it. I tried a few other laser cutters around town and was disappointed with the accessibility, speed, and quality of the work. I’m looking for a machine with these specs:
- need: cuts at least 12″x24″
- need: doesn’t use a dongle
- need: comes with chiller & venting
- need: >60W power
- want: shows up as a printer on my network
- want: warranty
The budget is $5k including shipping and install. Got any leads?
Makelangelo Code Changes
The request came several weeks ago to change the calibration point to make very very large drawings easier. My demo machine isn’t running as well as I’d like and it’s made testing very challenging. A part of me is tempted to release it and wait for the error messages to come in.
Two fantastic users have submitted pull requests to add more stuff to the project. One fixes a rare race condition. The other stores pen up/down settings in the arduino EEPROM, which means a firmware upgrade. Both change a bunch of project settings and need to be merged into the current version.
I don’t know a way to make this code more open so other people can apply the patches themselves. Ideas?
I’m waiting on parts to arrive from Hong Kong that should greatly improve the range of motion in the delta robots and the stewart platform. It’s take a year of negotiating with 3rd party “finders” because the factory won’t deal direct. If they work as promised then I’ll be over the moon with joy. In any case for the moment I am actively telling people to wait so that they get the upgrade coming soon (I hope). Is this the right way to do business? No. Is it the right thing to do for my customers? Yes. Does it make it harder to do business? Yes, in the short term. I believe treating people right is how to make loyal fans, and my business runs on word of mouth.
…and all the rest
RFPs, artist’s projects, existing long-term customers… it’s at a tipping point: I need more help but I can’t afford it and if I had it already then I could probably afford it. I guess I need to get into subcontracting? Your thoughts are appreciated.