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!

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.

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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.

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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.

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From setting up Raspberry Pi's to designing projects and making mobile applications, the participants went through the paces with designing connected hardware.

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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.

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Or laser cutting.

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Or power tools.

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We also conducted a fun workshop on making laser cut lamps recently.

We laser cut the designs.

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Spray painted them.

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Put it all together with a little bit of electronics tinkering.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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.

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The departments

  1. Chassis
  2. Engine
  3. Suspension
  4. Steering
  5. Cooling
  6. Transmission
  7. 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 Stages11231810_1139364919423666_6673577900807174454_n

  1. Static events
    1. Design report:
    2. Cost report
    3. Business plan presentation
  1. Dynamic events
    1. Skid pad test
    2. Acceleration test
    3. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Next, the sub systems were designed and analysed using software tools. This was a iterative process to arrive to an optimum solution.
  3. After the design was ready the team proceeded with manufacturing. Manufacturing involved fabrication of individual components, followed by assembly and integration of sub systems.
  4. The final step is the testing of the vehicle as per the event requirements.

Fire up them engines!

 

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.

2015-08-24 19.09.59

 

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.

 

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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:

My Layout

Anool's 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.

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!