Autodesk's Visit to Asylum

We were pleasantly surprised when Behram had senior executive members of the Autodesk team visit the Asylum on the 10th of June.
Autodesk all India head of marketing Mr.Prasad Phadke is no stranger to the Maker Culture, so he was extremely pleased to see a budding Maker Space right in the heart of the vibrant City of Mumbai.
Sachin gave them a tour of the Asylum and introduced them to various community projects that were underway. They were impressed with the wide variety of projects that we could accommodate in such a tight space. Electronics, Robotics, Wood Working, Laser Cutting, 3D Printing !




Anool had an animated discussion on how India was on the cusp of the local Innovation curve and how we’re going to shoot up pretty soon.
Mr. Phadke mentioned how Autodesk’s CEO & President Mr.Carl Bass is himself an avid Maker and is encouraging all kinds of Maker Movements over the Globe. Glad we have their attention then, wink.
They were very keen on having us talk about our Maker Space at their Autodesk University Event on August 7th. We discussed how we could exhibit a mini version of Maker’s Asylum for AU participants to get an idea of what an informal, collaborative Maker Space is like.



Autodesk is going all out this year to showcase how their software is enabling every creator out there. They are specially shipping in Lady GAGA’S 3D printed dress or Roger Federer’s shoe that was customized to fit him. We were impressed to know that the first life sized, 3D printed model of an Indian was no other than Mr. Sharukh Khan.

Behram was most keen on how Microsoft’s Hololens could be used at the Asylum for product visualization and instruction.The possibility of Microsoft Presenting Hololens at the Autodesk University made him bust into a small Jig.

All in, the Autodesk team were left genuinely impressed by what we are doing at the Asylum and how far we have come. They will be putting all their support behind us to further grow this movement.
We couldn’t be more pleased!

Storage cabinets for carpentry and Mechanics

Storage cabinets are big huge, hold alls which are designed simply with a lot of nooks and crannies. They hold a lot of weight and in this case will double up at a display unit too.

The asylum has acquired a lot of tools along the way, and the long and short of it is that we are running out of space to store and display them.

Associate Decor has kindly agreed to provide us with all the particle board we need. Particle board is used to build large cabinets and cupboards and stuff. If you have a ready made "wooden" cabinet; I'll bet its particle board that was used.

Now, I've designed a relatively simple storage cabinet. 2 columns with shelves on either side and a large pegboard supporting them. The pegboard will be used to hang tools, I might also change the peg board into a system of french cleats for more reliable "hanging". The cabinet is 6 feet tall, ~5 wide and 2 deep.

It has a tables that folds away underneath and which can be folded up and supported on to hinged legs.

The bottom portion of each column will have 2 drawers each. The drawers are 5 inches deep. The remaining space will be left empty for now.

I invite people who like building to volunteer to help build this. I will make 5 teams and assign a particular portion to each team. At the end of the week we will meet and put the whole cabinet together. Each team will be responsible for the completion of the portion assigned to them. (I will make voodoo dolls of all the teams as insurance ;) )

Power tools will definitely be used so if

[caption id="attachment_4750" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Design of the storage cabinet for carpentry Design of the storage cabinet for carpentry[/caption]

you are a member and are not yet rated on the power tools then this is a god send.

Stalk the Makers asylum Facebook group page to find out when we will have the first meeting for this build.

Also this is part of a larger build series with the particle board provided by Associate Decor ( so do stay tuned.

Organise Asylum: Carpentry and Mechanical Section

This week I organise the asylum. How did I get into this? Well I've had a day's break between carpentry classes, of course when i say a day it means a Saturday; the previous class got over on the 16th; the next begins on the 30th. Somehow in that one single lonesome day, I have managed to get myself embroiled in an activity that is closest to my heart and one that also gives me the heebi jeebies.

I have volunteered to organise the asylum.

There I've said it, it's out there. Now I can't renegade. In my defense, I was bored with spending a day painting the MAME cabinet.

Me and my trusty spaceman Karthik are going to re-organise and re-furbish the entire asylum; one tiny bit at a time.
We start with breaking up the asylum in sections.
1. Carpentry and Mechanical
2. Electronics
3. Oragami
4. Painting
5. Laser Cutter
6. 3D Printing
7. TT table

Oh wait. The TT table isnt ours. I got a wee bit carried away.

So first up organise the carpentry and Mechanical section. The 2 of us have spent a lot of time thinking about what would look cooler, yet be functional and extensible. We hit on this.

[caption id="attachment_4713" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Plans to organise the carpentry and mechanical section Plans to organise the carpentry and mechanical section[/caption]

We designed this.

Now this design will require 1 sheet of 1/4 inch ply and 2 sheets of 1/2 inch ply and I'm not completely sure that it won't keel over. But hey isn't that what the asylum is all about; Push the boundary of the impossible, the unimaginable and conquer our fear of the unknown.

This week, that shelf is our plan.

We move all the power tools over to this cutie; open up space on the existing shelves for some more possibilities sic junk.

We then move onto electronics next week.

This will be a series of build groups and I invite people to come help with what ever you can; even if it is simply figuring out what is the best configuration for hanging the tools on the peg board.

On a more serious note, we do need some sponsorship for the wood and the screws.

Knocking on wood: Carpentry Class 1, done and dusted

The final session of the first carpentry class began today like most other Saturdays. I was in early and made my rounds of ISDI. I then sharpened the blades and put out all the tools that we would need. You can read about the earlier sessions here
Session 1
Session 2

Today would be a low tool usage day. I had planned to simply get the glue up done and the tops cut up and stuck to the top.


Ofcourse, I knew I was dreaming. Only one participant, Mihir was anywhere close to completing the frames for the table. But the others were not far behind, and I felt 99% confident that we would have the laptop tables completed for the carpentry course after all my fav gang knew everything they needed to know; now it was a question of practice. I was vaguely nervous. ;)

We put the table out and sort of simply got into it. By 11 the final slots were cut, last minute lengthening and shortening of legs and supports was done and we were ready for the hinge. The hinge I had chosen was a nut bolt with a nice semi circular head; very classy. I got out the drill and began the hunt for the chuck key. If you've ever used a drill you'll know its terribly impossible to get things done without a chuck key, but there was none.

Vaibhav came out and showed us a "jugad" how to tighten a chuck, using just the power of the human hand and some care, and some insanity. I wouldn't recommend it tends to wear out the drill motor. But hey, desperate times call for desperate measures.

After lunch we completed the drilling of the hole to receive the nut bolt. Now it maybe a little difficult to explain, but the hole lies at the center of the largest circle that can be drawn within the leg. The leg has also to be rounded out along the same circle so that it can rotate around the bolt. maybe I could come up with an illustration sometime.


Once that was done, we began glue up. Along with the glue up, I explained fasteners: metal screws, wood screws, dowels and nails. All of which i hate but a carpentry class would be incomplete without the theory.

Another thing that is dear to my heart is wood working at home and how it can be done. I have been doing it for the last 7 years, so I believe that everyone can, if they are passionate enough. But enough philosophy. Glue up takes exactly the time that I take to speak, and now we had the first glimpse of the final product. Mihir was done. He was standing, admiring his table with the look of a new dad.

Not far away, I was looked on like a new grandfather. Happy. Pleased. Proud.


The rest were not far behind, each one completed with a little pushing and shoving and the top sheet was engraved with their names. Mihir the first completer, got the Dunning Kruger effect on his. Ain't  it cool.

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One last shot with all of us who were left, hugs and kisses and they were gone.

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My children left the nest. They are prepared to woodwork, they don't need me anymore; I believe it. I pray they do.



The Laser cutting ninja

I've been dying to use the laser cutter at the asylum for weeks now; Literally dying. Every Saturday I promise that the next one will be the day and that never happens. I have my woodworking class on Saturday and my tribe is so much fun that I simply forget the rest of the world.
Yesterday, the universe contrived a situation. I was able to get a half day from work. I rushed back home and babysat and then rushed off to the asylum for Mr Kaustubh's laser cutting class.
Now the laser cutter is a cool thing, and most of you guys will have seen the results it gives. I'm not going to write about that. I am going to write about the trainer though.
The session started 15 minutes late, with out stretchable timings that seems a constant. But once it began time flew by, the allotted 2 hours was up before I knew it and I was out, elated, excited and enthused.
Kaustubh's delivery is quick, crisp and no nonsense. It is immediately obvious that he knows exactly what he is talking about. Listen to him for an hour and you feel like you've been using the machine for days.
If you have been thinking of going for the session and getting yourself rated, do it quick. He is certainly the best trainer around.

Thanks Kaustubh.

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