Digital Fabrication Cause

Location: The Digital Fabrication room is the room on the left at the end of the Green Room farthest from the driveway.

Cause Leader: Cause Leader: Aaron Bycroft, aka “Crofty”

Objective: Digital Fabrication's goals are to provide, maintain, and run classes for equipment in the principles of digital fabrication and related fabrication services

Members: See Current List

Recommended Suppliers: See here.

Communications: Forums and #cause-digifab in Discord Chat.

Cause Area Expectations

  • Please leave the area as clean or cleaner than you found it.
  • Please make sure to put money in the donation tin for consumables.
  • Please don’t leave machines running unattended.
  • Please don’t create mess in the Digifab room, our tools are sensitive to dust etc.
  • Please return tools to their homes and don’t remove them from the Digifab room.
  • If a tool has dedicated consumables, please do not use your own in it.
  • If a tool has a dedicated workflow, please do not deviate from it.
  • If a tool is broken or misbehaving, report it either on the Forums or Trello.
  • Don’t use tools that are marked as out of order.
  • Please read the wiki before attempting to use a tool in Digital Fabrication.

Cause Owned Equipment

Tools requiring Induction

3D Printers:

  • Induction process is to demonstrate safe use of the machine while setting up a print.
  • Maintainers are listed on the wiki for each machine.

Redsail 60w Laser Cutter:

  • For the laser cutter, it is a hands-on class on how to use the machine after the Supervisor has checked the machine and your competency.
  • Use requires supervision even after this, but it will generally be less hands on and more the Supervisor ensuring the machine is operating properly.
  • Supervisors are listed on the tool's wiki page.

Tools requiring Supervision

  1. Laser cutters: The machines themselves require supervision, so a supervisor must be around for the machines to be operated by anyone.

Process for becoming a Supervisor

Becoming a Supervisor is not to be considered a shortcut to having unsupervised full access to a machine; it’s a role requiring a greater & more regular contribution of your time than a Maintainer. It means you know a machine well enough the you’re the person the Maintainers go to when they’re not sure of something. If you’re not already a Maintainer, start with that role first. Becoming a Supervisor doesn’t have a 100% formally described method as it varies depending on the state of our current equipment and the need for additional Supervisors, but guidelines are given below. Final discretion on being a Supervisor is up to the Cause Leader.

Supervisors should have spent a reasonable amount of time as a Maintainer and can point to some recent tasks they have performed to maintain or improve the machine. If you’re stuck for tasks, ask the Cause Leader, other Maintainers or Supervisors, or check Trello for our current To-Do list. We try to keep some simple tasks aside just for newcomers, but if you feel they’re all too difficult, you’re welcome to have a go with finishing a task on one of our similar machines. Helping to bring an offline machine into operation is big brownie points.

A Supervisor should have an in-depth knowledge of how not just that type of machine works in general, but also the quirks & oddities of our specific machines. For the former, we have a short 10-ish question test - keep in mind it doesn’t check for competency, it only checks that you know where to find important information. Despite this limitation of our current test, a Supervisor should be able to not just reference our existing documentation, but add to it whenever they spot a weak point. Regarding knowledge of any quirks & oddities of our specific machines, the only real way to learn this is by going through all our existing documentation plus experience by spending time with the machine. As a rough guide, you should have at least 10 hours of hands-on use with this machine.

A Supervisor should be able to not only run the machine without others present, but know what to do when (not if) it breaks. This doesn’t just mean slapping a Borked or Broken ticket on it and walking away, but actually diagnosing and repairing the problem to get the machine up & running again. If you haven’t had the machine break on you already as a Maintainer, this ability may be tested by having one of the current Supervisors deliberately introduce a fault for you to find & fix.

While it is a requirement of HSBNE’s membership that all members must keep relatively up to date with HSBNE’s happenings, Supervisors are additionally required to be actively involved in the relevant sections on Trello, Slack and our Forums. Supervisors must be available to answer questions for Maintainers & users whenever possible, and must be willing and able to supervise others using the machine as often as they can.

The list of current Supervisors may be revised every 3-6 months at a Digifab cause meeting, and will be used to identify if any of the Supervisors are currently incapable of continuing to perform the above duties. We all know life sometimes gets in the way and a Supervisor’s status will not be withdrawn without fair warning to them, but the position is intended only for those who are active with the machine.

Process for becoming a Maintainer

To become a maintainer for any of the Digifab machines you must demonstrate competency to at least one of the existing Maintainers and the Cause Leader. The easiest way to do this is by doing some of the tasks on our Trello To-Do list, or by asking one of the Supervisors, other Maintainers or the Cause Leader for suitable tasks.

Ongoing Budgets

Monthly Consumables Discretionary - $100. This is for reimbursing purchases of cause consumables.

Current Goals

  • Clean up room
  • Price up supplies.
  • Write up Photon workflow.
  • Write up Up Mini workflow

Proposed Classes

  • How to Vector
  • How to 3D Model
  • How to 3D Print
  • How to Filastrude

Cleaning plan

Digital Fabrication contains equipment that is sensitive to dust, and mess. The room must be vacuumed by users of the tools at least once a fortnight.

Current Projects

  • Finish upgrades to Red Laser Cutter