Once again, members of the Omaha Maker Group participated in the Kansas City Maker Faire. Due to a general lack of interest, we forwent an “official” OMG booth entirely this year, focusing instead on the Power Racing Series. Garrick and the Tesla coil crew had quite the show, though, and even got a photo of their setup in the Make Magazine article.
After the Faire on Saturday night, most of the gang went to the new Hammerspace, the local Makerspace which is “like a gym for people who like to make things. WITH ROBOTS! AND LASERS! AND 3D PRINTERS!”. Their new location is HUGE, and it sounds like things are going really well.
We did a lot of things “right” this year, staying downtown (the new Home2 is an easy walk to Union Station, as long as you’re not carrying a cooler), skipping the booth (so everyone gets to hang out together and no one is “stuck” for their shift) and not waiting 3 hours for “pretty good” barbecue (Sorry guys!).
Our amazing Power Wheels crew scored a FIRST PLACE in Moxie for the Amazon Box Car this weekend in KC!! With strong driving and an almost unbreakable car, we came home with a 3rd-place overall for the weekend! WOW! Great job to everyone who had a hand in it!
The BMW car had a very respectable finish, too. Again, great driving and a great design proved their worth – 90 seconds to change a tire? That’s amazing! The body, unfortunately, did not fare too well – it stayed behind in KC, destined for the trash bin. But the car is home and is a ready platform to build on our successes.
Thanks again to everyone for a great weekend.
Hey gang, it’s time again for OMG’s annual Gingerbread House event. Note that this event has no actual gingerbread (we use graham crackers) and few, if any, “houses” in the traditional sense. In the past, we’ve seen locomotives, hobbit holes and skyscrapers.
This years’s event coincides with the regular meeting on December 19th. As usual, doors open around 5:30pm and people are usually around until 9 or 10pm. The start time is nominally 6pm, but realistically people will arrive and work on their construction whenever on that evening.
Frosting “mortar” and whatever decorations leftover from last year will be provided, but please consider bringing a box of crackers and some things to decorate with.
This is traditionally an “open house” sort of event, with folks bringing friends and family. The holidays are for group gatherings, after all.
Hope to see everyone there!
Now that we’ve moved our shop times to Thursdays, please join us for some tinkering and fun!
Thanks to all who took part in our Trebuchet Contest! We had perfect weather and all involved had a great time. With nine people competing on six teams, we saw a wide variety of designs and lots of experimentation.
Each team fired three shots, which were analyzed for efficiency and for accuracy. The efficiency score is calculated as the length of the best shot divided by the mass of the counterweight – to discourage anyone from using small cars as counterweight and hurling the projectiles all the way to Dodge Street. The accuracy score is the standard deviation of the three shots. To combine these into a final score, each category was normalized to 5 points for the best team in that area, with proportionally fewer points going to every other team. As a result, the best possible score is ten points, which would only be awarded to a team winning both categories.
|Rank||Team||Efficiency (ft/lb)||Accuracy (St Dev)||Score|
|4th||Kyle and his Dad||7.9||18.3||4.0|
|6th||Don, Stephanie, and Sarah||6.2||31.2||3.2|
Ben, competing with a trebuchet constructed years before and “conveniently” fitting the contest requirements, had the longest throw of the day at 214 feet, but the use of a rather large counterweight dropped his efficiency to mid-pack, though not nearly low enough to offset his astonishing repeatability and accuracy.
Dave, winner of the “Least Effort Possible” award which nobody has bothered to create, gave a spectacular performance, particularly considering that his machine was constructed and tested in under fifteen minutes.
Eric nearly forfeited the contest after some mysterious last-minute bugs, but came back with a very solid 94-foot throw. Unfortunately, with two of his three shots launching backwards, his accuracy score reminded everyone to stand well to one side of a firing trebuchet.
Kyle and his Dad arrived with the only machine too large to be assembled indoors. Installing a competitive amount of counterweight earned them a respectable score, but before and after the contest, their 50-lb maximum capacity gave the neighbors something to think about.
Kevin competed with the only machine requiring three hands to safely load, and was also the only entrant to attempt self-amputation during testing. Despite this, the device proved acceptably reliable and fired many shots without incident.
Don, Stephanie, and Sarah may have earned the lowest score, but they were also the only team to compete with no prior testing. Their trebuchet was not completed until several minutes after the start of check-in and was immediately put to the test with none of the tinkering and tweaking afforded by the other teams.
Once again, a huge thanks to everyone who took part in this contest! We know it was the most difficult challenge we’ve yet conceived, and everyone who took part worked extremely hard to make the firing line yesterday. We promise the next event will carry wider appeal – more on that in the coming weeks.
- For Opening New Frontiers – Jay Hannah and Dave Knaack
- For Operational Excellence – Eric Kaplan
As stated at the meeting, the categories for these awards are entirely arbitrary and subject to change in future years; Â Also, we estimate that this prize is roughly 1 million times easier to win than a Nobel Prize, and the cash award has been scaled accordingly.
As for the award for Operational Excellence, this prize is awarded to Eric Kaplan for consistent attention to “things that need done”; He’s involved in everything from staffing booths to designing marketing material and furniture for the space. Furthermore, he successfully facilitated the Makery’s relocation to our new home.
Again, congratulations to all our 2013 winners.
Mark your calendars, the Omaha Maker Group’s 3rd anniversary (birthday?) get-together is Tuesday, August 20th. As usual, doors open by 6pm. There’ll be food and beverages and even some awards.
If you haven’t heard via the mailing list and meetings, OMG has moved! Our new address is 8410 K St. #5.
Come check it out!