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Current Projects

The main projects at present are to set up the hackspace, the website, and this wiki.

Project ideas and proposals

CNC machine build

A CNC machine would be a great addition to the Hackspace. Could be used for: milling/cutting/drilling for loads of stuff. It would be even better to learn about stuff while building one. So I was thinking about starting building one. We need a bit of discussion of ideas and concepts and arrive at a specification on how we could go about it. Then we can try and get hold of the various materials required and get building. This isn't a one evening thing - more of a longer term project. It would be great to get people who have some experience of this to have input into it. I'm wanting to build a robust and user friendly unit which is reliable enough to be used quite a lot.


I've been reading an excellent book, Beyond Architecture,, featuring artists' imagining and reimagining of real and fictional cities. I'm interested in developing a collaborative project, where we build a city, using all our varying skills and ideas. I imagine it as an ongoing project, where people can contribute as little or as much as they like - someone may build a single building, or an infrastructure for a city-wide lighting system. it could include elements like; City screens - using display screens within the environment Surveillance - remote monitoring through cameras Web-activated buildings - remote checkin switches lights on/off If anyone is interested, I can bring the book in to a Wednesday session to look through, and we could discuss it. I think it would be a good way to encourage collaborative work, and to make good use of a range of skills, interests and concerns.

Processing/Arduino Etch-a-Sketch

Hi I really enjoyed Arduino Sundae, and I'd like to suggest an event looking at using Arduino to control drawing in Processing. A simple thing would be an etch a sketch, where potentiometers are used to draw horizontal and vertical lines, and the switch used as a 'shaker' to clear the screen. It would be a good intro to connecting the 2 programs. I'd be happy to run this session, and for those who were at Arduino Sundae, the kit which was used there would be fine for this project!

Radio controlled plane

Read about this on New Scientists website and thought you might like to have a look. Its a plane made from corrugated plastic.


Equipment to assist when decorating biscuits -- If you decorate cakes and biscuits using a piping bag you have to apply continuous pressure to the icing by squeezing with one hand. Doing this regularly for long periods can cause severe RSI. The idea of this project is to build a device that will assist the biscuit-decorator by supplying a steady stream of icing through a nozle at the touch of a button. One complication is that this device may have to meet food quality standards to be used in a professional kitchen.


Automatic hand-manipulation for a knitting machine -- Aim: take the needle bed from a domestic knitting machine and modify it to automate hand-manipulation techniques, which are normally very time consuming (see this example video). We could use this to knit some awesome fabrics with ease. See this previous attempt using the parts from an old printer.

A high-speed G carriage for a knitting machine -- see this video request.

Open source software (with a GUI) to edit knitting patterns and program electronic knitting machines easily. There has already been some work to reverse engineer the Brother interface by The Brother Liberation Front and Antitronics, who have also described how to make a USB data cable for Brother's proprietary connection. Some existing python scripts are already available on github, as demonstrated in this makemagazine video.

Martial Arts

A mechanical wing-chun dummy -- similar to the one made for this TV programme. This project will probably require pneumatics, so may be very expensive.


Pharma:hack -- Having talked about biohacking at the weekend, I just remembered that one way to test pain drugs is you dip your hand in ice and measure how long you can keep your hand submerged. Once we have a measure of that we can then take some over the counter medicine and or/ homeopathy drugs and see what is the best at relieving pain. I can then use that as a jumping off point to talk about experimental design, statistics and neuroscience. A lot of this biohacking requires a lot of equipment but obviously this needs very little and is actually more in my area as well. I call it pharma:hack ;0

Digital Art

Build a digital equivalent of the lava-lamp:

The LEDs may be very expensive, unless they can be ordered direct from Asia on ebay.

Learning and Teaching

We could run seminars or evening courses to teach each other new skills. If you have time to organise some learning materials or events, please list the subjects you can offer and sign your name by typing three tildes (~~~) below.


  • Arduino
  • Freescale
  • mbed
  • Renesas H8

CNC, CAE, Fabrication

Software Engineering

"I could run evening courses in C, C++ or Java programming to raise funds for the hackspace. It would take me a while to prepare good quality materials." -- Marcus