I am Mechanical/Systems engineer in the high tech industry in my day job. During my time in industry, I have participated in multiple startup ventures and have experienced the joys and pains of building an organization from the ground up.  I have been interested in maker/hackspaces for a number of years now, and I have visited many spaces all over the United States and other countries. I am excited and inspired to be involved with creating the Framingham Makerspace, and exploring the intersection of art, technology and community.

Propane Poofer

I got interested in building propane poofers from ones I had seen at local Burning Man events (Firefly).  A poofer is basically a propane fire cannon, designed to send bursts of flame into the night sky.  Built my first one and tested it at home (I have a secluded back yard).

I built electronic triggers, using arduino microcontrollers, to trigger the poofers from a drum. We also built LED light towers and triggered them from the drums.  I am currently researching DMX, Artnet and E1.31 lighting control systems to see if it makes sense to integrate the poofers into a larger lighting control system.

Poofer 1   poofer 2

Here is a link to testing the poofer on the frum set http://youtu.be/OfAT72h452U

Here is a link to the poofer and LED towers used on the drum set during a Fireseed Arts performance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clTz_mhqDFQ

Here I am using Lightjams demo software to control my 8806 based RGB LED strip connected to a Raspberry Pi running OLA LED pixels and Artnet over WiFi http://youtu.be/cuzEstk5TkA


Hank Drums

A group of us have been working on making drums from 20 Lb. propane tanks with Fireseed Arts.  There are good instructions on the web, we used these.  Making one involves cutting the bottom of old propane tank with various sized “U” shaped cuts to form the different notes.  We’ve gotten good at decapping the tanks and using the plasma cutter to cut the notes.  

I also played around with cutting patterns in the sides of the tanks and putting a light inside to make lanterns that project images on a screen.

Hank drum 1  Tank lantern 1

Tank lantern 2


LED Staff

I started this project a few years ago, but it partly inspired me to start the LED Toys for Spinners group at Framingham Makerspace.  The staff contains arduino microcontroller, 3-axis accelerometer, microphone, rechargeable Li-ion batteries and individually addressable RGB LED strip.  I have a 3-axis gyro I have yet to install.  One goal is to do persistance of vision video by spinning the staff.  Still figuring out how fast I need to spin it (it’s not well balanced) to get the desired effect.  The picture below is a short time exposure.

LED staff 1


3D Printer

I had a set of commercial grade stages left over from another project and decided to try building a 3D printer.  It is still very much a work in progress.  I purchased a hot end extruder kit, mounted that on my stages and started getting it all connected to an Arduino.  Purchased a heated bed and RAMPS board but haven’t integrated them yet.

3D printer 1