Friday, November 11, 2011

First Visit to HackJam

I have been wanting to visit HackJam for a long time. I finally got off my lazy bum and went for the Eagle crash course, generously hosted by Alex Hornstein, a visitor from the US.

It was a excellent crash course. Good thing I did paid some attention back in school during electronic classes, such that I was able to follow most of the theories and basic circuit designs. What you don't get from school is the linkage to the real world and this is what Alex's crash course offered, i.e.

  • How to get the circuit design and have it laid out
  • How to output it into gerber format which PCB maker can understand have your board made
  • He shared his experience with the low cost PCB prototype board maker in Hong Kong (just down the street from where I work!)
We went from zero to knowing how to design and economically make a prototype board in few hours!

Another interesting part of this visit is meeting Jon again. Not only is he working on, and, he is also at HackJam! Jon, do you somehow bend the law of physics and have a 48 hour day??

I checked out his little work-in-progress Make-a-Bot like machine and it looks like he is almost there!

I have heard of 3D printers, but I have always think of them as ridiculously expensive. Boy! How fast have technology moved. Apparently today, it is possible to have a 3D printer for under 1,000 USD!

It was interesting listening to Alex sharing his vision on manufacturing goods as a SOHO/lifestyle business. In fact, he is well on his way. I saw his video of an electronic toy which he designed and manufactured. So, he is able to design his own circuit board, program his own firmware and print his own plastic. I don't think he is too far off!

I wish him luck!