Tag Archives: fabrication lab

Meet the VSAs — Rei

The VSAs are the amazing folk who greet you at the service desk, provide you with caffeine and support you in all your adventures through time and space here at the Edge. They are essentially humble super humans without whom this place could not run. We thought you might enjoy finding out more about these mysterious creatures, so we will be quizzing them and introducing them to you over the next little while.


I started working at the Edge…
Only just recently! About a month ago.

My favourite thing about the Edge is…
The fabrication lab! I used to visit The Edge a lot to concentrate on my work as it was a great quiet space and until recently I was unaware of all the different equipment that was available to the public via the Fab lab downstairs. It’s given me the opportunity for me to work on bigger projects that I wasn’t able to do before.

Come talk to me about…
Beagles, Korean food, film photography, Japan, chorus pedals… but more importantly, your creative projects. I’d love to hear about what you’re working on.

I am making…
Actually at the moment I’m laser cutting a new pickguard for my guitar. I would love to try to make a body + neck with the CNC Router sometime too.

I am listening to…
Porches, Snail Mail and the new Dinosaur City Records compilation.

I am watching…
Terrace House (So good, highly recommend it).

In my spare time I…
Play drums in a post punk band.

If I could live anywhere it would be…
I’d love to live in Japan again for a bit but really Bris has my heart.

Pineapple on pizza?
No, never. Feel very strongly about this.

Beach or mountain?
Beach. Love a swim.


Laser Cutter Update

Do you love the laser cutter as much as we do?

If it’s one of your favourite pieces of equipment to use at The Edge, keep reading to find out about new materials and changes to procedures, bookings, and machine settings.


New settings

A couple of weeks ago, Mark, our Trotec technician gave the laser its regular six-monthly service. One of the first things Mark does when he arrives is measure the output of the CO2 tube that the laser is producing. Our model is rated to produce (at least) 80 watts of power. However, it’s not uncommon (apparently), for the tube to produce more than the rated output, especially when the machine is new. As the machine begins to wear, it’s fair to expect that the power output will decline and produce closer to the rated wattage. After two years of fairly solid use by The Edge’s communities and development staff, our machine is still consistently producing 100 watts.

Reliably getting 100 watts for the price of 80 is a great problem to have. With these consistently higher output measurements though, Mark suggested we adjust all of our settings to reflect the higher energies that the machine is producing. Using the adjusted settings means the machine cuts cleaner and more efficiently. It will make bigger jobs faster to cut, and we’ll see less scorch marks on the material, and less of those flashes and pops that you see when you are cutting – the pops and flashes are actually debris being ignited in the pocket of air in the honeycomb under the material. Adjusting the power settings allows the machine to actually vaporise the material and make a clean cut , rather than heating up the general area and eventually burning through which creates a lot of smoke and mess in the machine.

So, next time you’re using the laser, take note of the new settings and enjoy the 1 to 2% extra speed. Vroom Vroom!


New materials

Over the last couple of months we’ve started keeping new material in stock, and communities have been trialing others. We thought it might be handy for you to know about the new materials – especially for planning your projects – and hope it inspires you to try something new!

As well as the A3 acrylic in black, white, and clear 3mm and 6 mms, we now stock primary colours in the A3 3mm. We are also stocking A2 sheets in black, white, and clear in the 3mm and 6mm, plus clear in 1. 5mm in A3 & A2. Check out the new price list here.


Exotic Materials

The majority of designs that community would like to cut on the laser, the materials we keep in stock do the trick nicely. But, we love to see people experiment with our resources, so we don’t want to get in the way of people trying new things.

To facilitate community members experimenting with new uses of the laser, or cutting exotic materials, we have a process for you to submit a request to use a new material. Community members need to drop in a sample (70 x 100mm is enough) and email us, providing as much information as possible. Include information like: what you think the material is, where it came from, and what you would like to do with it. The more information you can provide, the more likely you are to get permission. Mostly, we’re concerned with whether the material is safe to cut in our machine, so we are looking for Safety Data Sheets (SDS or MSDS), what the supplier called the material (photos of the tag at Bunnings are handy), or a link to the material on a website. These things help track down exactly what it is so we can tell if it’s safe.

Once we’ve established it’s safe to cut, a team member will do some testing on your sample to determine the optimum speed and power settings and get in contact to let you know. However, all this takes time, so make sure you are communicating with us well in advance about your plans (at least 14 days before your laser booking).




Tuesdays are Drop in day for the laser. We recognise that sometimes it’s difficult to get a booking on the laser, so you can now come in on a Tuesday and reserve a 20 minute slot on the machine. Just come in with a job ready to go and put your name up on the whiteboard. Make sure it’s ready to go when it’s your turn, because if you’re not ready you’ll miss your spot in the cue.

#MADETODAY: Dog tags

#MADETODAY Dog tags, by Talia Yat

Dog tags

Toshi, the doge model


What did you make?
Dog tags

What inspired you to make this?
Dogs who are escape artists!

What Fabrication Lab resource did you use?
Laser Cutter

Where’d the design come from? 
Designed this myself using Adobe Illustrator.

Lastly, is there anything else you’d like to tell us about what you’ve made?

Although the wood tag looks cool, it’s not practical. The wood tag lasted about 2 weeks (her friend kindly chewed it off). The acrylic tag has lasted a lot longer.


Dog tags

Toshi’s tags, including the timber tag, that didn’t last long


Dog tags

The reverse side of Toshi’s tags


Have you made something in the Fabrication Lab today? We’d love to hear about it and share it with The Edge community.

Submit your entry here: http://edgeqld.org.au/madetoday/

The Fabrication Lab is now open longer!

Your community access Makerspace and Fabrication Lab is now even better, offering extended opening hours.

The Fabrication Lab has seen a great uptake from the community over the past 18 months, and now in response to feedback and the high-use of some equipment, designers, crafters and hobbyist can access the makerspace after traditional business hours.

Commencing Tuesday 15 November, we will trial new operating hours in the basement, opening one extra day a week and extending hours out to 8pm.

What does this mean for you? More access to the equipment and space and more opportunity for you to cut, print, sew and make on the laser cutter, 3D printers, sewing machines and hand tools!

If you’ve completed your induction and there’s a project you’re working on, or you’ve got one in mind for Christmas (decorations or presents?), make sure you jump online and book a session, or drop in next Tuesday from midday. Tuesday’s will be a designated ‘drop in’ day – no online bookings, just drop in, add your name to the list, and wait for your 15 minute slot to cut or print.

If you haven’t visited our Fabrication Lab before and you’d like to know how to get involved, drop in while the Lab is open and chat to the staff, or come along to the free weekly meetup, Hack the Evening – Thursday’s and Saturday’s from 5.30pm.

Inductions on all the equipment (which is required before you can play), will be available in the New Year. If you’d like to stay up-to-date and find out when inductions open, sign-up for The Edge’s monthly eNewsletter, and watch out for the first issue in mid-January with a big list of courses, workshops and inductions.


New Fabrication Lab operating hours, from Tuesday 15 November:

Midday to 8pm: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.


Christmas Closure:

While The Edge will be open throughout the Christmas and New Year period (check the website for closures on public holidays), the Fabrication Lab will run on a different schedule. The Fabrication Lab will be closed from 8pm Saturday 17 December, reopening at midday on Tuesday 31 January 2017.


For more information, visit The Edge website, or call 0 7 3842 9400.


AUXILIARY is calling for applicants for AUXILIARY PLUS – a six week foundational Industrial Design course that teaches sketching, lo-fi prototyping and CAD. It is open to students, professionals and creatives wanting to supercharge their design skills.

AUXILIARY PLUS is also a preparatory primer for the client sponsored AUXILIARY X programme. Students from the inaugural AUXILIARY X programme recently won big in The Australian Good Design Awards’ Young Australian Design Awards category providing a shining representation of innovative Queensland design.

After almost 50 students entered and 9 finalists selected, the winners were announced at the Good Design Awards Gala Night in Sydney on May 27th. Three AUXILIARY finalists took away 3 awards on the night from the 5 available – an outstanding achievement considering competition from prestigious institutions such as UTS, UNSW and Monash.



Angelina Kwan’s Air-O Pan project won the Technology Award. Air-O Pan combines the cooking technologies of an induction fry pan, air fryer, wok, steamer and even a steam oven into one easy to use appliance.


Thomas Costello’s Botany project won the Sustainability Award. Botany is a vertical aeroponic garden designed to be a simple and attractive micro-farming solution for high density urban homes and apartments where home grown food is either inconvenient or impossible, which meets an ever growing current market trend.


David Chapman’s Essence  project won People’s Choice. Essence unlocks natural properties found in household plants; to preserve food and repel insects through air oxidisers and fragrances and even includes a self-watering system.


The 14 week AUXILIARY X programme where the above work was created saw students produce innovative and high resolution concepts for client Sunbeam Australia. Throughout the programme students were armed with the tactical, practical and strategic skills needed to meet the demands of a real world client, and the outcome speaks for itself. The entire design process behind each of these amazing projects was realised in The Edge’s Fabrication Lab, which provided all the necessary tools and resources under the one roof to enable the next generation of designers bring their ideas to life.

The deadline for AUXILIARY PLUS applications is Friday, June 24. Details of the forthcoming AUXILIARY X programme will be announced over the coming months.

For more information visit auxdesignschool.com.au or contact AUXILIARY at contact@auxdesignschool.com.au

#MADETODAY – Turning ideas into a business

From testing and prototyping to developing a product for sale, Kat Johnston, the owner of Fractured Lace shares how she’s transformed her ideas into a business with the help of the Fabrication Lab.

Kat Johnston is now a regular in The Edge’s basement, know by name by the staff and a few of the other regulars, she’s taken to the equipment in the Fabricaiton Lab, (as the saying goes) like a duck to water.

When we spoke with Kat earlier this year, she shared some of her inspiration for her jewellery and accessories collection, and how she got started in the Lab:

When I first started using the laser cutter at the Edge, I did a lot of experimentation on black acrylic, learning about the best ways to set up the files and work with the materials. As I become more confident, I branched out into colours, and they are what provided a bouncing-off point for the collection. Influenced by sweet lolita, hime and otome fashion styles, the finished pieces were inspired by the gorgeous colours of my materials – strawberries and cream with a splash of mint and a brush of gold. They were also influenced by delicious sweet treats!

I’ve also been building up my brand, Fractured Lace. I’ve just gotten around to uploading some of the collection to my online store, but there is still a bit left to go. It’s definitely quite a process to get everything sorted, from design files to the finished product, to photography to promote my work… but it’s been incredible to see my ideas go from random thoughts to incredible reality. I definitely couldn’t have done it without the resources the Edge provides.

The resources available at the Edge are incredible. Seriously! I’m not just talking about the equipment either. The staff have a wealth of knowledge; and I still have to have a further chat to Daniel about how to utilize additional RGB paths with custom cut settings to reduce cutting/etching time. It’s always great to chat to Peter about what projects he’s up to; and I’ve only just met Holly, the new fab lab supervisor. Everyone has been beyond helpful, every step of the way.

Needless to say, the equipment is an important factor in why I use the Edge too. Being able to do short production runs and prototyping myself has meant that I have had the opportunity to learn so much more about how to get the most out of the materials, and the machine. It’s enabled me to move forward with my business so much easier. Before, I’d have to send my files away to be turned into the finished product – which is not an inexpensive or speedy process, especially when it comes to prototyping, where I may have to try the same design with minor differences several times over. Having the machine right there in front of me to test things out on, and being able to see the laser move around the sheet, has meant that I can identify more quickly what I can improve upon and where I’m making mistakes – something I could never do if I only ever sent my files away to be cut elsewhere.

I’m not sure what else to share, except to say this: thank you to everyone at The Edge for making these resources available. Not only have you allowed me to create things that literally make me smile whenever I see them, but you’ve been an instrumental part in me building the skills I need to take my designs, turn them into reality, and share them with the world.

Thank you.

If you’re interested to check out Kat’s designs, jump onto her Facebook Page, Website, or follow her on Instagram.


If you follow us on Facebook, you might have already seen our little intro to #MadeToday. This album is the start of our inspiration gallery and a way to answer the question: “What can you do at The Edge?”. Because really, the answer to that question is “how curious are you?”, and “how big is your imagination?” We’ve got all the tools here; the rest is up to you!

And, this is where you (yes you!) come in! We’d love to see what you’re creating in our space so we can share it with The Edge community. Whether you’re in the Fabrication Lab whipping something up on the sewing machines, mixing tracks in the Recording Studio or designing up a poster in the DML – we’d love to see it!

It’s really simple, should take you no longer than 2 minutes, and can be done on your phone.
There are 3 online forms you can use to submit your work in progress / masterpiece / disaster / assignment / tinkering project, and picking the right one will depend on what resources you’ve used at The Edge.

If you’re using the Fabrication Lab: 3D Printers, Laser Cutter, Sewing Machines, Hand Tools or Soldering Irons, then use this form:


If you’re mixing an audio track or video, you can use this form:


And lastly, if you’re using any of the software in the Digital Media Lab, you can use this form:



Next Step? Jump onto one of the online forms and submit something…

PS. We’ve created a few forms, because it allows us to tailor questions to the type of project you’re working on. We’re also trailing these forms out, so if you think we’ve missed off an important question, or you have any feedback for us, let us know by leaving a comment below.


#MadeToday is a gallery of inspiration.When people ask, “What can you do at The Edge?” … the answer really is “how…

Posted by The Edge, Queensland on Monday, 25 May 2015

What do you make when you have a new laser cutter..?

… an egg cup Dalek.
We bet you didn’t see that one coming!

Some may say why? Others may say why not…? An egg cup Dalek is a great idea! But frankly, the egg cup doesn’t matter as much as WE HAVE A LASER CUTTER!! You may have thought that the Fabrication Lab couldn’t get much better; that the 3D printers, sewing machines, tools and CNC were pretty cool, but we think we’ve just topped it!

Are you ready to play? Access to the Laser Cutter works like all the other resources in the Fabrication Lab. To book the resource you first need to complete a safety induction. But, we haven’t released any inductions for the Laser Cutter yet. If you’d like to be informed when the inductions are running, register your details with us, and we’ll put you on the priority waiting list.