The Centipede

DEMONs: Making Ideas a Reality

Ashley Kim '19, Arts Editor

If you walks into CA’s science building on a Sunday morning between 10 to noon, you’ll find DEMONs (Dreamer, Engineer, Mechanic Overt Nerds) working away on various projects, developing new technologies, and brainstorming ideas. These projects, many of which have been requested by either members of the CA community or people from the broader local area, range from a 3D printer to a musical staircase. Other projects currently in the works include a CNC machine, a vinyl cutter, LED light panel, and theatre cable cart.

After six years of work, the incufridge, built by Zachary Yedidia ’17, has finally been completed this year and is ready to be used during classes for educational purposes. Yedidia used Raspberry Pi, a small credit-card sized computer to program Incufridge. Incufridge is a combination of an incubator and a fridge, which is designed to keep temperature-sensitive materials at their right temperatures. The completion of incufridge enlarged the inventory of experiment supplies for future CA science courses. Max Hall, the faculty advisor of DEMONs, described the Incufridge project “the best thing about this year’s DEMONs.”

DEMONs currently has two Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines, both operated by Michael Qiu ’18 and Mark Morton ’18. The Computer Numerical Control router (CNC-R) is a 4 by 8 feet machine that can cut wood up, down, and sideways. Qiu and Morton used CNC-R to make the sponsor panels, which were a part of the stage set of the Winter Mainstage 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, at the request of the Theatre department. The Computer Numerical Control Miller (CNC-M), is a vertical miller that operates within a 6 inch cube. CNC-M is capable of cutting hard materials like metal. “Both of them take instructions from a piece of software running on a Windows computer and translate them to motion through a box called a stepper controller, which drives motors in each axis of the CNC machine,” Hall described.

The 3D printer project group, lead by Katrina Wang ’17 and Raphi Kang ’19, has been working on “a tetrahedral model that represents molecular bonds of silicon” at the request of John Pickle, another of the club’s faculty advisors. “We have printed several working prototypes, but it’s still a work in progress,” Kang explained. “We learned a lot about the rising technology of 3D printing, the nooks and crannies of it that you can’t really learn through the manual, and succeeded in taming the printer to a point where it would, well, print.”

Hall said that the progress DEMONs made this year was “better than usual.” He explained that this year, “We (DEMONs) have a lot of motivated, talented members, and we are doing projects that seem to make people keep going.” Last year, the projects were limited only to the project leaders and members who started the project from the beginning. However, with the new system of documentation, an online catalogue called Trello, anyone can join different projects at any point in the year because each task is documented onto the website. Because the completed projects are online, anyone can see what has been done and can help to finish them. .

Next year, DEMONs will continue working on documenting the progress of each project using Trello and will reorganize the new workspace for efficient use. DEMONs is excited to get a third CNC machine with a laser over the summer and is looking forward to using the incubator for future science experiments. With all their hard work and diverse talents, the next year looks promising for DEMONs.

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DEMONs: Making Ideas a Reality