All posts by Chris Fryer

Stringybark 2017

MESH had a great Stringybark Festival this year. This year we had a joint stand with VARMS, Victorian Association of Radio Model Soaring, who we have been laser cutting model aircraft for.

Our ping pong catapult and cannon firing range was a huge hit, thanks Nick Fryer for his amazing design work and Peter McKenzie for putting it all together. Thanks Kevin Fryer from the radio controlled aircraft club VARMS, he brought some amazing models one with a wingspan of almost four meters. Jason Ng displayed his awesome Muppet like puppets and augmented reality city models of Melbourne and New York.

Over the weekend MESH sold out of laser cut catapults and cannons – both kids and adults loved them. We raised more than $600.00 for MESH. VARMS built three laser cut aircraft bodies, thanks again Kevin Fryer for showing us how it’s done. Now some pictures!

Anybody having trouble putting cannon and catapult kits together, email

Our Laser Cutter!

In late 2016 MESH received a grant from Knox City Council to buy a laser cutter for use by Knox community groups and Swinburne students. Last Saturday we started cutting for the first time. The laser cutter is a Axis Laser LG900N with an 80w laser tube. It can cut or engrave MDF, plywood, acrylic, up to 8mm thickness. A laser cutter is an amazing tool able to cut intricate patterns for decorative purposes, or to make robot chassis and boxes for machine tools such a 3D printers or other gadgets.

Our laser cutter cutting!

The laser cutter installed in room WJ111 an Swinburne Wantirna campus:

A laser cut Raspberry Pi 2 case:

A laser cutter is a flexible machine and a must for any makerspace. Thanks Knox City Council!

2016 A Good Year… For MESH!

Happy new year!

2016 was a good year for Melbourne Eastern Suburbs Hackers. We finally attained our goal of a permanent location after negotiations with Swinburne University and Knox City Council. In March we attended the Melbourne Mini Maker Faire at Swinburne Wantirna Campus, two weeks later we held our first meeting in room WJ111 at the same campus. Thanks Swinburne!

In June we applied for a grant from Knox City Council, in August we found out we won! MESH is now the proud owner of an 80 W laser cutter, with the obligation to give access to the Knox community. Thanks Knox Council!

During the year MESH attended many other maker events including, the Maker Community Event for Melbourne Knowledge Week, the Mini Make Day at the Library at the Dock, Stringybark Festival and TOM Melbourne.

We would like to wish everyone a happen new year. May 2017 be an even better year for MESH!

MESH Survived Stringybark 2016!

The Stringybark festival is an annual event that’s been run by the Knox City Council for 30 years. We had the pleasure of attending the event last year and again, this year.

The 2016 event saw contributions from many MESH members – including:

Michael Byrne has created an An interactive Minecraft display by where you crank the handle to blow up the dynamite on-screen!

Jason Ng’s continuing work on his 3D prosthetic hand was on display with servo-driven model wiggling its fingers at all that passed. He also had some fantastic hand crafted Halloween themed fridge magnets.

Caitlin Kelly brought along her mBot Programmable robot and a 9v powered blinking LED board that she had successfully soldered together at a recent MESH meeting.

Nick Fryer, Chris Fryer and Peter came armed with an assortment of 3D printers, drones and other things that blinked. Everyone loved watching the wee little Geckos being printed out.

Paul Darley amazed and frustrated lots of people with his thought controlled levitation device – while wearing an electronic headband, you had to ‘think’ a ball into the air. Some people could do it, some could not but everyone had a go!

Tom Harris, as always, had a unique display. Pair a Bicycle seat with a pair of handlebars on a board and you get a trophy head. Make a dozen of them and you have a trophy wall. An old oil heater tank was turned into a cow and junk robots filled his table.

Alana J. Stewart had her two LED skirts – the Octopus fiber-optic skirt and the one made with lots of chule. These were a real crowd-pleaser with someone inquiring about purchasing them! We suggested that they come along to MESH and we can help them learn to make their own.

And me, I brought along a little laser cut ball maze to demonstrate what a laser cutter can do as well as my RetroPie arcade box and a big orange rocket that much to everyone’s surprise really has flown to an altitude of a little more than 1km.

Over the two days we talked to countless people, many of which were fascinated by the 3D printers and amazed at how they could be used for not only making Geckos, but has the ability to change peoples lives with assistive technologies!

I think that we’ll be welcoming many new members over the coming months.

A very huge thank you to all involved and to everyone that came past to visit us over the weekend!

-Sascha Grant

The MESH Forum

Late last week, I installed a forum on our website. After a bit of customisation and testing it is ready for right prime time. The forum uses the popular open source phpBB software. Our committee have volunteered to be moderators.

The forum has several sub-forums, from the obligatory general discussion to links, tutorials, projects and more. The forum is open to all not just MESH members. Hopefully it will become a useful resource for makers the world over.

You can sign up here:

In other news, a big thank you to MESH member Ashley Hill for donating a partially complete 3D printer. It should be fun getting it working next meeting.

First Meeting at the New Space

Our first meeting at the new space at Swinburne Wantirna Campus was a great success, with our greatest turnout ever and the highest number of first-time visitors. One of the first timers, Chris Mitchell, is a photographer and he kindly shared his pictures with us.

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Thanks for all the work from all our committee, Swinburne and Knox City Council to make all this possible, we all still have lots of work ahead of us. We need to clean up the courtyard, get and install 3D Printers and other equipment. The future is looking bright for MESH!

April 2nd, First Meeting at Our New Makerspace!

Our first meeting at our new makerspace will be on Saturday 2nd of April starting at 1 PM.

This will be a real makerspace and our permanent location for the foreseeable future. We can have equipment such as laser cutters, 3D printers and computers permanently set up. There is already a huge collection of hand and power tools, along with a welder, guillotine and a hot wire foam cutter, that we can use.


There is space to store member projects, no more hauling projects and equipment from home and back again.

The space will be a joint venture with Swinburne University. That means we will be sharing the facility with students from Swinburne. In the future Swinburne will be investing in new equipment for the makerspace that we will share with Swinburne students.

Having a makerspace at a university will encourage students to use what they have learned in a practical way and maybe become members of MESH. A permanent place will also allow visitors to see what a makerspace can do for them.

Sign up to our MeetUp group for MESH meeting updates:

We are also on Facebook:

See you on the 2nd of April.

We Finally Have a Makerspace!

I am extremely happy to announce that we finally have a permanent place to meet. Towards the end of last year Knox City Council thought a maker space would be a great addition to the Knox area. They held a Workshop at Siemens in Bayswater. At that meeting Knox City Council learned of MESH.

Knox City Council wanted a maker space in Knox, we needed a space, but where would it be located? We suggested asking Swinburne. Luckily Swinburne University had underutilised space and were also interested in having a makerspace on campus. Knox City Council Formally asked Swinburne if they would be willing to host a makerspace for MESH at their Wantirna campus – and Swinburne said yes.

Our makerspace will open on March 19 2016, but we still have a lot of work to do before it will be a fully operational.

I wish to thank both Swinburne and Knox City Council for giving MESH this fantastic opportunity. We have a long list of people that deserve our thanks, you know who you are 🙂

The makerspace is located at the Wantirna campus of Swinburne University, 369 Stud Rd – WJ building.

Largest Amateur Rocket Ever!

Over the past few years MESH President, Sascha Grant (aka El Presidente), has been involved in a project to design and build a scale replica of the famous V2 rocket, it is almost 14 metres tall! The rocket was finally launched in March, 2015. The launch has garnered international attention, with the rocket being featured by the Science Channel in the US. Here is a preview below.

Outrageous Acts of Science – Rocket Launch

This group built the largest amateur rocket ever!An all new Outrageous Acts of Science premieres at 9p!

Posted by Science Channel on Saturday, January 9, 2016

I’m sure the future there will be even larger rockets launched by this group, going higher than an amateur rockets has ever flown before. This is a rather large example of what ordinary people can do, as long as they dream big and apply themselves to make their dreams reality.