Let's get it started...
AstroDIY started with a project plan which we wrote during the 34C3 in Leipzig. It contains planned content and goals, but also necessary support from sponsors and important milestones. We have also listed critical prerequisites that could render the project impossible.
Right at the beginning of the document we described why we want to do this:
Idea and motivation
For the opening of Europe's largest maker space "MotionLab" in Berlin, we want to build a Dobsonian reflector telescope, which is produced entirely using devices from the Maker Space and that satisfies current requirements of dedicated amateur astronomers.
Most of the parts are to be manufactured via 3D printers, optical parts are procured by leading manufacturers / dealers. The construction should be based on publicly available sources and also the result should be made available as "open hardware" to the open public free of charge. In addition, the progress is documented and accompanied in relevant media.
After successful completion, the telescope should not serve as an exhibit of any organization, but find its permanent destination in nighttime operation (Side Walk Astronomy / Berlin Astro Scene).
The telescope will be presented in the VdS Day of Astronomy on March 24, 2018 in Berlin. http://astronomietag.de
An invaluble source of project ideas is the website Thingiverse - literally a whole universe of things that you can create yourself with a 3D printer. There we found the 8" Dobsonian telescope that we would like to build but unfortunately the creation and construction of the telescope is only sparsely documented on the website. Our project will serve as a test case, whether or not we can really build the telescope from the parts provided and put it to serious use.
The author has sourced the mirrors, the secondary mirror spider and a focuser.
In a further expansion stage, he has integrated a focuser - also from Thingiverse. So we want to include this in our project aswell.
For the secondary mirror spider, we want to decide later whether we need to buy one, or even produce one ourselves.
In any case, it is already clear where we can use sponsors' support:
- The filament: The main material from which our telescope should consist. Since the telescope is not just intended to be a prototype but actually will be used, we need high-quality filament material. The company 3dk.berlin agreed immediately after our request not only to provide the filament for free, but also to provide advice (and printing time).
- The optics: The quality of a telescope greatly depends on the optics used. Wolfi Ransburg of Telescope Express has offered immediately to sponsor the 8" Dobsonian optics.
- Production: Where would you best realize such a project? The MotionLab Berlin supports us with the necessary infrastructure for our project in order to print and assemble the parts.
Without the generous support of the sponsors, the realization of such a project would hardly be possible for us, so already at the beginning of the project a big thank you to the sponsors!