Category Archives: announcement

Google’s Vint Cerf visits Nova Labs

Brian Jacoby, Vint Cerf, Fred Briggs IV, Marybeth Haneline, Fred Briggs III, December 7th, 2015

Thanks to a very generous donation from Google in 2014, Nova Labs was able to secure our new 10,500 sq. ft. facility and begin build out. Now that build out is winding down and most of our equipment is online, Google wanted to see what our community has accomplished.

On December 7th, Internet legend Vint Cerf stopped by Nova Labs to see the updated space! As Vint stepped inside, he swept off his fedora, spread out his arms, and took in the view. The Orange Bay was filled with his larger-than-life presence as he exclaimed “Wow!!!”.

Nova Labs members in attendance were proud to show what can be achieved by a dedicated group of volunteers.

Vint admired a flight controller that teen Bryce Peterson developed out of a tele-course led by a partnership of Nova Labs and James Madison University. He was impressed by a flying wing, built by ten-year old Laura in a RhinoHawk Meetup, and remarked that he’ll have to change his story of what 13 year-olds can do. Vint’s eyes lit up like the LEDs on the wearable bracelet developed for summer workshops by Angela DeHart.

Google’s Vint Cerf visits Nova Labs

Brian Jacoby with 3D printed prosthetic hand, Fred Briggs IV


Kids outgrow prosthetics like they outgrow clothes. Vint was intrigued by 3D printed prosthetics hands for kids developed by Open Source Prosthetics Meetup, led by Jim Sheedfar and Steve Bloom, to work on this problem.

Nova Labs has provided the facilities and its members the support and encouragement to help bring innovative ideas to fruition. A driving program that teaches young drivers how to cope with skidding cars was developed by Chris Ihara at Nova Labs. Vint said these type of great stories need to get out. He said he appreciated the personal tour.

Google’s Vint Cerf visits Nova Labs

Google cookies by Amy Shaw

To help expand on the great work that we have been doing, Vint committed Google’s continued support.

Fred Briggs IV remarked it was a great morning – “I always love hearing his stories and he is hands down the most interesting person I have ever met.”

Google’s Vint Cerf visits Nova Labs

Vint Cerf about to head out with a goodie bag of Google-stamped cookies.



The Nova Labs Kickstarter campaign just reached 100% funding!!

Thank you to ALL our backers so far!

At Nova Labs we couldn’t be more excited that all of you helped make this goal a reality. Our final renovations and Meetup events are in full swing and we are seeing a surge in interest & participation. We welcome more ideas and encourage everyone to come see our space. Attend some events, learn more about Nova Labs, and join in the fun & creativity! There is a lot to learn, especially when the furniture and AV equipment comes in for the brand new classroom!

But wait… there’s more.

With just about 2 weeks left in the campaign, we have plenty of time to knock out a bunch of stretch goals, too. We already announced stretch goal #1 at $27,000 which funds a welding station. That’s at a new goal of 135% funding.

We appreciate everyone for your support, and for sharing in our excitement thus far! Now, please help us spread the word to your friends about the Nova Labs Kickstarter Campaign. You can use this shortened URL:

Thanks again for your generosity!

NOTE: We at Nova Labs consider Kickstarter contributions to be a tax-deductible donation to a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, but we are not tax experts. (Makers, yes, tax professionals, absolutely not). To ensure you are treating this transaction correctly, we suggest you consult your tax professional.

Kickstarter update – 80%+ funded!

Greetings makers!

Just shy of two weeks into our 2015 Kickstarter campaign, we are happy to announce passing 80% toward our goal (86.4% to be exact)! Thanks to everyone who has backed the campaign and shared the link with friends.

Since the campaign is getting very close to passing the $20,000 goal, now’s the time to start teasing our stretch goals!

Stretch Goal #1

One of the big requests at Nova Labs is welding equipment; our new 10,500 square foot facility has a great workshop just waiting for this new capability. Raising an additional $7,000 will allow Nova Labs to acquire the following:

  • Welding table
  • TIG and MIG Welders
  • Safety equipment (gloves, helmets, and shields)
  • Ventilation and welding curtains

There are many Nova Labs members that are ready to teach welding classes, which should allow more people in the community to learn new skills for their projects.

Back us now on Kickstarter, and stay tuned for stretch goal #2!

Kickstarter update – 80%+ funded!

NL member Srijay setup this Raspberry Pi to display our Kickstarter status – he even made it open source and posted the code on GitHub!

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!

On Thursday, April 16, Nova Labs is launching a Kickstarter campaign (we’re even having a big party to celebrate and ‘pull the switch’ – sign up for updates here).

Until then, here’s a sneak peek of the campaign and some of the excellent backer gifts we have planned!

Who is Nova Labs?

Nova Labs is community of MAKERS that supports a 501(c)(3) non profit all-volunteer makerspace in Northern Virginia. We provide the facility, tools, knowledge, and mentorship needed to help everyone rediscover the joy of making things!

As a family-friendly makerspace, and as part of our charitable mission, we sponsor a wide variety of fun and engaging classes and hands-on making activities for adults and kids.

 Our makers also enthusiastically support open source development for projects that benefit the local community and the world (Learn more about these projects below!). In just a few years, our NOVA Makers Meetup group has grown to over 1,900 makers (one of the largest in the world)!

For more info check out our Flickr Stream.

Why are we launching a Kickstarter?

Due to the tremendous growth of our community, our first space quickly became inadequate to support all the classes, projects, and equipment that our community wanted. So in July of 2014, we leased a fabulous 10,500 sq. ft. facility allowing us to expand our programs, house more fabrication equipment, and grow and sustain our community for the next 5-7 years!

Moving to a large facility presents a number of challenges. Due to the types of uses we seek to support, local building code requires that we make a number of costly modifications to the facility to convert the space from its current form into a MAKERSPACE!

Our major renovation costs include:

  • Architect and Engineering Services
  • Construction of classrooms for up to 60 people
  • New electrical and ventilation to support our Matsura Tiger CNC Mill, our Laser Cutters, Wood & Metal working equipment
  • New paint, carpet, fixtures and furniture

Overseeing our buildout project is architecture and design firm VOA Associates who designed Google’s DC office and is providing their services at a discount.

A significant portion of the needed funds have already been raised through grants, corporate sponsorship (Including GOOGLE), and donations from our members, but we need additional support to help us complete the project. We need this Kickstarter to be successful to make our vision for Nova Labs 2.0 a reality!

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!


In addition to the basic renovations, we have a number of stretch goals we are waiting to roll out. In order to help you get excited about getting past our initial goal and on to our stretch goals, we’re releasing our first stretch goal to wet your palate!

Stretch Goal #1: Welding Station

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!

 After our initial goal we hope to raise an additional $7,000 to support welding at Nova Labs.

The cost includes:

  • Welding table
  • Tig and Mig Welders
  • Safety equipment (gloves, helmets, and shields)
  • Ventilation

Backer Rewards

We are grateful for your help bringing this project to life. In addition to our heartfelt thanks, we are offering a variety of unique rewards at different pledge levels. Whether useful or just cool, we also hope these rewards will serve as an ongoing reminder of your support for Nova Labs.

Social Media Shoutout!

If Eternal Glory wasn’t enough, we’ll shoutout your name in abundant gratitude to hundreds of our followers. Be sure to tell us your Twitter handle!

Nova Labs Sticker

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!

Your Name Written by a Young Maker on a Featured Wall

Your name will be written on our ‘Thanks For All The Fish!’ wall by a Young Maker. Spelling and quality of handwriting cannot be guaranteed Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign! !

Laser Cut and Etched Acrylic Key Chains

Show your support for Nova Labs everyday with these cool laser cut and etched acrylic key chains featuring the Nova Labs logo.

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!

Carbon Fiber Money Clip

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!
The money clip jig and newly molded carbon fiber money clips!
Whatever cash you don’t throw our way can be kept in this geek-approved carbon fiber money clip produced by makers from our materials lab!

DM-1 Card Wallet

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!
Ditch the wallet, help your posture and support us all at once!
 The DM1 is milled from a solid billet of 7075-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum. It weighs 0.8 ounces and holds up to 12 ID or credit cards. You’ll feel and hear a “click” when cards are inserted to let you know they are secure.

Nova Labs PCB Reference Ruler

Need a quick reference for surface mount sizing for your PCB designs as well as standard inches and centimeters? This PCB Ruler will feature the Nova Labs logo and will be your handy guide during those late night PCB design sessions.

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!

Tech Orange on Black Nova Labs T-Shirt

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!
 Our striking logo and color scheme will catch the eye of envious makers and let them know you support one of the largest non profit all-volunteer makerspaces in the country!

Available in the following sizes: YS, YM, S, M, L, XL, XXL, and XXXL.

Sudo Man Page Signed by “SudoBob”

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!
 Bob Coggeshall (aka “SudoBob”) is a Nova Labs member, founder of Small Batch Assembly and is credited as the co-author of the sudo command. SudoBob will send you a signed copy of the sudo man page on card stock.

Nova Labs “Blinky” Board

The Nova Labs’ custom-designed Arduino-compatible microcontroller is finally ready to share. It is a great educational tool to help new makers learn Arduino!
Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!

Priority Registration for Popular Nova Labs Classes

Many of our classes are so popular they fill up quickly. Beat the crowds by contributing for a small private session and get expert training in Laser Cutting, Woodworking, CNC Machining, or Carbon Fiber Molding Making.

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!

Nova Labs Flying Wing

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!

 The Nova Labs Flying Wing is a custom-designed RC wing created by our Rhinohawk team. It is easily customizable for autonomous flight.

Name Our Work Tables, Benches, or Equipment

Your name will be featured on one of our work tables, benches, or equipment.

Founder, Benefactor and Sponsor Plaques

Preview of Nova Labs’ Kickstarter campaign!
What a great way to display your support in your home or office!
 Backers contributing as Founding Contributors, Benefactors or Corporate Sponsors will receive this commemorative plaque. The plaque is laser engraved wood w/ acrylic cover. Your name will also be featured on a special wall at Nova Labs indicating your backer level!

Thanks for reading so far

That’s just a preview of what’s to come. We have more backer gifts in store that we’re keeping as a surprise.
Sign up to receive updates on the campaign at

EagleCad and Nova Labs announce new Partnership

Nova Labs, a Reston Makerspace and CadSoft Computer, maker of the industry standard PCB design software Eagle CAD are pleased to announce that CADSoft Computer has agreed to sponsor Nova Labs with the gift of 10 professional licenses of their award winning software. The software for use by Nova Lab’s members and will be available to the community through the various instructional courses taught by Nova Labs.

“We are ecstatic to have CadSoft as our newest sponsor”, said Brian Jacoby, President of Nova Labs. “We have been using and teaching the community how to use this fantastic software for some time, and having their software available to us and the community will greatly improve our efforts in this area”.

“CadSoft Computer is proud to become one of the newest sponsors to Nova Labs. Their dedication and passion for instructing the community toward electronic experiments is quite impressive. We hope that they continue to expand and reach as many people that might be interested in becoming part of this mass growing Maker movement. “ Ed Robledo GM CadSoft Computer

Eagle CAD has been developing PCB software for over 20 years with the goal of offering the same core functionality as more expensive commercial solutions, at a fraction of the cost. The software is robust enough for an engineer but works just as well for the hobbyist. With a simple interface, great library support and a thriving support community it is no secret that it is the preferred PCB software for many Nova Labs users.

Nova Labs is a 4 year old Makerspace in Reston Virginia with over 100 members and over 1900 meetup followers dedicated to the advancement of math, science, and engineering for both children and adult students as well as providing the necessary tools and expertise to the maker community in such diverse areas as 3D printing, drones, quad-copters, woodworking, and robotics among many others.

DIY CNC Night #3: 9/14 at 7pm

taj mahal by tac feaThe third installment of DIY CNC night will be Wednesday, September 14th at 7pm!

DIY CNC night is a monthly (second Wednesday of each month) event held at Pumping Station: One, 3354 N Elston Ave, for hobbyists, enthusiasts, and professionals to celebrate and explore Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) tools such as laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC mills, lathes, plotters, and more!  Attendees are encouraged to bring along any machines or work examples they wish to show off.

The usual schedule is as follows:

  • 7-7:15 introductions / show off stuff you brought along
  • 7:15-7:45 brief presentation
  • 7:45-9-ish mingling, discussion, tour of Pumping Station: One, general schmoozing, and machine repair/assembly/upgrade

This month Bart Dring of MakeSlide and buildlog will be talking about his projects.

Miniature Taj Mahal designed and printed by thingiverse user tc_fea.