I've had my Whitetooth laser cutter for about 6 weeks now, it was pretty much dumped in the middle of the garage, wired up and left to run. The extraction used 150mm pipe and the hole in the wall was 100mm so I've been opening the garage door whenever I wanted to laser cut. This week I finally got round to connecting it in properly and sorted out the tangled mess of wires. I still need to connect in the Blacknose to the extraction system and I'm waiting on a T piece to do that but it's starting to look pretty good out there. Oh and I do need to find a better way to keep the laptops on their precarious perches.
Saturday, 22 November 2014
As the title says, it's a small stellated dodecahedron. 12 identical panels interweave to form this dodecahedron shape. The ends clip together and hold in place although my stuff gets handled quite a bit so I put some glue in there too. It's very much an assembly puzzle but not as complicated as the Frabjous. (svg here)
This was made from 1.5mm external ply which is nasty to cut and is proper black all the way round the edge. Thankfully I think I've worn most of the charcoal off with the assembly. I keep meaning to rant about how poor quality the 1.5mm ply is because everyone passes off external ply as laserable, but I think there may be a new supplier in town shortly with some better quality stuff so I'll wait for that to happen and then shout their praise from the rooftops (again)
Thursday, 20 November 2014
Matt Brailsford asked if it was possible to make a laser cut enclosure with easy access for a battery compartment. My brain did it's annoying thing and designed 2 different mechanisms and wouldn't let me stop thinking about it until they were actually made. I made these two test pieces and I'm sharing the concept now because I'm sure other people will find them useful. Both boxes use recessed bolts so they sit completely flat on the work surface and they also use captive nuts to screw the lids down. (svg here)
This is my preferred design, a single screw secures the access panel in place. Two hinges stop the lid from coming out at the other end. The captive nut is rounded off because it sticks slightly out into the access area. A lip all the way round the edge stops the lid from falling into the box. The downside is that this lip uses quite a lot of material.
Four captive nuts, one in each corner, allow the entire base to be removed. The corner blocks make the box sturdy but it can be pretty time consuming to remove all four screws.
Wednesday, 19 November 2014
With 2 lasers now running in my garage the pumps and fans can really drone on (I'm yet to box them in to make them quieter). I've been wearing my ear defenders quite a bit recently to help keep me sane (and to keep my ears warm) but I also like listening to music while I work and the two are not very compatible. I headed off to the interwebs to see if headphone ear defenders were a thing and it turns out they are. £33 will get you a set of defenders with an audio jack input, being a bit of a cheapskate I suddenly realised that I could add headphones to my £3 ear defenders, have them ready asap and have spent significantly less amounts of money on them.
The process was pretty simple. Drill some holes in the side of the defenders large enough to pass in some ear buds and then hold them in place with some sugru. Job done, everyone has a pair of ear buds kicking around and I picked up the sugru at one of the many maker faires I've been to, so not only did I have a set by the end of the evening I also didn't have to pay anything extra for them.
Sunday, 9 November 2014
I now have a whitetooth laser cutter stashed in my garage, with it's 80W laser tube I know it was capable of cutting 12mm laser ply at a decent speed (18mm/s) but I hadn't actually got round to making anything out of it. I decided to break into my pile of 12mm ply by making a very very large version of my marble machine. 40mm wooden balls now roll around a quadruple sized version of MM1.
I tried to run a kickstarter style campaign to build up to the release of my Carcassonne files. For numerous reasons we never actually reached the £500 I was hoping to get, but I have decided to release the files anyway to the people that participated.
I will continue on with my running total and once I reach the required amount I will release the files into the wild, but for the mean time you can still purchase them for a small £10 payment.
Purchase the Carcassonne files from here.
Friday, 7 November 2014
A fairly hefty picture post from me tonight. I've been involved in a very large project for the last 6 weeks. I've had a few teaser posts about it already but yesterday was the big set up day. Dinkydoodle Designs wanted to build a massive exhibition cake to show at Cake International 2014 but always wanting to wow the visitors Dawn decided to make the cakes move which is where I got drafted in. I designed, built, wired and programmed all the internals and these wonderful cake creations were built upon my bases. The show will run for 3 days and will finish on Sunday if you want to head over and see these things for yourself.
I'm going to run a short series of blog posts showing all the mechanisms as they got up to this point and explaining how each one was put together but at its heart most of these system boil down down to an arduino and a 15kg torque servo.
Sunday, 2 November 2014
I was inspired by this instructable by pohhoushun to have a go at making my own church window. You can really get into it once you start adding all the little details over everything. I've ended up with an amazing little window and I'm inspired to make more, what a super idea.
Saturday, 1 November 2014
A custom request that I managed to squeeze in this afternoon (sorry it's slow round here but there is a massive project under way). The request was that the cake topper has spikes that would hold it up in the cake but could be removed to make it a nice item after the birthday. I've managed to get both at once by using a spikey font :)
Thursday, 23 October 2014
I wrote an instructable last night which rounds up a lot of my board gaming type posts.
It was also supposed to inspire people to support my jumpstart campaign for Carcassonne files so consider this a gentle nudge for my blog readers too