Monday, 16 January 2017

Christmas Light winder


I've got a couple of strings of WS2811 LEDs that I use for Christmas lights. They've been floating around the garage since I took them down at Christmas and they keep getting tangled up so I thought it would be handy to cut a couple of winders that I can wrap them round. There are definite improvements that could be made but I only had one shot in a busy week of laser cutting so they came out pretty well.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Carcassonne Cults with drawing


I always said I wouldn't do any Carcassonne expansions after the main set took me 200 hours to draw, but I always wanted to try the Cult expansion tiles and I had a few hours free while waiting for the new year. For those that know Carcassonne cloisters have an unfortunate habit of clustering together. The cult acts exactly the same as a cloisters but if you place it next to a cloisters the first person to complete gets all the points and the other person gets nothing.

It was just a manual trace and draw operation which I did with all the other tiles but I thought it might be interesting to screen cap the process so here is the video of me drawing the tile in inkscape and you can see exactly what goes into it. It's 90 minutes of drawing compressed down into 5 minutes of video. If this is interesting for anyone then please let me know and I'll happily do some more drawing videos like it.



Friday, 30 December 2016

Seed Packet with Print Alignment


The kids grew some pretty epic sunflowers over the summer and we harvested the seeds to grow some more next year (third year running actually). We decided to share the seeds with people for Christmas and I laser cut a load of packets to go with them. The details were printed onto the paper with a standard laser printer, as you can see from the close ups the cut lines were incredibly close to the printed lines. The trick is to let the laser cut a hole to show you where to put the sheets of paper.






Sunday, 25 December 2016

Cephalopod Dice Game


I ran across this game called Cephalopod on the Mark Steere Games website. It's a fun two player game that doesn't take too long to learn. I built the play area with indents to hold the dice in location and I build a tray underneath large enough to hold all 48 die, I put a little spacer into the tray to fill the void where the 49 die would be and to stop them rattling around. (svg here)(rules here)




Friday, 23 December 2016

Merry Xmas Everybody - Slate


Slate is one of the materials that I knew could be laser engraved but I just never got round to doing it (I've had some slate coasters for years but we have a functional old table and don't use coasters). So when I was asked to do a house sign I jumped at the chance. It's a simple design but it came up lovely. I even marked where the holes should drilled (but decided not to drill it myself). The best thing is that I was sent 2 pieces of slate in case of accident and I got it right first time so now I have my own piece to play with (or leave on the shelf for years with the coasters).

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Christmas Baubles


I wanted to up my game and make some really fancy tree decorations this year. Laser cutting is very popular this year but a lot of the designs you can buy are just cut straight onto laser ply. I opted for real woods this year, 3mm thick, Spruce, Bass and Mahogany. I test these in ply and then cut them in wood and realised that the best way to make them stand out would be multiple woods in each design. With 3 base colours I could also mix and match a few designs.  (svg here)

As you'll have noticed the blog is a bit slower than it used to be while I work upon the vanillabox but there will be good things coming in the new year, so until then merry Christmas and a happy new year. 



Monday, 19 December 2016

Rotational Symmetry Line Drawings


I recently saw someone using the Amaziograph app for the iPad, it allows you to create drawings with rotational symmetry and people were making really fancy doily shapes by swiping their finger across the screen. I knew it would lend itself well to line art but as I investigated these apps I discovered they were all raster based and wouldn't easily give vector artwork that could be cut so I had to find another way. 
It's fairly straight forward to replicate in Inkscape. Inkscape allows you to clone an object and the clones all update when the original changes. I drew a simple line and then cloned it dozens of times, arranging them all with rotational symmetry. As I modified the base line, all the other lines updated and these interesting patterns grew in complexity. The drawing was already vectored so it was easy to get it across to the laser. The whole pattern was cut in a single laser line so I filmed the process too. (svg here)






Sunday, 11 December 2016

Cross Box Puzzle


About a week ago I made this puzzle box as a prop for a LRP event, I've kept it back just in case someone saw it in advance. It's a great little build and a good puzzle, I won't expand on the details yet because I may be working with the creator to make more puzzle boxes via kickstarter but in the meantime you can get an idea of it from this video (and that's enough breadcrumbs if you really want to know more).


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Knuckle Dusters


I end up making some pretty odd things with the laser and these 'Bump & Grind' knuckle dusters rate pretty highly. It's LARP related (obviously) so they're made of foam to be soft enough to wear. They still need latexing and they're probably too small for anyone with sensible sized hands but the joy of the laser is that you can scale things up easily.


Sunday, 4 December 2016

Christmas Tree Star


Eli and I spent the week slowly making a death star model. It's largely paper mache and paint but we did laser cut some cardboard baffles to go inside the middle of the sphere. We even wrote an Instructable about it.