Saturday, 4 January 2014

Motor marble machine 1.2

Yet another update to my first marble machine and this time much faster than the last one. The new design works really well so the only improvement I could think to make was to put a motor on it, saving many ours of tedious winding. The machine runs from a pair of AAA batteries and can be wound even with the motor attached should your batteries run flat. It's the same kit with or without a motor so if you take the motor off afterwards you end up with a normal kit.

This kit is available for purchase through my shop

Friday, 3 January 2014

New Year, New Laser, New Job, New Company, New Blog

I've alluded to this before and even actively mentioned it in previous posts so I figured it was time to officially tell you guys. Together with Dominic Morrow, we have started a new company through which we can sell laser cutters. Just Add Sharks is our new venture, with the rather obvious url

After 2 years of laser cutting and blogging about the results I'm continually asked which laser cutter people should buy. I wanted to recommend a laser that I would use and I would buy again. Having looked around at everyone else's machines and factoring in the experiences with my own lasers we decided that we should start our own company and import some new machines for evaluation. The A3 laser cutter ticked a lot of boxes purely from the data sheet and when it arrived we knew it was the right machine for us.

This is the laser that I would buy if I was starting out again and I knew what I was doing. This is a laser that I want to own, despite the fact it is smaller and less powerful than my current machine. We're only selling one laser cutter through this company because we want to know the machine inside and out. To help achieve that I am buying one to go in my own garage that I will be using daily. Much like this blog, the new blog will contain all the things that are made specifically on the new machine, shared files for those items, the information that we learn about it and improvements we make but I also want to share the details, work and items of everyone else who purchases that laser too.

With the new year comes a new job. I'm not strictly heading into laser cutting and laser selling full time, I'll be turning into a house husband when my wife ends her maternity leave. From the end of January I'll be looking after 2 children and laser cutting around naptimes and nursery runs. I can't wait.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Custom Meeples

You may have noticed on the previous Carcassone photos that I made a series of custom meeples for our friends and ourselves. To get to 9mm thick I cut 3 smaller shapes and layered them, it made it easy to put names on both sides of the meeple. 9mm is a little thinner than actual meeples (10mm) but they stand up nicely at any angle.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Christmas Baubles

More little presents for family. (svg here)

Screen Protector

The display on my laser cutter has been getting progressively harder to read, this initially looked like someone had left the screen protector on and it was starting to peel off with time. I decided to pull it apart and remove the protector but it was a bit worse than that. The poor extraction on the machine basically leaves dust all over everything, the exposed electronics are no exception. The dust was creeping in between the display and the panel. So I removed the offending screen protector, cleaned up the panel and when I put it all back together I wrapped the whole thing in cling film and then cut the front film off. I'm hoping this will prevent any more dust ingress between the display and the panel.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Carcassonne River Expansion

In a follow up to my recent release of the base Carcassonne tile set, I decided to draw the river so I could give it as a present to some good friends. I forgot how labour intensive drawing tiles from scratch was, even though I could re purpose most of the buildings and features from the other sets it still took about 2 hours a tile to draw. At least this expansion was only 12 tiles.