Saturday, 22 November 2014

Laser Install


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.


Small Stellated Dodecahedron


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

Enclosures with easy/reuseable access


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)


Flap Access
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.


Base Access
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

Musical Sugru Ear Defenders


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.