365 laser cut items in 365 days. I provide the files so you can make your own copies and if you don't have access to a laser then I sell most items too.
Missing an svg file for an item? Have a suggestion for something? msraynsford+website@gmail.com

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Fancy Plywood and Interesting Designs

Pay attention because this is gonna get link heavy. Chris Champion has been sending me files for a while now, he makes some pretty amazing cuckoo clocks usually out of 12mm Poplar ply (I'm honestly not sure why I don't have any photos of the parts on the blog yet). Chris wanted to make a special present for a friends wedding and he wanted to use some real woods to do it. The trouble is that my real wood source typically only supplies wood up to 100mm wide and this item is 300x300mm.  

At the same time I had just finished visiting Peter Williams from Inspirations.uk.net. They do some amazing work with sublimation printing on fancy plywoods. They have to get the plywood made specially for themselves but Peter was generous enough to let me buy some of these materials from him, 600x400mm sheets, 3 ply wood, 2mm thick. He has Beech, Oak, Mahogany and Walnut. all really good quality. He also said he would be able to supply sheets for other people too if anyone was interested. 

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Cardboard Gaming Tokens

Prototypes for a friend who is play testing a game and wanted something more substantial that paper cut outs. The tokens were made by colour printing labels and putting them onto greyboard before cutting the individual tiles out. It's another alignment trick and it was done in two stages. First the outline was cut, the sticker was applied and then it was put back into the hole before cutting the individual tokens out.

Cut the outline from the greyboard
Cut down the lable and stick it to the greyboard
Put the sticker back into the hole 
Cut the individual tokens out

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Front Door Sign

I was walking home from school with one of the other parents, she was complaining that people didn't know where her front door was and keep going round the side of the house. 10 minutes later I returned with a sign for her, 250mm long and engraved from HIPS plastic so it's weatherproof. Lasers are awesome.

Pepakura Hiro Helmet

This project was done in a rush at the beginning of July according to the time stamps on the photos. Eli wanted to go to a party dressed as Hiro so I quickly made up a Pepakura Helmet for him the night before the party. Some repainted knee and elbow pads and we're mostly there. The helmet was printed on our colour printer and then cut using the laser and a few alignment tricks. I have written an instructable about the process but it boils down to letting the laser cut a hole the same size as your item and then putting the item into the hole. This method solves most alignment issues. (instructable and all files here)

We're going to need a bigger Baymax

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Big Knife Switches

Igor, throw the switch! Every evil genius needs a wall full of Knife switches to turn the various parts of the lab on and off. Big knife switches can be expensive though so I laser cut some instead. It's made mostly from 9mm Poplar all painted with metallic paints. I made a set of 3 for the machine, I would also like to go back and revamp it slightly to fit a microswitch into the central post so they can actually work as an electrical switch. In the meantime I'm sharing the file in case someone else wants to do it before me (svg here)

Saturday, 3 October 2015

5 Point Iris

A second mechanism for Vale LRP and another file that has been floating round the internet. This Iris is a neat piece of engineering that has been built by dozens of people. I rejigged it slightly to put some better gears around the outside but other than that it's the same. Instead of using nuts and bolts to hold it all together it is all made from wooden parts, each pivot point is made from a 6mm wooden dowel. (svg here)

Friday, 2 October 2015

Non Circular Planetary Gears

I needed to make a dohicky for Vale LRP and I wanted something quick and easy so I trawled the net and found these non circular gears of Thingiverse. A bit of steampunking later and I had something neat that would fit into the genre. I've included my files here which are a bit of a mess but at least they will open in inkscape now (svg here)

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Nottingham Theatre Royal in Cake

I recently helped Dawn from Dinkydoodle Designs create a cake for the 150 anniversary of the Nottingham Theatre Royal. The cake was presented to Prince Edward as part of the celebrations and he had the honour of cutting it. The cake was built in 2 halves and 5 floors, each floor had a baseboard (laser cut), built up with sponge cake and covered with chocolate ganache before the decoration and detailing went on. The floors were separated with cake frame to stop them squashing the sponge (now available from Lakeland plastics apparently). 

My involvement didn't stop with base boards though, once the basic shape was carved out I was called back in to wire the cake with lights. The front porch is lit, the chandelier and auditorium were illuminated with LED strips and the stage area was lit with a WS2811 strip and an arduino nano changed the colours every 10 seconds to give a sense of movement.

Here is a little video tour of the cake once it was opened.

The cake was built in 2 halves so that the internals were hidden until the cake was slid apart allowing people to see all the extra detail on the inside of the cake. Dawn has more photos of the cake on her facebook page here.


Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Project #8 - Catapult Range Finished

This project was remade from the first prototype and it was ready for my Cambridge workshop on the 13th, it's just taken me an additional 2 weeks to actually write about it. The principle is very much the same, I have fully enclosed the range with perspex to make it better at keeping the ammo in the range but also added a few other features.

This time I ran the strings over the top of the board. It was easier than worrying about routing the string past the braces on the underside of the board but also it allows the kids to see a greater connection between the levers and the targets. In Cambridge nobody asked what the levers were for so I guess it served it's purpose. The levers are now vertically mounted so that gravity pulls them down again, this makes the string slack while resting and the targets more likely to fall over. The targets themselves are now bolted to the base board rather than glued, this makes them nigh on impossible to break off with catapult shot. 

While in operation balls were getting stuck behind parts and we were having to remove the framework to get a hand in there and free parts up, I removed most of the natural ledges to limit this from happening and now balls only get stuck behind the targets. I made the rear third of the perspex screen an access panel. It can be lifted high enough to get a hand under and the balls can be moved as appropriate.

When not in use the catapult range is largely empty space, there is a big volume that could be minimised for transport and storage. The rear wall and lid can be removed, the two perspex side walls are hinged so they can be folded into the range. All the targets go flat so they aren't in the way. The whole range can be stored vertically and carried under one arm which should make it easy to get in and out of maker faires. Come and try it for yourself at the upcoming Derby Mini Maker Faire

Monday, 28 September 2015

Cake Building Layers

This is another large cake framework for Dinky Doodle cakes, This is taken from a floor plan of the theatre royal in Nottingham, each layer is a different floor of the building and it will be used to create the whole building from cake. The top layer is a roof because inside the cake the auditorium will be recreated with lights and a stage.

This is Dawns model of the cake that she cut by hand to show me what we are doing.