Puzzle Dividers

At the peak of kickstarter fulfilment I had up to 100 puzzles produced in stock waiting to be packed. with four different colours and 8 different puzzles, trying to keep track of the 32 different varieties was very tricky. I created these dividers to help me stack the puzzles and up minimize their footprint. I was also able to lay out the dividers so that they overlap each other and I could get as many as possible onto a single sheet. One pair of dividers could provide the first and third separators and the mirror image provides the second and fourth.

Fast Remote Strandbeest

The remote control strandbeest have been available in the webstore for some time now, I had them on display at Maker Central and at one point I dropped one onto the floor to try and catch up with Matt Denton. It was was close but ultimately just too slow to make any sensible progress so I thought it would be a fun project to beef up the drive motors and make a one off machine that moves at a sensible pace.

I had a suitable motor driver chip that interfaces neatly with the wemos D1 controller I'm using, it's able to output an amp to drive some sensible sized motors. I found some 1000 rpm motors that fit neatly inside the space available, wired them all up and adjusted the code to use the motor driver chip instead of the servo motors. The trouble is that the motors run too fast, the joints on the legs of the plastic kit shake themselves loose as it moves. It probably moved about 50% faster than the servo version but it still doesn't feel fast enough. I need to figure out ho…

Height Tools vs Touch Probes

I feel like I should preface this article with a mention that I had a natural bias towards height tools despite never using a machine with a touch probe. I personally prefer machines without attachments on the cutting heads because they can move faster. Now I have two machines with the two different focusing mechanisms I'm finally able to write this article from a factual viewpoint.

Why the laser needs focusing

The beam that comes out of the end of the laser tube is actually quite wide, my 100W tube can make a spot size 5-10mm across if I shoot it directly at a piece of material. This beam wouldn't be very effective at cutting material so it needs to be focused down to a small spot. This increases the intensity of the beam at that exact location and allows it to vaporise the material as it traces out the shape of your work.

There is a lens in the cutting head of the laser that focuses the wide beam of the laser into a single spot point on the surface of the material. It's …

Kickstarter complete

I have finally finished my Kickstarter Fulfilment, it wasn't any harder or slower than predicted but like most long projects it always feels like it drags a little bit in the middle. 1000 puzzles shipped to 200 customers in the last 6 weeks, it's been fairly hectic.

I've had quite a few compliments about the quality and difficulty which is always nice. I now have a bit of time to complete some of my smaller orders while I prepare the next kickstarter for launch. Hopefully I'll get that up and running within the month.

Vale Dog Tags

Just some quick and simple dog tags for one of the groups at Vale LRP. The boss of the group wanted a rose with a crown to signify a difference so job done. At the same time I ran through these Octopus tags for another Vale group. Good job there are lots of different groups at these things to keep me busy.

Fractal Puzzles and Hex Terrain Toolkit

I'm keeping busy as always with my fractal tray puzzles. I'm about two thirds of the way through the kickstarter and shipping puzzles nearly every day now. I'm also managing to squeeze in a few extra production runs for other items, such as this Hex Terrain Toolkit, the laser has never worked so hard. I'm having to clean the extractor fan every few days just because of the sheer volume of wood I'm cutting, at least I have interesting blog posts about cleaning and extracting for some point in the future.

Hospital Runes 383

The Empire game year is 383 this year so I had a bit of a chance to play around with the hospital runes I normally cut for them. The base rune has two diamond shapes which look a bit like the gaps between 383.