Monday, 29 December 2014

The view from rubbish mountain

Yay for Christmas, I have lots of new toys and lots of new exciting things to do in the new year. I also have new products working their way through and (vast) improvements to old products, but if I'm so busy why no posting? Well Christmas happened so I had to move all my secret stashes of junk from places like the sunroom into the garage and then this morning I had a customer visit so I had to move all the crates out of the garage into the sunroom. It's not turmoil, more like organised chaos. The upshot is that I have some space in my garage to sort out this massive pile of junk. I'm going in and I may be some time.
Belated Merry Christmas and a Happy soon to be New Year.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Snow White Panto Cake

This cake was made for the Snow White Pantomime after show party. The mirror and book you've already seen, the dwarves we repurposed doozers so they shook their heads and sneezy sneezes. The photos are stolen from the cake frame fb page and I can't wait to see some uploaded video from the event.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Fairytale book

Part of the snow white cake is a large fairy tale style book. These pages are to be covered in colour printed icing and will stand up in the middle of the cake.

Poplar Ply from Kitronik

Here's Kevin from Kitronik, explaining exactly why you should be buying poplar plywood instead of birch for your laser cutting. They also have a blog post about it.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Snow Whites mirror

After Fraggle Rock we moved on to the next cake. This was another moving cake for the after show party of a Snow White Pantomime. A lot of the mechanism were re purposed but there were a few new parts as well.

The mirror was made from 6mm ply and has a row of LED pixels hidden around the edge of the mirror to provide some colour changing illumination. An Arduino Nano drives the LED's using the fastLED libraries. The front panel is detachable so it can be decorated with cake while flat and then put into position.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Foam Sword Finished

Eldritch has just finished up another laser cut sword and it looks fantastic. Sure it took a recut and way too long to get done but it was worth it. Hope it's new owner really enjoys it.

In other news it appears he's also found someone else to do laser cutting for him, I guess this is one of the perils from selling mutual friends their own laser cutters

Friday, 12 December 2014

Laser Cut Knob

At last years model engineer exhibition we had a knob 3D printed for the Blacknose Laser cutter. I thought I'd made a bit more of it at the time and at least included a photo but apparently I didn't. Anyway... We had a whole bunch of them 3D printer and started shipping them out with the lasers but if you get poor adhesion on a layer and a slightly stiff Z axis you can snap the 3D printed ones in half.

So just in time for this years expo I took on the challenge of laser cutting a better knob (literally just in time, I should have been in bed 2 hours ago). The knob needs to fit onto a 5.5mm square shaft. Wood is nice to hold but it shears off pretty quickly so I used a mix of wood and acrylic. The acrylic core runs vertically and absorbs a lot of rotational torque, the square and shaft also mates with the Z shaft well. The knurled top of the knob makes it easy to grip.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Large Ring Lift

After seeing my massive marble machine ring lift I was asked to replicate the lift only to make a lifting mechanism for golf balls. This one needed to be motorised, slightly larger but didn't need the spiral so I basically ended up redrawing the whole thing. There was a minor issue with the drive gear shaft shearing off so I replaced the gear with an acrylic version and it seems to be running fine. It works well though and I can't wait to see the rube goldberg it's going to be used in.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Christmas Badge Round up

I made 6 badges in total but these are the four I am now listing in my web stores, it's not too late to get them for Christmas.  The amusing thing about working on tiny scale items in a massive laser is that the honeycomb bed just becomes additional work surface and you can keep multiple sheets of wood/veneer ready for cutting on the bed.


Christmas Badge 6

I saved the best for last. I'm really pleased with the stripey candy effect and the blue ribbon.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Christmas Badge 5

Another 1 from the trio, I learnt my lesson and simplified this a little. The nose is still 1.5mm wide so it is in danger of being lost. The blue wood veneer is great.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Christmas Badge 4

This is the same tree from the Christmas Trio but obviously much smaller. Too small in fact, the dots are 2mm wide and the strips are 1.5mm wide. It's a nice badge but I don't want to make more than one.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Christmas Badge 3

There is a small etch all round the edge of these holly leaves. It make a big difference to the final piece but it did increase the cutting time from seconds to 2 minutes, worth it though.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Christmas badge 2

Not entirely happy with the alignment of these veneers, they slipped while gluing but also not very happy with the overal design so will abandon this one here. 

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Christmas Badge 1

I've been working on some Christmas brooches for a craft faire I'm going to this week. Feels a bit like working on project 365 again. This robin, and these items, are made from a poplar ply backing and covered in layered wood veneers to give it some depth.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Square Pumpkin

After the great boxplosion of twenty fourteen my cubic pumpkin got rather neglected. Halloween came and went and I was busy working on Fraggle rock so this week I decided to carve the pumpkin rather than let it go to rot with all the others. It's a lot squarer than the first one and it made carving the flat faces easier but I'll give it another shot next year and see if I can get the things I really want cut into one. 

Chuck Type Burr Puzzle

This is a 24 Piece, Chuck Type, Burr Puzzle, made from 12mm Poplar plywood. The chuck type burrs have U shaped sticks of varying lengths and 1-2 locking sticks to keep the whole puzzle together. The locking pieces were made by creating a U shaped stick and then rotating it 90 degrees and removing the locking section. It's also possible to make a 6 piece burr but the larger puzzle is much more interesting to assemble, plus you can make the 6 piece with parts from the big one (svg here)


New Page

I get a lot of questions about what machines I'm using so I've added a new page to the top bar so readers can see what my current set up is at any given moment.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Micro Crossbow

Inspired by the King of Randoms Micro crossbow on Instructables I decided to up the ante a little and laser cut a matching crossbow but this one has a trigger to launch the projectile. I'll be writing an instructable for it shortly but for now here is the file (svg here).

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Winter Trio

Clearly I'm in a festive mood this evening because I've made 2 more characters to go with the snowman.(svg here)

They're now available in my shops too