Saturday, 10 October 2015

MAD business card holder


Warning title may be misleading. Sure it's just a regular business card holder but it has been installed in the MAD (mechanical art and design) museum. The guys over there just bought their second laser cutter from Just Add Sharks and the have installed it right in the museum so they can show people the laser cutting process (If anyone goes please take a photo for me because I forgot). They wanted something from us to hand out to interested potential customers so I made this little business card holder for them and filled it with our business cards. It's a little bit mad because it has a big magnet hidden in the bottom which prevents the holder from being knocked off the machine by accident (this we have learnt the hard way during maker faires.) (svg here)



Friday, 9 October 2015

Pendulum Wave (Test)


Ever since the Manchester Makefest this year I've been working on this project in my spare time. I made this pendulum test shortly after. This is a scientific demonstration known as the pendulum wave, each pendulum has a slightly different length so they all swing with different time periods and this creates a neat wave effect. There is a toy already available for this demo but I'm told that it's a pain to get all the string at the right length and that the kit could be better.

I took a shot at my own kit. I built a frame to aid with construction, with the pendulums at a fixed distance from the cross bar it should be easy to get the strings at the right lengths, right? It was definitely worth a try and although setting the strings was relatively easy the whole stringing process was actually quite tedious. The frame was rather insubstantial too and couldn't really take the weight of the all the pendulums. I used a long clamp to strengthen the bar to see how it all worked and I took the video below.

So why am I telling you about a failed design for an interesting kit? I've taken 2 more shots at this kit and details of those will follow but both have been failures. It's eaten up a lot of time and hasn't really got me any closer to figuring out how to make it work so it's up for abandonment. If I'm going to stop development on it I might as well get a few blog posts from the work done so far.


Pendula held in the framework to get the right string lengths
The whole flat pack kit

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)