Posts

Puzzling Issues

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  I've been working on fulfilment of my newest puzzle box for the last few months. Loki's box of tricks  has a number of puzzles locked in layers inside the box itself. As you solve each puzzle you progress to the next layer down until you get to the bottom of the box and your just rewards. Backers from my kickstarter campaign are still waiting for the box itself but a lucky few people have had the chance to play the whole game and this has led me to some interesting and tough decisions. The final puzzle inside the box is a 6 piece board burr puzzle, once the burr is solved you're able to match the letters up to the code symbols and decode the messages in the box. It's a bit of a tricky solve requiring 24 moves so I set the puzzle up with some sign posting to show players the starting position. My issue is that the few people who have played the game have struggled even with the sign posting. I know they're mostly word puzzlers and definitely not mechanical puzzlers

SVG Fonts

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I've been working on a new puzzle box going by the name of ' Loki's box of tricks '. Like the previous puzzle box this has needed several new Hershey fonts to speed up the laser cutting. This one was designed to look like Norse runes. While I was going to the effort of tidying up the font it seemed like a good idea to share them all publicly. Hopefully someone will find this useful.  https://github.com/msraynsford/SVGFonts  

Half Hour puzzle

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  According to the time stamps I actually made and filmed this puzzle last May so I guess I'm a bit behind the times. It's called the Half Hour puzzle and it's designed by Stewart Coffin. There's a whole bunch of 3D printed puzzles available on the puzzle hub website , I'm currently going through them looking for some inspiration for my next puzzle box. This one was a fun little build and I'm pleased with how well the pieces fit together for a first attempt. ( stl here )

Dye Rack

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I've been using a lot of wood dye for projects recently, especially the tablets, the dyes have all been thrown at the back of the workbench and the cloths loitering around in front of them, some of the colours are very similar though and I swear they've been jumbled up throughout the process so some dyes are coming out darker than they should. I made this dye rack to hold all the different cans and their cloths respectively so now it's much tidier and no chance of them getting jumbled.  I put some extra effort into finishing it nicely, sanding each part and staining it using medium oak wood dye . I feel like it'll be hanging around the workshop for a while. Amusingly it doesn't have enough slots to hold all the different colours but it was as long as I could make with the sheets I had so it'll have to do.   

Antikythera Tablets Complete

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  I've had a very busy 6 months since I launched my most recent puzzle box on Kickstarter . It has been very well received with most people really enjoying the design and puzzles. The Antikythera tablets sold 400 units which basically left me working solidly to fulfil them, factor in some home school and lockdown and I'm sorry I haven't posted anything for 6 months. I did however record some assembly videos of the making process and I thought it would be quite cool to collate them here in a single post. If you're interested in purchasing your own set, they're now in stock and available to ship immediately. https://msraynsford.ecwid.com/The-Antikythera-Tablets-p234225720 Lid Lock Like all good puzzles, before you can get to the actual puzzle tablets, you have to solve the lid lock to gain access to them. This is a series of slider bars that need to be removed before the lid becomes accessible. This is probably the most mechanically difficult to build and took me quit

Low Pressure Air Reservoir for improved cutting.

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Being a Hackaday fan and a laser cutter fan, I've been recommended this article about improved laser cutting many times over already. The idea is simple enough, laminar flow from the cutting nozzle appears to improve cutting performance. They don't provide a 3D model and I'm super busy so I employed my newly retired Dad to create one for me. It's a work in progress and I haven't printed it yet, we did find something very interesting along the way though. My laser cutter has a typically large aquarium pump, it's a bit of a 'puffer' and you can hear the air rushing out of the end of it in puffs, not ideal for laminar flow. Dad suggested a low pressure air reservoir to smooth some of the airflow before it goes into the laser. This really doesn't have to be very complicated and a 2L plastic bottle makes a perfect candidate. I drilled a hole through the cap and the bottom (the two thickest parts of plastic) and wedged the silicon tube into the gaps. The

Cat Alphabet and SVG fonts

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  I saw a picture of a Cat based alphabet which was doing the rounds on social media this morning, I was unable to trace the original source but I thought it was awesome and would lend itself to laser cutting because of it's basic line styling. It also makes a very good exercise in constructing an SVG font so I thought I would write it up. An SVG font was originally intended as a way of embedding font information inside an SVG document. Icon fonts and SVG fonts are now used widely across the internet due to their ability to store a collection of images within a single file. Each unicode  character references a different image and these images can be any drawing you like as defined by the SVG standard. A traditional font requires a series of filled shapes, the letter 'I' for example would be a filled rectangle. While laser cutting the process of shading that rectangle would be done by engraving, filling it with a series of dots which is very time consuming. An alternate wou