Cat Alphabet and SVG fonts

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 would be…

Japanese Crowdfunding

But don't worry dear reader, this one is legitimate. I was approached by a crowdfunding person to run a Japanese campaign, (understandably a lot of people don't buy from English websites). It seemed like a very sensible proposal and the campaign has nearly run it's full course netting me another 160 puzzles to produce. On one hand I'm sad that it's not more but on the other I was able to launch my campaign without worrying about fulfilling both in time. That's about 10 days work, not bad considering I haven't had to do anything up until this point.

New Puzzle Kickstarter is Funded

In a surprise to me, I reached my £10k funding goal in just 12 hours, I guess I'm going to be busy over the next few weeks assembling puzzle boxes again. Will be good to see just how far this campaign will go once it reaches the hands of reviewers like Mr Puzzle

New Puzzle Kickstarter is live

My kickstarter for my new puzzle box is now live and the reception has been pretty good, now is the time to jump if you want to get in on the early bird, hopefully it'll be 100% funded soon,

New Puzzle set on Kickstarter

I've had quite a lot of fun over the last few months designing myself a new puzzle set to run on Kickstarter. This set is different to the previous fractal puzzle because the whole thing has a Greek theme and a story running across the whole thing. Each puzzle is based upon on of the Greek myths and is a challenge accordingly. The five tablets come wrapped in a puzzle box which hides more than just it's innards.
Like previous puzzle launches I'm using kickstarter again because of it's reach. Why not follow along and see how well it does, maybe even purchase your own set.

Robot's Return

There are always going to be projects I can't show on my blog, some things are best left secrets until you need to find them and I honestly thought this was going to be one of them. At the start of the year I got involved making another escape room but this time for One Way Out Escape in Oakham. You'll see the plot if you watch the trailer, but this cute little robot is central to the story and is filled with laser cut parts and other interesting goodies. The suitcase too is also full of laser cut parts and even some more manual parts (I did metalworking), over the course of several months we refined the puzzles and tweaked bits until the whole thing worked properly and then the country went into lockdown. Now as we're coming out the other side the game is actually available to play and some of you will get to see what I've actually been working on.

You may recognise the suitcase itself from the previous blog post about engraving on the side of it but Tess has done a gr…

Knife Box updates

Duncan asked for a respin on the knife boxes with some slightly different dimensions more suited to his knives, at the same time he wanted to try a sliding lid. This design uses 1.5mm birch to form rails down along the top which is much more reliable than engraving slots. Because the rail is only on two sides it can be made with just the tiniest slither of 1.5mm, which is twice as expensive as the 3mm. It also only adds a small amount to the overall height so it's a nice compromise.

I laser cut some cardboard inserts to go into the boxes to hold the knives in place. Duncan sent me the handle shape so I'm not sure how he worked it out but it's easy to see why a laser would be good at consistently cutting a curve like that.

I also revamped the originally flappy lid design with the new dimensions, it's a slightly better design for this purpose so this is still the one we're going with.