Tessellating Box

Last night at Resistor Trammell and I poked around with a project to put on the space’s brand spanking new Shopbot. I like tessellating things. Trammell likes putting computationally generated patterns on things.

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The plan is to take the box I designed, which will be built from six identical routed panels with hidden finger joints, and apply patterns to the outer faces. I’m excited to see this thing get cut.

Fridge Clip

I have an uneasy relationship with my miniature refrigerator. This chilly bastard decided to get clever and fall open over the weekend. I stepped in to the lab to find it iced up and dripping all over the floor. It was running so hard the housing climbed up to something like 90 degrees. Now, maybe I didn’t shut it properly over the weekend, but I’ve seen this fridge swing open when a gnat coughed. It was time for a change.

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Defrosting all over my floor. The trash can is there for dumping the icy slush once the drip tray filled up.

I designed a clip to solve this problem. I modeled it in a half hour and it took my Ultimaker a bit more than two to print it. I’m very happy with how it turned out. This clip has an integrated spring and a central rib to optimize the stiffness without adding tons of thickness (i.e. more print time). It attaches to the fridge body with three rivets. For the rivet holes I wrapped my drill in some electrical tape to make sure it didn’t plunge too far into the insulation and damage anything. It was installed in a snap and hopefully will prove a permanent solution to an annoying problem. Continue reading

1 Hour Project: Chef Excellence

 

The world of bargain basement product design is odd. You’ve got people cutting corners in new and innovative places. Sometimes it’s labeling surplus or flawed items as new stock. Sometimes it’s taking something that gets manufactured for one purpose, rebranding it, and bumping up the price. Sometimes it’s giving something the gloss and polish of an above-the-board piece of merchandise without all the inconvenience and expense of original/licensed art or celebrity endorsements.

Stuart Ashens rounds up some of the worst offenders and reviews them with wit, charm, and a posh British accent. One of his best and most lasting discoveries has been Chef Excellence, the shining spokeschef for Stay-Fresh Food Bags. To get the context you’ll just have to watch the video.

“An Excellent ___________.” Has become a consistent meme in my life, and I wanted to find more ways to share it with the world. Thus: Chef Excellence Stamps.

I sent one along to Stuart, and he replied with a nice picture. Thanks, Stuart.

Make Your Own Mechanicat

 

The final finished kitty

I just uploaded this little mechanical kitty to Thingiverse, and I think you should make a version for yourself. After a few trials with some cheap 1/4″ plywood, I ended up splurging on pressboard made specifically for laser cutting. The first cat I cut from the cheap ply ended up burning so much it was hard to get something functional out at the end. I blame the adhesive used to laminate the sheets. I think I might try and source some thin ply made with a natural wood glue. In the meantime, Laserbits makes some excellent laser specific stuff.

I’d like to thank Jordan Bunker for offering excellent advice on laser calibration and power. He’s quite a mighty fabricator.