Saturday, 28 May 2016

Marble Run

I copied the classic kids toy to make some of my own marble run pieces. It's a simple design which goes together with a little glue, it's scaled for 10mm ball bearings. I added round disks to the top and bottom of the pieces, this allows them to be rotated to any angle to create more interesting structures. The whole pattern was set up to be one long thin strip, this means it can fit into the skinny scraps that are left over from most projects. (svg here)

Material Storage Shelving

I made the most of a sunny day to pull everything out of my garage and restack it into a sensible order. I bought some shelving a few months bock and had all the materials on them but because they were crammed at this end (where the crates are in the photo) I was unable to actually pull sheets out of them, I shuffled them round and gained myself a whole bunch of material shelves. Some of the materials do stick out a little but nothing too serious. I even managed to empty 4 crates which is why there is a such a big stack.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Latching Box

This box from thingiverse user Noloxs features a latching lid and angled hinge arrangement to hold the lid open at an angle. I scaled it to 3mm and made it from poplar ply. The hinge arrangement is a little bit sticky but definitely works to stop if from falling back. I'm not sure about the latching arrangment, as soon as I pushed the lid onto it the pegs snapped so that definitely needs to be stronger (or have less force on it) I'm still learning a lot about what works and what doesn't. (svg here)

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

SD Card Holder

This little container for SD cards has a sliding lid with latching detents to hold it in place. It's a nice little idea and I had seen someone with one at a maker faire before. MDF is a fairly nasty material for these things as soon as I push the lid into place the detents actually tore slightly (the bottom photo shows the weak points). The case I saw at the faire was actually one of these remix cases made in acrylic which is a better material and the detents are about 50% longer. Because the originals aren't shared in the svg file format I took the liberty of extending the detents in my copy of the file. (svg here)

Tuesday, 24 May 2016


I was looking for inspiration when I stumbled across this U-Box from Stanford Graduate School of Education. It's an interesting project with some great features, I didn't calibrate things correctly so my box is a little wobbly and loose, the assembly clips are definitely clever. The files are shared in multiple formats on their site but as ever... (svg here)

The lid rotates round 270 degrees on these large disks, the lids can fold down flat against the side of the box which is a very neat feature. 

An extra shim of material is affixed to the underside of the lid so that it fills the gap when the lid is closed. In the closed position the lid clips into place with a slight friction fit. 

Here is one of the assembly clips, it springs into place once into the gap and a second spring on the top pulls it out of the gap so it pulls tight.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Working Dice Tower (with plans)

The final challenge for the dice tower was to make the baffles stay in the tower when picked up and to make them extend into the new catchment tray. The solution came in the form of a living hinge, a small flexible section at the bottom of the baffles that could slide out into the tray. Small lips on either side stop the baffles from falling out of the tower, but are small enough that the tower can still fold flat. I'm sure there are many things that could be improved upon so please let me know if you build one or make any changes (svg here

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Collapsing Tower

More excessive use of pin hinges allowed me to create a collapsible tower. The previous designs spewed dice all over the table which was a bit irritating so this one had a catchment tray to stop the dice. Some of the pin hinges are 'L' shaped which allows the second layer to fold over on top of the first one. This first collapsible tower exhibited a few fundamental flaws. With no base to the tower there was nothing to stop the baffles falling out the bottom when it was moved. Also with the new catchment tray there is nothing to stop the baffles from sliding out of the front of the tower either. I made one last revision to solve these issues and tomorrow I'll share the files (thanks for being patient)

Group Symbols

I was asked to make a stencil for a group called the Wardens in the Lorien Trust, I pointed out that the design had lots of islands and wouldn't make a very good stencil but as they wanted to paint them onto their shields I noted that I could laser cut the foam instead so here we have laser cut foam symbols to go onto shields (in two different sizes so they can see which works best)