DIY Kerf measuring tool refines your laser cutting precision
Although it isn’t critical on all laser cut projects, for anything with parts that fit or slot together, kerf is something that is worth paying attention to.
It may sound like a Jim Henson creation – but kerf is in fact a very real technical term. Kerf refers to the gap that is left by the cutting device – in our case, the laser beam in a laser cutter. It’s usually more of an issue when laser cutting in wood, but will also come into play when laser cutting acrylic and other materials.
Open source enthusiast Dave Chamberlin has come up with a nifty device that can be used to accurately measure the kerf of a laser cutter. The simple cutting pattern has been uploaded to Thingiverse, and includes instructions on how to measure your kerf etched right onto the device itself. Here is what it looks like:
Follow the source link below to download the file and try it out on your own laser cutter. You can also discover what else Dave is up to in his open source maker crusade over at Takeaway 3d Tech.
Benjamin Schaeffer likes to build things, and his latest foray with a laser cutter has resulted in a neat little collection he calls the 2Plex Construction Kit.
It’s all about having fun with form, building modular structures out of lightweight cardboard pre-cut shapes. As you can see from the image above, the variety of objects you can create from the simple geometric elements is quite open ended.
Don’t let terms like stellated octahedron throw you. As Ben says in his video construction walkthrough:
“This is mathematics. Not all mathematics is about numbers. Some mathematics is about form and shape.”
Available on Thingiverse in handy files that are ready for the laser cutter, the modular geometric forms have been optimised for construction using standard corrugated card. (more…)
Open source micro-factory turns your local laser cutter/CNC into a private IKEA
Exploring new models for open and collaborative digitally fabricated design, OpenDesk aims to become the destination of choice for modern open source furniture.
“By downloading, printing, purchasing or customising an OpenDesk, you’re helping to create a new way of buying products. One that’s more transparent, sustainable and flexible than current manufacturing models”.
With a growing repository of clever, flexible products from a number of designers, the OpenDesk model enables people to choose at what level they wish to engage with the manufacturing process.
The OpenDesk network helps create laser cut furniture from wood and other materials for less
Got a laser cutter of your own, or know someone with a CNC machine just down the road? Then you can download comprehensive drawings that are ready to send straight to the machine. Perhaps you’re not a carpenter or maker yourself but are happy with the flatpack IKEA process. OpenDesk puts you in touch with a workshop in your area, where the design can be cut and finished (oiled, sanded, polished etc) and sent to your door for you to assemble. If hands-off is more your style, there is even an option for a professional to whip it all together for you.
The idea is that the more work you do, the lower the cost will be. Of course, in many locations the OpenDesk network may not yet have makers who can deliver or assemble – so some users will be forced to buy flat-pack or arrange the making themselves. (more…)
Time is ticking – Kickstarter campaign ends 4pm Friday EDT
When we recently discovered The Neo-Artist, it seemed like Lincoln Kamm was living the dream. He has developed an expertise in helping creative people find ways to produce and sell their work using the latest in digital manufacturing technologies, and now he wants to share it with you.
All of his knowledge (and a few extra practical perks) are condensed into the publication The Neo-Artist, which is the focus of a Kickstarter campaign that wraps up on Friday July 12 at 4pm EDT.
A nice snapshot of what The Neo-Artist is all about can be seen in the clip above, where Lincoln is interviewed by 3D Printer World. Watch the interview to discover more about the campaign, as well as cat-breading and other insights into Lincoln’s creative world that led him to share his expertise in The Neo-Artist.
If you need a little convincing to get involved in this campaign, one of the perks for backers is to receive discounted consultation time with Lincoln himself on your own projects. Imagine having personal, one-on-one time with an expert in making a success of making! Jump on board before it’s too late.
One man’s mission to solve the economic downturn for creative people.
Lincoln Kamm spent 12 years in the animation industry before breaking out and producing his own works. He has since met with notable success with six-figure sales and is now helping others learn how they too can do the same.
In an upcoming publication The Neo-Artist, Lincoln expands on his college lecture series and consulting experience. The book is a treasure-trove of knowledge that aims to teach creative people about the latest in high-tech hardware and software for turning ideas into real physical objects.
Topics covered include 3D printing and laser cutting, designing custom electronics, clothing and more. Most importantly, The Neo-Artist will also show how to make other aspects of the available technologies work for you to help market and sell your work. It’s perfect for makers who are just starting out and will still have plenty to offer those who have been in business for years, guiding them to the next level and beyond.
So if you are a creative person who’s into technology, be sure to take part in The Neo-Artist Kickstarter campaign and make a pledge to secure yourself a copy of the book. It’s time to leave the rat race behind.
Jay Thomson wears a bow tie to work every day. “[People] get a kick out of seeing them, and they often will strike up a conversation with me about my tie. They’re always amazed when they find out I make many of the ties I wear,” Jay writes on his website Lavaguy.com
So Jay decided to find a way to streamline the bow tie making process. He designed 7 different tie shapes and used Ponoko’s laser cutting service to create acrylic templates (shown in action in the photo above).
The Craft Camera is a collaboration by Coralie Gourguechon, electronics engineer Stéphane Delbruel, Graphic Designer Laura Messaglio, and maker-space Tetalab.
The project is based on the theme Low-Tech Vs. Hi-Tech, in response to in-built obselence in many consumer products to limit the product life-span to encourage consumers to continually upgrade. Rather, the materials used and accessibility of open source design encourages Craft Camera users to repair and upgrade the camera themselves rather. (more…)
Marblevator: a fully configurable marble run you can print yourself
This Thingiverse project from dedicated enthusiast gzumwalt has what it takes to give a 21st Century twist to an age-old favourite toy.
The Marblevator (marble elevator) is at the heart of it all, endlessly stepping little balls up until they meet with the whims of gravity. Additional track segments easily snap together and clever height-adjustable tressels combine to allow you to build with complete freedom, creating one of those mesmerising toys that you could happily lose yourself in for hours on end.
Click through to see more detail on the tressel mechanism, as well as a collection of video clips of those balls going round and round and round.
Protecting the future using 3D printed contraceptive implants
Israeli-born, Berlin-based designer Ronen Kadushin structures his work around a process called the Open Design Concept, where products can be downloaded, copied and modified much in the same manner as with Open Source software.
He has produced a diverse array of products and designs that follow this distributive method, with a notable concept that targets the much-lauded intrauterine device (IUD).
When one of the world’s most widely used methods of reversible birth control for women costs only a few cents to make, you’d think that it should be affordable to the women who need it. However, an IUD is priced out of reach for many, in particular the younger women who may not be able to afford the $400-$850 price tag.
Ronen’s Bearina IUD is a concept designed to demonstrate the disruptive potential of 3D printed Open Designs to give free and global access to essential products and challenge big players such as the medical juggernauts that aggressively defend their intellectual property.
Click through to discover how the Bearina IUD works, and where to download or purchase one. (more…)
One Line Fonts offers a good selection of single line fonts. This means that the fonts are defined by a single line without a defined thickness as opposed to conventional fonts that use two lines to define the shape and thickness of letters. This is important for applications like laser engraving and CNC milling, because using a single line font will give you much cleaner text that requires less cutting time (which means lower cost).
Fonts are $7.50 for a Basic package with the most common glyphs for English or $15.00 for a Full package with over 400 glyphs covering most Roman based languages.