I Make Things

cubeIn my free time I like to make things:  all SORTS of things. This is a gallery of some of the things I’ve made.  Some are useful.  Some are artistic.  Some are goofy fun.  Sometimes I might even share a failure just to talk about what can and will (or did!) go wrong.  Feel free to comment and ask questions! I’ve learned a lot by asking things from others myself.

The “Big Hammers” in my toolbox are my 40W laser cutter, my 3D printer (that desperately needs an upgrade to newer/better tech, and my electronics equipment (Power supply, oscilloscope, etc) along with my trusty MacBook Pro from 2011.

CNC Table


I prototyped this table design out of cardboard to get the measurements right, then used the Solidworks to design the parts. Dropped a sheet of MDF into the ShopBot at our (now defunct) TechShop Durham and out came all the pieces ready to assemble and finish! This was my first ShopBot project. I certainly would like one of my own someday.

Arc Reactor


This is a costume prop I made a few years back when we went to Phoenix Comicon.  I wore my suit, grew a goatee and went as Tony Stark.  Of course, you can’t do that without an arc reactor!  This one went under my shirt and involved a few LED’s and resistors, an old belt, a bit of styrofoam and cardboard, a scrap of acrylic and 9V battery.  Total value of materials was about $5.  Worked REALLY well under a dress shirt!

Laser-Etched Coasters


This was a project I undertook with my daughter, Ariel, to produce commemorative coasters for my father-in-law’s annual family retreat in the mountains.  These are tile backed with cork that we covered with a masking material, etched the graphics and words off, and then painted before removing the remaining mask.  It was a big job as we produced about 120 of these.

Steampunk 3D Printer

printerIf you are going to make a 3D printer, why NOT give it a bit of Steampunk flair?  This is a derivative of the second generation open source Cupcake printers designed by Makerbot.  It differs from the pure model with homemade belt guides (with inline skate bearings for smooth motion), acme threaded rods to decrease “racking” in the z-stage, and a z-stage platform of my own design and manufacture with a built-in cooling fan to help stabilize prints.