Lots of makery this week, but more work than success. That’s OK — it’s part of the process!
This week I built this:
It’s the World’s Most Dangerous filament spool for a Makerbot. I wanted to keep the steampunk theme of my bot, so I add gear teeth to the edges. What I didn’t realize is that (a) this design wouldn’t properly contain the filament and (b) the filament would act as a powerful mainspring that causes the whole thing to spin at high rpm’s at the slightest disturbance. Did I mention it has teeth? Looked great once it was painted gold and mounted, but it’s still back to the drawing board!
Next up, my friend Tom came over and I cut a bit of acrylic for him to use in a project he’s working on. It’s a minor thing, but collaborating with other maker friends is always a good thing. That same night Ariel had a project idea, so I offered my guidance with Google Sketchup and supervised her as she ran the laser. She designed and made seven of these model bridges for her project on Leonhard Euler. These allow her to easily demonstrate one of the early topology problems he tackled.
More geekery than makery, but I also upgraded my MacBook Pro to 8GB of RAM so that it can smoothly handle running Windows 7 inside Parallels to allow me to easily go from design work on the Mac side to driving my laser on the Windows side. When did it get to be that 4GB wasn’t enough RAM???
The big Saturday maker news is that I met with Jonathan Danforth, the Event Director for Maker Faire: NC. I’ve taken on the job of Maker Coordinator with Ariel on board to assist me. Good thing, too: it’s a big job! In any case, I’m going to start looking for AWESOME stuff and AMAZING people to be a part of the 2012 Maker Faire: NC this June.
After meeting with Jon, Ariel and I headed by Home Depot for some supplies. I picked up some stone tile to try etching in the laser. Since I’ve been playing Skyrim lately I decided to try etching the Skyrim logo onto it. I used some artwork from “fullbashreturns” on DeviantArt. Here’s the result (I’m really please with it — I’ll be using this stone in the future for some more substantial projects):
Today I’m cutting another filament spool design and trying to find the right settings to cut MDF efficiently on my laser. It’s a great material from a uniformity point of view, but takes a lot more laser power/laser time than plywood to cut. I’ve spent several hours today trying to dial in just the right settings. Right now I’m running a looooooong job at 15% power with FIVE repeats (Is that a lot??? Why, yes, yes it is!).