calzephyr: (Crafts)
There was no way I was going to draw this design by myself, so I fired up Rhino and whipped it up in half an hour last night, which is amazing for all that stomached my bellyaching while learning it a few years ago. I think it's interesting that art helped me understand math concepts a lot better. For all the triangles in this pattern, all I see are squares. Rotating the outside triangles was difficult because I didn't have a protractor handy, but once I got some squares going it was all good! The smaller triangles on the inside of the circle have a small mistake - I forgot to change the tolerance on the grid snaps and it's slightly off. I'll go back and fix it another night.

Pix )
calzephyr: (Crafts)
I started cutting my pieces out of foam core when I realized that foam core is pretty tiring to cut, so I finished with paper and it was good enough. The prototype is going to be a little expensive, so I don't think I could make multiple units from Ponoko. Part of the problem is that the best choice of material Ponoko has is melamine covered MDF. It would be nice to use bamboo or wood veneer, but they all have notes about warpage. And then there is the miserable exchange rate.

If I reduced the size a little, the cost could come down, but then it wouldn't fit right. If only the small size was 9" instead of 7" and a bit! Anyway, I have to fix up my drawings because there were some mistakes in the math. I ordered a sample of the MDF along with all of the transparent acrylics, so I can't wait.
calzephyr: (Crafts)
It's hard to believe that I bought my Pazzles years ago and never really mastered it. Maybe it's because I want to use it for something other than just cutting paper. I knew at the time that it would require a lot of experimenting and learning to get the most use out of it. Now that I'm an art college dropout, I certainly have the time and have been venturing into the drafting world to see what I can make with it. In some ways the projects and tutorials out there are too crafty and not makey enough for me - maybe this is part of the problem. Plus the clunky software has been a turn off.

Anyhow, the alternatives are not quite there for home use. 3D printers have not gone up in quality and down in price like I had hoped, and those $700 laser cutters on eBay beg the question of how much you want to spend fixing or tweaking it instead of cutting. One poster on Ask MetaFilter suggested a Shapeoko, and after watching it in action, I realized that it was a less pretty Pazzles.

So far I have tested the engraving tool on soft wood, acrylic and copper. The results are OK. Nothing too spectacular though. I'm on the fence about this one until I try it on more materials. Much like how the pen tool can leave a blob of ink when it picks a new place to draw, the engraving tool kind of stabbed the copper the same way. It's possible that the copper was too soft as I did not notice the same thing on the acrylic. The other tools available is a distressing tool and a piercing tool, but I can't see buying them any time soon. It's possible to make your own tool with the right sized dowel, but I haven't thought of what could be stuck on the end :-D

I also suppose that I could have saved myself the laser cutting experience by using my Pazzles to draw. The tool cradle holds Crayola markers perfectly, while the pen holder will fit most markers. I had to wrap ultra fine Sharpies in craft foam to fit in the tool cradle. They don’t fit in the pen holder.

I bought a ton of new materials to sacrifice to the Pazzles, but haven't tried them out yet - stencil plastic, craft plastic, vinyl cling film and chip board. I also thought I was ordering coloured mylar, but it turned out to be the flimsy stuff you get in gift baskets :-D
calzephyr: (Crafts)
It's here! Two weeks after it shipped (so much for "priority shipping" - $29), my wheel arrived on Thursday. Actually it arrived on Wednesday, but Canada Post gave me the wrong parcel slot key. We don't get door to door mail delivery, but pick up mail in super mailboxes.

Behold, the glorious unboxing. Click on all pictures for larger. )
calzephyr: (Crafts)
One of the deceptive things about 3D printing and laser cutting is that they are seemingly magical - watch this spool of plastic turn into a piece of cruft line by line, watch this metal box light up because lasers. The viewer only sees the product being made, not the behind the scenes part of wrestling with software and models. While you can sit down with your 3D printer or laser cutter and start making stuff from free online models, most likely you will start with a sketch, then plot it all in a program like Rhino (or Sketch Up, Blender, Inkscape or Illustrator). Some of the software that comes with machines are downright clunky! It's definitely this learning curve that I think will hold up 3D printing for most folks.

Words and pictures )
calzephyr: (procrastinating)
The "C" part I was missing from making something in Rhino was...necessity. In my class, we dutifully made (or, struggled to make, heh) containers, tori, cups, jewellery, pipes, etc. I don't have a need for any of those things, and I recently found my WIIFM (What's in it for me) in a big way. I was making some spiral drawings for a future artist trading card night with the Klutz Spiral Draw book. It comes with four wheels and it seemed like four wheels was just not enough. Why weren't there circles, an arrow, a keyhole, just like...wait a minute, oh poo!

If only... )

Anyway, thank goodness the future is here because I can make my own wheels for the toy, which I am going to figure out how to send out to Ponoko today (a local laser cutter didn't have the right material). It looks great, but let me tell you, it took a long time to get to great :-D

calzephyr: (Crafts)
It's funny how you think, 'Why didn't I think of that before?'. when really it is a matter of different concepts coming together. You can't think of C without the A or B parts! Since I bought Rhino, my next step was actually getting some 3D printing samples. The samples from Shapeways and Ponoko came on the same day. The Shapeways sample was really small for the price $19.99 (plus $11.50 shipping to Canada) and came in a ridiculously big box when a padded envelope would have sufficed (and probably made shipping cheaper).

The Ponoko samples were much more exciting. I chose four acrylic samples, one wood and one leather. You can pick as many as you want for $2.50 each (and shipping was $20 in an appropriate sized box). Since extruding curves was the only part of Rhino I really excelled at, I can see using Ponoko to make cutouts and charms.


So before I could think of C, I needed the A part, the samples. The B part was the necessity of something to make, which I will write about next time, but for now here is a sketch that describes my relationship with Rhino:



calzephyr: (Default)

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