A few weeks ago a friend asked if I could help with a project for his wife’s new salon and I jumped at the opportunity. I had been looking for a project that would mean using the big new 100W laser since it was donated. My friend sent over a design and I got to cutting.
This is by far my favorite laser we have. The software is easy to use and the laser makes aligning the uncut piece in the laser bed a breeze. This project was also a chance to show off some of the new things I am learning in Blender to make a nice rendering of the final product.
We recently added a multi-stage filter to our laser cutter exhaust system which gave us an opportunity to buy things from American Science & Surplus and build a handy electronic gizmo.
More info about the project can be found on our wiki:
Laser Cutter Exhaust Filter Pressure Drop Monitor
Laser Cutter Venting System v6.0
I built a QWERTY keyboard that types the letters Q, W, E, R, T and Y, and nothing else. No space, no return, no escape.
It’s a fully-functional USB device, you know, as long as you just want to type words that can be composed with Q, W, E, R, T and Y. (WET, WRY, YET, TRY, there’s a bunch of them!)
I wrote plenty more about this project on my blog, and if you want to read about the history of the QWERTY layout, and its connection to Milwaukee, and why the way we interact with technology is interesting and sometime ridiculous, well… I got that too.
Often laser cut parts get attached at 90 degree angles, using finger joints, or screws and t-slots, but there may be times when you want to stack pieces of wood and have them aligned…
Pegs might be the answer!
Here’s a few photos of the pegs I’ve been experimenting with. For these pieces I don’t have a lot of room to have multiple pegs at opposing angles, but I can see where that might be useful. For these pieces the peg is really just for assembly alignment when gluing it all together.
Several months ago, a humorous request went out for a Zamboni that could be used on the Nerdy Derby track.
Last year the Milwaukee Makerspace held a Maker Fest and a Nerdy Derby track was made for the occasion. The design allowed the track to be disassembled in 4 foot long sections.
When the track was reassembled, earlier this year, for the South Side Chicago Maker Faire, it was found that the joints did not match up as well as when it was first put together. Small ledges, that went up and down, would cause the cars to bounce off the track or hit the bottom of the car. Both of these scenarios prevented the cars from traveling freely down the track.
As many of you know, we just had a GREAT Maker Faire here in Milwaukee last month and the Nerdy Derby track was needed again!
We produced, and ran, over 1000 Nerdy Derby cars over the 2 day event. Wow!
A month or so before the event I started working on an idea for a Zamboni type of device. My first thought was of a custom contoured planer that could be used at each joint to smooth them out. This idea seemed like too much work so I proceeded forward with my second design. This consisted of a simple sled hat used a drum sander, which smoothed out the high spots. Wood putty was then used to fill in any low spots.