Beta project(s) eleven - experimental edition
Posted by
jkopel
 
Joined Sep 29, '15 

This last week has been rough. Between deadlines at the day job kicking my butt, and my wife winding up to finish her masters (YAY!), there has not been much time for the Glowforge.

So most of what I did was just experiment, and none of the experiments really worked out, and that is OK.

Experiment #1
I like “living hinges”, but all the ones I have seen end up looking machine generated (surprise). I wanted to try making one with hand drawn line segments to see what that might look like.


It looks interesting, but fails miserably as a hinge.

Lessons learned:

  • Pay attention to how the hinge actually works and don’t get lost in doodling.
  • Avoid horizontal lines.
  • Padauk has fairly short fibers and seems more brittle when twisted than maple.

Odds I will try this again:

  • Medium

Experiment #2
I messed around with making dotted lines in Illustrator to cut fold lines on book board or chipboard. This worked surprisingly well.

Lessons learned:

  • Illustrator tricks FTW!
  • Chipboard has a very pronounced grain direction, and folding across it usually fails.

Odds I will try this again:

  • High

Experiment #3
Spirals!

Some time ago I had seen a lamp shade laser cut from plywood that was just a spiral hanging around the bulb. I had the idea that I could make other three dimensional forms this way, and started working on a “bowl”. The basic idea was that the spiral would be supported by curved ribs with steps in the right places so that when viewed from the side it formed a nice hemisphere. This took a lot of figuring, and drawing construction lines, and gluing, and cursing, but I got something that sort of worked. Then when asked for an opinion, the resident designer told me it looked “cheesy” (I secretly agreed, which is why I asked her in the first place). With all the wind taken out of my sails I gave up.

Spirals are still super cool though and I will keep thinking about them as structural forms. I particularly liked the ones I made with 2 lines next to each other. Even with brittle acrylic these are quite stretchy as evidenced by pulling one up around a Heavy Thing™.

Lessons learned:

  • Acrylic bowls look cheesy.
  • Spirals are fun to play with.
  • Light piping through spirals is worth further exploration.

Odds I will try this again:

  • Low

Finally I made a box to hold a thing. I can’t say how much I love the Glowforge for this application. In this case it was a super precise level that I borrowed from a friend while working on my milling machine (each division is .0001” in 10” for the machine nerds amongst us).

Since he had bought it off ebay sans box, I thought I would say thanks by making one to fit. The only thing special here is that I thought to cut the box big so you can get your fingers in there, and I made a snug fitting cut out that glued into the bottom to actually hold the level in place. Oh, and I made the little clasp out of some scrap brass and felt overly accomplished.


Hundreds of ideas brought to life
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