27 August 2016
A quick commission request, this is the front plate for a Lithium Polymer battery charging briefcase. It's 5mm black perspex and explains why I had black Pokemon for the silhouettes in the tray puzzle :)
Pokemon evolve into other Pokemon and I thought it would be quite cool to convey that in a tray puzzle with the names on it as well. To convey better silhouettes and make the shapes stand out from the tray I made them with 5mm black perspex. The tray is 2 layers of standard poplar ply and all the text is hershey text done with marking for a fast cut.
26 August 2016
I simply can't understand how you can buy a laser pointer and have it delivered to your house for less than £1 but I'm not going to complain about it. Instead I'm just going to strap one to my little shark model and use it to bug the cat (and children), yay lasers!
I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was. To draw them was my real test, to cut them is my cause. Anyway, so that's Pokemon set 103-150 all original 150 Generation 1 Pokemon drawn and cut, they make a fairly epic collection and with that many to stack there are infinite combinations. The actually Pokemon collection was done by Jadael over on Imgur but a fair few of the silhouettes needed modding before they were cuttable. Like most things they should probably go up in my shop but for now... (svg here)
Here are some tips for making items like these, this set is Pokemon 52 through to 102. I cut the 9mm ply on a fairly high power, this ensures that the cut goes all the way through regardless of blemishes in the material and then you know each piece can be easily removed. This causes quite a lot of burning on the underside of the material due to reflections from the honeycomb bed. Once a set has been cut I often secure all the pieces back into the framework using masking tape across the top side of the material. This allows me to lift all the pieces out of the machine at once. I can then flip the whole sheet and sand the reverse down while they are still in the framework. It's much easier than juggling individual tiny pieces.
I guess for something like this you could also mask the reverse so that most of the burning would be on the masking tape instead of the work piece.
25 August 2016
There was a fairly positive response to the small selection of stacking Pokemon I made so I thought I would extend the range. These are the first 51 Pokemon, all cut in 9mm poplar ply and slightly smaller than the previous set. This makes them more stable and better for stacking. As you can see I get all the fun of stacking them into a sensible sheet for optimised cutting.
24 August 2016
Everyone is raving about Pokemon since the release of Pokemon Go. It was suggested that I should make some stacking Pokemon shapes much like the stacking cats so here are the first 9 Pokemon in the series. (svg here)
23 August 2016
The ravens on these tablets came out really well so I thought I would draw up the other animals in the set so I could use them for future decoration (svg here)
22 August 2016
Apparently I never got round to posting the files for the three fractal puzzles on my blog, they got posted to other places but never here so tonight, in lieu of an actual laser cut item, here's one I missed earlier. (svg here)
20 August 2016
Ye olde tablet weaving is a way of making decorative bands that have a million uses. Like many old crafts it uses simple tools which can be easily recreated with modern means. The basic weaving set requires 8 tablets with holes in the corners and 1 or 2 shuttles to wind thread onto. Plain tablets are a little bit dull so we added these celtic ravens as decoration. I chose to do them as line art instead of engraving to make them really stand out. (svg here)
These large stencils are cut from 350 micron mylar. A friend asked if I could cut some stencils and I just happened to be visiting Bee Crafty on Monday who gave me some really useful advice about what I needed and how fast to cut it. The mylar cuts really well and if you keep the power sufficiently low you can avoid the burn reflections on the reverse.
16 August 2016
I've been through some iterations on a little shark model recently. Figured it would be nice to have a little giveaway at some point. This one is almost ready but I did a bit of playing with scale. The largest here is 150mm long and is the 'right' size, the teeny one is made from 0.8mm ply and is just 44mm from nose to tail, a bit too small really but still cute.
15 August 2016
I made some of these way back in the day, I noted they had issues then and I didn't post the files. I actually corrected them about 6 months later but don't appear to have blogged that at all. I do keep getting asked about them though so I thought I'd post up the files. This time round as I was looking at them, the lengths and curves all seemed wrong so this is basically a redraw of the whole damn thing just so I can share the files. (svg here)
These little gaming counters are very useful if you need to track something like hit points or scores for a whole wide range of games. The clever thing here is the use of the magnets in the middle which allow the wheels to hold together and rotate but doesn't add any thickness to the counter. (svg here)
14 August 2016
I make a lot of things and from time to time I need to clear some space so I've put my arcade cabinet up on ebay. You can see the original info about the build here and if you feel like you would like to own it for yourself you can bid on it here.
Continuing my quest for noise makers I made one of these air horns. A membrane is stretched over the back of the horn, air goes in through the mouthpiece and escapes from the outer ring to the inner hole, as it does so it vibrates the membrane which produces a loud sound. The benefit of this design is that you can add a cone to amplify the sound coming out. I was a little disappointed by the volume when I made this before EMF camp, but at EMF camp I discovered that if I stretch the membrane tighter (with my thumbs in the hole) the noise became rather deafening. It certainly made people jump in our tent and was probably heard halfway across the field. I definitely need to remake one of these with a tighter membrane.
13 August 2016
I also cut some rings for Sam at the same time as the perspex. These were cut from oak veneered mdf, like all mdf it creates a lot of smoke when it cuts and that can stain the surface. Masking it is still one possible solution but at least with veneers you can sand them smooth and clean again.
Sam also needed some claps for necklaces so we squeezed those into the material too, it's a very clever laser cut solution and we all know everything should be lasered if at all possible.
Sam wanted me to cut some acrylic parts for her but she wanted them with a really deep engrave. The trouble with deep engraving on plastic is that it throws up a lot of dust which stains the work and fills the etch. I tried to reduce this staining by masking the area with tape first. I think it certainly reduced the amount of staining but I could have increased the power to get a much deeper etch.
One of the weapons I missed from the last batch for eldritch. This ying yang blade was made from several different thicknesses of foam to get some height effects on the handle. The actual symbol was just a simple line on the detailing.
12 August 2016
Hebecon is a tournament of terrible improvised robot fighting, Jim McArthur was looking to make a terrible improvised trophy when he wondered into our tent so he could use the pillar drill to attach a stainless steel mug to a camera tripod. In the spirit of improvisation I realised we didn't have the right thing to laser engrave onto the mug but we did have black sharpie which can be used to similar effect. The tournament looked great and I expect it will be even bigger at the next emf camp.
Dominic had an idea to make some bike shedding dice, an amusing way to generate your next project full of buzzwords. Each dice was cut one side at a time using hershey text for the font, the die was then flipped and the next side cut. Amusement was had by all :)
The people over at EMF Pulse made an epic guitar hero game with LED strips that were 8m tall. We laser cut them a larger sign which was more visible at night. It's a terrible shot of the awesomeness but it was pretty dark. The sign is made from a sheet of foam core, the pulse letters were removed and backed with red cardboard. The rest of the lettering was outline and ultimately coloured in with black pen with it was too hard to read.
11 August 2016
The guys from think engineer came through our tent with their minecraft sword and realised that we could personalise it for them. 10 minutes later they had their URL written down the side of the blade.
These branded leg benders were a handy little gadget for the soldering workshop at emf camp.
Alia Sheikh had just come from a book binding workshop when she found our tent. She wondered if it would be possible to design a hard cover for her newly created notebook. We put together some simple designs from 1.5mm birch before we realised that if we put a hard cover on the front and back we wouldn't be able to open the book anymore. She now gets to decide if it is better to have front or back as the hardcover. She particularly liked the way the pattern on the cover could be seen through the emf logo.
10 August 2016
Continuing the flying theme I was asked to cut this drone framework for somebody who was building a quadcopter. I chose poplar instead of mdf because it is stronger and lighter so I expect this will make a fun little unit if it ever actually flies.
Chris Stubbs brought us in a sheet of foamcore and some files to get some airplane parts lasered. We'll be keeping an eye on this build because it'll be awesome to see it flying. We left it with the reverse only just cut through, this makes it easier to carry all the parts off together.
Just like last time our tent needed a big sign to go on the outside, this one was cut from 3 ply corrugated card that was 20mm thick. It made the letters stand out quite well. I didn't have room for the shark and the laser beam so when Dominic complained that it was left off I improvised. The night air gave it some serious droop but it made me laugh anyway.
09 August 2016
Before I had even finished setting up the laser and the tent I had things I wanted to laser cut. I took along some light fittings so we could play lasers after nightfall. I was a little bit worried about the slightly exposed contacts in the fittings and if they could touch the metalwork so I cut some small disks from 3mm mdf to sit between the fitting and the frame. Definitely no chance of an accident once they were in place.
Liesbeth from the Fab Lab Truck Amsterdam made the first laser cut badge case using the laser in the back of their van (The design that was brought to us was heavily based upon it) They were selling the cases and were too busy to do customisation so people were bringing them to us to have logos put on them. We did Hacksmiths, Rebel Makers and Spotify (among others who got lost in the great camera mistake)
08 August 2016
Mark Mellors designed his version of the tilda badge case with a living hinge to run all the way round the edge of the box. The first one we cut was a bit too tight on the bend radius so the case snapped but this second one worked fine (I had to steal his images though as apparently I forgot to put the sd card into the camera). The neat thing about this design is that it just clips together without fixings.
There are many different ways to skin a cat but Dominic decided to make his case from a skinned cow. This leather pouch was stitched along the edges to hold the badge securely in place. He also covered the leather in transfer tape before cutting it to reduce the amount of burning and scorch marks there were on the surface of the leather. Because we didn't have vast piles of leather he made himself something rather unique and got many envious stares for the rest of the weekend. He also shared his files on Thingiverse.
One of the awesome things about EMF camp is that you get a really fancy electronic badge which is hackable and programmable. The Tilda Badge is usually worn around the neck so there is opportunity for the components to be knocked off which so it's a sensible idea to get it in some kind of case to stop that happening. I cut several different designs of case for people over the weekend but this is my design for perspex/wood. I shared the files on thingiverse.
04 August 2016
I've had a very busy week preparing kits and packing pretty much everything in my workshop into crates and pallets ready for taking into a field where we're going to be running a laser cutter all weekend. So what does this mean for the blog? Weirdly I'll probably post more things, I'll be dedicating my entire weekend to drawing and cutting stuff for other people and I'll get to post it all from the site due to their internet access. I even managed to cut items for today but typically I buried the camera in a box in the car so now I can't retrieve the images.
Should be a fun weekend ahead, feel free to drop in and say hi if you're there.
02 August 2016
EMF Camp is right around the corner and I'm already being asked to make things for it. This is a set of ten boards for the game 'Go'. It's a simple grid on top and I added an EMF logo flourish underneath, sanded and oiled the stack of boards so they'll be really nice to play on. (svg here)
01 August 2016
Marble machine 4 has been around for two and a half years and it's had a few tweaks to it but this is the first significant revision. This resolves 2 of the larger bug bears, if the steps are a bit tight they don't have enough weight to drop back onto the cam and if you flip the machine over all the steps fall out of the machine. A little flange was added to the bottom of each step, this catches on the sides and stops them from falling out. A ball bearing was embedded in each step, this gives it significantly more weight it drops down on to the cam much more reliably. Kits as always available from my store.
31 July 2016
In my continued quest for a noise maker I revamped the previous whistle to make it a two tone whistle (there are 2 whistles side by side with differing lengths of tube to make different tones). I also made this one from 5mm perspex rather than 3mm perspex. This is very much louder but I'll have to wait till the morning before I can let the kids loose on it.
29 July 2016
Steph is still drawing up some amazing artwork that inspires me to make pretty lasery things. She now has a Patreon account where you can support her artistic efforts. While I was looking over there I noticed this amazing kitty picture which was just crying out to be converted to wood veneers. He is called Bobby and he's a bit of a mascot (you'll notice him illustrating the $30 reward). I wanted to do it justice so I filled all the gaps and sanded/varnished it properly. It still needs a lot more elbow grease but it's looking lovely already.
27 July 2016
Eldritch thought the pattern from my box lid would go rather well as a shield embellishment. I had to modify it slightly engraving away some of the inner patches and drawing the rest as line art but I think they're going to come out really nice when painted and latexed.
The postman arrived this morning with a long slim parcel, I didn't remember ordering anything of that shape and there was no indication of sender on the outside. The parcel turned out to be a LARP safe oar, all ready for painting and latexing. Just a typical day really when objects like these turn up with no prior warning, next step is to email Eldritch and ask if it came from them. Yep, it needs to say "That's a paddlin'!" on the side in a hand carved font. 20 minutes later it's ready to be sent back again, maybe I'll ask the postman to hang around next time.
26 July 2016
I completely redid the cupboard door for Eldritch, I've been building up with various testing recently and it culminated in this simple design. Doing these simple outlines as a normal engrave would take 2 hours, doing this engraving as a series of lines took 20 minutes as a 'faux' engrave, unfocusing the laser to get a nice wide beam reduced the time to just 5 minutes. A fairly significant improvement. It has limited uses but it's nice to experiment and know exactly what is possible, you'll never know when you need it.
This siren whistle from instructables has a lot of irritating sound for its size. There were scaling issues with the files I imported so I ended up cutting them in 2 different sizes, both are quite load but need a lot of puff and occasionally the spinning disk in the middle appears to jam. Time to start looking at air horns and vuvuzelas.
25 July 2016
I want to make some noise makers and there are a few designs online but it's really hard to decide how loud they are actually going to be. Have laser, will cut, so I made up a few for testing. The first one is this train whistle, modified to actually be glued together, it's a good sturdy whistle as you would expect but not quite loud enough for me.
23 July 2016
Time became a bit of an issue this week so I went for a very simple lid that rests on top of the box, made from 6mm birch ply it's very sturdy. I turned up the engraving quality to make sure the thin lines on the design came out correctly. 4 little feet underneath locate into the trays and stop the lid from sliding off sideways. The whole thing is sturdy enough to sit on.
22 July 2016
Every time I go to vale I get more treasure and I seem to need a bigger box to put it all in. This box is actually for the whole camp rather than just me so it can hold 4 times as much as the last one. It's a simply construction 6mm walls and 9mm base to cope with all the weight. A coin tray fits too snuggly in the top but at least the hand holds in the side let you pry it out again. I just need to finish the lid now and it'll be ready to go.
21 July 2016
One for the runescape fans, Eldritch has recreated the Shield of Arrav. The inner pattern is a straight forward engrave but we wanted the inner line to be a different depth to the outer lines. This is why I was experimenting with engraving at different depths. If I had to engrave the whole shape a second time it would have doubled the cutting time and taken forever. This way added just a few more seconds to the cut. The laser didn't get all the way through the 22mm outer, I freed it up with a knife to take a better picture.
This project was done for Jagex and had a non disclosure agreement attached to it which is no big deal for me, and has the added advantage that the project is now finished and I can show you completed shields covered in latex and painted.
20 July 2016
The last of the 200mm signs is this little Disabled sign. I'm not yet sure if these are going to be defensive or offensive items but either way it'll be fun to see them in action. While I was cutting I also had a repeat order of the larger sign post shields. Now I just need to recut the cupboard door shield but I'll be using the alternate engraving technique for that.
19 July 2016
These signs are found in various places around the country and indicate that there is a fire hydrant nearby, they are yellow with a black 'H' in the middle. The figure at the top is the size of the main that feeds that hydrant in millimetres. The lower figure is the distance from that plaque to where the hydrant is in metres. I engraved the slots into the corners where the plaque would normally be fixed and I even made some slotted screw heads from 8mm material to make it look like it is screwed down (actually in hindsight this may be wrong, stay tuned)
18 July 2016
Eldritch is doing a range of post apocalyptic weapons so I've been getting all sorts of requests for odd signs and things. They all make great blog fodder. This is cut into 16mm plastazote foam.
17 July 2016
Based upon the Herugrim sword guard I drew previously, this one is much smaller and has the horses pointing outwards. It will form the guard for a LARP dagger which is why I cut 2 and they get doubled up to show the engraving on both sides.
16 July 2016
There are two warring nations at Vale LRP, Dukes and Kahns. They both fight over the same resources but they call them slightly different things. I previously did the Kahns lore sheets but now I know the dukes names I get a chance to redo them from the other view point.
15 July 2016
Made from 6mm Poplar, I wanted a fairly deep engrave but that does throw up a lot of debris so it's always a trade off.
Would anyone like a free coffee table? It's been sat in my garage for about a year now ever since I upgraded to the Lego coffee table. Somebody would be welcome to come and collect it from me in Leicester (LE8) or the Just Add Sharks unit (NG2), otherwise it would be about £10 to post it out to you. Just email me email@example.com
14 July 2016
Just a quick one for tonight, I helped Dawn out making another cake. This time it was parts for a helicopter that got presented to Prince William and the Queen, and a few short videos of the cake too.
EAAA - Flying Cake from Phil Cutland Green on Vimeo.
13 July 2016
It's nearly the end of year 1 for Eli so we made some customised rulers as a thank you for his teachers.
11 July 2016
Nichola and Andrew like to store their games sideways so the upgrade tray needs a lid if they are going to stay in place while stored. This one is made from 3mm clear perspex with a lip glued around the edge to stop it from sliding off. A rubber band holds it all in place. (svg here)
This game tray holds all the spaceship upgrade tiles for the board game Eclipse. The tray itself is 12mm thick, made up from 2x 6mm sheets, the top is engraved with the relevant symbols for each tile and some of the symbols were coloured with pen. (svg here)
This is the second spin of the tray, the first design only showed the names and research of each tile which you can already see on the top of each tile, the tray actually hide the resource symbols. I saved the prototype by reskinning the top with another layer of 1.5mm Birch which is why it's a slightly different colour in the above pictures.
09 July 2016
The board game Eclipse has a lot of tokens which take a long time to lay out. This holder keeps them all in place during a game but also allows you to pack them away into the box making it really easy to set up your board. I used plastic weld to glue two layers of perspex together so you can pick the tray and all the tokens up at the same time.(svg here)
07 July 2016
In hindsight this is one of the vaguest posts I've ever written. The Centre for life asked me to laser cut some fabric for them on a laser that was bigger than theirs. I'm not sure what material it is, how much it cost or what it's being used for, but it did laser cut and the edges of the cut fused together so there was no fraying. Yay lasers.
06 July 2016
We're slowly piecing together a metal version of the vanillabox and thanks to the folks over at NTU (Kerry and Steve) we've had access to a plasma cutter for actual metal parts. They've been amazingly helpful teaching us all about the metal working process and things we don't understand (which are numerous) and this week we managed to get our first metal part cut. It's a revision of these side panels we cut before but it's made out of metal with extra bends to make it super strong. Soon we'll have a full set and we'll be able to finally put a price on the box.