After finishing building the desk for my new study, I had a large chunk of OSB board left over. I thought I’d design some overly ornate shelves that I could make on the shop bot at FabLab. Since I was using a CNC router I decided to use straight lines when absolutely necessary. I’ve always thought cutting square’s out with a CNC machine was a waste of potential!
I ended up with a design for some shelves that are loosely inspired by the Pleurotus ostreatus mushroom that grows out of tree trunks.
The main challenge to make these shelves was to cleanly cut the OSB without it splintering. Because the wood chips in this board are so large, they can very easily tear out and look horrible. To avoid the splintering I first cut halfway through the board with a down cutter. The downward spiral on these cutters pushes the chips into the board as it cuts so the top edge doesn’t fray.
After I’d cut the pockets and half cut the edges with the down cutter I switched to an up cutter. This cut through the final thickness of the board and meant the bottom edges didn’t splinter either. The close-up below shows the edge quality straight off the machine.
Although the cuts came out perfectly for these shelves I made a few mistakes with the design. The diagonal supports don’t lie flush against the back board, and I found cutting OSB to a point is not a good idea. With this in mind I’ve updated my design so the parts fit together more snugly and don’t taper into ragged points!
You can download my design in either Autocad DXF or PDF format. I used 18mm thick OSB to make these shelves, although you can make them out of any board which is 18mm thick if you want. On the drawings the yellow parts need to be cut as 11mm deep pockets, and the green lines are the outlines that must be cut all the way through the board. I recommend using the DXF file if possible since it preserves the curves more accurately than the PDF file does.
Download DXF design : Download PDF design
After over a year of 3D printing objects at the Manchester Fab Lab on a Dimension X 1200, I’ve finally taken the plunge and ordered the latest RepRap tricolour kit from RepRap Pro. These are two very different machines! But the gauntlet is being thrown down. I’m going to tune my reprap to the highest quality I possibly can then find out which produces the best prints.
Check back in a few weeks for a full comparison. We’ll be doing everything from speed, curve precision, strength, warping, overhangs and all the other tests I haven’t thought of yet!
When I was visiting my brother for christmas this year he introduced me to the Raspbmc media center project. When I returned home, I set this up on my own raspberry pi, then started thinking about what sort of case to put it in. I’d been thinking about designing a case based on two layers of laser cut acrylic with a 3D printed chassis in between for a while. Now my chance had arrived!
My first full prototype of the case. Superficially this is the finished item, I need to improve the PCB clips and add a protective cover on the bottom. There’s also an experiment with completely 3D printed light pipes that could be added in if it works!
The shape is based on the XMBC logo, redrawn at an aspect ratio that fits the Pi circuit board. The sweeping sides of the case allow clear access to the ports on the Pi, as well as satisfying my taste for organic shapes. Now I’ve seen it printed I may change the lofting so that less support material is needed for the 3D print.
As I write this, the next prototype is in the bath at the Manchester Fab Lab dissolving the support material from it. We’ll see how well the 3rd design iteration of clips work. When I was clipping the case above together, it took me ten minutes to fit the PCB and I thought I was going to snap my Pi in half doing it!
Two weeks from now, I should have a case design that I’m happy with!
For more pictures check out the full set on Flickr!
I was out drinking with some friends, shortly after learning how to use a Shop Bot CNC router. The next thing you know, we realized the little wooden models of dinosaurs we all had as kids Didn’t have to be so little any more.
This design has been around for as long as I can remember. The generous people at epilog are giving it away in their sample club. The design’s a little bit rough around the edges, but nothing a few hours can’t cure.
The time consuming part was modifying each slot to fit the 9mm birch ply I was going to use. This is harder than you might think! For the slots to fit together nicely they have to be within 0.2mm of the thickness of the board. Sheets of 9mm birch ply are usually between 8.6 and 9.4mm thick! So you have to buy and measure your board before you can finish the design.
I’m chuffed to say this OCD attention to detail payed off. This first set of parts slotted together like a dream first time!
For the full technical writeup on the Fab Lab forum here.
After more months than I care to think about, the Hillary Step received it’s new menus. Three months ago we got the go ahead to produce 25 menus after demonstrating our first prototype.
The unique laser cut hinges are held together only using friction. Final finish is a water repelling varnish, the paper inserts are held in place with an elastic band clamped in brass tubing.
Making these menus has been an education in mass production, I don’t think I’ll be making anything at all for a week or two, now I’ve finished!