Sep 13, 2011

More Laser Mosaics

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Some more work in progress images of my laser cut felt mosaic project.

If you’re already ogling this thing, and think you might want to take it home, you should know that it will be on auction during Desert Bus for Hope 5 in November, with all the proceeds going to the gamers charity Childs Play. Essentially, what they do is raise money to keep children’s hospitals around the world in games and toys. Its a great charity and I’m thrilled to crafting again for it this year.

About half the pieces of the mosaic are cut now, with most of the smaller, fussier bits completed.  Once I get them done, I’ll be sewing them together and getting the panel ready to attach to the front of…something. Stay tuned!

Sep 10, 2011

Fabric Mosaics, Made with Lasers

I’ve finally started to cut out some pieces for this year’s project for the Desert Bus for Hope Craftalong.  As with last year, I’m making a shoulder bag, and this one features a striking front design, made with pieces of felt that fit together like a puzzle.

I’m cutting the pieces on the Dallas Makerspace‘s laser cutter, and as you can see, it allows me to make designs that are really precise.  In fact, they’re so precise, you can (carefully) pick an assembled section up and move it around as one piece; the components will just sort of just stick together.

I’m using synthetic felt, which melts at the edges instead of burning, so you get nice, full areas of color.  Several parts are also made from fleece, because certain colors in the pattern don’t seem to come in felt, like the pink here.

Though they look really smooth right now, they still seem a little synthetic.  I’m planning to add stitching around the edges in matching thread to give everything an elaborate hand-made look.

Jun 16, 2011

More Laser Scribbling, Potato Enrichment Parts

I’ve been up at the Dallas Makerspace for a few nights,  finding new ways to utilize the laser scribbling technique I blogged about previously.  The current version of the Potato Enrichment Kit is basically covered in laser scribbles.

I used the laser scribbling technique to make settings for some of the smaller “LEDs,” which are being represented on this model by very small rhinestones.

I also used a Hatch Fill scribble to sink this tiny bezel about 1/32″ into the top of the IC piece.

This made it easy to place the tiny bezel, and allows it to be shorter than it would be otherwise.

I used a scribble to create a setting for the diffuser paper that will sit over the LED in the “eye” piece.

I also did a variation of the technique using a bunch of concentric circles for the front of the eye piece.

The bevel has three cut depths, and you can see the dividing lines between them in this photo.  When its painted, the part should look like it was bevelled using a lathe or a drill press, and it will have subtle ridges for paint to accumulate on.

Jun 2, 2011

Potato Enrichment – Now, With Electricity!

Finished putting together the insides of the model.  This was my first time soldering, and I think it came out pretty good.

Nothing is glued down yet.  Next step: Assembly, and painting.

May 20, 2011

More Potato Enrichment Progress

Lasered the second version of the Potato Enrichment Kit tonight.  It’s looking pretty good, but there are a few tweaks still to come.  This is a rather small potato, so it looks bigger in this image than it actually is.

This is what it the modules look like without paint, and missing an eye diffuser.

The white spots are from the Krazy Glue.  It bonds acrylic well, but leaves all sorts of marks all over the place.

The interior is made from two layers of 1/8″ acrylic with spaces for the batteries, LED, switch and a screw to hold it all together.  It’s pretty swanky, as far as hobby projects go.

The batteries and pieces I’m using for their contacts, scrounged from the Dallas Makerspace’s vast supply of miscellaneous electronics parts.

I may or may not have accidentally glued that LED into the frame.  Oh well.. it was a prototype anyway, right?  The good news: it fits.

The smaller module off to the side was a one-hit wonder – one round of design in Inkscape, one laser cut.  It’s missing a bezel piece which I may have lost.

So far, lookin’ good.  This is not super easy to put together, but its easier than it could be.

May 19, 2011

Potato Enrichment Progress

A few updates on the Potato Enrichment Kit.  I’ve picked out an LED and a filter for the eye.  Here’s a draft version of what it’ll look like.

When off, you’ll just see the vellum diffuser, which is a muted yellow-gold color.  It won’t have those ripples in it, and it may be a tad smaller to match the refs I have.

Then you turn it on:

The super bright yellow LED inside gives off a glow that’s almost white in the center, with a dark yellow ring around the outside, and then a wide throw of yellow around that.  It’s very close to the texture on the Potato GLaDOS model’s eye.

I’ve dropped the hidden LED idea you saw in the previous WIP shot.  Now the LED is in the middle of the eye to create the right look.

Here’s one more image from the build.  I spent a good bit of time, trying to find the smallest and most self-contained power switch that I could.  Happily, my local electronics store had these single DIP switches.

These switches are usually made in banks of 2 or more, for changing functions on electronics.  Single ones are a little larger than an LED.  It’s more compact and easier to slide (in my opinion) than tiny slider switches.  It’s epoxied into a plastic housing, so its probably the best bet for a relatively waterproof piece.

These WILL be getting potato juice on them, but we’re all adults here and can manage our potato leakage enough not to cover the model in it – one hopes.  The switch will have to stick out through the case, so it’s probably the go-to point of entry for any wayward juice.  I placed the switch opposite the six stakes that go into the potato; hopefully that will keep it out of harms way.

I’ve got the complete interior layout set up now in Inkscape, including a battery holder and a mount for the switch and the LED.  The new build has 26 parts that make up the main eye unit, the giant IC hooked to it, and pieces for attaching the (decorative) potato battery wires to their support pins.

Hoping to laser the new version tomorrow.