been buying quick release bits from wish and other suppliers just storing them in bags is not cutting it any more to time a made a storage tray for them all. was doing a tidy up in the cave last night came across more bits. put them in a draw. was lying in bed about to sleep when I had this design in my head last night waited till morning to put it into a design. the joys of dyslexia.
I had made a shelf for my retro pi NES box last night teaching my self new skills with tabs so i thought of what i had done and thought how to incorporate it with the design i was thinking of to make it a wall-mounted shelf.
So the principle for this is that all screwdriver hex bits are 1/4″ or for us, brits 6.35mm hex so on that principle i am going to do a test cut to make sure if i use the laser to cut that size it will fit if not will adjust its size.
first up lets design the tray going to be made up of 3 layers.
The first layer will be the baseboard and slider, Slider I hear you say what that for, all will be explained in the design. layer 2 and 3 will hold the bits.
Time to fire up my trusty Lightburn software to design and then cut it using a laser cutter.
Have made H counter leaver design for the wall if this does not hold the weight might go from tabs to another idea but cross that bridge when we come to it.
I will release the design once i have perfected it as with any project it might or might not be 100 per cent right the first time but let’s give it a go.
Time to test the hex size and then cut the full pattern, the joys of using light burn select the test part and then turn on cut selected graphics will only cut the one hexagon so i can make sure it fits.
Tested and yes i was right it was a little off and my thoughts of it being wrong were right so a little tweek. So now to test cut the design and make sure it all fits together before i glue it.
Wait I just thought of something to make it better!
Ok, i have decided to make 1 design change before the first cut to make the shelf more stable by adding second stabilization bar to stop any movement when taking the shelf in and out. the joys of having a dyslexic mind can figure out issues without even putting thigs down on paper.
So to assemble going to use 4 m3 screws and nuts to hold the 3 layers together will then mount to the wall using 2 X 4mm self tappers. going to glue using quick contact spray and glue.
All glued let’s mount it and test it.
I am going to revamp the design slightly as a little too much play in the hexagons. and 2 back screws are binding so removed works fine so might just change base plate slightly to get it to work as well.
So back to the power of lightburn. Changed the dimensions by .300 in x and y to get a tighter fit. will test it tonight. I removed 2 back screws to stop it hitting the cross braces. I then took a few mm out of the back to stop it binding. will do cut of modified bits tonight and post findings later.
Will update this later once i have had time to cut modified bits. will then post the design.
did some more finessing of the design to make it much more usable have adjusted holes to make a tight fit and removed all bolts apart from m3 which are used for aligning the 2 hex panels during alignment and then glued boards in place.
Lightburn File download. please find a link to the file i have added information to the file that should be removed LINK
Thought i would out a quick video for your entertainment as ran lots of these before Christmas as gifts for son’s nursery they are quick and easy to do.
Enjoy the video.
Heres how i did it in non-video format.
Open up Lightburn create and name in whatever font you like in my case have used army chalk font and my son’s name.
Using the offset toolset 3mm or bigger offset outwards with rounded selected.
Then i add the Ring for the keyring. this is done by adding a 4mm circle then adding 4mm offset as shown below.
Time to join them together place the rights and the outer edge together as shown below. select the outer edge of the keyring and outer circle then select the weld all shapes tool just below the offset tool.
To change the inner test to engrave path. in my case, I have the blue layer set for engraving. so, first of all, I select the text. then click on the blue layer to change it to fill layer.
Settings in my case as i currently using 4mm Laserply that is a little unstable with glue blobs i currently cutting at 40% power 4mm/s and Engraving at 65% power and 350mm/s. now it’s ready to engrave and cut. This usually is around 2mins per keyring. can be done with an array of fonts i tend to do sheets at a time to make it cost-effective.
Wood prep work i tend to go over my laser ply boards with 400grit sandpaper on my orbital sander both sides before applying paper finishing tape. can see me smoothing it down int he video. now ready to cut.
Clean up and ringing of the key rings. i tend to peal all finishing tape and then light sand if needed i then grab my keyrings that have a solid ring with a split in it using snub nose pliers i insert it inside the ring and force apart i then place the ring through the wood and close using the pliers. bit hard to photo there is some over headshots of this in the video.
Finished items. from the video.
hope you enjoyed this project as much as i did. great gifts and work out under 50p each to make. did 100s of them over the Christmas and new year for friends and family.
New projects got some fun idea coming up on the site already filmed the next video which i will post this evening. if time allows it as have been busy working on getting on of my rental property ready for new Tennent.
Have already filmed another video that one is more of an experiment to improve a project i saw over on a friends youtube channel.
So the next video is a how-to make quickly customizable keyrings for gifts using a laser cutter and lightburn software.
Followed by Resin pour using ink and glow in the dark powder if this works will lead on to a bigger project as thinking of doing some night lights for my boy using led fairy lights and some resin cast stars will be also making my own silicone mould to cast the stars.
Hoping to get my CNC machine working as well as want to do some cool stuff with that shortly.
got any ideas for a project and need some help drop me a line as always looking for ideas and would love to help some other bloggers or youtube channels.
Well 2 weeks off meant to feel rested but now more tired than ever the joys of life. Never mind time to play with my Christmas gifts as requested crafting supplies.
UV resin and some Epoxy Resin, as i travelled back alone i ventured down to the man cave last night for some testing.
so for my first test, i decided to try UV resin. on a silicon mould and infill on a bamboo coster that i had laser engraved. So i fired up lightburn imported a welsh dragon logo as the brother in law wants a set of costers. i set the parameters to 350mms and 70%-65% power with 6 passes. I will modify this in the future as i want it to engrave deeper in fewer passes. i then pored around 10ml of resin into a cup and added 6 drops of resin colour red to give a nice red resin using the stir stick i coated the engraving. then hardened using UV light. Now i had not removed the masking tape which was a mistake as when i peeled it took all the resin out of the engraving with the tape so started again with no tape didn’t now have enough to fill to level but get the overall effect was still stickie to the touch.
will sand it later and see what happens. then will repeat with Epoxy resin on the opposite side of the coster.
The viscosity of the UV resin is quite thick and does not flow very well was going to use a syringe to apply resin but wouldn’t suck well. see how epoxy does. next up i half-filled a silicon mould with resin applied some dry flowers and then filled the mould with resin i then cured using UV light apparently need 30 mins only did a few mins so will need to try this again as very sticky after cure.
so time permitting will do some experimenting tonight as can see this being cool for some upcoming projects i want to do.
have decided to build my self a Curing Station for my new resin printer as winter is now approaching rapidly won’t have natural sunlight.
I went on bangood and ordered light and turntable as i had time on my sides as i was off on holiday link here. also ordered a filter and silicon funnel for returning resin back to bottle as the paper filters are good but a pain to use. Now what you’re going to need to do this project.
Turntable solar powered.
UV resin Curing Lamp 405NM. 240v
some screws and glue to hold it all together.
The box design:
As this is a square box 150 mm that a lid fits on top of decided to make this nice and easy so jumped on the web and went over to my favourite laser box making software and its free. https://www.festi.info/boxes.py/ selected twopiece box made 150 x 150 x 150 and 4mm thickness hit generate. see my setting below i then saved the SVG
I then imported the design into lightburn software.
I then ungrouped the file and started with the lid and the base as i wanted to make an inlay for the turntable to sit on and a cut out for the light housing to sit in.
now to modify these parts as going to engrave 4 footpads into the base this will help the turntable sit right and not move around. and going to cut a hole in the lid and add an insert fro the lamp to sit in to hold it in place.
I started off my measuring the turntable 100mm x 100mm i then measured the pads 10 mm. i then measured how far from the edge of the base they were 5mm. i then drew a template for the turntable i generated the 10mm engrave circle and offset lines to show edges for the engrave feet circles. then using the array tool i made 4 circles for engraving.
I then removed construction lines in black from the template and grouped the part to be inserted in the middle of the base using the centring tool.
Now to modify the lid so the lamp will shine through the top of the cube. measured outside dimensions 97mm x 115mm with 10mm rim on the light surround.
i then made some holder rings to hold the lamp in place. did 3 of these that i will bolt down with m3 bolts. once i have cut it.
Cutting out the design:
have spaced this into 4 sheets 300 x 500 4mm ply. with some offcuts for further projects.
Right as jet lag got the better of me and i was off to Birmingham in the morning will end it here and follow up in part two cutting and assembly of the project.
One of the first modifications i did to my machine used a 3d printer to make an mA meter housing. So i could stick on to the top of the laser cutter as don’t want to drill/cut my laser yet.
I finally decided to make something a little nicer. still not drilling my machine i know very unlike me lol.
As the UK as the summer finally hit 32C warmth at last. but my water tank temperature has gone through the roof. so until i can afford a CW-5200 Chiller. Have gone back to 15L paint bucket and will be adding iced bottles every night so i can keep the temperature below the dreaded 25C, Unlike the last few days of 34C. So I have decided to design my self housing that is going to house a dual temperature gauge and my mA meter so i can monitor the temperature of the water coming in and going out of the laser tube.
Wiring up the wires:
Temperature Gauge water input/output temperature wiring:
I brought an inside-outside panel mount temperature gauge off amazon a few weeks back as like to keep an eye on water temperatures link for this here.
the downside is it comes with only 1M lead for each probe. i have ordered some 2M long ones from China but for this idea, i need them to be at least 3m long if not more. so i am going to make some extension leads up, I have ordered a box of JST-XH 2.54 connectors from amazon prime as wanted to knock this out of the park quickly, As from previous posts you might guess i am doing quite a few things on at the moment but love the pressure. link for parts here.
Time to make some extension leads. As a some one who like to make stuff, I have lots of wire kicking around going to start with the panel end of the extention lead, i am going to use red and black wire start off by crimping to JST-XH connectors to wires female crimps for the panel end. I then insert them into the 2 pin housing. you will need a JST crimp tool to do this.
now to probe end i am going to solder this and heat shrink it. So to do this plug the probe into the male connector then using my solder workmate. First of all, i tin the wires i then i run 3 pieces of heat shrink over the wires, 2 small to cover the pins after soldering and one larger one to go over the housing make it look nice and give it some strength. Then using my gripers I line the pin and wiring up before soldering them together.
Then using my heat gun i shrink down the 2 smaller bits over the freshly soldered joints. I then i slid the large bit over housing and using heat gun shrink it to the base of the housing is covered and connected to the wire.
now to get power for the temperature gauge going to use 5v off laser power supply from 4 pin connector, not in use on the 50watt PSU so will use the Ground pin and 5v supply.
mA Meter Wring:
This is just a recap as did this a few months ago.
If you look at Laser PSU diagram above you will see L- on pin 1 this is were the mA meter will sit between. this wire comes from the low voltage end of the laser tube. (Laser PSU might be different from machine to machine) the principle will be the same though.
Now prep for the mA meter, As I have already did this so this is a copy from an earlier post.
The wiring I started by running 2 wires through the housing of the laser down to the electronics controller boards and power supplies of the laser. I will then crimp the 2 wires and attach them to the mA meter the + side i will attach some red heat shrink to represent the live side. on the mA meter, there is a minus sign telling me that the other pin is positive. as pictured below.
this will attach to the wire i will remove from the PSU going to use a terminal block for time being till i decide if i am going to cut a hole in my laser to permanently mount mA meter later on. the – side will go back to the PSU.
All wiring done ready for the new housing
As i have designed control panels in the past for my k40 laser going to use these elements as a template for mA and panel mount gauges i am going to use them in this design.
Now that i have proven my existing elements fit i am going create a box to house them both so where to start with this Inkscape has a plugin that will do this or there are many online tools that you can create a box. i have decided to go with http://jeromeleary.com/laser/ as i could add a sloped face to the front of the box as shown below. i then save dxf file and imported into lightburn.
I then added the elements for the gauge and dial to the box and added a rear cutout for the 2 sensors and power plug. mA gage as shown in the picture. below.
After doing initial design i decided to make some changes as once the housing will be glued together there would be no way to remove wiring so i added a brake out panel.
going to make a mockup in wood first and make sure it all fits before i go out and by some acrylic for the job,
Have redone file now the rear door emergency access doors are now better only 4 tabs to knock them out if any issues once glued. I have also changed dimensions on the mA meter as they were way off. I will test cut it again later and see if can get it to fit.
Now that I have proved it all fits together and works I am going order some acrylic to cut. I will be using 3mm acrylic in black so will look nice. I will also be using an infill process to make text stand out.
Acrylics arrived A3 sheet so now it is all fitting i can cut the final sheet
time to pull out my trusty airbrush and some white paint. time to do some infill before removing the protective layer.
Now time to assemble using some PETG adhesive to hold everything thing in place.
now to test all components fit.
right now all wired up without having to cut any holes now to hold it in place now for the 3M tape. time to test power on making sure temp gauge lights up. it does and mA is working fine.
Right as one on my side projects is now done for another month. i can get back to doing enjoyable bits and get to finally clean up my workspace. get everything up and running and ready to work.
So last nights and tonight project is a freebie for my son’s nursery sports day for the toddler group some medals. with the heatwave starting to rush in not sure how much i can do over the next day or so but going to crack on and get the last 28 medals run tonight water temps allowing.
I taped up some 3mm plywood after i had sanded both sides with 400 grit sanding disc. placed it on my honeycomb bed top left. hit play and away the 50-watt laser went. i decided to crudely wire up my water temp gauge the water temp had started out at around 22c when i started to engrave
around 1hr later after the hole sheet had engraved the water temp was up a 29.9c
This is my first attempt at mass production of a product and was an approx 2 hr of engraving and cutting of the medals with the worry of water temp raising 33.2c.
this fun little project had given me some worries about water temperatures in the man cave.
I had found an original CW-5000 for £399 they had 11 in stock yesterday went to order today and they have sold out argh so going to bag some ice tonight and add to my distilled water.
Day 2 of opperation sports day medals and getting the mancave to opperatnal .
27 medals to go do love my 50watt laser so reliable fired up laser loaded lightburn put the new sheet of taped plywood and away we go.
All done and now to take all the tape off them 1 down 37 to go
been a busy night on the tidying the cave now have a clean work bench getting a lot or the draws labeled up as need some organisation in the cave. starting to come together.
That’s me done for the night next operation is sorting the large form printer and my Prusa Mk3 both back online thinking about making some wall mounted spool holders as my enclosed one seem to be jamming up on me. Need to get the CR-10 up and working as well have to calibrate the machine.
Next project on the laser I have a stack of placemats to engrave for our holiday let but going to have to watch the weather and clean out the water tank and replace the dirty water. so will be doing that over the next week will cover the process and the tidying up of the cave at the same time.
Sorry for the delays in getting part 3 out i have had some teething issues with the lightburn but i have got a new way of tackling the issue.
going to break the cost up into a matrix grid of 8 squares and then cut the outline this will then be glued on to a bigger ply board that has been washed in blue to give sea effect.
after that, i will then cut each individual counties for wales. and then apply them to the large scale map.
Ok so that is the map sorted its now road names and places that i have to figure out how to apply. one mode of thinking is that just engrave them over the top of the counties another one is cut them out and glue them on top of the map. this will be my next thing to play with will post images of progress and testing as i so please bear with me.
now to find a some one to cut me a 1001 mm x 909 mm 6mm bit of plywood to act as backing board wilts i play with ideas on adding roads names and places of interest.
the joys of developing Technics for this fun project. next part to follow soon.
Managed to run the shading matrix now it’s not given me as many usable shades as i would have hoped but have a good 14 shades. think i need i have run the cutting matrix 2 times and will probably run it one more time to see if i can extract more shades in the future but for the time being i will run a total test. on 1 sheet of A3 wood but make it look as if 2 sheets. let’s begin part 2.
First run off the test matrix. can see the bottom scan line is way too burnt as predicted in last post.
I removed the bottom line and made text bigger i also messed with speed of scan of text to make it clearer. Link here for SVG and here for LB files has been requested
Still not happy with the overall test but i have identified the following shades for the map. i have named them so i can adjust accordingly going to run first a map just showing outline and counties.
65% Power 400 mm/s Anglesey
65% Power 350 mm/s Spare
65% Power 300 mm/s Flintshire
65% Power 275 mm/s Spare
65% Power 250 mm/s Carmarthenshire
65% Power 225 mm/s Ceredigion
65% Power 200 mm/s Denbigshire
65% Power 175 mm/s Powys
65% Power 150 mm/s Gwynedd
30% Power 300 mm/s South Wales
30% Power 275 mm/s Conwy
30% Power 250 mm/s Pembrokeshire
30% Power 225 mm/s Spare
30% Power 200 mm/s Wrexham
30% Power 175 mm/s Monmouth
Now to assign the shades to the map. as i have divided the map into multiple layers this will not be too hard to do just a little time-consuming.
now to save it for a scaled test run to 300 x 500 bit of plywood I will probably have to run it slightly smaller as layout as constraints of scale as the final map will be run on 2 x 300 x 500 sheets.
finished test run i will now add roads in different passes but before i do that i need to do a line test later on as i want the lines to be slightly different. but for the time being, going to test with the updated current setting. I also have issues with road names not showing right. as the images below the spaghetti junction so going to limit the map to show main roads in the area i really want to highlight in this map. also going to limit the name of places.
Next Part: Coming soon
Adding Points of interest
Scaling and spiting the map over 2 sheets of 500 x 300 plywood
Making the map 3D by layering up the counties sea and mainland with roads and rivers i think but this is subject to change.
mounting it all in a frame ready to be taken to wales at the end of may.
Think I have been doing too many mods to machines instead of using them for some fun projects as so I have decided to show you the working of a bit of artwork I am putting together for our holiday home in Wales. this will be multiple layered pieces of art.
I will only cover the basics of the project as if you are used to using Illustrator and light burn you will know what I am talking about if you want more in-depth instructions please feel free to comment on the post. this will probably be over a few parts as going to be some trial an error as never done anything this scale.
So after buying a layered map off maproom.net I then stripped assets from it using the layer selection in Adobe Illustrator. for example, I took counties outlines, place names, roads, road names, coastline rivers and lakes allowing me to take it across to lightburn giving me multiple layers this took a few hours and then to some vector path editing to pull off. I also noticed some issues with some of the vectors not being closed correctly so I had to address them as well.
I then named layers in ligtburn broke it down into the following layers this point I have not configured powers or speeds. as each county will be shaded differently. and some assets will be lines only were as other assets will be filled or outlined within the program. So cuts are just for reference at this moment in time I will post final speed and powers once I have run the test matrix i have made below
The map looks like currently, it’s oversized as will be cut in sections as will be using multiple sheets of ply to generate different layering to build up the A2 frame it’s going to be housed in. I will be cutting different layers then layering them ie. sea, land, then counties etc will be a bit of experiment.
now that is all complete I will be looking at power and shading for different elements. so to start I have taken someone’s design and remixed to show greater ranges and speeds so I can see what different power/speeds achieve. Have named it shading matrix pallet. if you ask I will upload it for testing pleasure.
This is taped so I will not have to clean smoke off the wood think the lower speeds might be charcoal but will see later on tonight. upload my findings in part 2