Stool design

After going through many CAD model designs for the stool.  I decided to have a go at constructing a stool thought 3D printing plastic joins that would hold the structure in place whilst welding.  I ran into a few problems very quickly in the construction of the base.  After welding most of the base together I realised that the steel had warped.  this could have been due to heat expansion.

There were also parts of the design that were too close together and difficult to impossible to weld.

After spending a few weeks on this I decided to go back to the drawing board and simplify the design.  I drew many other models that gradually became more simple.  I still wasn’t entirely happy with the construction and felt what I was trying to achieve was far too complex and may not end up with a good result.stool.png

After discussion with Jon Christie about furniture he suggested that a simple three lagged stool is the most stable stool you can have.  As the stool is for my workshop I felt it was an important design idea.  I then spent a few more CAD models perfecting just one element that would be 3D printed to hold together my stool.  stooltop

The piece can be screwed into the seat from the middle and the three legs can be slotted in.  I am now in the process of 3D printing a prototype to test the element.

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Kitchen knife

One of the main tools I need in my kitchen would be knives.  This is the second knife I worked on.  For this I designed the knife in CAD and 3D printed the blade in steel.  The cost of a solid knife was far too expensive to justify 3D printing, so I decided to cut out most of the weight from the middle of the knife.

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I then used algorithms in grasshopper to put back in place a structure to give more strength to the piece.  Using grasshopper allowed me to play with the structure until I found an arrangement I was happy with.  This was great in this particular case as if I had drawn this in rhino alone I would have only had the option I had drawn and it would have been far more difficult to change.

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The knife cost £34.15 to print from Shapeways.

The first job I had was to sharpen the blade.  I didn’t want to temper the steel so I avoided using a machine to grind the edges.  At first I used a file which took off most of the edge.  I was then given a sharpening stone from a friend which was far easier for the job and took very little time.

The next job I had was to make the handle.  I wanted a contrast in the piece between handmade and CAD build work as I felt this would add part of my soul into the work more with combining the handmade element.

I cut a piece of metal to act as a stopper at the end of the handle.  This slipped down to join between the handle and the blade to make the piece look a bit neater.  I then made the handle using a piece of exotic hard wood called black plamera.  I cut the wood in half and cut out the shape of the handle.  In the centre of the piece I placed some dark blue acrylic sandwiched between light gathering plastic so that when you hold it up to the light you can see through the piece. 

    
    
 

After gluing the handle together with epoxy resin I glued two brass rods though the handle to secure.

 

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I then filed the handle into shape and sanded down to a high finish.  I used Danish oil to finish the wood to a high polish.

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Kitchen Knife

For my Kitchen knifes I wanted to make some comparisons between a mixture of traditional and 3D printed elements of the designs.  I have decided in order to do this I will make two kitchen knives.  One will have a hand made bade and a 3D printed handle and the other will be the opposite.

I have started making the handmade blade from a piece of Damascus steel I had in my workshop.  I drew on the size and shape of the blade and cut this out using a jewellers saw.  I think I snapped about ten saw blades as the metal is really thick and hard.

  
  
 I filed off some of the rough edges and then took it to the University workshop to grind down with the hand grinder.  I have a little more finishing off and grinding to do before I will design the handle for it.  I am waiting to know the exact size of the piece before designing the handle so I know it will fit perfectly.

Tension Saw Design

Over the last week I have been designing a tension saw I can 3D print and use both to make my jewellery as well as items for the house I am building.  Firstly I created a wire frame which looked very similar to my jewellery in triangulated forms.  When I piped this using T-splines it made the piece look almost sewn together, which I ran with.  It is still a triangulated form so I hope this means it will hold a lot of strength when in use.  I also made this from a frame to cut down on material for cost as well as weight in use.

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Initially I designed a traditional fitting where the saw blade would have been bolted, however I changed this as I wanted a more contemporary design.

My final design I made bolts and a handle that match the saw frame.  I plan to 3D print the entire thing in the next few weeks using steel for the frame and bolts and either wood or plastic for the handle.

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3D Printed Needle

A few weeks ago I designed a needle in CAD to try out in laser sintered steel.. I got the print back from Shapeways last week.  I am very pleased with the final result, However, I did have to file and sand it as the grains were quite prominent on the raw print and would have caught on fabric.  The needle also has a really nice weight to it.  I am a little concerned that it might be a little thick for some fabric.  I will try it out and if so I will file it down a little more.

 

3D Printed Hammer

For the last few days I have been working on finishing my hammer.  Initially I made a handle from an unknown wood I found in the park.  After Finishing the wood beautifully to a high polish I went to wedge the hammer head into the top and the wood split.

I then started again using a piece of oak.  I initially used my 3D printed chisel to carve the plank.  Although this was still cutting really well, I had to sharpen it regularly  to keep a good cutting edge.

After 3 hours of solid carving I hadn’t made that much of a dint in the wood.  I went over to the wood workshop to see if I could use the lathe  on it.  Malcom the technician offered an even better solution.  He showed me how to use a spindle shaver.  This is a tool I had never heard of before.  It is similar to a plane however you hold it with two hands and it has a handle on each side.With in about an hour I had carved a nice dainty shaped handle that was better proportioned to the hammer head.


I used my 3D printed chisel again to clean and scrape the wood before I sanded it.Finally I cut a wedge of walnut wood and a wedge out of the top of the handle.  I then added a little artificial chemical bonding (wood glue) and wedged the hammer head onto the handle.  I plan to polish the handle with Danish oil every day for a week or two.

I am very please with the result.  I plan to tweak it a little over the next week, however I can wait to start using it to see how it holds up.

3D Printed Hammer

A few weeks ago I sent away a CAD model of a jewellers hammer head to Shapeways.  I got the model in the post on on Tuesday of this week.  The hammer head cost just over £24 to print.  I was able to design it the way I wanted it to look and personalised it with my hallmark.

 I was very happy with the finished result of the print.  Each of the faces of the hammer show the layers of the build and require to be sanded and polished.  I have started to sand the flat side if the head which has been quite easy, although takes much longer than other metals.  I am yet to start cleaning up the domed side.  I feel this might be a little more tricky to get perfect.
 After getting very excited about my hammer arriving and picking it up from the local shop I went straight to the park to find a suitable handle.  I picked up a few sticks off the ground that looked roughly the right size and took them back to my flat.  One of the sticks was very weak and snapped.  The other I tested for strength before starting to work with the wood.
 I used my 3D printed chizel to strip and carve the stick.  This is the first time that I have really got to test my chizel.  It worked really well.   It both striped the bark with ease and carved really smooth and accurately.


At the end of the handle I marked with a pen where the wood needed to be removed to fit the head.  I carved and then filed the oval to size.

    I have spend about a day working on the handle so far.  I have been sanding the wood to try and achieve a high polish.

I still have a little more work to do to get the hammer perfect.  I need to make the connection at the top fit better and carve down the top of the shank a little to make it look more like it flows into the head.  I am going to finish the handle by polishing it with Danish oil every day for the next week.  Once I have done this I will attach to head permanently.

3D Printed Chisel

Whilst writing my proposal a few months ago I decided I would try and 3D print some tools that I might need.  I wanted to test how durable and feasible it would be to direct laser sinter in steel.  This is my first piece made by sintered steel and the handle is a stick found in my allotment.  I put holes in the piece to take the cost down but made them hexagonal to hopefully keep some strength in the piece.  It cost about 20 euros to print and the end result is very sharp after I filed and polished the tip.