Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Holiday Break Makes

For the holidays I have roughly four weeks off from teaching.  That, coupled with a holiday season of gift-giving, has given me the opportunity to make tons of smaller-scale projects in the studio.  I thought I'd post an overview of some of the things I've been making... I'll try to come back later to detail some of the more interesting projects.

The first holiday gift I worked on was this "Heart Milwaukee" wall piece.  Louisa and I designed this for her brother and his wife. I created a mask by laser cutting masking tape, then sprayed the exposed wood with an acrylic clear coat.  I removed the tape and stained the entire piece.  The clear coat acted as a stain resist, giving contrasting values in the wood grain.  Notice the shape of Milwaukee County....

My next Holiday Project was designing this angel cat tree-topper.  When we got our tree, Louisa jokingly said "We need a cat for the top."  Eight hours later we had one!  More details on thingiverse, here.

Louisa's sister in-law has a chocolate lab, Dixie, and is obsessed with labs in general. I decided what she needed was some lab-themed bling.  Made from laser cut acrylic, brass chain, and acrylic jewels.

Though intended for a human, it looks pretty good on Dixie, too.

I also had fun making custom boxes for gifts!

On the topic of boxes, my next project was creating a custom case for an iphone-camera lens kit I put together for Louisa.

Made from a recycled Tea Box.  I modified the dividers, added latching magnets, a handle, and foam inserts to protect the equipment!

Next up: fixing a NES cart for my brother, Joe.  This cart had a dead coin cell battery, which disabled its save-game capability.  I replaced the dead battery with a fresh one.  I also added a modified battery-holder, so in 15 years Joe can replace it again!

I also created a custom chess set for my dad.  More info on thingiverse, here.

For a white elephant party gift, I created this laser-cut capacitive touch led lamp.  I used an ATTINY85 chip for capacitive sensing and LED actuation.  This was a fun project.... I'll definitely post more about this later.

A little video demo of the lamp.

Finally, I created these last-minute keepsakes to bring as gifts for a post-holiday dinner party.  I reused the same graphic from the wall-piece earlier in this post.  This was made by laser-cutting the design from 1/8" black acrylic and 1/8" plywood, then swapping the pieces. This was fun, but became quite a little puzzle to put back together.

I'll have to come back soon and post more details and process shots from some of these projects.  Until then, happy holidays, and happy new year!

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