Monthly Archives: November 2016

Carter’s Baking

Carter has been becoming a really good little baker over the last six months or so. Here are just a few examples of things she's made recently. In the photo below are some pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies, some cream cheese frosting pumpkin cupcakes, some coconut macaroons, and a loaf of wheat bread. Everything was made from scratch, by Carter, with no help from us. She's amazing!

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Fidget Spinners

I saw things like these on youtube recently - they are called "fidget spinners", and are for people who need to fidget with something - think the compulsive pen clicker types. You pinch them by the center bearing, and spin the outer body. They are actually pretty fun to mess around with - everyone I've showed them to so far has enjoyed fiddling around with them. I made the one on the left on the CNC machine from bubinga and brass, and the one on the right was made on the 3D printer.

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NTU countdown clock

We've got a joke with a buddy of mine at work - he once claimed that some task would only take 15 minutes (an unrealistically short time for pretty much any software development task), that we started joking that all of his tasks would take some multiple of an NTU - Nick Time Unit. A month or two later, I was looking for something fun to make that would let me mess around with neopixels again. So I built this NTU countdown clock. The button on the left adds NTUs, and the button on the right clears the counter. As the time counts down the color will progressively move towards red, and when the timer expires all of the neopixels will blink red to alert the user. I love those illuminated arcade buttons on the top - they make a nice solid click when you push them.

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Carter’s Big C

Carter recently asked me to make a big letter 'C' to go above her bed. I cut it out of MDF on the CNC machine, and she painted it. She used to have a canopy hanging there, but she kept accidentally pulling it down (although I suspect that was less "accidental", and more because she was always playing with it). I like that the kids are really starting to get into the mindset of what the CNC machine, 3D printer, and laser engraver can do - they often come up with ideas for projects on their own these days. It's great that those machines are becoming part of their "mental toolbox" when brainstorming ideas.

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Kickstand Puck

I promised my Dad in May that I was try and make him a kickstand puck for his motorcycle, but had been stuck on how I would attempt it for a while. Last weekend I finally decided to go for it, using a pewter casting method I had read about online. I used the CNC machine to cut out a mold for the pewter, dusted it with baby powder (as a mold release) and then poured in molten pewter. What you see here is the result. At first I wasn't too keen on the pitted surface finish, but it has definitely grown on me - it brings home the idea that it was hand cast rather than made in a factory.

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