posts tagged with the keyword ‘silhouette’

2015.05.30

Imperator Furiosa

By now I have to assume you’ve seen Mad Max: Fury Road, and you’ve probably said to yourself “Damn, Imperator Furiosa is pretty badass!” and then you remember that sweet skeleton arm on the door of the war rig and thought “I want one of those!” (Okay, maybe it’s just me…)

Imperator Furiosa's Skeleton Arm

Well, since I was unable to attain a high resolution image of the door of the war rig, I made do with a low-res version I found on the Internet, because that’s where you find pictures of things…

Imperator Furiosa's Skeleton Arm

Anyway, I traced the arm in Inkscape and made a nice vector image suitable for vinyl cutting. It’s about 18 inches long, so if you’ve got a Silhouette Cameo like we have at Milwaukee Makerspace you can use the 12″x24″ cutting mat, or just cut without a mat. The DXF file below should import into Silhouette Studio easily.

Or maybe you want to use a laser cutter or some other CNC machine to make an arm. There’s a vector PDF file, and the original SVG file you can easily edit.

Some people assume I drive an orange Honda Element, but really it’s a Honda War Rig. Special model, they only made a handful of them. (My old car was a V8 Interceptor. It was totaled in an accident.)

Honda War Rig

Honda War Rig (Close-up)

Maybe you don’t drive a Honda War Rig. Well, you can still get in on the fun with your Mad MacBook Pro. Just size the vinyl appropriately and stick it on the lid. Can you handle the “BADASS OS X Word Documents and Excel Spreadsheet” editing that’s about to happen!? I don’t think you can!

Mad MacBook Pro

Download the files and have a good time.

2014.04.02

RED Rail Mount

You may remember the Matte Box Flags that I laser cut a while back, or the more recent LCD Arm that I 3D printed, well, there’s another accessory done now, and it took months and months to get it done. (Well, most of those months were due to procrastin—I mean, working on other projects.)

So our story begins with the RED Matte Box, which fits fine on the RED Lens, but when you slap a Zeiss Super Speed in place, the Matte Box can’t attach to it, no worries, RED sells two parts to solve your problem.

Rod Support

Universal Mount

Just drop $350 USD on two parts and you can now secure your matte box to the 19mm rods. This is an ideal solution, but as you know, I’m cheap, and I’m DIY, so away we go!

RED ONE

Here’s how it looks underneath. Those two piece attach together and let the matte box ride the rails, and there’s some latitude for adjusting the height of things. It’s nice hardware, for sure.

RED Mount

Once again I commend RED on publishing nice photos of their products…

RED Mount

…because it’s fairly easy to clean these up and trace them and create 2D profiles that can be extruded to 2.5D designs.

RED Mount

That’s much better! In fact, since it’s 2D I actually laser cut some wood to do a test fitting, since my 3D Printer was down for a bit when I was working on this.

Laser cut prototype

(It was a nice diversion, and honestly I just really like laser cutting things.)

Somewhere along the way though, I pretty much abandoned the idea of recreating the stuff RED has and figured I should just design my own. Maybe after the whole RED Arm debacle I realized their designs are sometimes lacking…

Anyway, I was overly complicating things, so I decided to go simple. Also, we’re 3D Printing here!

Rod Standards

Also, if making any rod-related things, I highly recommend you grab the Rod Standard Graph PDF from the OConor site.

RAIL Mount STL

This is what I eventually came up with. It’s mostly an extruded shape, but it does have some holes for the bolts including bits to lock in the hex heads, just like the Arm does. I wish I could say I just 3D printed this and that was it, but it’s far from it.

While I was working on this I was also working on calibrating the RepRap after the recent repairs, so I had a bunch of issues with things not printing as well as they should, or not exactly the right size, you know, like a 19mm hole printing at 18.673mm or 21.298mm. So I moved back to a bit of prototyping.

RAIL Mount DXF

I used the old STL to DXF trick (thought slightly modified) to create a 2D design from the original 3D file. Once I had a DXF file I could use the Silhouette Cameo to easily cut some thick paper to get an idea of size and dimensions. Eventually I was happy with how things were looking so I moved on to plastic.

RAIL Mount Small STL

Here’s the DXF file extruded to 5mm tall, with the idea being that I could print this much more quickly (and with less plastic!) that doing the full print which is 25mm tall. This worked well, and I was able to test fit it on the rods, but I was still having a few weird issues with the 19mm hole sizing.

RAIL Mount Part STL

I ended up pulling my 5mm STL file into OpenSCAD and doing a difference to subtract most of it and just leave a portion so I could print this and test the hole sizing even faster. This too worked quite well.

This all might seem like a crapload of work to get what I wanted, but there was much exploring and learning along the way, and believe it or not, that’s most of the fun in doing it for me. If I just downloaded and printed something, well, that’s good if you want a thing, but not as good if you want to learn the process of creating a thing.

RED Rail Mount

The final piece, with two 1/4″ hex bolts, some nut knobs (as seen previously), and two smaller screws and wing nuts to hold the matte box in place. There was a little bit of delamination in this print. I may try it on the LulzBot TAZ 3 that we just got in at Milwaukee Makerspace, as I think it will be a good test.

RAIL Mount

Hey, it works! It fits on the rods and holds the matte box in place. Simple enough, right?

RED Rail Mount

railmount15205

2013.12.31

At Milwaukee Makerspace we have two very important rules. Rule #1 is “Be excellent to each other.” and Rule #2 is “Don’t be a dick.”

These rules are common among hackerspaces, and in an ideal world those would be the only two rules you need. Unfortunately, people need to be reminded of these rules every now and then, so when I saw Brant in the Wood Shop making a beautiful “Don’t Be A Dick” sign on the CNC Router, I figured I too should make one using the skills I possess.

Don't be a Dick!

I present to you “Don’t be a Dick!” – by Pete Prodoehl – enamel on canvas – 8″ x 8″.

Nixon Times Two!

I started with this photo of Richard Nixon (aka “Tricky Dick”) and pulled it into Photoshop where I ran a few filters to knock down the number of colors used and basically posterize it down to two colors. It’s still pretty recognizable. Typically at this point I’d do some manual cleanup, but I did very little with this one. Some pieces require more than others, YMMV, etc.

You’ll see I also added registration marks. (Those little crosses.) They worked, but I’ll probably go back to the old registration mark method I used for my annular series.

Nixon Separated

The Photoshop file has two layers, one for black and one for gray. This made it easy to create separations, since I wanted to save each color out to its own file. At this point it would have been helpful to turn the gray artwork into black artwork for the next step, but it wasn’t needed this time. The next step? Oh yes, after I exported the two images to PNG files I then imported them into Inkscape so I could create vector files.

Lines for Cutting!

The art imported into Inkscape, I did a ‘Trace Bitmap’ operation, and our raster file gets converted to vector outlines. These are what we need for the Silhouette Cameo to cut the stencils. (I typically save the files in SVG format, which is the default for Inkscape, but then export as DXF files, as that’s what can be imported into Silhouette Studio, the controlling software for the Cameo.)

Paper Stencils

For the stencils I used thick glossy paper that was originally from a calendar. (Pro-tip: grab all the free calendars people offer you, the paper is quite useful!) As a special treat, the calendars I used had images of concrete walls printed on them, which, when put in contrast with spray-painted stencils, looks almost as cool as the final artwork!

So remember, friends… Don’t be a Dick!

2013.12.13

Milwaukee Makerspace Lighted Sign

Brant, the President of Milwaukee Makerspace, has a great saying:

“Perhaps we should solve it as all great problems are solved. With a sign.”

I don’t know if there was a problem, but I made a sign anyway.

Skugga Lamp

I started with this IKEA lamp known as the “Skugga” which I picked up at the Z2 Rummage Sale for 2 bucks…

But there is a bug in this sign! It seems to promote coffee, and I don’t drink coffee. That’s an easy one to fix, because… hackerspace.

Logo

I grabbed a copy of the (new!) Milwaukee Makerspace logo (thanks, Mike!) and did a bit of editing, and loaded it into the Silhouette Studio software so I could cut some vinyl.

Coffee? Yuk!

Luckily the coffee thing has a white piece of plastic behind it that will work perfectly for us… All we need to do is stick the vinyl to it.

Weeding

The logo has some nice stitching around it, which can be troublesome when used at smaller sizes, and while some got pulled out of place during the cutting, it didn’t matter for this application since we were using the reverse. (If I’d wanted the positive, this would have been messy!)

Weedy Bits!

I used masking tape to pull up many of the tiny pieces. For the rest I used a sharp new X-ACTO knife. (I also stuck it right into my finger, because I miss being an undergrad in Graphic Design.)

Oops!

I didn’t notice until later that I lost part of the “m”… oops! Well, vinyl can be that way sometimes. I could always cut a new “m” piece in the future.

Milwaukee Makerspace Lighted Sign

Milwaukee Makerspace Lighted Sign

Here’s our finished light-up sign, which now resides at Milwaukee Makerspace. I think I should have made the vinyl just a little bit smaller, but hey, it looks pretty good for a late-night, rush-job project.

2013.11.18

Glass

I’ve been using the sandblaster at Milwaukee Makerspace quite a bit lately, and I figured that I needed to push the limits of what is etchable by sticking vinyl on glass.

DRINK

I started with the word DRINK in Inkscape as text. I wanted something big and bold, so there would be a lot of etched area.

Paths

When exporting any text it’s a good idea to convert the text to art, or outlines. This changes it from editable text to vector artwork consisting of lines. Once this is done, you cannot edit the text anymore. Often I’ll save my original file with text, then make a duplicate I can convert to outlines.

Logo

I then grabbed one of the new logos Mike has been working on. There was some stitching lines inside of the shape, but testing indicated that the Silhouette did not cut it very well at the size I was using. (I should try various sizes, and perhaps a new blade.)

I exported both pieces of art as DXF files, like I usually do.

DXF Files

If I ever need to quickly check my DXF files I use Solidworks eDrawings. Typically I don’t need it, but it’s handy for troubleshooting.

Cutting

Once I have good DXF files I load those into the Silhouette Studio software for cutting, like I usually do.

After the vinyl is cut, I use transfer paper to attach the vinyl to the glass, and then mask off the rest of the glass to protect it in the sandblaster. (Oops! Photo not available!)

Sandblaster

Sandblaster… here we come!

Logo etched

The logo turned out well…

DRINK etched

…as did the “DRINK”.

Drinking Glass

A fine looking glass!

Etched logo

Close-up of the etch. Looks good!

Combining the vinyl cutter with the sandblaster can produce some great results! It’s a pretty simple process, really. I’ve had a few members ask me about this so I may end up doing a demo or a short class showing how it’s all done.

Disclaimer: You should never drink alcohol while operating power tools. Also worth noting is the only beer I really care for is root beer. I got this mug from the dollar store for… one dollar! I just wanted to see how it would look etched.

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