RepRap Build – Part 2

Well, another month has FLOWN by and it seems I’m not nearly as far a long with this printer buildup as I thought I would be… but fear not, there has been some progress.
I think having to wait a month or two for it to arrive took some of the motivation away from me as I kind of forgot about it until it turned up on the doorstep… and now it has become a hot summer buildup, not a wintery this-will-fill-in-a-few-evenings job like I planned.

Anyhoot, on with the pictures! Enough with the words!

When I last posted I had no idea what to do to begin building my Mendel (aka robot, aka printer) so I started on the print head.
That gave me a sense of fulfillment, but being a plastic part it didn’t really give me much insight into how the rest of the assembly would go.

So, I (finally) found the Laser Cut build images on the RepRap wiki and started from the top….

* note : the images on the wiki are kind of handy, as they show the finished product, but they’re in no way “instructions”.
I have been taking shots every 5 mins or so, with the intention of making a “how to” guide that is much more thorough when I’m done building mine.
If you’ve found your way here to learn how to build a Mendel, these images won’t be that helpful, they’re just me showing some eye-candy… check back here in a week or so and I will have uploaded all of my images to a proper Buildup page for you to scroll through and have a look at every bit in detail.


this is the general assembly of each of the bearing sections, using skateboard bearings to run on smooth steel rails.


This one of the the X-Axis (left to right movement) assemblies…


Some of the bolts and nuts on this thing required impossible angles… here’s me doing a level-47 Advanced Engineering double-nut-shifter move (which sounds like a delicious ice cream no?)


The X-Axis family = one evening’s work.

more bearings, this time with a stepper motor nearby… again, I apologise if you are reading this and going “so, what the hell, he isn’t describing a damn thing helpful!”… this is more for curious readers, the full How-To guide should be much more useful.


This is how it all moves, a belt running around gears and bearings in little washer-bound tracks. Nice and easy.


The Frog…aka print bed chassis.

… and before you know it, it’s standing up!
Well, after 2 or 3 more hours tightening and loosening nuts.


Some of these bits aren’t worth explaining out of context, but they make for nice photos…
(and yes, it is December 2010, not 1995 – I don’t have an iPhone, my ol’ Nokia does me just fine.)


Complicated as all #$%^ assembly of the lower part / print bed. This is what I did all day Sunday.


… but here she is!
The nuts are all loose, the wires aren’t connected and there is still a lot to do, but it looks like a Mendel!

So.. that’s where the printer is at as of today (Sunday) … Lets hope it can be up and running before christmas!

I have also been toying around with the David 3D LaserScanner software, and it seems I just need to get my hands on a laser pointer (i’m not that geeky, so I have never owned one) and BAM, I’ll be able to do low-resolution 3D scanning at home too!!!! Scanning + 3D software skills > Printer = replicating whatever I want…..

>>> 3D mesh >>>
[ Click the shoe image to see the detail you can get from a webcam and a laserbeam!]

On a more traditional note, I have also started another pair of shoes.

These will be the prototypes for Lauren’s raffle winning shoes (I know, I know, that was 6 weeks ago… really, I know)

And in my never-ending quest for more tricks of the trade, I hacksawed a shoe in half to get a better idea of thicknesses and where the innersole components start and finish….


Nothing tricky in there… well, there is a a shank and screws in the very middle, but I cut around them to save on 20 mins of sawing through spring steel.

And finally we, well Dani, has also had another major task on the go (there’s always one or two on the go around here) which has used up a few of our evenings.
She has just installed her first, proper, real artworks in the Bundoora Homestead Gallery as part of their High Tea exhibition!
I’ll let her explain it all  in a post this week… but here’s a sneaky preview of one of the pieces.

nice huh?

Listening to : Ragga Twins – Ragga Twins Step Out

Happy Birthday to us!

Hey kids,

I’ve just noticed that it’s the 1 YEAR birthday for this here blog this week!
We missed the actual day by a few, but you know, it’s the thought that counts…So shut the hell up and eat some cake.

In honour of this momentous occasion I commissioned a KICK ASS transformers cake that had BOTH bumblebee AND optimus prime together in one powerful pose that should easily strike fear in to the hearts of any bad dudes who were lurking nearby trying to get some of the fairy bread and cordial we had on offer.

Unfortunately the KICK ASS pose did not eventuate due to time restrictions, so the ESSENCE of the heroic stance was boiled down to its… um… essence and this is what you get. *

See that, transformers so powerfully disguised as a bad cake that you didn’t even notice the glittery logo on top? Whapppow!… glitter all in your face.

So, thanks for reading, stay tuned for a much more eventful year ahead as I get my robot online, make shitloads of genius shoes and Dani takes her jewellery to so many new levels we’ll need a ladder around here.

Listening to :  Me singing happy birthday to myself in the computer room.

* note that that was all rubbish, this is just a photo I found on the internet.

Cutting (well, printing) Edge Technology

Just so everyone else knows about it (and so I dont get 45 emails asking me ‘have you seen this?’) check out the link below if you’re here and are interested in both shoemaking AND 3D nerdery.

http://www.ecouterre.com/3d-printed-rapidprototyped-shoes-revolutionizing-the-industry/

“…Marloes ten Bhömer, an experimental shoemaker who is using three-dimensional printing to reinvent the shoe—and the time it takes to make one. With the help of a mechanical engineer, the Dutch designer (and shoe-industry veteran) built her “Rapidprototypedshoe” by using a hot laser to sinter layers of polymer into the shape of a foot.”

images from www.ecouterre.com

This isn’t really where I’m intending to go with my printer, but somewhere between embracing new technology and respecting the traditional methods of the masters is where I hope to land.

I’ll have a new robot building update tomorrow night – hopefully after a long (indoors escaping the 30+ degree heat) day of construction.

RepRap Build Day 1

Hey kids, I have finally digested as much RepRapWiki information as possible and begun to assemble the first part of my Mendel!

I started with the extruder (a printed version of  “Wade’s Geared Extruder” was provided with my kit) and it only took about 5 minutes to get me puzzled… Seems the ‘instructions’ for building one of these = one page of photos of a completed one on the RepRap website.

It’s actually not that complicated to make, but a step-by-step guide would have been quite handy and I’m still not 100% sure I’ve built it correctly – so if/when it works I will backtrack and do a comprehensive How To guide for building one of these in case my fellow shoemakers ever want to give it a go.

Here are a few more ‘in the making’ shots that I might compile into a slideshow / timelapse thing at the end.



PS. Dani and I went for a walk around our neighbourhood in Yarraville tonight and came across a building site (which is being strongly opposed by the locals) that listed its permit application as “removal of the roof and renovation of the existing SHOE FACTORY…”

… so naturally, we waited until it was darker, and went inside. Nothing like a smashed down fence to cancel out locked gates.
[insert evil laugh and/or Judas Priest "breakin' the law" lyrics here]

Unfortunately we didn’t find much (anticlimax!) as it all seems to have been dere-leekt for quite a while, but I did find some old paperwork and some heel blocks, so I will do some nerdery in the coming week and see if I can find out what/who it was that worked there. I’ll keep you posted.

Listening to : Judas Priest – Breaking the Law

a little help…

coop’s never too far away when i need an extra hand….

model…

…and photographer’s assistant.

Special Delivery! (or, How to make a robot in 2,347 easy steps)

Hey kids, my Rapid-Prototyping-robot-printer-of-plastic-parts arrived today!!!!

So far I have :

1. Received the package.

2. Rearranged our spare room to fit in a new desk.

3. Opened and (in true OCD style) photographed the contents of the package.

4. Stared at the overwhelming amount of wood, electronics and indescribable parts that were in the package.

5. Had a break.

6. Looked online, then back at the parts, then looked online, then back at the parts.

7. Got a headache. Had a drink of water.

8. Uploaded Photos to my computer.

9. Started a blog post about it…

… which leads me to here. I am currently making confused/ squinty eyed faces at the desk full of parts, as if that will somehow make it allllll make sense.  No luck so far.

So, bear with me over the next few weeks as I attempt to apply my limited knowledge of engineering, electronics, hardware and software assembly to a thing that I have never seen complete with my own eyes. It should be fun!

Below are some pics of what I unwrapped today, so you too can get an idea of how daunting this is.


Listening to : nothing today, sometimes silence is golden.

Monthly Musings

Hey kids, seeing as my RepRapper hasn’t arrived yet (long story, but it IS coming… at least I hope it is) I don’t have too much to show off at the moment… but I do have some news, I have given notice at my computer nerd job and in two more weeks I’ll be starting a new casual/freelance job the whole shoe making machine will rattle in to gear again! Fuck yeah.

I guess the best I can offer is some social news, some photos of things and some images from my ever-increasing folder of inspiration shoe images, so grab a cold drink and sit down for a read.

First up, we hosted a second-time-around grand final bbq (for those of you not from Australia, our equivalent of the Superbowl was a draw, so they… wait for it… played it again the following week??? who understands these sport people?) and it was a glorious sunny day. We got to fire up the bbq and officially welcome the onset of sunny weather!


suburban backyard BBQ crew…

Prize winner #1 Lauren was at the party, so I managed to measure her (very well manicured) feet and suss out a little on what sort of shoes she’d like.
Lucky for her I have a high-heeled last in her size, so the current plan is to make a nice pair of Mary Janes, something like this:

.. I’ll work out the colour/details/finish etc once I’m back at the bench, but at the moment I’m liking the metallic heel + dark upper.

We also managed to plant our vegie garden, so here are some shots of it… this is the biggest amount of land we’ve had to utilise so far, but decided against planting 10 of everything as we usually find we end up with lots of undernourished vegies, this time we’re gunning for quality over quantity.

In true Yarraville (aka stuff white people like ) style, we have planted ‘heirloom’ tomatoes and a whole lot of basil for summer salads in alllll the colours of the rainbow (well, red and green and yellow). Dani has a bunch of cucumber plants in there now too with plans to make pickles New York / Katz Deli style. Yum.

For those of you who are interested and non-vegetarians, here’s how our home made salami turned out.

They’re too small, my fault for buying the wrong sausage skins, but they taste AWESOME, sweet, a little bit salty, a little bit spicy…. mmmmmm
You will also notice our attempt at Pancetta on the board. It kind of worked, but the recipe I was following suggested a week in salt… the Italian family members suggest a DAY, so of course it is so salty it makes your face hurt when you eat it. We’ll be saving that one for cooking…..

We bid farewell to Paulius last week, and he should by now be a week or so in to his big trip.
I am planning on getting in touch with him today to offer to update his blog for him as I think Internet Cafe’s are going to be a bit thin on the ground as he crossed the NULLABOR… my goodness.

In music news, I went to see the Boredoms play their Boredrum 10 at the Forum last week……. 10 drummers on stage letting rip = a spectacle, astounding, loud…and then very tiring. I stuck it out, but my poor ears were yearning for some riffs! We also went to see Dead Meadow last night and unfortunately had to leave after 3 songs. The mixer was possibly listening to something else, as what I was hearing SUCKED BALLS and was so dissapointing we left. They may have fixed it later on, but my mojo was ruined.


The Boredoms + an army of drummers = a glorious headache.

So, thats the social update, now on to some shoooooes.

These aren’t in any particular order, just a dump of what I think kicks ass at the moment, which should give you a decent idea of the direction I’m hoping to take my first range / first designs :


some Versace madness from earlier this year…


Balenciaga, I dig these, but I’m thinking the tech-y stacked up platform look will date pretty quickly…


I reeeeeally love strong coloured suede, so expect some in my range for sure.


I’m a fan of the small-amount-of-colour idea too… especially with neutrals and perforations.
These ones are from “Ports 1916″


These are siiiiick. I forget who they’re made by… sorry!

… I think these are by, like, Ruthie Davis or someone?


Chanel, and Cerruti… I’m a fan of the warm yellow-y red cowgirl / Deadwood colour palette(s).


This picture makes me want to throw in some matching socks with each pair of my shoes….

LEFT : I’m still hoping to design something ‘fierce’ like these for my sister in the next month or so.

RIGHT : How awesome is that rubbed back yellow toe?? The rest of them I could take or leave, but that detail is GOLD.


Big fat Alexander Wang boots. I’m not a big boot fan, but the suede + raw leather here is niiiice.

… and next up is my pick for Steve’s-favourite-shoes-of-the-year-so-far… Dior Fall 2010!

I just looked online and they come in white / beige too? Faaark, they are killer.

…and to finish, Mr Galliano himself.
That man knows no boundaries when it comes to pirate-y fancy-man runway posing, but dammit he designs some nice stuff.

I have a lot of respect for someone who can rock that man/lady look with such conviction!

So that’s it.. it’s late… I need sleep. Adios.

Listening to : Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

An excuse to day trip

Sunday Steve and I went to get some country air in our fav town- Daylesford.  Fellow ceramicist Bridget Bodenham was having an open studio, and since I have not met her before, thought this would be a good time to introduce myself…and pick hers brains about living and working in the Hepburn area.

So, she was lovely!  And lives in a bunch of cleverly arranged shipping containers!  It was truly awesome.  She welcomed us into her studio container where the pot belly fire was cracking (it was cold in Melbourne, but you need to prepare for a few degrees less-when will i ever learn), and we were indeed inspired.

Bridget is clearly happy making her home wares and jewellery as the walls were lined with delicious looking goodies.  We exchanged a few tips (she even lent me a book!) and I left feeling inspired and a little more confident in our idea of moving there.  I was also relieved to find out that two ceramicists that make jewellery can get along.  Sharing is hard for me- and that comes down to my insecurities…is there enough room/ideas to explore?  Although our work may cross over in areas, we both have our schtick.  Bridget does amazing things with form and texture and experiments with many clay bodies.  I’m a little more focused on the form and colour and exclusively (not sure why) use Southern Ice porcelain.

Anyway, Bridget is opening her studio again this weekend 23rd and 24th of October and stuff is for sale!

90 Ajax Rd Hepburn Springs 0434 030 931

RepRappin’

Aloha!
Finally, some real news, but still no pictures from the ol’ workbench. Those will have to wait until the weekend.

First up, the Fundraiser party was nuts, the bar was packed all night long and we managed to raise over $700 that evening in raffle tickets alone! Dani deserves a special thankyou for being a trooper and hassling pretty much everyone there for their spare change.
The raffle was drawn on the night and the ever lovely Lauren Murphy was the winner of a yet-to-be-made pair of shoes from me, and Dani’s jewels went to Martha… thanks to you both for chipping in!

< <   FREE SHOES! FREE SHOES!! WOO.

I will do a thorough job documenting Lauren’s shoes, so keep an eye out for that in the next month.

On a nerdier note I have just purchased my RepRap rapid prototyping ‘robot’ – or 3D printer for those who like less wordy descriptions – and it is currently being packed and shipping in a million little pieces to me from the USA.


This is what I (hope) I’ll end up with. Laser Cut wood = the budget starting point, and I will then be able to print a full set of parts in colourful and hardwearing plastic to rebuild him into version 2.0.


…with a quick coat of some white paint I assume it will look something like this?

I will also take lots of photos of the build process for anyone out there who is interested… and hopefully in a month or so I will be able to start printing out parts to make more machines! Self replicating! Genius!

I’ve been trawling around the internet for shoe+3D+prototyping sort of searches and have found a few pics to show (in lieu of some real photos of my own)


… 3D surface modelling + rapid prototype output = full plastic 2 part shoes.
These ones are by Sjors Bergmans.


… these ones are also fully rapid prototyped, showing the range of (ugly?) styles people have come up with so far.

… and finally these rockers by Pauline VanDongen are showing some style + nerdiness, as I hope to achieve.

Note that i’m not planning on making complete shoes, but there isnt much internet chatter about rapid prototyped heels and buckles as yet!

Anyhoot, that’s enough for now, thanks for coming back if you dropped off the reader list after the last month of silence, and if this is your first time reading my rambling, welcome! We like new people.

Listening to :  Om – Meditation is the Practice of Death
Perfect sitting-up-late-at-night-making-robots music…

New jewels, new stockists

Hi dudes and dudettes.  A few exciting things happening in dani m land.

I have a bunch of stock down at your local Fat store- but those cool ladies picked the fattest looking bits and pieces so don’t be disappointed if you can’t find what you’re looking for.   Alice Euphemia still has the biggest range for you.  But don’t forget Craft Victoria for the one-offs and the experimental.

Exciting!  Peeps in North Carlton, listen up.  Dani m now stocking Monk House!  Yippy!  They are lovely lovely ladies down there and have a great selection of Aussie designers.

Hawthorn crew, Maiike Store is a new shop just opened by sisters-in-law Aly and Feride Peel.  Check them out- Maiike has been making cute toys, blankets and scarves from lovely colourful knit fabrics for ages.

New slash not so new stock below….

crystals now on silver chain.

facet balls on chain.

…and facet rings.  best served stacked.