This is a project I’ve been experimenting with at Techshop Durham. It is a laser cut business card that folds up to create a working caliper. I’ll probably make some for myself, Rod-o-Rama, and lintqueen.
The card in “ready to hand out” mode
Card assembled, ready to use. These particular examples were actually cut out of paint chip cards (lintqueen’s idea).
After snapping out parts.
Folding over the slide
Next step in assembly.
In action, measuring an 8mm hex key. Accuracy and precision are not too bad for something folded out of paper.
It’s cut and engraved with the epilog laser cutter at Techshop Durham. Initial design scratched out on paper, transferred to Inkscape, final tweaking in Corel Draw (actualy, lots of tweaking, since it did a horrible job importing the svg).
It still needs some refinements, like better instructions and possibly an illustration or two. I have some minor aesthetic tweaks in mind as well, but this version is mostly complete.
The corel draw source file is here. That file could use some cleanup, and I’d like to get it back into a open format like svg, but that will do for now. Consider it under Creative Commons.
Business Card Caliper by Adrian Likins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at www.adrianlikins.com.
Fiddling around with the laser cutter at Techshop. I used inkscape to vectorize some doodles, then cut then out of paper using the Epilog laser cutter at Techshop.
Paper cuts very well, with pretty good detail (see the hatching cut out from the doodle in the front for example). I’ve tried cutting acrylic as well, and it cuts well too, but in some of the detail areas, it unmelts into a bit of a blob that makes detailed parts harder to extract. Need to try it again with more power to see if it will cut a wider kerf.
I also tried engraving/rasterizing an image. I think it turned out pretty well, almost exactly what I was looking for. It did burn through a little bit in one section, but I could fix that in the image. The image itself started off kind of “pointilist”, which I vectorized with some of the settings tweaked a bit so it would blurb some of the points together so it would hold together. Then I “engraved” it instead of cutting it out, but with the power set high enough to burn through the paper.
Spent most of Sunday trying to learn how to use Blender (Blender the 3d modelling app, not the home appliance. I’ve already gotten my KACBO [Kitchen Aid Certified Blender Operator certification]).
I knew it was a fairly impressive app, just from seeing what the kids did at the Red Hat High blender course a few years ago.
It’s not the easiest thing to learn how to use, especially since I haven’t really tried any 3d apps in about 10 years. The last time I tried it, it was all CSG based apps for building models for POV-RAY. Blender is mostly a mesh based modelling tool, like most modern 3d apps.
The main motivation being a combination of sites that offer web based 3d printing like shapeways.com and the possibility of Techshop Durham getting a 3d printer in the future.
I only made it through a couple of the tutorials so far, but it’s been fun. Just need to figure out something cool to design and print.
Part of the Shrinky-Dink Series.