The laser cutter is 60cm x 30cm and I’d like to end up with a mini installation that a baby or toddler could play in. To make the installation as tall as possible I’m going to split the legs two to make each one use the most out of the usable space on the laser cutter. In Inkscape I’ve drawn a 120cm wide circle which I’ve cut in half and half again and I’ve cut away a chunk to leave me with the pieces for my arch. To this I’ve added slots at the top to allow for two pieces of wood, the cross bit and single slots at the bottom for one piece of wood. I’ve added little notches to each slot to help get a tight fit. At the very bottom of the leg I’ve added little feet slots to go into some circular feet. Throughout the piece I’ve made 6mm holes for the pool noodles. Off to see Philip to get it cut..
Oh no, this isn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be and I’ve got to be in Leeds for an exhibition opening at 5pm. Not to worry, let’s crack on. I have a Mac and Philip a PC and Inkscape definitely works best on PC. When we transferred the files over there were some hick ups, Philip basically needed to drew the designs again before being able to cut them. Sadly I did run out of time and had to go to Leeds. Philip cut them for me and we met at the Art Centre and handed them over, it was a bit like a drug deal, I pulled up in my car and we handed over cake and laser cutting with Chester the look out in the back.
I put all the pieces together and it didn’t go as smoothly as I thought, some pieces are too tight and some are too loose and the holes for the noodles are too small. I don’t want to waste the wood and just recut it. I brought a hole cutter for my drill and made all the holes bigger, sanded them down, filed off the notches and painted it ready for the test run at Mini Makers.
At Mini Makers it’s still not right, I need to carry a mallet but I don’t have one. Luckily Anja the learning officer has one in her cupboard. I hid in there for a bit and got it together. I came out of hiding and put it out for the kids to play with, it was a real hit they loved it and quickly got the idea of pushing the noodles through the holes and got inside it.
I’m really pleased it’s a hit, I’ll carry on creating it and working out how to get it to the next stage. The problems with it at this size is its a big wonky, a bit wibbly wobbly, little enough for the children to pick up and the feet fall off.
To improve it I think having two lower legs to each leg would help in a arch shape with feet to support each leg. Back to the drawing board.
I met Philip again and we cut four more lower legs and four double feet. This has helped but has created some new problems; the lower leg slots have only been designed for one and the feet keep falling off. I’ve used my hacksaw to make the slots bigger and at the same time I’ve made the top slots a big bigger too to make it easier to get together. I think I’ve made it worse! I think it’s tome to recut the design with improvements.
I’ve got some 6mm plywood instead of 3mm and I’m going to redraw it all and cut it agin when I meet Philip on the 1st March. I think some of the problems are because it is so small, when I create the finished installation I want to have one bigger than an adult, they can just touch the top, one bigger than a 13 year old (bigger than me) and one big enough for five year olds. It would be cool if the smallest one was the same size as the legs for the tallest one. I need to look at STEAMhouse to see if they’re CNC machines might help me scale them up or if it’s better to do it by hand. For now I’m going to look at getting the best design sorted for the 1st March from 6mm ply.