Category Archives: FabLab

Hello VinylCutter

Recently, the tool fairy brought me a consumer grade vinyl cutter.A feature that attracted me to this model is that it can cut paper. Making intricate cuts in paper is much easier with a tool like this, and much less expensive than with a laser cutter. The Silhouette Cameo is an interesting machine. It’s extremely affordable, and probably best for light personal use. As a classroom tool, it might not be durable enough. It definitely isn’t made for commercial use, but there appear to be plenty of things you can do with it. Continue reading

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Laser Clicker

Using some laser cut parts, along with a handful of machine screws and nuts, wire, conductive tape, and packaged inside a take out food tub, you can make a three axis motor controller.

This controller was created as a super inexpensive, easy to assemble way to operate the SeaPerch underwater ROV. This controller allows you to make your own DPDT switches. You can also make the switch part using a different technique, and more standard materials. Continue reading

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3D Printed Mendocino Motor

The Mendocino Motor floats in its own magnetic field and converts light into electricity and magnetism, which are then converted into the motion of the motor.

Building and studying this project provides the satisfaction of creating an amazing bit of technology, and the opportunity to explore magnetism, electromagnetism, electric motors, solar power generation, and personal manufacturing.

Build the base that holds the magnets and provides a bearing point for the motor. Then wind the motor coils, and solder them to the solar cells. When the motor is assembled, you’ll balance it so it spins freely, and perform any troubleshooting to make it work Continue reading

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Intro to the Laser Cutter at AS220

James showed me how the laser cutter works at the AS220 Fab Lab in Providence RI.
He is demonstrating the laser cutter using a file that has four different line types, and cuts with both raster and vectors. The resulting little paper house has two depths of cuts in the vector, and two intensities of burns for the raster. Continue reading

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Laser Cut Felt Jewelry

Maria designs necklaces that she then cuts on the laser. She uses an industrial wool felt. The smell as they outgas is a bit like burned hair. Her blog’s got information about her jewelry and other creative projects.

Laser cutting felt is a great way to create complex shapes in felt, which can then be sewn or glued together with traditional crafting techniques.
Continue reading

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Make Your Own T-Shirts

There are several ways of making custom T-shirts. Most of them involve lots of tools, chemicals and light sensitive materials. Using sign-cut vinyl as your stencil makes the process amazingly simple, and requires very few tools, other than the vinyl cutter. You can have your stencil cut, and then mailed to you if it is inconvenient to access a machine. Continue reading

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