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Mechanical and Kinetic Sculpture at Sprout

3 Feb

Tonight I visited Sprout in Somerville, MA for the Mechanical and Kinetic Sculpture meeting with Julian Gomes.   Also in attendance was Mike Beach who runs a Mechanics Steampunks Engineers Tinkers class, Joey Tochka, another Mike, and Jon Rosenfeld who helped tune and demo the lathe and mini mill at sprout.  Check out The Mechanical and Kinetic Sculpture wiki.

Trying to cut a steel bike frame on the lathe.  We lacked the proper cutting fluid to get it cutting smoothly.

Trying to cut a steel bike frame on the lathe. We lacked the proper cutting fluid to get it cutting smoothly.

Once tuned, we used the mill to create slots in aluminum.  Slotted aluminum happens to be perfect for creating a sliding tripod used in stereo photography.  I will likely be making a custom rig for my camera in the next few days to improve the quality of my anaglyph photos.  Here’s the mill in action after a tune-up:

I also recently ordered a laptop which already has me thinking about what design I will vinyl cut for the top.  This is what I’m thinking so far:

Blender screenshot showing bezier curve design

Blender screenshot showing bezier curve design

Using the Export Curve to Svg Path script for blender, I created the following design in inkscape which is almost ready to be cut on a vinyl cutter.

Vector design derived from blender file.  Made in inkscape.

Vector design derived from blender file. Made in inkscape.

Download the flower of life laptop skin svg file; I released the inkscape file into the public domain at openclipart.org.  You can scale the svg and vinyl cut it to fit your laptop for free — this is for a wide-format laptop.