I recently celebrated my five-year anniversary with my girlfriend, and I wanted to make something special to give her. The result was a kind of mechanical box… object.
Opening the box reveals a platform with five holes evenly spaced around the center. If you hold the box and rotate the bottom, two things happen:
- The platform lowers, revealing five heart-shaped beads on individual axels
- Each heart rotates independently around its vertical axis
At first, I tried making all of the parts using FreeCAD, which I really want to like, but it proved to be far too unstable for me to get vary far. Progress stalled for a bit, but then I decided to just do everything in OpenSCAD instead, which proved much more straightforward. This is definitely the most complex thing I’ve tried with OpenSCAD so far, and I’m happy to say that it worked out great.
To see the box in action, check out the youtube video.
You can also view an album of the build and finishing process
Finally, for the more technically inclined, all the OpenSCAD code is up on github
So I’ve been having a great time with OpenSCAD of late, and made a couple of small models:
- a parametric Lincoln Log-style building piece (with options for diameter, length, and number of slots)
- a die-like cube for tracking damage in World of Darkness pen-and-paper RPGs
I love OpenSCAD, and I also love thingiverse. To check out the models and download them for yourself, head over to my thinigiverse profile.
So a while ago, I started in on a project to create a tool for generating wearable ring models with text encoded in binary based on the ASCII values of each character. I put the project aside a while back, but recently I discovered OpenSCAD, a fantastic tool for programmatically defining 3d models.
OpenSCAD totally rocks, but is a little strange in that variables aren’t, strictly speaking variable, since you can’t change their value. As a result, instead of writing openSCAD directly, I created a Python script that takes a string as a command line argument and generates the OpenSCAD code to make a ring with that phrase around it. The above image encodes ‘OpenSCAD rocks my world’.
The next steps are to make the script take a ring size and thickness, and then I’ll likely be setting up shop on Shapeways to sell these.