I wrote a bit of OpenScad to laser cut a leather pen case

https://github.com/creuzerm/openscad-projects/tree/master/laserable/Pen%20Case

I cut it and am looking at it and while it looks good, I think it is flawed.

The little round holes for stitching are easy to tell a robot to make. However, I am thinking that they actually overly weaken the seam.

I didn't look for the wisdom in the old fashioned hand tools.

The best stitching punches put little slits at a diagonal to the seam. I think this is actually very clever. This directs any tearing forces away from the next stitch hole and also not directly towards the edge.

So back to the drawing board so to speak and change the code to cut slits.

Than time to test and see if the slits really do make for a stronger seam.

In album 1/9/17

It's wonderful what happens when you help others

Something amazing happened this week. A group that I participate in was just given an amazing gift.

http://enablingthefuture.org/ was given a $600k grant from google.org.

Having printed and given away the parts for a prosthetic hand, helped with a fundraiser for getting a 3D printer, and spent some time writing a bit of software leveraging other people's work, I know how far this money can be spread in this group.

Hundreds of people have worked hard to get e-NABLE to this stage. 

Great work for everybody involved, and thanks to Google for recognizing the potential of this group.

Enable Community Foundation Awarded $600,000 Google.org Grant
      We’re excited to announce that the Enable Community Foundation (ECF) has just been awarded a $600,000 grant by Google.org to support the mission of the e-NABLE community!  The grant is part o…

Anybody else try the SOL Escape Bivy? I found one on clearance for $35 shipped and…

Anybody else try the SOL Escape Bivy? I found one on clearance for $35 shipped and thought I'd give it a try. $50 is too rich for my blood given the mixed reviews and stories how it's a tight fit. Only been wanting one for 2 years.

The features I liked in the ads are the unobtrusive green color, heat reflective construction, and waterproof while being breathable.

I ran it through it's paces as best as I can with the temps running around 0 outside.

Initial test. I filled the stuff sack with water. The sack is made of the same material, without the nicer seams. The water poured out the seems, but no seeping on the main material. Sticking your hand in the bag, you do feel the 'space blanket' effect with nearly instantly warmer hands.

First night I climbed in it in bed, and tossed my usual quilt and wool blanket over me and the bag. I felt decidedly warmer than usual even with lots of skin contact to the bag. In the morning there was no clamminess so the breath-ability claim is substantiated in my book. If it didn't breath, I should have been swimming like a fish.

For the 2nd night, I decided to 'camp out' in my basement with my oldest 2 girls. The basement runs mid 60s during the winter. I rigged up a pair of hammocks for my girls out of bed sheets and lots of blankets. 
I slept in a hammock and the bivy wearing sweatpants and a tshirt. I froze! My trip out in 3 degree weather and strong winds in  down bags had me less chilled (although much colder in spots) than 65 degrees with this bivy. 3 am, I folded and grabbed my light down jacket and wool hat. Covering my torso and arms and I slept great the rest of the night.

This again confirms what I've known for a while. Space blankets need space in order to work. This bag is SO tight on me that I doubt I can get my summer weight down bag and myself stuffed inside. Warm thin clothes is the best I can hope for.

I think I may modify the bag by adding a heavy space blanket diamond to the bottom. Slit the bag about 3 feet and tape in a diamond shaped patch maybe 6 inches wide. I am going to try to seal the stuff sack with some Gorilla brand clear repair tape to see how well it sticks and durability before I cut the bag.

This isn't a down bag, for sure. I don't foresee any use for this in cold weather. It is also not a comfortable bag. Given the size and weight, it will be my ultralight summer setup. I will be using this bag a lot I expect simply because it's so svelte. Cowboy camping in my future in this bag for sure!

Anybody else try this bag?

In album 2015-02-22

244 grams for a waterproof bivy/sleeping bag seems like a great way to go ultralight.

Shiny on the inside. Supposed to reflect radiant heat back at you. As long as you don’t touch it.

Overnight in the hammock hung in the basement, 63-65f, and I froze wearing sweatpants and a tshirt. 3am I had to get my down jacket and a wool hat, and then I was good the rest of the night.

Some nice details such as nice finished seems on the inside, and a dart at the end of the 1/4 length zipper. Six foot four 235lbs for 2 nights really pushes out on the bag and the seems only settled a little bit.

I rigged up a pair of bedsheet hammocks for the girls, tied off the treadmill. They enjoyed it OK. Not a fan of the hammock yet. Practicing camping with them so they do better when we go for real.

A few months back, I gave a hand to Layla

Literally. http://bit.ly/hotpinkcyborgbeast

I worked with a couple other volunteers in the evenings for a few months to create a website where people can go to easily create prosthetic hands for kids. Like Layla. This website tool has been called the Hand-O-Matic. Layla's hand was the very first hand to come from this website. http://bit.ly/handomatic Welcome to the future. A future of 3D printers and where 2 measurements and half a dozen clicks and a custom prosthetic hand is created.

Time to finish this quest. 

I have given Layla a hand in the literal sense, I have given Layla a hand in the virtual sense by making it easy for her to get the ready-to-print files to make more hands as she grows. Now I am giving Layla a hand by helping her get her own 3D printer.

And I need your help.

November 8th, Layla's real-world community is getting together to finish what a virtual, on-line community started.

We are hosting a fund-raiser benefit to get Layla a 3D printer of her very own. We are going to get a computer that she can use easily with her 1 good hand. We are going to get her the supplies she needs to put new prosthetic hands together. And then this real, local, community is going to give the larger, virtual community a hand as everything above and beyond Layla's needs will be donated to http://enablingthefuture.org/ so we will give other kids a hand – Literally.

So come. Learn about the future. There will be 3d printers there that you can touch and ask questions about. Come, and be a part of a girls future and donate a few bucks – enter the raffle, bid on something in the silent auction.

Come and Give a Hand to Layla.

In album 2014-11-04

Layla’s hand

Give a hand to Layla

I made a new wallet last night

A coworker has had some pretty thin ones over the years, folded tyvek, and currently a big skinny brand one that's really nice. 

I've been wanting one of those stainless steel ones for a few years now, but they are much more money then I am willing to spend.

So I decided to make my own wallet. Out of garbage, of course. Well, I did buy the leather in a 3lb pack from Hobby Lobby, but the piece I used looks like it was cut for a vest maybe? The Tyvek is from a mailing envelope from 1997, the clear pocket is from a plastic cover from an old report. The RFID shielding is a motherboard static protection bag. I collect old junk just for projects such as this.

The design of this one is wider and taller then a bifold or trifold. It is a bifold wallet, but has 2 pockets per face. This means you only keep half the cards in a given thickness. There is also no extra pockets separating the cards, so no extra bulk for that either. Just stack the cards. 

I have the thinness of a tyvek wallet with the finish of a leather wallet. It can bend in the middle, contouring by butt better. I think I am really liking this so far.

The next one, I would sew the card pockets onto just 1 layer of the folded center piece rather then through both. This one give a nicer finish on the inside of the bill area. I would also cut the leather a bit bigger so I can roll the edges and sew through 2 layers of leather for a nicer edge finish. Also, mark on the BACK side of the Tyvek. I kept marking on the front side even though I know better!

I also like keeping fortune cookie fortunes in my wallet. So I may have some clear pockets just for my fortunes. I also carry SD cards, so I will have pockets for that as well.

In album Thin Wide RFID blocking Tyvek & Leather Wallet

It doesn’t look too much bigger this way, right?

My wallet is too fat. It’s slowly grown thicker in pace with my belly. Something has got to change. The wallet is the easier thing to make thinner.

An old Tyvek mailer envelope (From 1997!) a bit of scrap leather, my sewing machine, and about 3 hours….

No plans, just an idea, and a standard sized card to use as a template.

I used an old motherboard static bag for the RFID blocking layer. It’s sandwiched in the divider to deflect enough energy to keep the cards from activating and broadcasting. In theory. I don’t know if it works or not.

4 pockets, one of which is clear sewn onto the tyvek holding the static bag bit.

Trying to get the size of the leather right for the pockets.

Just a quick and dirty build. Trying to proof the concept and the sizes. I will probably make another one in a few months once I gauge how long this one will last.

Leather looks to be big enough to cover the inside pockets.

Binder clips. I don’t know how people did leather work before these things where invented. I love these things.

The leather is bigger then the liner, and needs an unsewn gap at the fold so it can open up correctly.

I sewed the leather on by hand with a glovers needle.

The wood block is for poking the needle down through the layers on so I don’t stab myself or the table. The pliers are to pull the needle through the rest of the way – it likes catching at the eye.

One side sewn up. Not very neat stitching, but it should hold it together.

I found it easier to sew with a card in each pocket. No wonder my wallet is so thick! I carry a metal plate for sharpening knives in it.