Mario Star Tree Topper

I modeled up another lamp; a Super Mario Brothers Star lamp. Aka a Super Star 😛



But I also wanted to make it as something that could be put on top of a Christmas tree, so I added in support for that!


The Mario Star definitely takes a bit more effort to assemble than the previous Zelda Triforce Lamp, but it’s worth it. It also looks pretty awesome on top of the Christmas Tree 🙂

1404779_10151745661730108_708651953_o1452326_10151764975865108_386676047_nil_570xN.536305676_j80fI also created some assembly instructions for attaching the tree-holder to the lamp, which I include when people purchase the lamp. I thought they came out pretty interesting. Almost Ikea-style.



If you want to check into getting one of these lamps for yourself, I should have it up for sale at The Plasmatorium – go check it out!

Upgrading a hobby CNC router

It all started with a nicely-priced purchase of a ShapeOko CNC router from a member of one of the hackerspaces who had no use for it. It was still new in the box. First step was to put it all together as it should be.


Parts in box

Have to tap some aluminum rails1044949_10151477256505108_255138531_n

X-gantry pretty much finished1003432_10151477355595108_1216377778_n

A completed, stock ShapeOko CNC milling machine, minus the rotary tool1016250_10151484535380108_106536218_n

One of the first upgrades was replacing the motor mounts on the sides, upgrading the metal plates and moving around the belts.


Several upgrades (and missing pictures) later, we have this:

1272691_10151650371395108_630911476_o (1)


Some planned upgrades yet to come:

  • ACME Screw upgrade for Z Axis
  • Doubling up on the aluminum extrusion across the X plane for enhanced rigidity
  • Framing entire table with 80/20 aluminum extrusion
  • Cable chains across axis for wire managment
  • Spoilboards and clamp-down solutions
  • NEMA upgrades
  • Many more


PacMan Ghost Thermoforming

I wanted to build some PacMan Ghost lamps. The only problem was that I needed a nice, curved piece of acrylic for the top “hat” piece.


I created a bunch of thin pieces out of wood and bolted them together to make a mold for the acrylic. Then I placed it into the oven and let it heat up completely. The melting point of acrylic is around 320 degrees Fahrenheit, so I set my oven to 350.


After about 10 minutes or so, the acrylic drooped over the mold just how I wanted it to. I used something round to push the acrylic into place. In retrospect, I should have made another half  of the mold; a top. But it took a LOT of time to make the bottom half, and I was getting impatient, haha. Also, I think having a top mold may have left a bit too much marking on the acrylic, making the finish non-smooth and shiny like I needed.


(Note: Yes, I later made a blue and white ghost – black and yellow just happened to be the color of acrylic I had plenty of at the time)

Zelda Triforce Lamp

A few months ago, I decided to design up a video game themed lamp. The end result was the Zelda Triforce Lamp.

I designed all the pieces in Google Sketchup, and exported them to their respective SVG files for cutting on the laser.


After cutting each of the pieces, the lamp is assembled by hand, using acrylic glue to bind them all together. After the acrylic pieces are put together, a regular lamp cord with bulb holder is inserted into the bottom, and presto; you have a lamp 🙂 What I think adds a nice tough is the shapes cut into the side of the lamp; the Rupees and the Hylian crest. They manage to project shadows of their respective shapes onto nearby walls or objects. Really makes the lamp stand out.


Interested in a lamp of your own? I’m now selling them over at The Plasmatorium – Check it out!

Design prototypes with room

Reminder to self: when designing prototypes, make sure to leave room to stuff all those breadboard wires.893772_10151310019600108_1442718155_o544193_10151314164715108_1770484238_n

On another topic, this was my first attempt at colorizing a laser-etched piece of acrylic. It came out better than I had expected.

I laser etched a design (and text) pretty deep into the plastic, with the protective paper still on the top. Before taking the covering off, I brushed some acrylic paint over the scores and let it dry. Once dry, I simply peeled away the covering and was left with this.


Spiffy Product Packaging

While selling the Look of Disapproval Glasses, I have been having a couple recurring problems. One problem was the brittle nature of acrylic mixed with the man-handling nature of the post system causes a lot of broken sets and upset customers. Too frequently I was getting emails saying the glasses had arrived broken. I would of course replace them as soon as I had heard, but that left the original issue unresolved.

Another issue was that the 3-piece glasses set just doesn’t want to sit nicely in any way. Sure, you could just wrap them in a folded piece of paper, or tape them to something, but not only does that look just downright unprofessional, but it could cause damage of its own to the acrylic. Tape could leave glue on the plastic, making a marred product.

So I set out to fix the issue. What I finally came up with pretty much fixes both of these issues, and gives a tasteful touch to the out-of-box user experience as well.

The cardboard holder seen here has the same basic shape as the glasses parts, but with divots spread around, designed to grip the plastic. This holds them in the recesses, while still allowing them to be popped out with ease. The orientation of the corrugation in the cardboard is definitely taken into account. Having the corrugation go the same direction as the longest pieces reduces the chance of bending on the axis, which overall reduced the chance of the glasses breaking.

I also get a blank canvas to customize with my own messages, as you can see 🙂

If you’d like a pair of the glasses seen above, you can find them at The Plasmatorium