Kitchen Design Plugin for Sketchup, Sketchup training.

Making Brio Train Tracks on the Handibot

Do you remember playing with those wooden Brio train tracks as a kid? I certainly did. Well, after getting my Handibot I decided that it would be really cool to try and make those. This would be a perfect project for a handheld CNC machine like this.

To make these you first need a drawing of the tracks. After that, you need to bring them into a CAM program, in my case VCarve because it came with my Handibot. Lucky for me my mother still had my old tracks. I grabbed a few and started measuring them. In addition to that, VCarve allows Sketchup import. If you're reading this blog, you probably realized how obsessed with Sketchup we are. So in a little while, I had a Sketchup model built:

I wanted to start out with just the straight tracks to test things out. I used an 1/8" single flute bit. I had tried a 1/4" bit, but it was much of a brute for these little tracks. I used 1/2" thick poplar.

After setting my toolpaths up in VCarve I placed the Handibot on my wood and started milling. 

They came out great! Now I am going to start making the adapters and the curved tracks. By using Sketchup and the Handibot I can customize these all I want. Do you want to customize and make your own? Download them below:

Lockitron Smart Lock. Not so smart

The smart home is something that many big tech companies are trying to tackle. There are smart thermostats, smart appliances, and smart security systems to name a few. The promise with most of these systems is that you can control them with your smart phone to make your life easier.

One of the first things I wanted to smarten up in my home was my door lock. I wanted to know that my door would lock, and unlock for me automatically. This would make my home more secure, and make entering with a bag full of groceries a lot easier.

I read about Lockitron. This little gizmo snaps over your existing deadbolt lock, good because I couldn't replace mine.

It promised to make my life easier by eliminating the need for keys. I ordered it and a patiently waited for it.

I see this every time I try to unlock my door. Then the app freezes.

I see this every time I try to unlock my door. Then the app freezes.

Installation was easy. After that, things went downhill. I learned pretty quickly that you needed to use your smartphone to lock and unlock this thing. That's great if you're away from home ad you want to check on your lock. If you're walking in, I expected it to just unlock your door for you because your phone is connected to the lock by Bluetooth. That's not the case. You have to pull your phone out, go into the app, and hit unlock. That's about as convenient as using your keys. On top of that, the lock almost never unlocks when you hit the app. You have to wait for the lock to wake up, or knock on your own door to wake it up.

Call me impatient, but I'm not going to wait for 5-28 minutes for my lock to unlock, I'll just pull out my keys.

On top of that, the mobile app, especially on Android is very buggy. It locks up nearly every time I use it. The iOS app is a bit better.

Maybe something like the August smart lock, or the Kevo will be better. I have a Kevo here in a box that I'd like to try. I'll report once it's installed.



Trimble buys Frank Gehry's technology company

It's being reported that Trimble, the company that owns Sketchup bought Frank Gehry's technology firm. 

Frank Owen Gehry, CC is a Canadian-American Pritzker Prize–winning architect based in Los Angeles. A number of his buildings, including his private residence, have become world renowned tourist attractions.
— Wikipedia
Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry

This should be interesting for Trimble's building technology arm. Even more interesting on how this could affect Sketchup's development.

We'll let you know more as we learn it!

Source: Dezeen

"Close Enough" Meme on the Handibot

close enough.jpg

Have you seen the meme "Close Enough"? It cracks me up every time I see it. The other day I decided to mill it on my Handibot.

I decided that this had to be a fast project. Dedicating any amount of serious brain power seemed like a waste of resources. Naturally I looked for the fastest route. 


Luckily I have a copy of Aspire. In this program you can take an image and with just a few clicks have it turned into usable vectors for milling.

Now that I had my toolpaths setup, I could get to milling.

That is how you mill a meme. I went from idea to sawdust in just a few minutes! If you want these cutting files for yourself download below!