News and Events

Keep up to date with Steve Nurse's designs and 3d printing.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Pastures of the Blue Crane

Pastures of the Blue Crane, First Edition Cover, front by Annette Macarthur Onslow
, and back, a bit less inspiring.
Pic and Illustration about "Gidget" from
.....the book "Surfing USA"
Achingly beautiful, page 1 and Annette Onslow's pic of cafe life in 1960's Melbourne. Paris eat your heart out.
One of the surfing pics. Once again, Onslow has nailed it.


Since I was quite young I have been a surfer, and even when I can't be near the ocean, I have sought out some equivalent adrenalin charging pastimes. A while ago I gave up skateboarding but still ride bikes including some I've designed and built myself. Books on surfing have interested me and I knew about the American "Gidget" surfer girl books and movies but have never seen or read them. Until a few weeks ago I wasn't aware of any Australian equivalent.

Then I came across"Pastures of the Blue Crane" by Hesba Fay Brinsmead. The book is still in print, and there are reviews of it on the internet thingy. Here, I just wanted to highlight the surfing content of the book which is small in quantity and possibly incidental but to me, great in meaning.

The main protagonist in the book is Ryl, a young orphan who migrates to The Goldcoast of Queensland from Melbourne with her crusty grandfather. Ryl ends up hanging out with a few surfers and learns to surf herself, but she never ends up addicted to surfing or anything else. She goes for a surf on a big surf day. What is good about this scene is that it is not written as an end in itself, but more as a story about mateship. One of her fellow surfers on the big day is a land surveyor and they bond over surfing, then later this mateship helps her.

So this is a coming of age book but I think all ages and genders can get something out of it. There are bits about race and skin colour and general tolerance but no alcohol fuelled violence or car crashes. Highly recommended!

The philosophies of "Blue Crane" are highly regarded and there is even a Facebook fan page. Not bad for 1 55 year old book.


Steve Nurse

PS My copy of the book is now on its way to my neice Cicely who lives on the Goldy, and I've ordered a replacement 1969 version through ebay.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Model TV's

3d printed assembly in TV's is 2 printed parts, a skewer which is bent as a bow to secure the parts together.
Individual parts, skewer, plastic screen protector, 3d printed front and back, printed picture from "The Jetsons"

All the screen parts together
TV #1, "Smart TV"
Making the Future TV, plywood was marked out, sawn and drilled. Some balsa wood used in the last blog post was used as a ruler and to get the right distance of holes from edges, and I had plenty of brake cable inners and outers in the shed.
Finished. Bicycle brake cable outers hold the sides together in the same way as the house was made last time.  They also form the legs of the TV.

Decorations include bicycle brake cable inners, and 3 different colours of 1.75mm 3d printing PLA filament.

Mounting of TV on front gate.

Front gate as it is now.
An old bike about to be restored. Damaged gear and brake cables are ready for harvesting and upcycling as some sort of sculpture.

For the past few weeks I've been experimenting with some building techniques and posted about what I've done here and here .  After making and displaying the last house, I decided to make something else using some of the same techniques, and settled on a "Television" based idea. Firstly I made the screen surround, and this turned out exceedingly well.

I waited around a few days and then made a small TV with screws representing controls and legs, and a black and white picture from the 1960-s tv show "Get Smart". This show was repeated endlessly on Australian TV in the 70's and 80's, and my brother Richard and I can recite large chunks of dialogue - well at least the catchphrases. And so the TV is a daggy big black and white model with no remote control. That's right, prehistoric really. Because its related to Get Smart, and because I can call it whatever I like I am calling it "Smart TV". Yes, I am jumping 50 years ahead of myself with that name, I don't care!

Having got the Smart TV representing the past out of the way, I set about making another "Future" model with a construction resembling that of Easter Egg House #2.  Its nice to see it next to the older and slightly more relatable Smart TV. Below is the pic I used from the Jetsons animated series circa 1962. They got the large curved screen TV just about right, although the guy in the bottom photo could chill out a bit, and get a more interesting haircut.

Regards  Steve Nurse

Stop Press: A friend came round and was admiring the sculptures on the front gate and said she especially liked the aquarium which was the new sculpture. I was bemused, "Um, Aquarium? I said", and she replied, "Oh well, yes, I saw the Shark on the front, so then I figured out what it was". And yes, I get it, Jane Jetson's couch looks like a shark.

regards  Steve Nurse

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Easter Decos Part 2

Current front gate decorations. Latest is on right, made from
Easter-Egg wrappers, glue, a stick of balsa wood and some clear vinyl tubing, both from Bunnings.
Finished and ready to go on the front fence.
Another view.

Christine's contributions: Elmo and a teddy on front door.


Since my last post I have worked out a new way to make a "house" model as shown in my last design post. This is a vast simplification of my previous effort - instead of custom made 3d printed joiner parts - with a different part type for each of the 60, 90 and 150 degree angles - I've just used clear tubing with a different length for the different angles.  The tubes get cut different lengths for the different angles though.

So the bits of balsa are 8mm thick and the tube goes right through 2 of them. Then you have to work out the length of  tube that goes in the middle. If the diameter of the tube circle is D, this length is the circle circumference multiplied by the circle fraction. So for 90 degrees we get the length

(90/360) * D * PI + (2 * 8) etcetera for the other angles.

Anyway, its fun but a bit mathsy.

Best wishes

Steve Nurse

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Easter Decos

Some artwork near us in Clifton Hill
Sawing, drilling and filing timber....
to make this.
Covering the house with aluminium foil salvaged from easter egg wrappers.
House in place on our front gate. Christine made the Teddy on the front door.

There has been a few outbreaks of art in our small suburb recently, with teddies and rainbows on display in peoples houses and bright murals appearing to brighten the general gloom created by covid 19.  Apparently unrelated, I had been storing easter egg wrappers, and one of my 3d printers had just been repaired and needed a project for recommissioning, so I got working on a small design, and within a day or so of starting it was done.

The house itself consists of one type of plywood square, drilled with the help of a 3d printed jig, and a few joining knuckles which hold the squares together at 90, 60 or 150 degree angles. The knuckles have taper pins on the ends, and they are a press fit into the holes in the squares.

Haven't really gathered any reactions from neighbours passing by yet, but I am looking forward to it!

The story continues here, I made another one using a slightly different method.


Steve Nurse

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Ilean trike figurine

2d layout of timber tailbox and derived sketch (top right with X) were used for layout of .......

the model's tailbox.
model parts on printer, the tailbox has been split into 2 to be hollow and print easily in different colours.

Printing on Cetus 3d printer.
Diagnosing and putting the first sample together at the kitchen table.
A bit better, after 2 designs and prints of the frame, handlebars, and tailbox base and 4 designs and prints of the tailbox cover.

In the back yard, the model bike is foreground and a wooden version (closest bike to hand) is background. Actual trike is more like the one shown in the last photo here .
All fancy-dooh-daah now, tyres, tailbox frame and chain are black (texta colour) and tailbox cover is white (liquid paper).

Hi, Not much to say here, I have made a model of my ilean trike and uploaded it to thingiverse here, .  The Ilean concept was invented by Vi Vuong and has been used to make simple homemade front wheel drive cycles using a range of drive configurations. See Vi's description and videos of his trikes here .

On the thingiverse page, all the files relating only to the Ilean model begin with the word Ilean. The handlebar_long file is also used.

This Ilean trike joins other bike models and a boardgame I have already made and given away through the same Thingiverse link . I've done the Ilean tailbox in 2 parts to emphasize that in the real thing, once the tailbox frame is made, the tailbox cover can look like any damn think you like

The plan is now to integrate the Ilean model into a boardgame involving 3d printing for the dice and the boardgame tokens. It will be a bit like this but using modular dice. But I am still thinking about it!

Regards  Steve Nurse

Monday, 20 January 2020

A big printer part 1

Does not say it in instructions, but........

....."rearrange 3d printer room until you have a place where the new printer will fit" was part of my setup routine.
So was getting rid of the packaging.  This white stuff is non-recyclable. :-( .


Smoko during Assembly.

More Assembly.....

And yet more.
After threading the filament through and doing some levelling it is all go, this was the successful test print.


For a while now, I have been reading and writing about Delta 3d printers and had seen some low prices for the Anycubic Kossel.  By the time I got round to actually buying one, the Kossel seemed to be out of stock or obsolete, replaced by the 4wd-truck-sounding "Predator".  At about $530.00 the Predator was just a bit more expensive than the Cetus printer I already own.  But the Anycubic is much bigger.  Anyway, videos like this one spoke highly of the printer, and now I have one!Will report further later.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Cycle Challenge Boardgame

An idea for the board game figurines came from this book of traffic models I got from a conference in Canberra,
the stands used in the figurines were pinched for
the figurine design I've made.
Dice and gameplay cards. 

"Blue" 3d printed dice which can be substituted for the 2d printed dice supplied with "Cycle Challenge 2010"

Possible dice configuration for using 3d printed dice with Cycle Challenge 2010 . The 6 dice use numbers one to six six times each. This feature is not present on the 2d printed dice in Cycle Challenge 2010.


Back in 2010, I devised a cycling boardgame, "Cycle Tour" but it had a predecessor, which I talked about in this blog post from back then.   Anyway, after talking about cycling boardgames with Aly McDonald, I have revived "Cycle Challenge". This link brings you to a download site for a 2010 (2d) version of the game and a 3d printable variable dice.

The game itself is a handicap dice game which uses "weighted" dice to produce different likely outcomes over a set of six races. Have fun!

Regards  Steve Nurse