News and Events

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

Monday 19 October 2020

Knitted Dice


Zoe and Christine, Zoe crocheting.

Balls with bells in them, Small ones by Zoe, large by Christine

Zoe, Christine

Zoe's cubes and wool

Zoe and Christine

Me and Christine

Hi, My wife Christine has a friend, Zoe come and help out a couple of days a week, and part of the time they spend together crocheting. Christine developed a pattern for crocheting dice as a slightly less arduous task than making entire crocheted quilts, and she taught Zoe to make them too. Thanks to our friend Faye for supplying the bells!


Steve Nurse

Thursday 24 September 2020

Covid Thing #2


Hi, I have been working away adding some artwork to our front gate. Baiscally this is the covid bad guy chasing a bike and velomobile. For the mathematically minded, this "covid" is a dodecahedron using an array of 5 equilateral triangles. The new parts can be downloaded and 3d printed, here is the link, 

Covid is just one of many, many things you can make from the parts here,  needs 60 parts, 

Velomobile and 2d cutout and boardgame that uses them are here, 


Steve nurse

Saturday 8 August 2020

Giant Sized Covid Thing


Start - these are some 3d printed bike parts, I redesigned some of them so had 2 parts left over.

I had made this before so decided to make another isocahedron like the top bit and use it....

For a covid monster. Here it is halfway through.

2/3 through.

Add some coloured thread, left over from my wife Christine's sewing project.

A few people were required......

To be entangled in the monster......

and a few more to run away from it.

Schlocky movie inspiration, a bit like King Kong.

And more inspiration, Giant Sized Baby Thing is a bow wow wow track from years ago which I had at one stage or another and might still have somewhere.
Hi, Some covid inspired art. Helps me to thing about the pandemic. Interested in your opinions. On display on the gate outside our place.


Steve Nurse

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Design Books free online

A selection of design titles available for free from

The Website
While I was at Monash Uni a few years ago, I was delighted to reconnect with books, and specifically learn about design and industrial design through them. I'm rewriting my bike book and wanted to refer my readers to a few of my faves. (Yes, I am a hopeless nerd)

Anyway, a couple came up on . I am yet to fully explore the offerings (it would take a while), but here are some of the ones I liked.

Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda.  Sets out what you should do when designing something, there are things like disentangling the tasks and elements that make up a job.

Design for the real world by Victor Papanek. Explains how design differs from engineering.


Steve Nurse

Sunday 28 June 2020

Lunch at Uncle Drew's

Milk crates for their original purpose

Have migrated outside to be used as stools.

Hard seat, big area, on bike and black timber topped stools. A bit of extra padding (artificial turf) on the green stools.

Milk crates as seats.

Crate without pad or timber, it just has a small area supporting the bottom.


Last Tuesday it was my wife Christine's birthday and we went out to a local caf, Uncle Drew's. We usually eat outside, and did this time as well. But quite a few other things had changed due to Covid 19 restrictions. All the dining is outside, and inside is a small grocery shop as well as the service counter. The menu is posted in the window, but is also accessible by phone scanning a square barcode thingy which is plastered on the table. Also accessible by barcode - thingy is the Covid 19 tracing register, where you should leave your name in case there is an outbreak in the area.  You also have to order inside which it took me a while to realise.

Anyway we had a nice bottle of wine from Mount Macleod in Gippsland with lunch which was good and we enjoyed the birthday lunch. I had a bit more of the wine later in the day and decided it was a good drop so went back on my bike a couple of days later to pick up some more and take a few photos.

They turned out to be all of milk crates, and I now realise there is another ap for my bike milk crate adapters, as milk-crate-chair toppers, and I'm using some of the design ideas from the crate stools in my current big project, a rewrite of my book.

Regards   Steve Nurse

Monday 22 June 2020

Sub-Atomic Milk Crate


After my posting about collecting milk crates here and here, I was curious as to where the hard-rubbish collected milk crates (that I didn't take) ended up and my first guess was the Darebin Recycling Centre in Reservoir, and so thought a visit would be worth it. I had been there before and got crates, and there is other assorted cd's and books and - well junk - there for sale. But instead of the mountain of crates I had expected, there were only three or four. But I came across another surprise, a half-crate, or something that can be used as one. In fact it is a Series 300 Stormwater Pit Riser 84221 from Everhard Industries.

For a while I have been thinking of how to build a table from milk crates in the back yard and that seemed easy peasy, you can just make 4 columns of of milk crates and put or even secure a bit of plywood on top, and then the table is done. Unfortunately that wouldn't work in terms or the table height. as milk crates would make a table about 300, 600 or 900mm high. The table I am sitting at is 750 high, and I had thought of and actually mucked around with making a half-high crate spacer. So there is an accidental commercial solution to this problem, or at least one that comes pretty close.

I didn't buy the pit spacer which probably would have been $1.00 like the cd's and books I got there today. Probably have enough junk at home already.  And the whole bike trip went well, although it was one of the shortest coldest days of the year and it rained on me a bit. I was happy with the half-crate discovery and my purchases, visited Christine Durbridge on the way home and also managed to get my wife Christine a birthday present and her vege shopping.

Regards  Steve Nurse

Sunday 14 June 2020

Crate Cubing

Crate Collection in Northcote, as described here.
Crate Cube, 2 x 2 x 2?

No, a fake, only 7!

Crate Cube, 3 x 3  x 3?

No, a fake, only 19!

I am a long term blogger and follow a few other long term bloggers, Jun in Canada and Auntie Helen in Germany. Both occupy themselves with tilebagging, or using bike-mounted GPS to record arrival in particular square kilometres. Adjacent squares can be bagged to build up connected and filled in patterns of tiles, like large squares. Jun doesn't get too fussed about large squares but does ride to fill in empty squares and see extra sights.  However Auntie Helen goes out of her way, or motivates her riding by bagging large, completely filled in squares in Germany.
Tilebagging, Courtesy
In this post, she gets tiles by visiting an airport during a quiet period of enforced covid 19 lockdown and also makes 2 attempts to bag a tile which is mostly covered by a military base.

So I am filled with curiosity and awe about tilebagging, but am never going to bother with the extra techno-burden of using a gps and actual tilebagging. But I have been collecting milk crates on bikes lately, and thought of an alternative I can do, "crate cubing".

This involves creating a cube of n x n x n milk crates (or anything), making an image of it, then showing the image and bragging about it on the internet. The bigger n is the better! The photos above show my efforts.

And, just because I can, and because it is relatively harmless, and because it is mathematically interesting, I have indulged in a bit of fake it till you make it. In this, I am not in the same league as John Friedrich or Belle Gibson , nor do I want to be!

This fakery involves making something that looks like a cube out of the crates, but it is just a shell, showing the minimum number of crates required to fool someone. Friedrich did a similar thing, "at times using as security empty crates that he persuaded bankers contained expensive equipment". But I don't think you are being a fraudster (or anyone would know or care) if you overstate your supply of milkcrates. But this might make a reasonable fun class exercise (maths without knowing you're doing it) Some calcs are shown below.

And just to be complete, this isn't the first time I've proposed a new quest. Here I talked about Wycheproofing, or climbing Victoria's smallest mountain as a contrast to Everesting, or climbing the height of the World's highest mountain by bike or running.

Best Wishes

Steve Nurse

Wednesday 3 June 2020

60th Birthday

A family to be proud of.

I did a roast, others brought cake!

60 years on the planet and look what I've done, learned how to do crap edits in Microsoft photos.
60 years on the planet and look what I've done, learnt how to cut open an aluminium beer can with nail scissors.

Hi Last week it was my 60th birthday. We had a small fun party, at the time only 5 guests were allowed under covid restrictions and we stuck to that number with my wife Christine, Mum, Dad, my son Ewan, his wife Phoebe and her mum Helen. Anyway, here is the short accidental video. 

And yes, the 2 bottom pics are self deprecating. I am very proud of my actual contributions to cycling, engineering, academia and of my family.

Best Wishes

Steve Nurse

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.

Update: 1969 version of Blue crane arrived today and I am very happy. A photo of the main differences is below, some of  Hesba Fay Brinsmead's other books are featured on the back cover and fly leaf, and there is a picture by Peter Farmer.