News and Events

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

Saturday 25 December 2021



Today's rocket

from Beer Cans

Half octahedron


Bev and Christine


Me, mum and dad. My brother Richard is represented by my t-shirt, its got one of his paintings on it and arrived by mail a day ago. Thanks Rich!





Hi, its Christmas day today, we have a small family gathering tomorrow, so today was pretty quiet. In the morning I caught up with Mum and Dad, and we had our friend Bev over for lunch. 

One of my beer can sculptures / things / octahedrons was outside and while I was having an afternoon sleep I heard a resounding crash. And sure enough when I wet to investigate, there was a mess of cans, rubber bands, spoke pins and 3d printed bits on the ground. So I fixed it but there's still not much space inside for new sculptures.

Anyway, lunch went well and when chatting with Bev over a cup of tea I finished off Rocket MKII shown at the top.

Happy Christmas!

Friday 17 December 2021

Cans Dodecahedron

Not much to say here!

I used 60 of the same 3d printed part, 12 hair elastics, 12 empty cans, and pins from bicycle spokes. Technology the same as per my last post. My wife Christine not that keen on the new Christmas tree.


Tuesday 14 December 2021

Collecting Nevil Shute books


From my copy of...

"In the Wet"

Contemporary technology which inspires.


For a while I have been a fan of Nevil Shute books, but for a while the books sort of accumulated randomly. At some stage, I got slightly more serious about reading them and ordered a copy of his autobiography, "Slide Rule".

I'm an engineer, and Nevil Shute Norway was as well. He worked in the early 1900's and he, and his protagonists are sort of intellectual swashbucklers, a bit like me. Some early aerodynamic human powered vehicles used some of the best airship / dirigible / zeppelin technology he describes in his books. The technology might be called steampunk today.

A bit later, and I am actively looking for his books on Facebook marketplace and ebay, and eventually find a lady in Richmond selling a lot of them for $5.00 each, so I head over there at an arranged time and pick up about 20 books.

Then I do a stocktake, comparing my accumulations with a self made spreadsheet of the Wikipedia  entry for Mr. Shute. Lots of doubles and some gaps still, and after this I was 3 or 4 books short and I quickly order these on ebay. Now I'm only one book short, I don't have the "The Seafarers" which is more expensive and rarer than the others. Is was only released in 2002, 42 years after Shute died.

At one stage I thought I might review every one of Shute's books but will suffice with this entry, and add a few images as I feel like it.

Monday 13 December 2021

Destination Moon

Ready for blastoff


. Model is base on a beercan tetrahedron and here are the parts. Although I didn't need to, I made a plywood platform and 3d printed support parts which replace the topmost can. The 2 cans at the back are (shock) non alcoholic beer. I am actually sort-of in training so alcoholic beer doesn't help much.

Some inspiration from Herge. I think I read all the German versions of Tintin when I was learning German at the Goethe Institut in Melbourne. Here are pics

from Herge with a moonrocket. Note Snowy the dog has a spacesuit.

I think these pics show landing on the moon, in a reverse-of blastoff sequence. But they will do.
Some construction details

Luckily I have not met this sort of resistance to my non-alcoholic beer drinking. Screen grab from the Australian tv series Kath and Kim. Kim doesn't like Kel's football team.


The pics above show some "applied up-polygonization", making a rocket from the joining techniques from the last post, and having a bit of fun with them. Apologies to Herge, Kim and Kel. When I've refined the 3d printing files a bit more, I'll put them on thingiverse.

Regards Steve Nurse

Friday 10 December 2021

Beercan Sculptures

1. Beer can tetrahedron net

2. Beer can tetrahedron

3. Three Quarter tetrahedron. It looks like it should tip over, but the bottom can is filled with beer. So it doesn't.

4. Another tetrahedron

5. and another one.

6. Ah, back on familiar territory, a six pack.



For a while, I've been joining round objects together and talking about it in this blog. And I've done cd's, records, plywood, bicycle rims and other bike parts.  The forms can be prisms, tetrahedrons, cubes, octahedrons, antiprisms, dodecahedrons, icosahedrons and tesselations using only a few 3d printed parts plus bike spokes and rubber bands and other bits and bobs.

Anyway, this post shows a new app for this up-polygonazation technique - beer cans!  This makes the sides 3 dimensional / cyclindrical instead of flat. And the cans can be full or empty, although they all look basically the same from outside. Although slightly different, I have already put the basic part for cd platonic solids on the internet here.

I plan to make a "blank plywood face" compatible with the set of parts shown above. In "5" shown above, a base can be made by swapping the top can for a plywood side. I'm working on that now, trying a few different holesaw-cut ply discs for size.

Will report more later.


Steve Nurse

2d cad sketch. I did this, then the 3d cad drawing, then one set of 3 3d printed joiners. A few cad changes later, and I went into production with parts to make the sculptures shown above.

Saturday 4 December 2021

New Lamp


Octahedral lamp with truncation sides made from the

centre "dump" parts of the hollowed out sides.

Lamp from a hard rubbish pile cleaned up ok.

Painting was with 2 coats of Sceneys Interior oil.

Sides and dumps as cut. The small circles have 2 central holes, 1 from when the large circle was made and the second from when the the small circle was made, off-centre from the first.


A lamp I've made using Holey Dollar and Dump techniques for the shade is almost complete. The first octahedron I made had plywood that was painted badly, and I wanted to make another one. Also I wanted the construction to talk about how the parts were made. So I have drilled the dumps eccentrically, leaving 2 holes in the centre dumps. The parts fit in well with a lamp I found on hard rubbish.

Sunday 28 November 2021

1st Birthday



Our grandson turned 1 a few weeks ago, and our son Ewan,  his partner Phoebe, and Phoebe's mum Helen organized a gathering at my Mum and Dad's place. Helen had picked up her mum, Grandma Paddy from Ballarat which was quite an effort. Mum, Dad and Paddie aren't too mobile these days, so having the party at Mum and Dad's made sense.

It all went well. My partner Christine and I are tremendously proud of our family and how they're making their way in the world.


Steve Nurse

Friday 26 November 2021

Holey Dollar Octahedron


Finished! Octahedron with large Holey Dollar (side) and small Dump (truncation) construction. 8 Holey Dollar sides and dump truncations. 3d printed hinges surround each face, and geometry is determined by the truncation diagram and table shown in an earlier post.

Octahedron with cd sides and  nexorade knitting of vertices as support, see here

Octahedron with cd sides and bicycle cog truncations, see here

Holey Dollar and Dump, a historical coin system from New South Wales.

A glued pin from bicycle spokes and spoke nipples are the edges / hinge pins.  Here, some cut up spokes are ready for processing

Spokes with spoke nipple in place and cropped for length. Nipples are superglued to the spokes.

Holesaw set, trial Holey Dollar and Dump.

Measuring parts and dollar blanks. The disc od's are used in hinge designs.

Drilling the dollars

Cube made from dumps.

Ready to assemble. Half hinges are held to sides by hair elastics (strong rubber bands)

Halfway through



For a while I've been making platonic solid shapes using circles as sides. After a while, I realised that 2 of the solids - octahedron and icosahedron - are hard to make using this method because the sides don't join together in reinforcing triangular 3d groups. For these solids, some reinforcing is needed, and truncation works well. Here are some octahedrons I made before:  one here with bike cogs as truncations, and this one with knitted corners.

Since making those constructions, I've improved the edge pins by making them from threaded bicycle spokes, and they don't come out now!

So this post shows the latest version. A few days ago I worked out that the octahedron truncation circles could come from the face circles, it just needed a bit of calculation to work out whether the sizes I could make with my holesaws would work. And I found a suitable size, did the 3d cad and printing required, and a few days later, voila it all works. The construction reminds me of the Holey Dollar and Dump, an early New South Wales coin set where a small coin is manufactured from the centre of a large one.

The same construction pattern could be used for a truncated icosahedron - a version of this one - but that is quite a bit bigger. 

For now I want to make an octahedron with dump sides made by drilling the main sides off-centre. This will make the truncation sides have 2 holes, making clues as to the origin of the truncation sides. I can just make and varnish the sides, and use the pins, hinges and hair elastics shown above. Otherwise I can make the whole thing which involves being a slave to the 3d printer for about 24 hours. At the moment I'm inclined to make it from scratch.


Steve Nurse


Steve Nurse