News and Events

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

Wednesday 28 July 2021

Rotating Face Clock Part 2

Old version. It worked!
First redesign of face with built-in bosses for the second cd. The notch for the cd (lower right) wouldn't print without support material, and this was fixed in later versions.

Front view, mk3

A sightly scruffy 3d print. The melt temperature for the brown and white PLA is different, and this print suffered from being printed at too high a temp. The part didn't want to separate from the raft, and the face was damaged.

MK3. Balancing weights can be seen on the "10" face part.


Last time,  I reported on my 3d printed rotating face clock, which I had developed to the point of working. I was quite proud of that achievement, and for a while was content to let it rest a while. But when I went back to change the battery, realised that the design was clunky, hard to read, and battery changing was hard. 

 Design should be about not fearing these steps, and not being afraid of making something ugly in appearance and beautiful in novelty, both at the same time. Appearance can always be worked on!

Anyway, with some time to spare, I redesigned the part of the clock that holds the second CD. Instead of making parts that did that job alone (yellow in the top photo and previous post), I have combined the roles of cd support and face number. The photos above show progress.  I am almost there with this redesign and have finished the redesign of the face parts and the balancing (the clock battery puts the face out of balance unless its compensated for) mechanism. Will report more later.


Steve Nurse

Tuesday 27 July 2021

Rotating Face Clock Part 1


This tetrahedron.....

clock was a precursor to the latest version of....

my 3d printed face rotation clock.
This is the 2 - part joiner seen

on the edges here in the 2, 6 and 10 o'clock positions.
Side view

Back view

And it actually tells the time!  The face position shows the hour, and the minute hand needs to be read relative to the face. Note digital oven clock in background.


For a few years, I've been experimenting with 3d printing and this post is an example. Stemming from the clock experiments, I made some regular polyhedra from the parts, but also made a clock from a standard clock mech where the face rotates, not the hour hand. The hour hand is constrained so the face spins. Here is an intro to the tech, and it shows my second set of attempts at making it work. The first attempt was a lot less elegant and had a set of bearings mounted on the back of a clock mech.  I have progressed a bit further on this now and am close to finalising, so will report more later.


Steve Nurse

Monday 26 July 2021

Smart TV on Thingiverse



This is just to let you know, some bits I designed to make a Smart TV or photo frame are now available on Thingiverse here. This was detailed in a previous post.

Have Fun!

Steve Nurse

Friday 23 July 2021

CD turbine



Yesterday I managed to print a simple turbine hub which uses CDs as blades and ballast. It balances on a screw or pin and can catch updrafts to turn because the CDs are sloped downwards making the centre of gravity lower than the supporting pin. For a while I had been thinking of this as a way to add extra decoration to the lamps I'm making . The turbine could swirl around inside or on the lamp and reflect the light in a pleasant way.

 I'm very pleased with the way this turbine came out, and we currently have it in the lounge room, rotating when the heater is on. I plan on making a mkII version, this will use an m10 grub screw as a centre hub and have an option for mounting on scooter ball bearings. Here is the video, hope you enjoy it!

Compared to other things I make, this is way simpler, requiring only a 1/2 hour 3d print on my Cetus printer. Sofar no glue, no nothing required to keep the cd's in place.


Steve Nurse

Update August 13

Now the m10 grub screws have arrived in, and I have gone quite a bit further with this project, making me want to bolster the project with a few background photos.

Its possible that this Chinese Lantern flower

and small flower -inspired bowl had some influence on what I was doing, creating the pattern of overlapping cd's.

The cd assembly has optical qualities, creating 5 separate beams in the reflection, and

the downward slope of the cds makes a concave pattern, helping to focus the beams together.

Slightly less poetic, the bolts arrived!

This post is continued here .

Trench Art Lamp



For several years, I had a trench art lamp base next to my bed. It had come from a Geelong op shop. Although it already had a switch, it was noisy and could wake my wife Christine, so I added an extra, quiet, in-line switch.

  And sometime this year I found another old lamp and restored that, and so I now have a different lamp next to my bed and the trench art was a bit sadly marooned on my work table.

Now I've restored it with a new lamp shade made from plywood cut using holesaws, hair bands, 3d printed parts, and bike spokes as hinge pins. The hinge pins were first used in the disc brake clock.

Quite proud of this. I put some effort into staining the timber to show off its grain to best effect.


Steve Nurse

Thursday 8 July 2021

Let's go big on this!


Up-polygonization clock from old bicycle brake discs

and dodecahedron from old cd's.

Sketches for joiners between bicycle rims

27" bike wheels at home with some parts that come as byproducts on disassembly: steel spoke guards, clusters and hubs

12 wheels at home.

Another load from Ceres. Serge helped me load them up. This is the  interesting-to-ride no-brake-levers leaning trike

First trip to Ceres, and loaded up with bike wheels

Ceres are past-masters at using bike wheels in new contexts, they have a dome made from them, and this is their work "Fence Repair #1"


This is a short post to show a work in progress, I have gathered 12 old steel 27" bike wheels and plan to make a dodecaherom out of them. It should be about 2m diameter when finished. That is calculated on the size of the dodecahedron in pic 2 and the diameter ratios of the cd's (120mm) and rims (850mm)


Wish me luck!

Steve Nurse

Tuesday 6 July 2021

Disc brake clock


Clock from above

Clock from front. The hinges would work on most 160mm bike brake discs, and the hour markers and centre are custom made for this particular disc.

Bolts used in the tetrahedron joins, quite proud of these. They are a cutoff spoke with a spoke nipple screwed and glued on. The thread is raised a bit from the shaft and engages with the 3d printed parts.

Mockup for the drivetrain of my new bike. Uses bike disc brake as (drum role please) disc brake.


Yesterday I finished a tetrahedron form clock made with old bicycle brake discs sourced from my shed.  They follow the pattern of tetrahedron cd clocks I first documented a while ago. These are a part that is often replaced on bikes, so this is an upcycle project. I am working on a new bike at the same time, will write about that on my bikes blog soon.


Steve Nurse

Monday 5 July 2021

Aiatsis Map


Top right corner of map on mounting board

Splints made from corflute for the Aiatsis map mounting board. I put 2 splints across the creases in the cardboard so it stays rigid and doesn't bend.

Relief maps of Victoria and Australia, the backing board for the Aiatsis map was the packaging these maps came in.

Ta Da!  The Aiatsis map showing the approximate locations of Aboriginal tribes, language groups and nations prior to white settlement.


It was my birthday a few weeks ago, and inspired by a trip to Port Fairy  where I saw a relief map of Victoria (mountains are actually raised from the map at a scale 10x the horizontal scale), I ordered the map for our home and a couple of others as well. The second map is a relief map of Australia, on a smaller scale compared to the Victoria map.

And the third map is a laminated Australia map from Aiatsis showing Aboriginal tribes in Australia before white settlement. Its been in the news lately with Australians encouraged to write aboriginal placenames when addressing correspondence.

All the maps came from the map centre paramatta who gave excellent service. The relief maps arrived within a day or two, and I waited about a week more for the Aiatsis map. My wife Christine painted a red bow on the relief map packaging - Happy Birthday Steve!

Although I had a large sheet of corflute I could mount the Aiatsis map on,  I decided to upcycle the cardboard the other maps came in, and use that instead. As well, I kept the outside of the box visible, complete with paint, postage markings and handle with care tape. So it looks lived in, and its character and evidence of previous existance are proudly on display.


Steve Nurse