News and Events

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

Wednesday 28 December 2022

Dodecahedron from Bike Rims


1. Progress to date - 3 rims drilled, and 3 edge joiners made.

2. Detail of rims joined and drilled. Joiner is ......

3. this which is a piece of 25mm round dowel timber. Surrounding it in black is a drilling jig which ensures holes through are correctly positioned.

4. Dowel cutting. There are 30 connectors to be cut so this setup was worth it to cut quickly and accurately. Plastic pipe is another option but I wasn't sure about cutting it with this setup.

5. Typical source of rims. This is a discarded De Carlo bike with the 27" steel rims used in this project. Its resto is documented here. The now-installed 700c aluminium-rimmed wheels are lighter, easier to get parts for, and brake better the the old 27's.

6. Layout diagram for wheel drilling and drilling jig shown in 2.

Hi Good progress on this project in the last few days. I have been thinking about it for ages and finally got working on it a few days ago, after gathering enough wheels and buying some dowel to make the edge joiners from. Principles to make this sort of thing are outlined in my article for the Australian Mathematics Education Journal which is here (official site) and here (full version through researchgate). Also, this post describes building the same thing in beer cans!

Basically, any old circle can be made into a polygon (pentagons shown here) , and from there into a platonic solid outline (dodecahedron started here). 

The rims I am using are mostly 36 spoked / holed, which is not divisible by 5. This means some extra drilling has to be done, and I worked out a diagram for the drilling, which is not too hard.

Another donor vehicle. This Apollo bike has frame damage at the head tube and so is being ripped apart. I will take its frame to the recycle depot soon.

All the wooden dowel pieces have been drilled and varnished now, and this was the drilling setup. The jig stays in the vice, then the dowel is inserted and drilled. Quite quick.

Rims have all been despoked, and I've numbered the spoke holes so I know where to drill.

The top rim in this shot has been drilled, the rest are marked up.

Update 2/1/2023: Happy New Year!  And hi ho, its back to work we go.  Quite close to finishing now, I've extracted all the 27" rims I need, and just need to drill 9 of them with 5 equispaced holes before assembly can start. Quiet time in Melbourne, I went for a 7am swim in the yarra which was nice. 28 degrees C already, quite warm.

Assembly while watching "Rivers" on the TV. If it was all put together, it would be too big to get outside.

All the bits

Centrepunch done, drilling follows next.

22mm spacing markup

11mm spacing markup. A spoke nipple is used to make a centre point for one leg of the dividers.

 11pm update!

Close to finishing now. I smashed through some rim marking up, rim centre punching and rim drilling this evening so I could start assembly. About 1/2 of that is done but I came across a drilling mistake, and will fix that and keep assembling tomorrow.


Update 3/1/2023 Finished now!  It was just as well I stopped last night as there were 2 drilling mistakes that needed correcting. Today I've drilled holes in the correct spots in 2 of the rims, assembled half-sections inside, then assembled the 2 halves of the dodecahedron outside. 

I kept a lot of the screws loose until the last screw was in, which was just as well, as there was a bit of a fight to get the last screw in. Properly marking out the first 3 rims might have helped.

The selfie photo was a bit of a challenge, as there is a 12s time gap from pressing the button on the camera to the photo being taken. During that time I needed to slither my 62 year old body into the thing. I tried this twice and banged my head on it on the 2nd attempt!

As you can see the back garden is a bit crowded with moderately sized bike rim sculptures, and the tetrahedrons will have to go!  The big tetrahedron folds flat at least! It is described in previous posts here and here. Very glad my late wife Chistine got a laugh out of it!

 Update Jan 4

Overnight I did some calcs on how big the dowels have to be on platonic solid structures like the one I've made, and the results are shown above. The size depends on the shape concerned (due to its dihedral angle ) and  the rim width and geometry. My dowels seem to be undersize, but I think because of the rim rounding I got away with it.

The last pic shows a modest sketch of what's next, or what could be next. I've already established that 3 rims can be bolted together to make a larger side, and by putting 15 sides together, a part icosahedron could be made. this could be a good greenhouse or cubby house or chillout tent. Even larger would be a 6-rim-per side part icosahedron.

Regards  Steve Nurse

Sunday 25 December 2022

Final Version of research published



The final version of my article "Circles for Maths, Art, Play and the Circular Economy" has appeared on the Australian Mathematics Education Journal website, and I have added the article to my Researchgate profile, so it can be downloaded here.  

The article talks about using items that may otherwise be scrap for sculpture and maths education.  I am now working on a project to make a dodecahedron from bike rims, wooden dowel, screws, and washers. It uses techniques described in the article, and I will be writing about progress in the next few days. With me luck!

Wednesday 21 December 2022

The Art of Dating


A short while ago I posted "Sorry Bettina Klussman" about my very trepid, very tepid  steps back into the dating game, after my wife's recent death and 30+ years of marriage. That was then, and this is now, a whole 3 weeks down the track.  

I haven't slept very well lately, so I thought I'd put some of these ideas down to get some of them out there, so I can process them I guess.  

The whole thing is like I am an atom, and have been locked up in a molecule for a while, and then the molecule gets busted, and I am an individual atom again. Because my chemistry is now different, I now react differently to others, have license to be in different places and situations, and so things have changed.

Firstly I don't seem to have too much trouble meeting eligible partners (mature women in my case) and starting chatting to them is a strange sort of dating game. I'm only just learning the rules, and coming to the conclusion that I'm doing ok by old fashioned methods and not relying on dating apps and other such things. It probably helps that its Christmas and there have been quite a few events on in the last few weeks. I'm optimistic.

Anyway, euphemisms abound in the dating game, and I said to one lady "I wouldn't mind hanging out with you at the bike shed and could teach you some bike mechanics" which actually meant from my point of view "I quite like you, do you want to go out sometime?"

And similarly, a lady I got talking to at a caf had said, "Oh, I might drop in here for brunch over the next few days, I might see you then". Which I think meant the same thing.

Caf's are quite a good thing. Once you start talking, you can skip all the hullabaloo about asking for a first date and pretend you are already on one!

Lastly there is the mobile phone, an essential tool for the aspiring dater. You have to accept whatever form of communication your potential partner wants to use, and sometimes that's a volley of text messages where a simple, shorter phone call (ie actually talking) might do. So recently I was out training on my bike and had to duck under a tree to reduce the light to read and send text messages. (Yes my phone competency is about as good as that of a 6 year old child, maybe worse) But messages got through and we met up and had a good time. So still on trainer wheels with this sort of thing but the training wheels have been oiled.

Best Wishes Steve Nurse

Monday 5 December 2022

Prepint Released



Just now, I have posted a preprint of an article on building sculptures from everyday objects and 3d printed joiners. It has been approved, edited and will shortly appear in the Australian Maths Education Journal, issue 3 of 2022. Anyway, I wanted to move on and get it published, so here it is on Researchgate.  I will replace this with the properly formatted and citeable version as soon as the journal itself is released.  The article gives an overview of my work joining cds, drink cans, bike rims and other miscellaneous items together to form regular and other polyhedra.




Steve Nurse

Monday 28 November 2022

Sorry Bettina Klussmann!


 My wife of more that 30 years, Christine died about 6 weeks ago, and it follows that it has been a l - o - o - o - n - g time since I have dated. I am quite a peace loving person and affairs or leaving never really seemed like a good option, so here I am come out the other end. 

 Quite a few older adults I know are single by choice, but I don't think I want to stay single. Coming home to talk to someone has always been good for me, and that isn't there now, so things might change in the future and only the other day I asked a lady out on a date.  

Unfortunately that date didn't happen, we were going to meet somewhere and she didn't show, we didn't exchange phone numbers, and since then I've tried emailing her without a reply. I might see her at a work Christmas party but I'm not holding my hopes up. Anyway c'est la vie, and even though I could look for her phone number online I haven't tried as it would possibly be creepy.

So I have been - er - reflective over the last few days and today I got to thinking about when I didn't show up on a date because I went surfing with friends. Sorry Bettina Klussmann for about 40 years ago! So - er - nothing done to me (by accident or design, I just don't know) that I haven't done to another before, which is a sort of Karma effect I think. 

We all sail on!  Best Wishes Steve Nurse

Monday 31 October 2022

Macini Bike



At our Wecycle bike shed the other day, I noticed an interesting bike had come in, and discussed it with Mark at Back2bikes a few days later. Mark was interested in it, and I emailed him a few pics a couple of days later. The pics are above.

Anyway, some of the bike parts are interesting, and the bike had a rummage sale of french and Italian parts including

M.Faggin Stem (Italy)

Campagnolo Brakes and rear Derailleur (Italy)

Cinelli bars

Gipeimme front derailleur and shifters

Unknown brand french cranks.

The Macini frame is interesting too. They were made in Adelaide, but the name seems Italian. Mark said this was part of a cultural cringe, where Australian brands did their best to sound Italian (other examples are Ricardo and Europa) . Anyway, a deal was struck, Mark got a potentially great bike with interesting parts for a modest price, and Wecycle sold a bike we couldn't use for a modest gain.

There are more details of vintage Macini bikes on their facebook page .


Steve Nurse

Saturday 29 October 2022

A different land






Blogs are probably there to amuse, entertain, and spread knowledge on different specialist subjects. But really, they are about life too. So really I can't go on with blogs or anything, without announcing a big change in my life which is affecting me now. After 34 years together my wife Christine died on October 9 after we'd had 34 great years together.

Christine had a hard time in the last month of her life. She'd been born with scoliosis or curvature of the spine, and it was through hard work, hope and medical intervention that she led a fairly normal life from her early 20's to her early 50's. But in the last few years things had got tougher for her with slowly deteriorating health. I'm not really going to go into much more detail.

Anyway, my son Ewan, brother in law John, sister in law Lynn, friends George, Christine, Anne and Ermi and Jenny, and neighbours Pam and Betty, and many others have been a great support, and helped me organise Christine's funeral service. 

I rode over to Ewan and Phoebe's on the night Christine died when things were still very raw, and with John and Lynn we worked out the funeral service for Christine over the next few days and nights. Anne agreed to host, and Jenny to talk, and I took up other people's offers of help. Thanks everybody!

Anyway, I will go on recovering from Christine's passing for the next weeks and months, but I am already back at work and fixing bikes. A few pics up above. Rest in Peace, kiddo.

Best Wishes

Steve Nurse