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

Tuesday 3 May 2022

Yarra Libraries Steamfest




A few weeks ago, I noticed an article in my inbox about an upcoming Yarra Libraries Steamfest, basically a showcase for fun / educational / technical stuff. (Steam actually stands for Science  / Technology / Engineering / Arts / Mathematics in education.) And eventually I got motivated and sent off an email wanting to participate. A few days later when nothing had happened, I went up to the local library, handed over a copy of my email, and said, "Hey, what's going on", or words to that effect. The librarian said he knew the person organising it and said they'd get in touch, but nobody did for a few days. I didn't think anything would come of it and was just prepared to let it go.

Then out of the blue one day I get a phonecall, and its Steven M. from Yarra Libraries, yes they'd like to have me, yes they'd like to see me, and we arranged a meetup time for the next week at Richmond library. For whatever reason, I decided to bring my big tetrahedron bike wheel sculpture along, which is after all maths and art related.

The meetup went ok, I showed Steve the big sculpture, and also some other mathsy 3d printed activities I had. We discussed setup times, where I could set up, and what I'd show, and had a look at the library's Sindoh printers, and the meeting all went ok.

As the time got closer to the show, I began ferretting through all my 3d printed stuff, and eventually brought along a beercan sculpture, a milk bottle wind machine, 2 cycling board games, parts for cd and timber platonic solids, and a 3d printed platonic solids kit. Whew, that was enough! The weather was predicted to be rainy Saturday and bringing along things made from bike wheels seemed to be over the top and too hard. Given the weather prediction, I also decided to bump in (get my stuff there) on Friday night. There was a bit too much stuff to carry in the tailbox, and I ended up tying a light bag full of beercan sculpture pieces (ok, beercans) to the tailbox lid.

After bumping in on Friday, I rode on to visit my mum and dad in Kew, and that took me on an unfamiliar route, something I don't mind every now and then. There were spots of rain on the way but nothing serious. The serious rain came after I got home though!

Then, by Saturday morning it was fine and clear, so a bump in then would have been ok! I decided to make it easy for myself and bolt a milk crate to the lid of the leaning trike tailbox. This would mean it would be no sweat carrying the beercans home. That went well, I just drilled a hole in the centre of the lid and bolted the crate on, and headed off to Richmond.

The Steamfest show itself went well. I was set up next to the library's 3d printer, which was running all day, and was showing "what you can make" with 3d printers. Most of what I was showing is on the thingiverse website, and part of my schtick was that you don't have to design to make use of a printer. There was fre tea / coffee and scones (yay!) a remote control Dalek (Dr. Who robot / alien character), which was very popular, and stalls from a hackerspace, community sewing works, waste reduction group and an all-electric-home group. Hopefully I will stay in touch with a few of them.

Kids and some adults were very happy to rock up to my stall and start building things with my full-side construction kit. I think this kit would be a good lead-in to some of the other kits which use a cd or other round thing to make sides. 

By the end of the day I was quite tired but had a clearer picture of how people viewed my models. Well worth it! The trip home was uneventful and not stressful, thanks to the extra load carrying of the crate on the back.


When I got home, I decided to make a milk crate 3d print to go with all my 3d printed bike models and "Tour" and "Challenge" cycling boardgames. Its possible the tv show "Tiny Oz" was an influence. It documents the making of miniature versions of historical Australian events, including the moving of a zoo, and an early balloon flight. Why couldn't my bike trips be documented?

I plan to 3d print a few more parts that will go with the milk crate and other printed bikes including a milkcrate compatible tailbox. Cad for this is done and is shown below. When not on use for the crate, the fin at the top will be a "head fairing" or "neck fairing", designed to reduce the aerodynamic drag of the bike and rider.

 Update May 5 2022

Yesterday I modified the milkcrate file a bit, printed and tested the new tailbox with head fairing. Tonight I uploaded both new files to Thingiverse here , so you can print them too. Newest photos are below. A little bit of load carrying for your little bike! Regards, Steve Nurse



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