News and Events

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

Tuesday 28 February 2023

Dodecahedron Jig


In the last post, I didn't explain anything about how I made the jig which enabled the golf ball dodecahedron to be made, so I thought I'd write and picture my way through it. I will make more golf ball sculptures and jigs, but probably won't load the jigs onto thingiverse as STLs - you can work things out for yourselves and this is a bit of a how to. Programs I've used are Bricscad - excellent 2d, and Solidworks, excellent 3d.

1. This sketch

2. Is rotated around the blue axis to create a model of a sphere that could surround a golf ball.

The jig sits over a golf ball and aims to provide drill guides alligned with the edges of a dodecahedron.  This dodecahedron has one of its 20 corners at the golf ball centre. So to start, the jig has to sit on a spherical golf ball, and the first step was (I'm just going in blind here and crashing about - you need to do this sometimes when attempting something new) to make a hollow sphere around a golf ball. The sketch (2d drawing) above shows what's rotated around the blue axis to make the hollow sphere shown in 2.



After that I need to think a bit, and went back to a 2d wireframe dodecahedron drawing I had from previous projects, shown in 3. The red lines surround 2 views of what I want to create in terms of angles between drill guides, and the white circles can represent golf balls.




First up, I'm making bosses (sticky-outy-cylinders). The drillguide holes will go through them. I can do this with 2 sketches in the established / standard top plane, and 2 rotations the sketches around the dotted lines. The new bosses are spaced apart by a total of 108 degrees, the angle between regular pentagon sides as per the top part of sketch 4.


The 2 previous sketches were on the established top plane, and the established front plane bisects the bosses in a way that lets us create the third equispaced boss. We just need to know at what angle to the top plane, and fortunately the second sketch of 3 gives us that.



As shown in 7, we can now create our third drilling boss. We now want to create features (cuts, holes etc) that are parallel to the plane containing the outside centres of all 3 bosses. First I made a 3d sketch, then used it to define the new plane (8).



With the new plane established, I can now use the "block of cheese function" (actually cut / extrude using the new plane as  a reference) to slice away part of the jig so it will fit on the golf ball as shown in 9 and 10. The height to slice at just involved trial and error. We're close to the final shape of the jig now, and the boss holes, and a few other bits and pieces just need to be added.




Once the 3 drilling bosses were added, 3 planes were added as well, and these became the sketch planes for holes through the bosses. I started with a sketch on one of the 3 new planes (11). The sketch is a slot, not a hole, and this opens things up so the bosses print cleanly (without support material) in the 3d printer - refer to the "printing" section of this wikipedia article.

A similar sketch was done in all 3 bosses, and all the slots cut (12), and finally a few more bosses, holes and chamfers made to finalise things and make a central hole. The central hole is for a screw, so a 6g threaded timber screw about 12mm long can be screwed through the jig and into the golf ball. So this all worked, and the results can be seen in my previous post.




And although it worked I'm fussy!  When importing the STL (3d printable file format, a bit like a 3d version of a pdf file) into the printer software, the part comes in on an odd angle, no matter which initial rotation or plane is chosen (15 and 16 show top and right planes). Also a simpler file structure is possible (17 shows current structure). This really doesn't matter as long as a workable outcome is reached, and I will show an alternative to what's done here in my next post.



If you've gotten this far you probably deserve a break, and 18 and 19 are my latest creations  / variations!

I could get 18 to balance with the dodecahedron and top triangle screwed together only, but it would fall over! Adding a few extra screws in one ball (19) made it all more stable.


Lastly, 20 shows the drilling jig in place with its support screw. The support screw needs to be screwed down tight for the jig to be held in place.

Another version of the jig is shown in the next post.

Saturday 25 February 2023

Dodecahedron from Golf Balls



Since my last post on this topic I have not been idle!  I've designed a jig for drilling golf balls so they become the nodes of a dodecahedron wire frame. Pics are above: This one used 90mm lengths of 12.7mm diameter timber dowel, screws, the 3d printed parts from my thingiverse post here , and golf balls which would otherwise have been river pollution. I'm not sure if its environmental art, but maybe!

Anyway have fun with it! There is more about the drilling jig seen in pic 2 in my next post.

Steve Nurse

Tuesday 21 February 2023

DIY Washing Powder


This was my tidying up effort for the day, I came across this HUGE PILE of unused soap and because I was going to use the mincer anyway, decided to mince the soap up and use it as clothes washing powder. And that's what I did. And spaghetti sauce only slightly contaminated with soap!

Regards  Steve

Friday 17 February 2023

Golf Ball Adapter



This post follows on from my previous one on Yarra cleanup


In recent years, golf balls have been identified as a source of water (sea, ocean, river) pollution, and lots of them have ended up in the water where they rot and do damage to the environment. Alex Weber has highlighted this pollution in the USA where several prestigious courses including Pebble Beach are right next to the sea.

1: Golf courses upstream from Dights Falls


Locally in Melbourne, the Birrarung  / Yarra Cleanup Mob have also noticed golf ball pollution, and in cleanup days have removed hundreds from the river bank near Dights Falls. They've scheduled a "Golf Ball Pollution Art Day" for tomorrow, and I will be there with a contribution. 

2:  Tetrahedron from golf balls


That contribution is a 3d printable adapter which turns 12.7mm diameter rod (ie from timber or steel) and golf balls into a Geomag style construction kit. Note that a screw hole needs to be drilled wherever an adapter attaches to a ball! 

* Here is the thingiverse link

* Visit this site to see just what can be made with Geomag, and I have posted a few pics below.

3. Geomag Bridge.

4. Geomag Eifell tower.

5. Geomag football stadium.

6. Geomag helicopter

Geomag Sphere

 After making the adapter, I recalled that I had a similar (node-and-stick) construction toy called Makit Toy as a child. A bit of research revealed this to be similar to Tinkertoy, but Makit Toy is what I remember. The kit might still be at my parent's house.

7: Makit Toy Parts.

8. Makit Toy Parts and box

9. Tinkertoy

Anyway I remembered some of the Makit Toy construction methods (such as

* Brown rods have sawn ends to let them fit and spring tight in node holes (see 7)

* Red rods slide through node holes and can rotate in them (7 and 8) . If they need to be secured in a node hole, a steel bushing (see 8) can be added)

and started using them in construction. If you drill a 12.5mm hole in the golf ball, the adapter can be done away with!

10. Makit Toy type tricks: Reduced diameter bar (red squares) allows the rod to rotate, slit in rod end allows rod to be inserted and holds rod in place.

11. Pivoting rod

12. Larger holes in golf ball allow 12.7mm rod to fit in directly.

Update 18/2/2023

Done and dusted, here are my pictures from the Golf Ball Art event. We just wrote or made what we wanted from Golf balls that had been rotting near the river and it was fun. I gave a brief demo of my "tech". Danella called it wizardy and I am very flattered!

Oh, and I almost forgot - there was lots of bending to do this stuff and I got a really sore back by writing stuff with Golf balls for only one hour! This contrasts with riding my recumbent for about 8 hours to cover 150k last week - there was no pain at all, just tiredness.