Sacrificial Workholding, Kerf Canceling, and Fabric Stiffening
Wheelhouse is a newsletter for makers that covers new materials, techniques, and tools.
Sacrificial T-slot Bolts
If you are cutting wood, you really don’t want your end mill or routing bit to contact steel work holding, especially if you are using a tungsten carbide bit, as this can cause a fire. It’s better to use brass or nylon hardware in case your cutter goes astray, and if you are really fancy you can use plastic nailgun nails. A clever Redditor discovered that toilet bowl mounting hardware works great in T-slots as well.
Laser cutters are incredibly convenient but their effective blade is conical, which leaves an angled kerf. More frustratingly, that kerf varies from machine to machine, requiring that designs must accommodate that kerf for high precision interactions. The Hasso Plattner Institut’s Kerf-Cancelling bearing cleverly utilizes the self-similarity of the nautilus spiral to make sure that the shaft is kept in the same spot no matter how much kerf the laser has. Their paper goes into more detail, including how to account for the angled edge laser cutters leave behind.
3d Printing On Fabric
50 Pellon is a polyester stiffening fabric that can be used as a flexible mechanical linkage when used as a 3d printing substrate. The filament adheres well to the material, and the unprinted areas allow filament-stiffened areas to connect to each other, allowing flexible designs and mechanisms to be created. WolfCat Workshop goes into their methodology at length.