Flextures, cardboard, and workholding.
Wheelhouse is a newsletter for makers that covers new materials, techniques, and tools.
Flexures are a very interesting way to build moving parts and compliant mechanisms without having to change materials and are thus incredibly easy to utilize. Amy Qian’s flexure demo board explains many easy mechanisms that can be made directly with delrin on a laser cutter. Of course, if you have access to a waterjet cutter or better you can make things out of much tougher materials. (h/t @kane and @robinsloan)
Converting paper back to pulp and making recycled sheets is relatively easy, but producing fully 3D forms is more complicated. XYZAidan offers a demo on using 3D printed molds to make more intricate shapes.
Inevitably, using tools on oddly-shapen materials ends up being the easy part of the job. The hard part is figuring out a way to hold things down. Mitee-Bite makes dozens (hundreds?) of types of machining hold-downs and workholding for practically every need.
Send us your new techniques, materials, and tools for our next edition!