Makerspace Projects

Bernina Thread Holder Project

Our Bernina sewing machine does not have a holder for oversized spools of thread. We only have over sized spools of thread and they all have different size base shapes and openings. 

The thread also has to be fed to the Bernina machine above or parallel to the top of the machine.

The solution was a combination of laser cut plywood parts and 3d printed parts:

  • 3D printed cones for wider base spools (x2 )
  • 3D printed cylinders for narrow base spools (x2 )
  • a 3D printed spare cone/cylinder holder (clips onto top of wood assembly)
  • 3D printed bases to hold each type of spool holder (narrow or cone)(x2 )
  • Laser cut .25″ plywood T top cross bar for thread to feed through
  • Laser cut .25″ plywood upright shaft
  • Laser cut .5″ base


Thread Spool Holder

Software & Equipment 
Pen & Paper,  Adobe Illustrator, Autodesk Fusion 360, Ultimaker Cura.
Ultimaker S5 3d printer, Trotec Speedy 300 laser.

Real World Lamp Project

I decided to design a lamp to demonstrate how 3D printers can and are being used in the real world now. I am referring to actual;  products, jigs and molds being created by manufacturers to use in real products for the the market place. 

Unfortunately there is a world wide use of 3d printers to produce more and more junk. I wanted to create a project that would show how 3D printed parts can actually be used as components in real & useful products.

Quite often students make most of the parts on a 3D printer. While this is fine for prototyping, but it is rarely practical for a real world object or product. The lamp uses 3d printed components and laser cut materials to produce the final LED table/dresser lamp. Insert nuts are heat inserted into the ABS 3D printed components to allow fastening. As well wood insert nuts are used for the wood parts.

The final product can be created as a high intensity colour LED “mood” light or a reading light. I want students to learn the techniques I used to build this and also to inspire students to create their own projects.

All of the files are available for students, staff & faculty to build their own lap at the Langara Makerspace.

A YouTube animation & video of exploded view of lamp and the final lamp lit up…. Video >

A video of all of the components of the lamp and how to assemble them… Video >

Lit Up . Gallery
Design & Build The Lamp . Gallery
Fusion 360 & Illustrator . Gallery
Finished Lamp . Gallery

3D Potter Nozzle Caps

Our new 3D Potter 3D clay printer has a number of different nozzle diameters it can use.
When the Nozzle is on the printer and the tube is loaded with clay, we needed to somehow seal the nozzle when not using the printer.
Something so simple proved to be complicated. How to get it to stay on and how to seal it.

I finally came up with a PLA 3D printed cap that had a bolt that could be tightened to the nozzle.
I then printed a elastic cone for the inside of the cap, using our Form 2 Resin printers.

Always satisfying to complete a design that works.

High Speed Bobbin Winder

Our high speed bobbin winder came without an actual thread feeder. It also did not come with anyway to hold the spool of thread. I had been using a piece of copper wire and a block for the three feeder, but that proved disastrous at high speed. I decided to design a proper thread feeder, that would take-up the thread over the spool ad then deliver it over the actual bobbin. Due to it’s height it had to be printed on our Ultimaker S5. The base I cut out of 1/2″ plywood on our laser, that includes an angle block to hold the spool of thread. The results, it works great and avoids having to use the sewing machine’s archaic bobbin winders.

The Ultimate Blade Sharpener

This one came from Thingiverse… ( link > ) the ultimate blade sharpener. Thank you to Tom Jones of Techtomics for sharing the model. The sharpening block is designed to use 50mm strips of wet/dry paper or sandpaper for utimate flexibility and cost effectiveness when sharpening blades of different purposes and grades.

Philip's - GPS Case

Philip needed a case for his GPS device. He first scanned the GPS on our high resolution 3D scanner. The scanned 3d object was then brought into Rhino 3D software, where Philip then modelled the case for it. The model was then output on our Ditto 3D printers.

FA Workshop Sander Tool Holder

Will the coordinator from the Fine Arts workshop needed a tool holder for a sander. The three wrenches kept going missing so I wanted something that would clearly identify and hold each tool. I created a holder in a 3D program and printed it on the Tinkerine Ditto Pro. Added a bit of foam rubber to lock in the tools (they would be under vibration), and problem solved.

Watch Strap With Square Holes

I decided to utilize the laser for a replacement watch strap. I could easily cut the square holes with the laser (instead of purchasing a very expensive square punch). The stitching holes, shape and buckle holes were all done with laser. The two leathers were first glued up, then laser cut. I also engraved a tiny triggerfish on the strap. The watch strap was then saddle stitched using 2 needles. Afterwards the edges were lightly sanded and finished wth an edge paint.

The Smooth & Quiet Cart

I had inexpensive cart that was rattling, locking up its wheels, and even had my neighbour complaining about the noise down the hallway. I decided to laser cut (& engrave) a birch plywood base for it, and purchase some super smooth & quiet German castors. The result is a cart that glides along with me as I walk

A System Created To Prevent Our PLA From Becoming Brittle

Plant based PLA 3D printing filament becomes very brittle when it absorbs moisture. When it becomes brittle your 3D print can fail. I came up with a multi-part solution for our Ditto Pro 3D printers. Design and print a “soap dish” to hold Silica gel. Silica gel absorbs moisture so the PLA does not. This slica gel is orange but turns blue after absorbing to its maximum. You can then can heat it up to restore it to its dry state. Create a back door for the dittos. This back door uses a sheet of plastic and foam rubber to seal it. The sheet has a 3D printed handle, that helps it to slip into a channel that was also 3D printed. The system is in testing stage now, fingers crossed it will solve our snapping PLA troubles.

Trac-ball Holder & Wrist Pad

I needed a trac-ball to relieve my repetitive strain on my wrist. I decided the trac-ball required a holder and wrist pad area. I laser cut 1/8″ & 1/2″ plywood and then covered the wrist area in a closed cell foam and also a soft foam. The final cover was in leather. Note: I have to stain or paint the wood still. Used:
– Fusion360 – to model
– Illustrator- for final cut sheets
– Trotec Laser – to cut wood

Bandsaw Replacement Handle.

The bandsaw in our CNC room, had a broken lever to adjust the plate tension. An easy solution, build one in 3D a print it out. So fun!

Form2 3d Print UV/Heat Curing Box.

The Form2 3D prints must be cured at 60 degrees and under a UV light after printing. The options are a Formlabs Cure box for $936 or build our own for $40.

  • Pink foam construction to insulate.
  • Lamp head with 60 watt bulb is covered in foil. Brings box to 60 degrees.
  • UV LED lamp to cure.
  • Solar powered turntable to rotate parts while curing.
  • Meat thermometer to monitor and regulate the temperature.

Makerbot Filament Transfer Spooler

We have to transfer PLA filament for the 3D printers from large rolls to the smaller Makerbot rolls. The Makerbot rolls have a series of notches that the crank’s tabs can lock into. The spooler consists of supports, giant bolts, a crank and a tensioner to keep the filament taunt. The tensioner, crank and bolts are printed on the 3D printers. The wood supports and base were laser cut.

Tinkerine Filament Transfer Spooler

We have to transfer PLA filament for the 3D printers from large rolls to the smaller Tinkerine rolls. The Tinkerine rolls have 1 hole to lock into to spin the loading roll. The spooler consists of supports, giant bolts, a crank and a tensioner to keep the filament taunt. The tensioner, crank and bolts are printed on the 3D printers. The wood supports and base were laser cut.

Dyson Vacuum Accessory Box

With no holder available for my new Dyson vacuum’s accessories, I decided to make my own. I first created the brackets that the accessories clip in 3D. The clips allow the accessories to lock into an exact area of the box. The box was then laser cut, glued up and aniline dyed.

USB, SD & Tools Holders

To organize and keep the USB, SD cards and accessories handy we created a number of holders. Also a USB, clip on handle and ID.

Laser Air Vent Shutoff

With our two lasers sharing the exhaust system, we need to shut the vent off to the small laser when not operating.

I came up with this manual shut off system using hardware store fittings and some 3D parts I designed and printed. 

Odds & Ends

Fixing Problems…Some odds and ends. A. We required a special over-sized bracket to secure the shelf for our 3D printers.
B. My closets particle board doors bottoms and tops had disintegrated, leaving the spring loaded pins useless. The solution was to laser cut and screw in these wood panels.
C. My older laser printers paper flap snapped. Because it is under tension, glue would not repair it. A quick drawing and a quick print, problem solved.