Making Rose Decals

My inspiration for making rose decals was a funeral for someone that was a master flower gardener. I was thinking having a nice subtle but pretty rose decal for the car would be a way to remember them. I have also 3D printed roses in the past and know 3 people that have Rose in their name.

Finding the Right Rose

I have been working on creating more than one color decals so they can work on any colored surface, but even with “registration marks”, it isn’t easy. Lining up the vinyl is a skill that will have to be developed over time with practice. For example, I have found that the registration marks have been coming off or lifting with the vinyl. So I have to take extra care or try different sizes and placement until I establish a successful method.

Registration Marks

are marks on the outside of the design that can be trimmed later. They are used for aligning additional layers on the decal.

Searching for free clip art of black and white roses is a good place to start. Find the design that is not too intricate but still looks like a rose.

This rose is a bit too intricate and the leaves would require green vinyl (which I don’t have) and the lines are very thin. So this is not a good rose to start with, when learning how to vinyl cut.

This rose is a little better but the lines get tight in the inner circle. And again, there are leaves so green vinyl would be needed if going with realistic color scheme.

Learn By Doing

When I try a new project, I can’t expect it to be perfect the first time. Repeating the process helps with learning and improving technique. What I learned with this project is that the rose is better as a single color . I tried wrapping a rounded circle around the rose but all that does it create an outer box and in my opinion, that does not make for a pretty decal. (If you are going for pretty like when it comes to flowers.)

Lift the vinyl carefully to ensure the vinyl that needs to stay attached, does.

I thought that putting a rounded box around the flower, would be a way to have a perimeter that provides for easy cutting out of the flower. But in reality, the beauty of the flower decal is to let it just be on it’s own and appear as a simple flower. I DO NOT RECOMMEND an outline box if it distracts from the beauty. A better option is to work with the “offset” property in Silhouette Studio, when that works. It depends on the image.

I created a variety of sizes by scaling up or down just a bit since I wasn’t sure exactly where it was going to be used yet and to give myself options.

So this is the rose that I thought looked best. The image was a bit fuzzy but Silhouette Studio had no trouble outlining the image to create the outline. I placed it on the glass of my rear side window. I do not have experience yet with how long the vinyl stickiness will last or if it will do damage to the paint of the car so I decided to put the decal on the window so I know I could always scrape it off with a razor if necessary.

Peel paper off first, apply decal, rub the image to adhere to window, peel off transfer tape.
  • It’s like a temporary tattoo for my car. I like it. A decal makes my care unique and easier to find in the parking lot.

Stop by on a Thursday night between 7 and 9pm to talk about your decal ideas.

Fun with Workshop 88 Logo

My name is Gail Jo and I LIKE TO MAKE STUFF.

Quick Bio

I joined Workshop 88 in December of 2016. I have been 3D printing since June of 2014. I have worked with machines and computers my entire career.

3D Printed Coasters

Workshop 88 Coasters

Coasters are one of my specialties when it comes to 3D printing. So once I got my hands on the Workshop 88 logo, I just had to make it into coasters. The challenge was how to print with 3 different colors. It helped to have a dual nozzle 3D printer. I started with white filament and when the blue 88 portion started, it was time to pause the printer and change the white filament to red.

Sugar Cookies

I wish I had more pictures of the cookies I made, but fortunately they were eaten. The cookies, not the pictures.

Workshop 88 Cookies

Since there was so much work involved in the post production to add the logo, I started with the Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough cookie dough in a roll, rather than make cookie dough from scratch.

3D Printed Workshop 88 Cookie Cutter

This was an attempt at a cookie cutter. The 88s were just too complex to release the cookie dough. I 3D printed about 6 other variations, changing the size and design.

For the red, upper crown part, I attempted to color the dough with red food coloring. And then I froze the dough to try and make it stronger and easier to work with. I also added red sprinkles to the top part. This made the 3D printed part more of stencil to hold them in before baking.

3D Printed Workshop 88 Cookie Stencil

The final version ended up acting as a stencil for spraying on the blue color of the logo. Notice the top part, the red part was covered, so that the spray would not cover that part.

Blue Color Mist from Wilton

Be forewarned, the spray went all over. You may not see it at first, but wipe the area and you will discover it. Find a good place. But in the end, using the spray and the stencil produced the best results. (The color mist was available at WalMart.)

Making a Workshop 88 Sign

Workshop 88 has been known to be a bit difficult to find. So I thought I would make a sign to put out on Pennsylvania Ave during open houses to help people find the workshop. If you wonder why I didn’t just go buy one, then you do not think like a maker.

Iteration 1 – Laser Cutter

I thought it would be nice to use the Laser Cutter and some poster board to create the first sign. This would keep the sign light and I wouldn’t have to manually cut out a bunch of letters. I used foam board from Dollar Store and poster board I had lying around. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about what would happen on the rainy Thursday nights the sign would be out so I continued creating. Also, I discovered the logo I was using was the older version. So I ended up putting the sign on the glass of the door of the workshop so that if any visitors stopped by when nobody was around, they would still be notified to come back on a Thursday evening.

3D Printed Parts

Iteration 2 – 3D Printed Parts on Yard Sign

Of course, I went straight to what I know, and attempted to 3D print out all of the parts of the sign. This of course made the sign quite heavier than it needed to be. Not the mention the coats of paint I added to cover up the original sign. But I did learn a few techniques along the way. I think I got better at printing flat letters inside a flat layer. I also learned that my 3D printer could use some design improvements, or precision improvements, but that is for another day.

Iteration 3 – Vinyl Cutter

The final method involved learning to use the Vinyl Cutter. It’s a good thing learning how to use new equipment is something I enjoy and enhances my resources for future projects. I was motivated to make another sign because I needed one for the 3D printing class at Workshop 88. This version is sleek and clean since it only provides the information needed. I relied on brand recognition for this version, since “Workshop” is not carved out in the red part. Stay tuned to this blog for more projects using the Vinyl Cutter.

Nice and Shiny Vinyl Version

What do you want to make?

Do you own your own business and want to make a few trinkets with your logo? Stop by on a Thursday evening for our open house for a tour and a friendly discussion to share ideas. Thanks for reading.

Bandanna Project

My son and I were planning a trip to visit one of his friends that was working at a hostel in Bergen Norway. He wanted to bring “them” gifts and give me the opportunity to make something. I was open to the proposal and exuberant with ideas. Did I want to 3D print some stuff and bring it? I have 3D printed plenty of stuff for his friends in the past but keeping in mind I was only bringing a carry on suitcase (wanted to travel light) and Workshop88 recently acquired a heat press, I decided to make bandannas. Bandannas are light and thin and would be easy to pack.

them = Norway Wheaties

Five Wheaton College Students travelling through Europe, ending the trip by running a hostel in Bergen, Norway

You can learn more about them from their instagram account. NORWAY WHEATIES

But why does it look so strange to have two “n”s in bandanna? Is that spelled correctly? Let’s see what google has to say. Google says the dictionary knows how to spell it but advertisers don’t or maybe they are just going with the most common spelling that is searched. Meaning most people don’t know that there are 2 n’s together. Maybe it looks strange because it is not spelled like a banana.

Studying the Wheaties Logo

Creating the Design

At times, people have labeled me as a Graphic Designer. I never claimed to be. But I do enjoy certain aspects of designing and that feeling you get when you just know something is right. So I can be creative, but I still justify it with “creative for a techie”. I was out of town while working on the design so had some time to ponder and try out a few iterations. I offered up a few designs to m son and he picked one. It was ok, but I felt I could do better so I kept thinking. I had an idea but I first had to figure out how to re-create the Wheaties look. I reviewed some Wheaties boxes to see specific visuals from the text. I was using inkscape since I was away from my desktop with my Adobe elements software. This gave me the opportunity to get better at inkscape and learn how to stretch the letters without distorting them too much. Skew didn’t do it. I ended up using Path->Path Effects and adding (click on +) Envelope Deformation. This youtube video on warping helped me accomplish the goal. So building off of the Wheaties cereal logo and doing a sort of flip perspective for the word Norway, I obtained the final design. Adding the year is a good practice for this particular type of memorabilia piece. I did not however, sign the work with my logo which I usually do with my 3D print items.

An initial iteration
Final Design

The Color Scheme

Initially I was thinking I would use white bandannas so the design would be visible but that would interfere with the Wheaties word needing to be white (like on the cereal boxes). Once I got back in town, I started shopping and ended up at Hobby Lobby. They had plenty of plain bandannas to pick from so orange was the best since that was the color of a Wheaties box and one of the Wheaton college school colors. Norway is blue since that is the other Wheaton college color.

Vinyl Cut Heat Transfer

I must admit, it wasn’t easy cutting the vinyl. I had to give myself time and practice to get it right. The N and the O were from a separate vinyl cut because I ended piecing good parts together.

Heat Transfer Vinyl and Vinyl Cutter

When making decals using the vinyl cutter, the letters can be frontwards, as you see them. But when cutting vinyl for heat transfer, the shinny side will be down so the lettering has to be flipped horizontally so it is in reverse. Then the heat press goes over the shiny film (after the extra has been “weeded”). (Weeding is the process of removing the vinyl part that is not needed.) After the first 20 seconds of heat applied, you can slowly remove the clear plastic, without removing the letters if done right.

Tri-Color Applied Together

Even though I was using 3 different colors, none of the colors overlapped so I didn’t have to create a cut out to avoid overlap but I did have to trim the plastics so they all fit together without overlap of the plastic parts. You wouldn’t want to apply multiple color transfer vinyls on top of each other.

Norway Wheaties 2019 Orange Bandanna

Heat press left a dark square but that seemed to go away after a while.

Decals Too

I also made decals for them. They are vinyl cut, weeded and transfer tape applied. So to use, tear off the white backing, apply the sticker and gently rub the letters to ensure they adhere to the surface. Then slowly remove the transfer tape. They are decals because they are vinyl and will work outdoors. If they were made from paper, I would call them stickers.

The trip to Norway went well and they loved their bandannas. I’m hoping they take a group picture with the bandannas so I can post it here. In the mean time, here’s the most picturesque scene I captured on the train going from Oslo to Bergen.

Favorite 3D prints: painting pyramid

Painting pyramid you can print!

One of our members shared this clever painting pyramid model that you can download from thingiverse for 3D printing.

A painting pyramid is used to elevate a work piece off of your workbench after painting to allow the work to dry. These pyramids are stackable, for easy storage between use. Additionally, these are way cheaper to print than to buy in a store.

If you do painting or staining of your projects, you should try out these painting pyramids. Share your work with us – we love to see other people’s projects!

Favorite 3D prints: phone stands

At Workshop 88 a lot of our members create their own designs for things they want to 3D print. But there is a great variety of models designed by other people available for download on thingiverse.

One of our members recommended a phone/tablet stand that prints all in one piece in place:

You can download this phone stand model from thingiverse. There are a few remixes of this thing which you might also want to check out.

Making custom awards

Custom award made at Workshop 88.

One of our members, Mark Frost, recently made up some custom awards for a group at his church. Here’s what he had to say about this project:

Every summer for 30+ years some guys from church have been doing a golf trip. I’ve been going for the last 15years or so and have recently taken over the “hardware” aspect. In previous years we would order engraves plaques, mugs, glasses, embroidered towels, etc. But this year I figured I’d take production “in-house”. I grabbed the church and resort logos, threw the text on top and engraved squares I cut from a 2’x2′ MDF board from HD

Mark Frost via slack.com

This is a really great example of the kinds of projects that our members are able to create quickly at Workshop 88! What could you make with a laser cutter/engraver?

Customized Trailer Hitch Cover

Custom Hitch Cover
Custom Hitch Cover

I created a 3D printed customized hitch cover that lights up by incorporating a store-bought brake light hitch cover.

My project started out as 3D printing a trailer hitch cover like the ones on Thingiverse.com. https://www.thingiverse.com/search?q=trailer+hitch+cover&dwh=175cdf1d3a762cb

Brake Light Hitch Cover

But then I spotted a brake light cover in a parking lot in place of the trailer hitch.  I really liked that idea better and considered it as an additional safety feature.  The brake light version of the cover wasn’t difficult to find and was about $12.

The brake light was easy to install and connect to the electrical wires, but I still wanted to add my personal spin (customization). 

So I 3D printed a cover for the light.  You may have noticed my personal logo (mashup of G and J) in place of my picture on my social media accounts.

So of course that is the logo I used for the cover. The logo is the negative (empty) part so the light shines through.

Even though I measured multiple times, I still produced multiple iterations of the printed item. I consider it prototyping, until the item fits and I run out of ideas on how to improve it.  I went through 3 iterations for this 3D printed project.  I tried rounding the corners of the cover, but that was even more difficult to size to fit over the red light.

Measurement of Hitch Brake Light

The light measured 3″ but the cover ended up being 3.32″ in order to fit over the light.

Since the brake light cover itself runs through the hitch with the lock, I just used zip ties to attach my cover over the brake light.  The zip ties will have to but cut and replaced of course, when I actually use the hitch.

Have you tried the measure app? (iPhone) It’s cool how it saves the measurement number in the picture.

For pre-existing 3D printable items (.stl files) that I don’t download from thingiverse.com, I design myself using tinkercad.com. A free web-based, easy to use CAD type software with starter shaped objects to drag and drop. Like the square I used to create the hitch cover. The printed iterations were done on my PowerSpec Pro3D printer. No rafts or supports were needed. I prefer to 3D print items that don’t require rafts and supports since they leave rough edges after they are removed. The print time was 1 hours and 52 minutes for the final version with the 2 inch sides. (deeper cover)

Dimension Details:

Final 3D Printed Project Dimensions

Third iteration and hopefully final of the 3D printed hitch cover.
  • 3.32″ square, outer dimension
  • .03″ wall thickness
  • .21″ side hole opening for larger zip ties (so tie can reach around)
  • .14″ smaller holes at bottom for drainage
  • 2″ side walls
2″ Trailer Hitch with Cover Over Tail Light

Do you have your own 3D printing project or want to learn more about 3D printing? Stop by Workshop88 on a Thursday night between 7pm and 9pm to share it with us. Select the date you can stop by and RSVP on Meetup.com

Workshop 88 Open House

May 16, 2019

Workshop 88 has an open house every Thursday from 7:00pm – 9:00pm where we welcome visitors and give shop tours. If you would like to see what’s available and what’s going on at your local makerspace or if you’d like to talk about a project you have in mind, come check us out!

As a result, Thursdays also are typically our most social night too. This week we had members working on many interesting projects including metal casting preparation, 3D printing, CNC milling, electronics, and more.

Here’s a look…

More projector fun! (see previous blog post for more details)

3D printing a space ship model to create a mold for a bronze casting

Bronze casting from the PLA model.

Meanwhile GailJo was 3D printing weatherproof sign components for illuminated Workshop 88 signs. The signs were so effective someone stopped by to check us out within 2 hours of them being placed!

I love when we have two or more 3D printers working at the same time. If you’re curious about 3D printing check out our step by step tutorial here.

Cutting up bronze casting scraps so they fit in the crucible for another casting. We used the band saw, bolt cutters, a ball peen hammer, and a vise. Copper is soft, tin is soft, mix them together you get bronze. Bronze is hard… really hard.

Jim is working on stepper motor driver electronics for a kinetic sculpture.

CNC’ing a cubic hole in a graphite block to be a mold for a future silver cube casting.

(Actually hybrid manual/CNC control in this case.)

All are welcome, we hope to see you one of these Thursday nights!

Adventures in vacuum repair

When using the Shop-Vac the other day I noticed all the dust I was sucking up was being blown out the back of the vacuum… all over me.  Intrigued and filthy, I decided to investigate…

I emptied the vacuum and took the filter outside to knock as much dust and crud off of it as I could.  I employed the standard method of smacking it on the building and quickly twisting it back and forth in the breeze being careful to stay upwind so as not to breathe the fine and disgusting particles liberated.

When replacing the filter I immediately found the problem, or more accurately I didn’t find a key part of the vacuum cleaner.  The filter retainer was missing.  Without it, whatever the vacuum sucks up can shoot through the open bottom of the filter through the impeller and get blown all over me.  Fabricating a quick replacement from parts on hand took no time at all.  Sure, I could have bought the replacement part for $9 and had it next day from Amazon, but where is the fun in that?

I found a suitable scrap of 1/4″ acrylic onto which I traced the inner and outer diameters of the filter.

Using a jigsaw with a coarse blade I cut just outside the outer diameter.  Cutting acrylic or polycarbonate with a jigsaw (or CNC) can be tricky, friction heats the blade and the chips can weld the opening closed behind the cut as pictured here.  This piece was easily broken away with my hand, but I’ve had polycarbonate heal itself apparently stronger than the uncut material when cutting too fast without any coolant or compressed air to clear the chips.

Using a ruler and pen I measured and marked the center of the diameter along several angles.  Using the hammer and punch, I punched the mark for drilling (the dimple allows the drill to center more accurately).  This level of precision was not necessary but I find striking things with a hammer fun and habits like punching before drilling are good to reinforce.

I clamped the burgeoning new cover in the vise and drilled the center hole.  The bolt hardware is the ubiquitous 1/4″-20 (1/4 inch diameter, 20 threads per inch, super common stuff), so I’m going to drill the hole a little larger, 3/8″ to make it easy to slide on and off.  I don’t want to drill a hole that large to start with in the acrylic because it will catch a lot and cause chipping or cracking, so I started with a smaller 1/8″ drill and worked up through a couple sizes.

Now I need to install a mounting rod in the bottom of the vacuum cleaner.  Marking the center of the bottom of the vacuum cleaner filter holder was even easier.  I just connected the lines between the edges of retaining tabs on the outer edge.  This plastic is thin and soft enough to drill directly with the 1/4″ bit.

Then I installed the filter holder pin by putting a 4″ 1/4″-20 bolt through a lock washer, then a fender washer then fed it through the hole from behind (from the vacuum cleaner side) to stick out the bottom.  I followed that with another fender washer, a lock washer and a nut.  The fender washers sandwich the plastic to spread out any load and prevent cracking around the hole.  The lock washers keep the nuts tight even under the vibration of the running Shop-Vac.

The filter slides over the outside, and the cover slides over the bolt to seal it in place.  Another fender washer, lock washer, and convenient wingnut secure the assembly with a good tight seal.

At this point the filter replacement was functional but by no means done.  Workshop88 is a makerspace, and that means nothing is done unless you’ve used the laser or a 3D printer, so Christine engraved the lid.

IMG_5309

Voila!

I could have easily ordered the appropriate replacement and had the fresh new part the next morning, but by creating one myself I get the satisfaction of a job well done, and I was able to vacuum up the acrylic chips from the jigsaw and drill right away.

D. Scott Williamson
Compulsively Creative