Custom Designed 3D Printed Pens [2017 No Lathe Pen Challenge]

Get the 3D designs here:
Get the pens here:

Bill Livolsi over at One Car Workshop challenged the maker community to get creative and try making a pen without a lathe. My original plan failed, so I decided to dive in and spend some time with my new (new to me) 3D printer and see what I could come up with. As you may know, I enjoy designing things in 3D in Fusion 360, so I came up with a couple interesting geometric pen designs, built to fit the ink from a cheap pen.

For more inspiring pen projects, check out the No Lathe Pen Challenge playlist:

For those of you who are interested in the printing details, these were printed in PLA with 100% infill and a high detail resolution. I didn't use automatic supports because they were generated inside the pen body which would have been too hard to remove. Instead the supports were manually placed around the outside and that was sufficient. The hexagon pen was placed flat-side down and only had supports added to the two ends.

Simple Stanchions for Wire Shelves

I was tasked with fixing an unusual storage problem. Large rolls of fabric had been stacked up on a wire shelf that was much too small and not designed for this type of item. The rolls were nearly falling off the shelf, held back by a random length of ribbon that had been tied around them. Despite the poor solution this was the best place to keep them, so I came up with a simple wooden stanchion that could "slot into" the wire shelf and hold back the rolls of fabric. This way we had a better, cheap solution that was easy and not permanent.

Box Jointed Cement & Walnut USB Hub | #USBHubChallenge inspired by Giaco Whatever

This USB Hub challenge was inspired by a project where Giaco Whatever made a USB hub cast in cement, and the video was met with a lot of criticism. A number of fellow YouTube makers, led by Michael Lawing, decided to get together and make our own Giaco-inspired USB hub projects as a show of support, and to show how much good can happen by sharing even a small idea with the community.

To see all the projects in the USB Hub Challenge, check out the USB Hub Challenge Playlist:

For me, this was a fun opportunity to get creative and experiment with some new materials and techniques. I got to plan out, sketch, and model my idea, experiment with the concept, and make it happen. The cement parts were cast in molds made from MDF and packaging tape, placed down on a sheet of glass I salvaged from an old scanner. I need more practice with my router, having blown out some chunks of my walnut, and my first time cutting mortises resulted in some blowouts as well. Thankfully the outside turned out good enough that I didn't have to start over. I learned a lot from this build, and I hope it inspires you to get out and try making something yourself.

Giaco Whatever's channel:

Michael Lawing's channel:

Variable Width Box Joints on the Programmable Box Joint Jig

Now that we've established that the programmable box joint jig can make fixed width box joints, it's time to demonstrate variable width joints, and really showcase what software can bring to the wood shop.

In this video we'll be making some simple plywood boxes, with a basic, somewhat decorative variable width box joint.

Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit:
Limit Switches:
My table saw:

The Programmable Box Joint Jig - Introduction and First Run

As a budding woodworker I always wanted to try making box joints. My table saw however was not designed to handle a dado stack. If I could use a single blade accurately I could make wide finger joints, but that can get difficult and repetitive. If I could automate the process, then I could easily cut box joints of any size. After months of development, here is my first test run on the programmable box joint jig.

I want to go into deeper detail on how it was made and how it works. What I really want is to answer as many of YOUR questions as possible, so if there's something you want to know more about, let me know.

Raspberry Pi Starter Kit:
Limit Switches:

Box Jointed Pallet Wood Pencil Cup

My oldest son loves to color these days, and wanted something to hold his markers. Meanwhile, his dad loves to make box joints these days, and was looking for an excuse to do so. As a result, we came up with a simple box-jointed open-top box to use as a pencil (or marker) cup, made to fit in with our dining room decor.

This project also served as a fun upcycling challenge for the 2016 Pallet Upcycle Challenge. The entire project came from a section of thick beat-up pallet wood that I picked up awhile back. At first I thought I would leave it looking "rustic" but I was pleasantly surprised how nice it looked after sanding off the rough surfaces.

Silicone mini glue brushes:
Cognac wood stain:
Water based satin polyurethane:

MUSIC: "Undone" by Lunova Labs
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License
Portions were repeated to extend the length of the music.