FabLab LogoFletch's Fab Academy 2014 Blog

03. Computer Controlled Cutting

Our task this week is to design and make a press fit construction kit.  Glue is a sign of failure!  The kit should be able to be used to make anything, or at least a whole variety of different things.  Whilst Neil's Task was a good one, my 5 year old son had better ideas, he wanted me to build a 'Castle Construction Kit'.  So a set of parts that can be used to make a whole variety of toy castles it is.

Build this daddy!
Olivers drawing of a castle

Castle must have:

03.01 Parameterised.

I wanted to make a parameterised design so that I could make a larger version of my castle for the 'Make something big' week.

03.02 Joints.

I had a play with the MTM Snap joint design and made a number of test pieces to optimise my parameterised version of this joint design.
MTM test
This joint style works reasonably well in 3mm ply.  My Kokopelli design for these test pieces is here.

03.03 The Design

I also designed a parameterised version of the hinge for this project.  Final design file is here.

Hinge test

Above image shows 3 versions of the castle tower panel with 1mm, 1.5mm and 2mm width parameters set for the hinge.  This was a test of strength vs. flexibility. I decided on 1.5mm as the best.

Wal panels

Wall panels from the kit.


Final construction kit in assembled state.

Other Random Thoughts

Must be parametric so that material and scale can be changed.
Scale?  sized for toy soldiers or as a kids playhouse?
Joints must be distinguishable from crenelations
Round towers? Pointy fairy tale roofs?
Square towers?
Etch windows, arrow slits, stone work
Over hangs on top of towers?
dungeon?  Just etched detail on some panels?
Floor pieces?
Moat pieces?
Based on hexagons rather than squares for base?  Would make it more interesting.
Number or letter floor pieces so could be used for a game?  Make a game?  Make as a board extension for a game?  As a variant of an existing game?  As a variant of Settlers of Catan?

Etching as raster or halftone dots?

Wall sections join end to end or at 90 deg?
How will we join them end to end?  Will we need a jointing piece?
Should all slots be the same length? some long, some short?