Cardboard skull


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/04/cardboard-skull.html


#2

It’s whats inside that counts I’ve been told.


#3

Wouldn’t the entire point of making it out of cardboard be that it would cost less than a hundred dollars? Checking scrap-metal prices, I see that bronze is going for about a buck and a half a pound. Just sayin’.


#4

An alternative —


#5

Cardboard Skull

Indie band name?


#6

One of these days I am going to learn how to cut these myself.

A little bit of time with a 3D application and a few hours at my local makerspace (they all have laser cutters).

If you are interested in doing it yourself, here are a few links to get you started:

http://www.makecnc.com/kool-skull.php - USD 9.00 for the files ready to go

https://www.epiloglaser.com/resources/sample-club/trex-head-3d-model.htm - free but it is a t-rex head

http://www.papercraftsquare.com/halloween-a-cardboard-skull-paper-model-template-free-download.html - This exact one I think, use Inkscape to trace the png’s to turn them into vector files for cutting.

Honestly, by the time you spend learning how to do it and the cost of the makerspace time, it will come out to the same price, but you will have learned how to make them yourself and you can “print” off a ton and give them to kids as gifts.


#7

I’ve actually had some of the Crystal Skull Vodka and it’s pretty nice. Pricey and not something i would buy on the regular, but worth buying if you’re interested in the bottle.


#8

Tested built one of these and made a video if anyone is curious how they assemble and what their thoughts are. Spoiler they look really great :slight_smile:


#9

I want a super cheap version to use as kindling for the camp fire.


#10

“Thinking meat! You’re asking me to believe in thinking meat!”


#11

For a hundred bucks you could join you’re local hackerspace/makerspace co-op, take a laser class, and be limited only by the amount of scrap cardboard you can find.


#12

One of my favorite short stories of late.


#13

I’m very curious how one of these would be handled by TSA check-in. Not enough to find out personally, mind you.


#14

Thanks for posting those.

BoingBoing used to be more of a Maker Space then a Market Space…some of us still appreciate makering thingamajigs.


#15

to start a fire topped by these.


#16

There used to be a cool app called 123D Make, which would let you turn any STL or CAD drawing into a LOM style object. LOM is “Laminated Object Manufacturing.” You could also use it to create folded objects and even objects with a tabbed border for sewing. And lots of other cool features… that you can’t get anymore because 123D Make no longer exists.

Autodesk absorbed the app into its Fusion360 suite, and now it doesn’t stand alone. But you can get a “slicer” plugin for TinkerCAD/Fusion360 here:
https://apps.autodesk.com/FUSION/en/Detail/Index?id=8699194120463301363&os=Win64&appLang=en

It does lack some features like nesting, which they say the are working on… Nesting is if you give it a total surface area of your raw materials (say a 2x4 foot sheet of crafter’s plywood), and a tool cutting width, the program will try to fit as many of the slices of the object onto that surface by using the blank space as efficiently as it can, packing things together. Nesting is tricky business, computationally, and 123D Make never did it very well. All that is neither here nor there now, since you can get freeware nesting programs. You couldn’t find a good one even a couple years ago. I have not tested them, but they are out there now.

So, let’s talk methods. Your methods are perfectly fine. But they are not transferable to other media than laser cutting or printing.

The standard, old-school way of turning a 3D model into a real object is to design it using a CAD program, Sketchup, or a modeler language like OpenSCAD, or a 3D modeler app like Blender. Or from a 3D scan. Or download it, as you have suggested. Many ways to create the model, or get your hands on one.

Then, (sometimes) the thing must be converted into a solid-surface object. As in, if the object were dipped in water, there would be no way for the water to enter the “interior” of the object. In other words, the object needs to be a solid shell. MeshLab can take care of this operation, and also help with the next part: exporting it as an .STL file. The STL file is a universal format that you see many places. It’s not always used, but it’s prevalent.

Then, the STL file needs to be converted into the slices that a 3D printer, or laser, or CNC can understand. These slices have a thickness you specify and sometimes a fill pattern, sometimes special tool operations such as drilling or etching if you are cutting the files on a CNC.

Then, for CNC and 3D printing, the next step is to export as gcode. Gcode is, basically, “go here, tool down, go to here (x,y) lift tool, advance to here,” etc… Gcode is even more universal than STL format. It has been around for a very long time in the manufacturing world.

The difference between this process and lasers is essentially file types: you use a vector type for most lasers (although there is a gcode grbl sender for some lasers, if they’re built that way). But the reason I launched into this whole diatribe about the toolchain is that if you learn to take a 3D model -> STL -> slice -> gcode, then you can easily substitute steps, or use different file types. But now you know how ALL additive and subtractive manufacturing works in a general way; it’s no longer mysterious. Because it’s not. It just has a little complexity, but isn’t that hard.

You should get a 3d printer if you are interested. They are so fun! A cheap 3D printer is the fastest way to understand the 3D modeling -> object making toolchain. Hours and hours spent fiddling, if you like that sort of thing. There are very inexpensive ones now that function well. You don’t have to buy a MakerBot for $2500! 3D printing is no longer out of reach. You can spend as little as about $300 for a perfectly decent printer, like one of these.

Have fun! Glad you spurred me to think about this. Thanks.


#17

Super helpful, thank you very much @forceblink !


#18

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