iPhone Tripod Mount (Nov. 2012)

I needed an iPhone tripod mount, to film another project without the iPhone moving. I could have bought a ready-made one (like this one), but I decided to cut one myself, from 4 mm acrylic glass. I want to use it with the Griffin iPhone case in place, so the there is no risk of scratching the glass. Unfortunately, it is not easy to find a nut that fits a tripod bolt, but I use a clamp, that works well enough.

Parts of iPhone Tripod Mount

Assembled iPhone Tripod Mount

iPhone Tripod Mount with the iPhone 4 inserted

iPhone Tripod Mount with the iPhone 4 inserted

Posted in iPhone, Laser Cutter, Utility | Leave a comment

The Most Useless Machine in Meccano (June 2011)

It all started with the ‘Leave Me Alone Box‘, built by Michael Seedman. He made a fairly complex design, with servo motors and electronic control. Brett Coulthard saw this design, and made a simpler version he called ‘The Most Useless Machine‘, and put a video of it on YouTube. This video went viral with more than 5 million views. You can now buy a kit to build you own machine.

I decided to build one myself with Meccano. Many people built one with LEGO, or even K’NEX, but apparently not with Meccano. Here is a movie showing my design:

The completed model

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Redesign of the Rietveld Lamp L40 (Jan. 2011)

The Rietveld Lamp L40 was designed by Gerrit Rietveld in 1920. He used special tubular incandescent light bulbs, and built a fairly simple construction around them. Each light bulb hangs in two small wooden blocks (oak, painted black). The lamps hang from a ceiling plate, and the supply cables are led through small glass tubes.

The special light bulbs are still available (in 40 W or 60 W), but it remains to be seen for how long. In many parts of the world, the incandescent light bulbs are phased out, and will probably not be available anymore in the near future. Also, these lights are very power hungry, and not very durable. So I wanted to redesign the lamp using fluorescent lamps, but that made the construction more complex. With these lamps, a lot more wiring is required, and the tubes must be housed in a (transparent) enclosure. I made the endpieces of the enclosure of 4 mm MDF, and the transparent panels of lightly sanded acrylic glass.

For the lamps I disassembled 3 modern fluorescent lamp units, these include electronic ballasts which keep the temperature down and provide an almost instant start when power is applied. I mounted these ballasts in the ceiling plate. The ceiling plate has a ridge that is mounted over another plate with 4 angle brackets; this other plate is screwed to the ceiling. These ceiling plates are made of 12 mm MDF.

To cut out the parts of the lamp enclosure I used a laser-cutter; both 4 mm MDF and 4 mm acrylic glass can easily be cut with a low-power laser-cutter. I created a jigsaw type pattern in the MDF pieces to make sure they would glue together easily and accurately. One side of the end-pieces is not glued but bolted into place with an angle bracket, to allow for the replacement the fluorescent lamps.

My special thanks go out to the FabLab ProtoSpace which allowed me to use their laser-cutters for a small fee.

A copy of the original Rietveld Lamp

Another copy of the original Rietveld Lamp

The parts that make up the 6 endpieces

An endpiece glued and clamped

The endpieces glued together

The endpieces bolted shut

Side piece to guide the cable on the vertical lamp

The 6 endpieces freshly painted

The ceilingplate with holes for the lamps and for dowels

The ceilingplate with ridge

The ceilingplate receptor, will be screwed to the ceiling

The electronics of the fluorescent lamp unit

The 3 lamps assembled

The ceilingplate completely wired

The new lamp hanging

Posted in Rietveldlamp | 14 Comments