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Current time: 2023-12-05 08:58
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Phobium - Sitte Ute [05:35]
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Newspaper What a whole bunch of SceneSat key fobs looks like

    (This is a clone of a Pouet thread of a similar name at truck's request. Some "stuff above"-type references might not make sense as I decline to copy the previous first post due to being all about key fobs for other places.)

    So had an idea at some point I think before I started this year's production runs for the Nectarine and Revision key fobs to do something for SceneSat. They were prototyped around the time of the production runs. The end result was two credible designs that I put up a vote app for. Interestingly very few people wanted both, most wanted one or the other. Unfortunately people were split almost 50-50 for each making it harder to get a decent quantity of either.

    This is the end result of this past weekend's trip:

    There's 60 of each of the squares and rectangles, and 6 of the Spuniks.

    Front side of the rectangle:

    They're about 6.3cm long by 1.3cm wide and 5mm thick. (2.5" x ~1" x ~3/16") This makes them smaller than the Nectarine ones by a noticeable amount.

    Unfortunately I had planned to put the same engraving on the front as the back, but I realized the hole would cut in to the "at" if I did so. Ideas people and I had were mirroring the engraving to fit, lengthening the piece, and putting the URL on the back. Truck's proposition of the URL ended up being the cleanest. I had also tried to put a really small engraved Sputnik back there too, but decided it looked nice and clean with just the URL.

    The squuuaaares:

    Not much to say here. Uses the same form-factor as the Revision ones. A lot of empty space on the one side.


    Now these, I hate. I don't hate Sputnik, I hate my wood-based representation as a cut-out. When I originally did the tests I had a very high rate of failure: it had to be re-cut many times and most didn't come out of the board. I offered it anyway thinking I could resolve that, and tried to get my jobs done on the large laser at the hackerspace so all 100 Watts of it could really punch these things out.

    However, it's more set up for cutting (in terms of how tightly focused the laser is) compared to their small laser, and so the URL in the rectangles never came out right. Since everything was originally in one file (sheet), that was important. So I switched to the small laser to run the job, and ended up breaking out the designs into separate files and none of it ended up running on the big laser. (The probably would have come out a little fuzzy if I had.)

    So out of all 24 I tried to cut, I got 6. Now you know why I'm unhappy. I don't have a scientific explanation or anything other than since there's not a lot of straight lines it's possible that even at slower speeds, the small laser's 40 Watts just can't spend enough time to go all the way through.

    There is a positive side though: The hackerspace I go to doesn't charge you for failures that are due to reasons not based in design.* So they comped the run of Sputniks. Now, I could have done another run out of 3mm wood, but I had enough to do while out there that it wasn't worth my time to do so. 3mm would also make these things even more fragile. So I skipped.

    * Meaning you don't get a pass just because you realized your design sucks (or is wrong) but the actual item came out just fine accounting for that.

    They're single sided because it would be really hard to be able to do the backside with an asymmetric design. I don't think it would be impossible, but you'd be spending a lot of your time lining up and testing the laser to do the backside pass with the board flipped to reverse the jig left over from doing the first pass. So I didn't even give doing so any thought.

    Finally, no pictures of tests or screw-ups. The tests are kinda boring (fuzzy "scenesat.com"s, and too lightly engraved very tiny Sputniks) and I don't have pictures of the board where the Spuniks didn't come out. Other than that, though, no mistakes in the runs which I think is stellar. If wanted, though, I can post some pictures of the test pieces.

    I may not make any more for a while, for a few reasons. The first is directly monetary, the second is that my super-awesome cutting rate ends after next weekend and I don't have enough stuff to do to make re-upping for the same membership level cost effective. I could do a lesser membership level, but the rate is not nearly as good though better than the walk-in rate. This isn't in stone, but my mind would have to be changed before next weekend. ;)

    As to relative costs, they would be around 2.66 (rectangle), 3.38 (square) as to minimums. To not have to deal with a lot of Euro coins I'd probably ask for something rounded up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by AMcBain View Post
    As to relative costs, they would be around 2.66 (rectangle), 3.38 (square) as to minimums. To not have to deal with a lot of Euro coins I'd probably ask for something rounded up.
    Don't worry, there are Swedish Crowns, Danish Crowns, and Norwegian Crowns involved, not to mention the British Pound, Polish Zloty, Swiss Franc, and Hungarian Forint that can be substituted for the Euro coins.

    Also, Euros come in bills, which can handily be exchanged for beer and/or food (:

    Anyway, these look awesome, the back piece with the single URL ends up looking great on it's own.

    I wouldn't worry about the sputniks - they're an interesting thing, but not worth the heartache.

    You can make a cube out of 6 of the square things! (: And rotate them!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011


    (Copied from the post in the original Pouet key fob thread, word for word.)

    I'm honestly not trying to spam my way back to the top. I thought I would share some process photos and things I tried that either didn't quite work or I decided not to go ahead with. It was fairly late when I did the last post so I didn't want to go back and photograph more stuff right then.

    These tests were done on the back side of a sheet that was an aborted Nectarine key fob run, so a few have bits of "NECT", "RINE", or "NE" on the reverse. (Which I didn't capture a photo of.)

    These are alternate backs I mentioned in the last post. Using the two values of truck's calculation of a good place to put the URL etching, I tried it also with a small Sputnik. These were done on the large laser mentioned previously, and it is not focused for fine detailing as can be seen quite well here. The Sputnik could be made visible enough, but I ended up deciding it was just clutter.

    I believe these were also done on the large laser, but I don't remember. Someone had suggested I try making the Sputnik's on the back of the square design more like the cut-outs, with the shiny part raised. It took a bit to get the depth right, but in the end both the person on duty and I decided the raised part didn't really add anything to the fob, so it was dropped. Another reason for that was engraving is done left to right and top to bottom, so not engraving a section encased entirely inside the engraved section doesn't save any time running the piece.

    The coins:

    I can write a lot about these ... so the Sputnik cut-outs have the long antennas which leaves spaces between them even with how tightly I was able to pack them in to the production sheet design. I figured out this space was large enough (with a small margin beside) to fit something .75" tall, which is the size of a US penny. Riffing on that, I decided to try to fill the space with a coin.

    The idea of the coin was the front would say "scenesat.com" arced across the top, with Sputnik below it, and the numbers "2014" between the antennas on the left. Everything would be engraved out to leave the rest raised up, like a real coin. You can barely see some lines that don't fit the grain at the top of the lowest coin in the image. On the backside, the coin was to say "we love the scene", "1 cent", and have some diagonal lines like the Euro cent.

    However It turns out due to the nature of my 5mm wood this doesn't work very well at all, and only the larger things survive. I would have either needed to make the coin bigger to allow more things to be larger (and thus survive the engrave), make it simpler, or use a different kind of plywood. The first and last choices defeated the original purpose: helping using the entire board. In the end, I ended up splitting up my huge production run sheet into multiple files to run, but I decided it wasn't worth my time to rework and rerun the coins.

    I'm also not really sure what having a wooden SceneSat cent would grant you, because even if it was real tender there wouldn't be enough for even one person to buy anything. ;)
    Last edited by AMcBain; 2013-09-18 at 10:32. Reason: No auto smilies.

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