November 14, 2015

Tiny Village 2015 now in Etsy!!



They're here, come and get them :) https://www.etsy.com/shop/karincorbin

The micro size too...

Now we will look at them one by one...









Help has arrived



This morning I had a volunteer show up to help me get the micro sized buildings assembled. But of course as many of us know its often quicker to do the job ourselves rather than trying to train volunteers how to use tools properly.

November 5, 2015

The cutting edge


My friend Don saw a photo I took where I had my craft knife shown next to a building and liked the visual. He then suggest that I do it this way for the drama! He was right of course, this really does work. There is a small pinterest button in the bar at the end of this posting. Please do share if you enjoy using pinterest. It really helps my Etsy store sales when  you do that and I appreciate your efforts in that sharing.


I don't actually cut the buildings with a #11 knife but I do use it often in the assembling of them for nudging things into position and pulling off excess wet glue. This photo  shows the knife that does the actual cutting along with a #11 knife blade. That  knife tip is so tiny I can barely see how far it is extending out of the holder. The holder is not shown in this photos, What you are seeing is the shaft that slides into the holder. But eventually I got used to knowing when the tip was extended just the right amount for the cardstock I was cutting. In other words my brain got calibrated and that will almost always happen if you quit using those training wheels (click holders) on your machine :) I certainly did fret about it for a while but then one day the fretting stopped and no more troubles since.

October 10, 2015

working in 3D CAD design


This is a view of one of the new glitter house buildings showing it in Ironcad the 3D CAD program that I love to use. At this point I have finished the design of the miniature cardstock building and created all the walls out of virtual paper the thickness of the real material I will be cutting from. Here I am just getting ready to start unfolding it to make everything flat so I can create the 2D cutting files. You see that funny circle and line shape against the roof of the building? It is the special feature of this program that allows me to move an object in all kinds of directions and also do things like duplicate it, snap it against other objects, move it a defined distance or angle, etc. Its a magic tool that other CAD programs don't have. Across the top are the tools for the various functions you can do and also types of options with lots of drop down menus of choices to select from. At first its pretty confusing as this program is very much loaded with what it can achieve in the way of intricate detailed design.  For glitter house design I am only using a fraction of  the capability. Along the bottom are the ways to view the model, pick objects, etc. Of course for designing something this simple I need only a small fraction of this program's capabilities.

It does have a built in rendering engine where I can make the model look close to photo realistic. I don't bother with photo realistic rendering as my goal is not for presenting the CAD model itself to a client to show them what I have designed for them. Its fun to play with if you like being always virtual such as in a video game or for digital art but that is not my art form.

Over on the left side of the screen is a list of all the parts of my building. They can be further expanded when needed. On the right side is a catalog of shapes you can drop into the scene. There are other things in the built in catalogs as well, fasteners such as screws and bolts, color and textures. You can also create your own catalogs of parts such as objects you have designed or imported from some other place.

When I have all those walls flat I click a button and the program launches a drawing file. That next step is super easy to do, I just rotate the CAD model until it faces the right way and choose a 1:1 scale. Then that image exports as a new file in a format I can open in Corel Draw. I use Corel because both my paper cutter and the laser have plug-ins that will launch my project into the software that run the machines.

The program I design in is called Ironcad, a high end design program, not one most of you will have heard of before but having been trained in and having worked with  most of the big name CAD programs, this one is the only one of them I would ever choose to work in for my own projects. It is faster than all the competitors and also much easier to learn. Not a free program, this is professional software for serious use. However  the prices for students and educators are very reasonable. There are lots of tutorials for it on youtube created by the company as well as by users. The program does have a free 30 day trial.

Disclaimer...I am an associated dealer of Ironcad because I happen to love using it. :)

October 9, 2015

Tiny Village 2015 more progress

©Karin Corbin, 3D CAD model of a  house from the 2015 Tiny Village Series

Went back to revisit the design of this building to make it a little easier to put together.  I have not test cut it yet but it is wearing its coat of virtual cardstock now instead of being just basic building block shapes. Who knows it might yet evolve further or it might stay in this form. I am having too much fun playing in my CAD program to stop and cut anything. Sometimes its better not to interrupt the design flow by making my brain switch out of its current mode of being locked into the steps required to manipulate the object types in the program.

The next phase of prototype cutting and assembly is the where the cats get to have some new toys to play with and I get to try and try again with removing or adding a few thousandths of an inch here or there or even making a major renovation at times. That is the gruesome phase as any change involves not just changing the original CAD files which has 3 types of files for each design, the full 3D, the walls flattened out in 3D and the 2D drawing of the flattened building that gets exported to Corel. The Corel file is where I do all the painstaking, fussy node editing,  that file is then exported  to the software that runs the cutting machine. So each prototype revision means changing at least 6 different files in 3 different programs.

Someone asked is there a theme for this village? Well this series is as always based on the types of buildings found in historic Northern Europe. But this one will hopefully have a bit of a surprise for the focal point fancy building in the set. I am still puzzling over the puzzle of how to structure it while I work on the other buildings.

May 9, 2015

piece by piece

kitchen cabinet sub frame in progress.


now the counter top has been put onto the sub frame and I am already using it for a workbench for a power miter saw and a Proxxon bandsaw.````````````````````````
One puzzle piece at a time the cabinets are taking shape. I decided to build an aluminum frame to attach my wood face frames to. It was an easy way to go versus building it all of wood. The aluminum angle extrusions made it easy to level and square things up in a decidedly un-square space. Now I can easily remove the wood face frame, leaving the doors hinged to them and have easy access to things such as plumbing, the gasoline tank filler tube, water pump and fresh water tank. The counter top does not have to be removed as it stays supported by the sub frame. In a house kitchen the cabinets are boxes made of thick plywood but that is just too heavy for a little motorhome to haul down the road.

The aluminum frame for the kitchen side has been completed now  I have temporarily installed the counter top and use it for a work bench. I won't cut out the holes for the cook top and sink until I am pretty much done with the interior remodel.

 This week I am getting ready to take out the temporary workbench top I put in earlier and build the aluminum framing for under it and to support the front edge of the rear lower workbench/bed/reclining couch.  But it will take a few days to get it done as I have to fiberglass a small piece of plywood to extend the sub floor area over to the wall as some of the cabinet framing needs to rest on top of that piece.

Time to quit procrastinating and get to that fiberglass job :(  (I don't like doing fiberglass work)


March 17, 2015

Spring has sprung



It has warmed up enough now to get back to work. Hooray, winter has surrendered in Seattle! I have temporarily installed my new workbench top. The tool/supply cabinet I assembled last fall is beside it. Now I have a taller surface to work from while I continue building cabinetry and some organization to help me find the tools I need. Being organized will be a big help. You can see from the design image below how things are now coming into place but that there is still a very long ways to go.

Tomorrow I will put up some temporary curtains over the windows so I can close them when I am not there working. Soon I will start on the counter top on the other side where the sink, stove and refrigerator will be. The floors are uneven and there are also wheel wells on each side to span over so I need to take a non standard cabinet building approach of first getting the counter tops level then building the cabinets piece by piece to go under them.My workbench top is pine boards, I think I will use the same thing for the counter top on the kitchen side. The nice part is I just have to cut them to length and saw out the holes I need for the sink, stove and top opening fridge. Then put on some thick coats of marine varnish and they are done!

February 27, 2015

Time traveling to Paris France

Yes we really can travel back through time... It's movie night once again on my blog, grab your munchies and enjoy a trip to Paris, France and other locations.