Friend Cube DIY kit

Discussion in 'My Work In Progress' started by Spongeinside, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. Spongeinside
    Spongeinside New Member
    Hi all!

    I know it's weird, but I've been having these dreams for some time now in which I had a BIG friend cube! (well, a 10cm x 10cm x 10cm version of it).

    But just sizing up the original isn't much of a challenge :) So I thought it would be fun to have it as a "do-it-yourself" building kit, a) for testing my design skills, b) having the fun of assembling something cool and c) for having Shapeways not loosing ~700+ cm2 of material that would otherwise get trapped inside.

    I've designed the faces of the cube to be plates with little pins on them and small triangles with little notches in them that go on the inside. The notches and pins are square so they should make a nice square fit. Don't worry, I've kept some clearance in mind, so they'll fit together. They should also give the whole structure some more rigidity while not waisting much space inside, so when assembled (leaving 1 plate unglued) you'd end up with a cool box to put something in :)

    Some worries:
    1) I've maybe made the triangles a bit too small to give enough rigidity? (they are 20mm).
    2) The triangles being the exact size to fit inside the inner corners of the cube. I was thinking there too needs to be a slight clearance (like ~0,1/0,2mm) to make sure they fit. But it makes me doubt if that's true.. because, for example, if you have 1 plate with a triangle on it, the fitting from the pins should position it in the exact corner.

    So the entire kit should consist of 6 plates and 8 triangles :)

    The plates:

    The triangles:

    The fitting on the inside:

    I'm not sure how to 'offer' this kit, a) a complete set with all 6 plates and 8 triangles or b) as separate parts, so you'd have to order 6 plates and 8 triangles. Option a would be most practical for the end user and option b would be a better 'way' to make money for me, as I can put markup on the individual parts. But I think option b will cause extra costs as for every part you'd have to pay the initial 'start-up' fee.

    My preference goes to option a as I'm not intending to squeeze every penny out of a buyer and make more money that way, but I want to have a product that gives the buyer a complete package.

    Any thoughts, tips, concerns etc. would be much appreciated!
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  2. Spongeinside
    Spongeinside New Member
    I've uploaded the complete set (to see how expensive it would be), but somehow once uploaded it only sees the triangle parts and not the plates :cry:

    I've exported it from Sketchup to a .dae file and opened it in Meshlab to export it to .stl.

    Am I doing something wrong?
  3. Shuggster
    Shuggster New Member
    I can't offer any advice regarding your export issue, but in terms of delivering all your pieces to the customer you could lay the parts out on a sprue for the customer to separate out and assemble
  4. Spongeinside
    Spongeinside New Member
    Hm.. like attaching all parts to something like a 'parts-tree' as with those model kits?
  5. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    With so big parts, sprue is not a must. You should place the 6 sides and the 8 corners as packed as possible, and then maybe you can make it cheaper thanks to the discount above a given size, in some materials.

    Until selectable image for billing is implemented, make the default image one in which the parts are clear, with "x6" and "x8" texts near them, as well as the full assembly. For example, the parts on the left and a photo of the result on the right, with a smooth transition or an arrow from left to right. Not perfect but only workaround to have nice gallery photo and also a good reference for the people putting the items in the boxes.
  6. Spongeinside
    Spongeinside New Member
    I've spaced them about 10mm apart, so I could change that to 3mm or something.. hopefully that'll also fix the file upload, so all pieces are in the model. At the moment I've placed them like this:
    But the render in my shop only shows the corner pieces :confused

    I'll make a better preview picture tomorrow, the default renders aren't usually the best representation of a product...

    Thanks for the input!
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  7. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    That image is fine to show the parts that compose the kit, but for printing the corners could be grouped into pairs, at least, by rotating them 180 on the floor so they form a broken square when viewed from above. And the panels stacked into a single pile or two, depends how high are compared to the corners. 3mm is plenty, even 1mm would do too, WSF fuses in the 0.5-0.8 range.

    Current layout:
    1 1
    1 1
    1 1 4 4
    3 3 8
      6 8
    About the shop issue, load the STL in other software and check what mess/mesh you got from Sketchup.
  8. Spongeinside
    Spongeinside New Member
    I've made 2 stacks of 3 with the plates and 2 square groups of 4 with the corner pieces :)

    I usually export to .dae from Sketchup and open that with Meshlab.. but in Meshlab, I have no clue what so ever what to do with it :p I just open it and save it as .stl and that usually works just fine :)


    hm.. uploaded it this way but it still only shows the corner pieces :confused
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  9. Spongeinside
    Spongeinside New Member
    Did some material/weight saving on the plates and corner piece :)

    Uploaded it as a separate set of 6 plates, but the price to print them is waaaaayyy more than I expected and I think waaaayyy more than people would want to spend on such a thing.

    The 6 plates came in at $117.18 (€ 87.31) :( (This is including vat and no markup).

    I'm thinking it's not really a good idea (or usefull) to continue with this as prices will be a little too steep for this.