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dave spencer- Finalist

dave spencer is a finalist in the Laser Cutter Challenge for:
erupting Volcano Birthday Cake

This is a forum post created by Instructables on behalf of the finalist. Help us judge the contest by rating this forum post! Check out all the finalists in the master list or in the Laser Cutter Finalists Group!



Thanks for the opportunity, I am honored to be included amongst the other 14 finalists. I am not going to be upset for losing to any of the other great projects here.

Please take the time to scroll down the comments here and read my "laser" proposal. I know it is not part of the contest anymore but I put a fair bit of thought into it.

Also check out my other instructables which show that I am not a one hit wonder.

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jarv349 years ago
projects like this is why I love instructables, good job and I hope you win.
mosman9 years ago
An 11th hour comment, for your consideration

I justed wanted to make a comment to all the judges in the laser cutter contest.

If you look back in the original post for the volcano cake you will see that Dave was willing to give most of the components away for someone to try it themselves. Well I was the guy that was lucky enough to get it. And it was awesome!!! Granted my volcano wasn't as pretty as Dave's but to see my "award winning chili" erupt in spicy goodness brought a tear to my ear and cheers from the crowd.

Dave is some sort of DYI millwright master. Not only should you give him the laser, you should get him a job to post cool projects on this site.

In all honesty, I had never met Dave before and in the true spirit of collaboration he gave most of the project away for others to build on and enjoy it. I plan on adding a few more components and passing it on to someone else via this site(after my sons birthday, I promised).

This project exemplifies the creativity, capability and community aspects that make this such a great site, so give the man a laser.

Cheers, Mike.
mosman9 years ago
Hi All, I was the one that Dave was gracious enough to give the volcano cake to. We had it for a chili contest we had last month. What you are looking at is 8 bunt cakes and 20 muffins of corn bread with almost 1 lb of cheese melted over top. It was Awesome. I think everyone should be voting for this as the top entry in the laser contest. Not only is this an amazing DYI project but he was kind enough to give it away and let someone else try it (which I was the lucky recipient). Thanks Dave and good luck in the contest, you deserve it!
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\chili1.jpgC:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\chili2.jpgC:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\chili3.jpgC:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\chili4.jpg
dave spencer (author) 9 years ago
This is so cool, I can't believe I made top 15 out of 350 instructables.

I thought I would repost my essay that was already written when they changed the rules:



What can be done with the "Laser"

This is what I intend to do with the "Laser" if I win it. If I don't win, I hope that others will find inspiration in this and make some really neat stuff.

First and foremost, if I win, I promise to always make quotes with my fingers whenever saying the word "laser", like Dr. Evil does.

3d not so rapid prototyper

I would like to use this "laser" as a not so rapid prototype maker. By cutting each layer out of cardboard or plastic and then gluing them together using guide pins, I can make 3d shapes. I have experimented with this before and I made a Geneva stop gear just to see how it worked. check out what this is http://www.flying-pig.co.uk/mechanisms/pages/geneva.htmlhere. It took forever cutting the card used with an exacto knife and was hard to get really tight tolerances. I have not tried it since but would love to get back into it.

Mold making

I think it would be cool to make molds out of cardboard or plastic in the same way I suggested making 3d parts. Then you too could make a lame sculpture like this that looks like how HR Giger would make an alien ducky ;P

A really neat thing is that you would not need any glue. Just stack all the sheets on the alignment pins and clamp from top to bottom. Fill with your favorite material, plaster, wax, resin etc and then pull off the paper a couple sheets at a time. The positive could then be used to make further molds in sand or something else and you could end up with a metal part from paper. Awesome!

The resolution and finish will be determined by the thickness of the material, thinner paper equals finer finish but means more work.

The pages could be numbered by the "laser" as they print out so they don't get mixed up.

Fabric

I am curious what the "laser" would do to cotton or nylon? Probably it will just catch on fire but it would be cool to singe designs onto T shirts. It would also help my sewing if I could cut out fabric shapes or at least mark a pattern on them.

Anodized aluminum

Rock climbing carabiners could be done very fancy. I have made gifts in the past by writing peoples names on them in a nice font and engraving them (on non structural parts) I could do some awesome stuff with the engraver. Even the cheap little keychain biners could be given some gusto!

Food

You may already know that I enjoy working with food, imagine cherry tomatoes with faces on them, killer pancakes with portraits or cool pictures, hot dogs with paisleys tattooed all over them, the sky is the limit, everything in my fridge will fear the "laser"!

Jack-O-Lanterns

I know that you are saying- no way will a pumpkin fit inside this thing! What if you cut out a "face plate" in the front, you would probably have to shave it way down to thin it out. You could cut some amazing art out of it and then fit it back into the pumpkin (like you do with the top)

In Conclusion

Lets be honest- If I win this "laser", I am going to probably stick anything in it that will fit and that the instructions don't explicitly say not to stick in, like ABS, PVC or pets (all not allowed). This would be sooooo much fun to play around with.

This is obviously not a legally binding statement but I pledge to post photos of the "laser" work (if not full instructables) at least once a month (probably more for the first while) for a minimum of a year (again, probably more)

I have no intention of giving money to charity (that idea has been taken) but I love to help people and if you showed up at my door with some material and a flash card I would likely just let you use it. In fact, A friend and I who both have some cool tools but not enough space were bouncing around the idea of making what we called a "tool pool". We would rent a small industrial shop and pool our tools with a few other like minded individuals. I know you guys have some similar things in California but this idea is unheard of where I live. This would allow the "laser" to be used by lots of people.

I can only see one downside to winning and that is when my wife sees the electricity bill from the "laser" running almost constantly. I will probably have to learn how to make jewelry and somehow engrave it on the "laser" to appease her. (I know it won't engrave metal but I'll have to figure something out)

You can't imagine how bad I want this "laser". (maybe you can, just think about how bad you want it and multiply by ten) My friends are getting sick of hearing about it.

I think it's really amazing that there is a contest for something like this as a prize. Someone (hopefully me) is going to be very lucky .

Thanks
ani2.gifghost.jpgexplode gear.jpg
This section displays like two screen widths wide. You must have a widescreen display. It puts everything all the way under the left column and I had to load it three times to get this. Now to look at your project...
Well I have told two friends.. Well maybe some more so if they tell two friends... I truly think you should win this and have some ideas for you if you do. Ben
dee249 years ago
You are awesomely talented. All of your ideas are very creative and unique. Congratulations on making the finals...I really hope that you win!
dee249 years ago
Congratulations Dave! I really hope that you win the laser so that you can make a ton of cool things including amazing Christmas presents (hint, hint) and awesome toys for the kids. Best of luck! Dee
You get my vote! I love the pancakes because they are so simple. The cake is super cool too.
Dave, I think you either or a brilliant man with too much time on your hands or a brilliant dad who would do just about anything for your kids. I've been following your instructables for a while and I think you do some great things!! Good luck, I hope you win the laser cutter!!! Cheers Crazy Artist Chick
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