Tinkerzebo: Prototype

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Introduction: Tinkerzebo: Prototype

This square gazebo functions as a place to hold fishhook earrings, necklaces, fishhooks, your keys, rings, carabiners, and other small trinkets with a ring-like or fishhook-like structure.

Tools: TinkerCad and TinkerCad account, computer that supports Tinkercad, laser cutter, hot glue gun, scalpel, ruler, Inkscape

Materials: Foam core, hot glue

Optional: Items to place onto model

This took 4 hours of dedicated time to make. That said, I did have a couple sketches in advance so that way I knew the required measurements.

Step 1: Design the Sides and Posts

Note: It is up to you if you want a uniform look or different sides. I went with 2 different types of sides/ railings to increase functionality.

Note 2: Work in the units that your laser cutter works in. This laser cutter works in inches. To edit units, edit the TinkerCad grid.

My general goal was to have a 5x5 in square. However, my distance between each post was 5. This distance did not include the outside edges of the posts. My material thickness/height is about .25-in. It needs to be thin enough to hang earrings on but wide enough that the laser cutter cuts it.

First: space 4 6-in posts at the distance you desire. I did 5x5 in. I found using the arrow keys to move a copy and pasted post helped with better alignment and movement.

Second: Line up a smaller post at the height you want the railing/ fencing to be. This can represent the height for the horizontal rails.

Third: Estimate even distances between vertical and horizonal rails. For Design 1 of 2 for the fencing, I had 3 vertical rails (3.375 or 3 3/8 in) and 4 horizontal rails. I gave enough spacing between the 2nd and 3rd horizontal rails to ensure larger items could hang from it. Remember, you want enough spacing for the fencing to hold items. I would not add more rails at the 5-in size.

Fourth: Create the "ladder." There are 6 rungs to it, that are guesstimated for an even-like distance apart. The long sides of the ladder have a space of .5-in (measured from the inward part of the sides). Next, select each rung of the ladder and the horizontal side to group them. Make sure to make 2 more copies of the ladder for future use.

Fifth: Merge the fencing pieces (horizontal and vertical rails and the posts). Next, merge the ladder. Once again, just select these items and group.

Sixth: Copy and paste this side and move it into the same position as the other two posts. You can then delete those posts after placing that fencing exactly where those posts were.

Step 2: Design the Sides and Posts- Part 2

Because I wanted two styles of fencing, I have some extra work.

First: I made sure to work in-between the created sides. This helped with the measurements and sizing. From here, I added 3 horizontal rails that would touch the left and right posts. I then added a total of 6 horizontal posts. 3 of the posts are 2.4-in, and 3 of the posts are 3.4-in. Alternate their placement.

Second: Merge the horizontal and vertical rails by selecting and grouping. I made sure not to merge to the posts as the laser cutter cannot read this 3D standing up file.

Step 3: Adjust Object Position for Laser Cutter to Read and Inkscape

First: Each side needs to be laid flat down onto the grid, instead of standing up. I personally just did the posts and fencing side in a separate TinkerCad file. I applied the same method to the fencing and ladder.

Second: I exported the file as an SVG, so I could proceed to edit in Inkscape.

Third: In Inkscape, I set the fill with the red X and the stroke with black. Next, I did Path and Stroke to Path. This is to ensure the laser cutter reads the lines.

Fourth: I exported the file as a DXF.

Fifth: In the program that communicates with the laser cutter, the edges had 2 lines to read. I assume this had something to do with the file being originally from TInkerCad, but I could be wrong. That said, all it does is make the laser cutter cut the material 2x (because there are 2 lines). This worked in my favor as the material was not cut all the way through the first time. Additionally, I made sure to copy and paste so I was printing 2 sides with posts, 2 fencings, and 2 ladders.

Step 4: Laser Cut Sides and Post + Glue

First: Laser cut all of the pieces

Second: I had originally deleted the extra box, so some of my material only had one pass from the laser cutter. This required me to use the scalpel to cut out the areas that needed to be hollow.

Third: I had to hot glue the loose fencing pieces to a post piece. Then I added the other post piece. From there, I could glue the ladder pieces.

Fourth: I measured my sides to know how big the base should be. Remember how I said I was aiming for a 5x5 in gazebo? Well, my sides were 5.375 in, so my base had to be 5.375 x 5.375 in.

Step 5: Create Base, Laser Cut, and Glue

I created a 5.375 x 5.75 x .25 in base. Then I transferred it to Inkscape, edited accordingly and laser cut it. I then glued it to the fencing.

Step 6: Design Roof, Laser Cut, and Glue

I created 1 triangle that had the base side (side that would glue to the horizontal ladders of the gazebo) at 5.375-in. The height was 4-in.

I transferred it to Inkscape, edited accordingly, and then copy and pasted it 3x in the software that communicated to the laser cutter.

After laser cutting, I held the triangles at an angle and glued to the ladder and sides of the other triangles.

Step 7: Optional- Add Trinkets

I added (fishhook) earrings and a bracelet to demonstrate some items the Tinkerzebo can contain.

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