3D Printer's Cube (aka Turner's Cube)




Introduction: 3D Printer's Cube (aka Turner's Cube)

Alrighty... so this Instructable is a test to one's patience and 
perseverance. For my father's birthday I decided to make him 
a Turner's cube, however, I decided not to make it the
conventional way. Instead of using a lathe, my choice method
for this project was to 3D print the cube (or cubes) by way of 
the laser cutters at TechShop San Jose
Yes... I am a little bit crazy....
The main reason for my choosing this method was the fact 
that I have a lot of cardboard hoarded up at my house, and 
needed to use them for something. 

Things used:
  • cardboard (single ply)
  • laser cutter
  • Autodesk Inventor
  • 123D Make
  • Elmer's Glue
  • acrylic paint
  • polyurethane 

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Step 1: Design It!

First I started off by making a 3D model using Autodesk Inventor.
Draw up a few cubes, extrude some holes through each face, 
and do a sphere cut out of the inner surfaces.

Then export a .stl file.

Step 2: Slice It!

Next, using 123D Make, I imported my "turner's cube".stl file 
and typed in the dimensions of my cardboard to create
the slicing files for the laser cutter.

Step 3: LASER It!

Using the vector files from 123D Make I cut out all of my 

140 layers
9 sheets of 24'x18' cardboard
  equalling a grand total of 
904 pieces
(didn't I say I was a bit crazy muahahaha)

since there were so many pieces, and a lot of them in the tiny
size range, I decided to use a piece of sacrificial material 
underneath my cardboard to help take all the pieces out of 
the laser bed. 
(after 9 layers of cutting, I got a pretty cool [accidental art] piece 
out of my mdf sac layer and my cardboard scraps,
one of these will become an Instructable as well in the near
future, wink wink ;)

Step 4: Assemble It!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ya this this step deserves all those exclamation marks.
As usual, this is a pretty self-explanatory step. 
Using Elmer's Glue I glued together all 904 pieces. 
The smallest cube I glued all together, and the larger cubes
I kept in two halves until they were all painted and ready to 
put the smaller cubes inside.

Step 5: Paint 'em!

Using acrylic paint I painted the cubes 
white, light blue, and blue.  =)

Step 6: Cover It More Plastic!

And then....
I painted on a few more layers of polyurethane for a 
glossy finish and little bit of strength.

Step 7: Glue the Big Cubes Together

And the final step, 
place the smaller cubes inside the larger and glue together.

voila 7 inch 3D Printer's (Turner's) Cube!

a suggestion for those who wish to make their own:
  • i would highly advise extruding a cylinder through the four corners of the original model. that  way all the pieces have a hole cut out and you can use that to align them with a steel rod or wooden dowel. Gives you added strength and saves you the headache while gluing everything together. win win =D
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    2 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    yes, I am always open to using practically any material =)
    clear acrylic would look pretty sweet