Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A STEM Project: Making a Simple Microscope Using a Glass Marble

Image of an onion bulb epidermis as seen with an iPhone Magnifier

Simple Components of a Marble Microscope
Lens holder with glass marble inside, Slide carrier and a glass marble lens

Simple Microscope Assembly Using a Glass Marble

The microscopic world is an amazing environment to explore.  A drop of water placed on a piece of wax paper can begin your journey of magnifying objects.  The drop of water forms a round blob because of surface tension on the wax paper.  Using this water blob, you can magnify objects.

In this blog posting, I use a clear glass marble from the Dollar store to make a simple magnifying lens. 

Here are the files to make the lens holder and the slide holder.  I have three versions of the files.  The first is a PDF where you can cut out the pieces with scissors.  The second file is for the Silhouette and the third file is all other electronic paper cutting machines. 

Materials needed. - Glue Dots, Glass Marble and a Tea Light

Here is the PDF. I used 65 lb cardstock.

Here is the .Studio file for the Silhouette.

Here is the SVG. The file goes beyond the viewable area.  Zoom out to see the entire file.
Make the Box - The top and bottom construction is the same. The box top and bottom are two walled.  This produces a sturdy box. 

Crease the box top as shown above and apply glue to the two tabs on the sides.

Apply glue to the four tabs inside the box as shown above.  Adhere the box top.

Apply glue to the top of the box and adhere the second wall of the box top.

Repeat the construction for the bottom of the box.

I used a Glue Dot to center the tea light to the center of the bottom.

Put the cover on the box. Apply Glue Dots to the two tabs of the slide carrier.

Make the Lens Holder

Crease the tube and apply glue to the side tab.  Shape the tube into a hexagonal tube. Apply glue to the lens holder on the six tabs. 

Insert the lens holder into the tube.

Crease the two strips into a circle.

Apply glue to the two circle tabs and adhere.
Glue the two discs together.

Glue the circle onto the disc. Repeat for the second one.

Insert the glass marble into the smaller side. Apply glue to the top edge of the larger side.

Adhere the two sides together.

Assemble the Viewing Platform

Insert the slide into the slide carrier.

Place the slide carrier on top of the lite box.  Place the lens holder on top of the slide carrier.

A STEM Project: Making a Stitch Marker for Amigurumi Crochet

Stitch Markers for Amigurumi Crochet 

I bought an Amigurumi crochet kit at Michaels and discovered that the kit did not include a stitch marker which works as a place holder for the start of the round for the crochet pattern.  The stitch marker opens and closes like a safety pin. I was going to purchase a medium size stitch marker but the package of 20 was nine dollars!  I was astonished at the price.  I didn't want to spend that much money for some stitch markers. I thought, I can 3D print that. And so I did.  Here is how I did it. And I made it in two different sizes!

My stitch marker project in Tinkercad. https://www.tinkercad.com/things/0wISXYdyOwp-stitch-marker-for-amigurumi-crochet

Using the Silhouette software, I designed a stitch marker which will have three layers. (Each layer must be a closed figure with no broken points that are red in point editing mode.) I saved each layer separately and in the same location in Silhouette so that the image will be in the same location in Tinkercad so I do not have to align the layers.

I placed the layers on top of one another as shown above in Silhouette  I saved each layer separately. I saved just the bottom base layer (I deleted the middle and top layer ) as an SVG using the file command.  I called mine, stitch marker #1.  (You must have the Designer Software in order to save the image as an SVG using the Silhouette software.)

Using the Undo command, highlighted in the top left in blue. Save just the middle layer by deleting the top and bottom layers, as an SVG called stitch marker #2. 

Again using the Undo command, delete the middle and bottom layers and save the file as an SVG called stitch marker #3.  Once all of the layers have been saved, go to the Tinkercad software.

In Tinkercad, Import the bottom base layer and change the height of the layer to .04 inches in the Shape box.  This layer will then be approximately 1 mm thick. (The whole design is 3 mm or .12 inches thick.)

Import the middle layer and change the height of the layer to .04 inches in the Shape box.  Notice that the middle layer is inside of the base layer.

The middle layer needs to be raised up by .04 inches from 0.

Repeat for the top layer by importing the top layer and changing the height of the layer to .04 inches in the Shape box. Click on the red arrow and change the height to .08 The top layer is now raised up to that height.

A close up look of the stitch marker in Tinkercad.

Group the layers together

Duplicate the shape and make the width and length 85% smaller.  This is a two step operation.  First double click one side and change the value to 85% and then change the other value to 85%.

I now have two sizes of stitch markers.

Save the file in Tinkercad for the 3D printer.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

A STEM Project: Making a 4 x 4 Inch or a 5 x 7 Inch Paper Picture Frame

A 5 x 7 Inch Paper Picture Frame with an embroidery design created in TurtleStitch 

A 4 x 4 Inch Paper Picture Frame with an embroidery design created in TurtleStitch 

I love creating embroidery designs in TurtleStitch and I created this picture frame to display them.  I made two picture frames to accommodate the 4 x 4 inch and the 5 x 7 inch embroidery hoop size. The picture frames are cut with an electronic paper cutter and easily assembled. (For my paper crafting friends, this frame can be used for pictures that were taken with your cell phone and printed on photo paper on your printer.) 

Here is the PDF.  I used 65 lb cardstock.

Here is the .Studio file.

Here is the SVG. The file goes beyond the viewable area.  Zoom out to see the entire file.

Make the Picture Frame 

Choose the size of the picture frame needed and cut the picture frame pieces.

 Crease the back of the picture frame and apply glue to the edge as shown above.  Adhere the back of the picture frame to the front center of the ornate frame.

Cut the embroidery design using the frame mount piece as a template. The frame mount piece can be cut from cardboard or from foam board if desired for a more rigid structure. I floated my embroidery design on top of the frame mount piece. Insert the embroidery design into the back slot of the picture frame.
The masterpieces are now ready to be hung up and displayed.
 I used a couple of Glue Dots to hang up my picture frame.


Sunday, March 24, 2024

Zoetrope - An Device that Makes a Drawn or Photographic Image Move

A zoetrope is an early animation device that consists of a drum containing hand drawn or photographic images. It consists of a cylinder with vertical slits cut into the sides and a series of images or drawings placed on the inner surface. When the drum is rotated in a circular direction, and viewed through the slits, it creates the illusion that the still images are moving, creating the perception of motion. The zoetrope played a significant role in the development of motion pictures and is an early form of the motion picture projector.

 Zoetrope with a box base. 

The drum spins around because the model is using a paper axle. There isn't much drag if you use a paper which has a smooth surface. A textured paper would cause some friction and the drum wouldn't move as easily.
Spinning the drum in a clockwise direction and looking through a slit in the peep strip.  The images appear to be moving.

I used 65 lb. cardstock.

Here is the PDF.

Here is the .Studio file.

Note: When joining the tabs together, the dotted lines should be visible ever so slightly. Try to be consistent with the spacing throughout the model.
 Glue the embellishments on the peep hole strip of paper. Start the embellishment to the right of the tab.  Do not put any embellishment on the tab. There is a slight overhang of the embellishment on the opposite end as shown above where a slight amount of blue is showing in the turned over piece..  This is necessary due to the curvature of the piece.  
 Glue the two strips together.
 Glue into a circle.  Notice that it is not exactly a circle.  Don't worry, once the round bottom is inserted, it will become round. Bend the tabs at a right angle. Put a dot of glue on each tab at the bottom of the peep hole piece. Insert the round bottom. Apply pressure to the bottom of the drum so that the glue adheres correctly. Flip it over.
 Notice that all of the tabs have adhered correctly.  The bottom is two walled for strength.  
 Put glue on each of the tabs and attach the corresponding piece.  This completes the drum assembly.
 Box Base Pieces.
 Glue the bottom into a circle and bend the tabs at a right angle. Apply glue to each of the tabs.  Insert the round bottom piece.
 Flip it over and glue the tabs. Attach the corresponding piece. Apply pressure to the bottom of the box.  This will take a few minutes for the glue to adhere. This completes the bottom of the box.
 Glue the embellishments to the lid of the box as shown.  Notice the placement of the strip.  Leave room for the tab. 
 Again there is a slight overlap to compensate for the curvature of the piece.  Glue the second strip of embellishment by the dotted lines but not on the tabs. The tabs are needed as a platform for the base.
 Apply glue to the tabs inside the box lid and attach the round circle without the hole in the middle. Flip the top over.
 Crease the axle at each of the folds.  Bend the tab down and apply glue as shown.
 The axle can be folded in half as shown.  Apply pressure to the area where the glue was applied. Make the axle into a tube as soon as possible after the glue has bonded to the paper. 
 Thread the axle spokes through the hole at the center of the top lid piece.
 Glue the spokes down as shown.  Make sure they are evenly spaced and have good bonding to the paper before proceeding.
 Apply glue to the tabs on the box lid and attach the axle lid assembly.
 Completed box with axle.
 Glue the animation strip into a circle.
 Evenly space 10 motion picture pieces to the inside of the circle.
 Slip the animation strip into the drum. Bend the spokes down at the top of the axle and apply glue to the top of the axle.
Attach one of the Platonic solids to the top to the axle. A tetrahedron is attached.
Starting at the top left...the Platonic solids are...Cube, Tetrahedron, Dodecahedron,
Bottom row...Icosahedron and Octahedron

There are exactly five Platonic solids.  I have included a net for each one. The tabs are small but very doable to put together.  The hardest one to put together is the dodecahedron. Yes, you might get glue on the outside of the piece but not to worry.  The glue dries clear.  

Platonic solids are regular polygons where each face is the same size and same shape. All of the polygons that I have constructed are the same volume.  I thought it would be interesting to show the correlation between the shapes each having the same volume. Hopefully, you can try making them all.