Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Props by Ryan, part three

Last week, Ryan used a 3-D printer to create a pair of scale model jump risers. The results were wonderful, but the process was slow and the material costs were relatively high. Yesterday, he decided to give it another try, this time with a CNC machine.
When I arrived, the bottom half of the risers was done, and the machine had just started carving out the tops.
Another view. 
This machine can carve nearly any material--foam, plastic, wood or metal. Ryan chose to use wood because it's less expensive than plastic or metal and sturdier than foam. 
While the machine did its work, Ryan ushered me over to his computer... 
and showed me how to digitally construct a jump riser. 
We googled other types of jump risers... 
and he built one of those, too! 
After that, we checked the CNC machine. It still had a ways to go... 
so Ryan gave me a tour of the lab. This is smaller 3-D printer... 
and this is the plastic cord that goes into it. 
This is a laser cutter.
I'm guessing it's similar to the one my friend, Bobbie, and her husband own. 
We looked at the wind machine... 
and then it was on to the other room where all the scary things live. 
No really. 
This is not my best look, but better safe than sorry! 
The 3-D printer uses an acid base to support non-weight bearing parts and pieces. After each item is printed, it goes into a base bath to remove the acid. 
Ryan's friend, Aleks, printed this. I think it might be a voodoo doll head! 
At this point, some fifty minutes after I'd arrived, the jump risers were finally finished.  
Ryan opened the CNC...
and extracted his handiwork.
Looking good!
There are still a few little issues to clear up, but he's definitely on the right track! 


  1. All the technology he has access to is great. I can see Ryan doing a lot with this stuff :)

  2. That is really cool! It's awesome that he has all of those machines to work on. Yep, our laser looks just like that one! Our beastie is the Epilog Mini, 60 watt, 12×24 table size. It is a cool machine. Jeff wants a 3D printer really badly. I'm sure we'll have one someday. ;)

  3. What an awesome set-up! Coming from a school system which was struggling to keep/start any kind of tech/art class, I am so glad to see that Ryan and other students have access to such an array! I'm actually tearing up a little to see and know that students have the opportunity to explore and learn. The risers aren't bad either!

  4. How wonderful that those machines are available to high schools! What a wonderful learning opportunity!

    Tell Ryan he rocks!

  5. The main reason we moved into this neighborhood is because it's in an awesome school district. Although I sometimes (okay, often) wish my house was nicer, I have never regretted buying it. We've been so happy with our schools.

  6. So cool! I'm jealous if his schools technology. I think our tech department is similar, I hope so at least.

  7. Wow! Seriously jealous of his school's setup. So cool that he gets opportunities like this. :D

  8. These are fantastic! Well done Ryan :) the lab looks so cool too.

  9. Those machines are amazing. Shop has come a long way from the lathe machine. I'm so impressed. If Ryan plans to sell any of his risers, please keep me in mind. I'd be happy to be a customer. I think they'd be great risers for obstacle driving courses. Ann

  10. that is so awesome - what a wonderful use of technology, and very cool that your son has access to those tools. he'll make a great engineer one day... or evil genius haha, really the possibilities are endless lol

  11. I know he really wants to use the toys but if he seriously wants to reproduce these in quantity, look into casting them. Home casting/mould making is also fun, produces reliable results, and most craft stores carry the stuff he would need. Silicone moulds and casting resin is reasonably safe to work with at home and he is certainly old/mature enough to appreciate the chemical reactions.

  12. Oh wow, he has access to more stuff then I did - and I was doing a dedicated modelmaking course at college!