Food Truck goes to North Carolina

Food Truck goes to North Carolina

This food truck made it from San Francisco all the way to North Carolina!


Making the Brandenburg Gate

Making the Brandenburg Gate

Started preparing this model for Britta and Arne’s wedding some weeks ago, but had only gotten as far as this approximation of the Brandenburg Gate…

…when I got a volunteer in the form of Taj to help rough out which details to capture in the model.

Taj hasn’t been to the Brandenburg Gate, but he *has* put together the Lego model of the Brandenburg Gate–he spent some time doing internet research on the actual appearance of the monument.

We made some sketches to lay out pieces and determine how large the final model would be, if printed on one sheet.


The model of just the gate itself fit on one page, but without any of the other buildings it turned out to be not so recognizable.


So I added the outer buildings. In joining the buildings together, I made a small error in how the rooflines would connect…


Once I had the outer buildings formed, I still had a little trouble realizing which side is the front of the gate.


It bothered me a little that the rear porticos had no columns inside them, so I added them in a way that I hope will make the entire structure more stable.

Last run through getting the cuts right, but still somehow forgot which side was the front.


Getting ideas for how to color the faces.


Print and cut first edition!


The view of the back of the Brandenburg Gate.


I hope it’s a big hit at the wedding. It seems there will be lots of architects there; and architects are pretty picky about their models…


Making Tip the Bearded Dragon

Making Tip the Bearded Dragon

Kira and I weren’t sure what we were going to make during Camp Dave, but we figured it out pretty quick. Kira had been enamored lately of the bearded dragon lizard who had come to live in her brother’s room for a few weeks.


After a few sketches, we started to try to figure out how to make the head.IMG_20150629_113927

Kira made some folding attempts, and then started squeezing the pieces together. Some folds naturally started forming in the paper, and so we traced them onto the paper in ink, and straightened them out a little.


After the head shape was determined, we talked a lot about how to give the body depth and volume. We tried a few ideas before we settled on a ridged back with a round belly, which provided nice volume and a simple way of putting the pieces together.IMG_20150629_212706

With the first prototype in hand, we finished Camp Dave for the day.IMG_20150629_153640

But unknown to Kira, I started to put the lizard into CAD right away.



After a few minutes, the paper model was captured.IMG_20150629_192229

The next time I got into TechShop, I printed one and saw that it was pretty easy to put together. The head needed some angles changed, and the feet weren’t really touching the ground though.IMG_20150629_200522

Some changes, and the tail design made more modular.



Scaling the parts down so that the whole model would fit on 8.5 x 11 sheet like many of the other punch-outs.

Something still bothering me about the hind legs. They have a different orientation than the front legs, and model has more personality if the front legs are a little more flayed to the sides.IMG_20150801_111713

With modified hind legs, and then some rough ideas for the coloring and shading.IMG_20150803_154700

First print run, laser cut and assembled. Looks pretty nice. From the time we built our prototype to first ‘production’ run: 3 weeks.IMG_20150821_025100


Next I want to put it together with Kira to see what she thinks!

Making Senna

Making Senna

Senna was lots of fun to make! She was first proposed at a dinner at least a year ago, and then when Anne and Geoff found out that no dogs were allowed at their wedding hall, we had to think of a way to bring Senna into the ceremony.

Scissors prototype to get the general shape here. Senna looks a little bit like a bear here.

Oh, and of course the first concept was sketched on paper first.

This version of Senna gets the snout approximately right, but her head is too wobbly on her shoulders so I want to make some changes.

You have to test each design a lot by putting it together with different people. Everybody figures it out a different way, and sometimes you learn a better way to do it just by watching them put it together.


An early Senna in front of a prototype of AT&T Park! Senna still has those bear ears.

Pile of partially developed Senna clones! Scene from a sci-fi movie?

Aidan shows us how to build Sutro Tower

Aidan shows us how to build Sutro Tower


Here’s a young maker showing dedication to the cause! Aidan punched and crimped and folded and inserted his way through the entire San Francisco Collection! Are you surprised that he started with the Sutro Tower?

First encounter with the big red triangles.

Getting the hang of it.


Thoughtful study: why do these struts point inward and not outward? It’s the magic of paper: flexing it to the outside gives the final model more strength: you can balance a book on it when it’s done!

Theo nails it

Theo nails it

Thanks, Theo, for being a super beta tester! You really put that airplane through its paces!