How I spent my holidays…⌗
So, holidays in the time of Covid are a rather strange affair, with not much to be done in the way of travel1. But time off work is still a must, and this time I’ve taken the opportunity to try and learn a new skill - in particular, 3D design. With the aid of a 3D printer - an AnyCubic Mega-X - and Autodesk’s Fusion360.
This is a good question with probably an unsatisfying answer - there are many 3D design tools out there, including highly regarded entirely free options.
Autodesk has one critical thing going for it for me, though. I’ve been using the EAGLE PCB layout and routing software package for decades - back in the 90s it was really the only game in town for auto-routing PCBs - and since Autodesk acquired EAGLE in 2016, it has been bundled into the Autodesk Fusion360 subscription. So, since I had access anyway - it seemed the logical place to learn.
One positive of this choice is that as much as I occasionally find the Autodesk UI absolutely infuriating, I cannot fault them for the quality of their online training materials. The videos and materials at the Autodesk Design Academy are absolutely top-notch, and I have to recommend them.
Why are you telling me all this?⌗
Well, the best way to learn something is to play around with it and use it to make something. And in this case, I made something that someone else might even find useful - so I’m sharing the result…
Drum roll please…
What is it?⌗
It is… A Spice Rack. Serios.
When I was a schoolkid, children trooping home from woodwork2 class with a wooden spice rack was something of a stereotype. It was the starter project in schools across the country - take a piece of wood, cut and plane it a bit, drill some holes and pop some dowel in - job done. The fact that the spice rack concerned was likely to be greeted wearily by parents who would stuff it in the back of a cupboard at best or the bin at worst is neither here nor there - it felt like making something useful.
So - who am I to argue with generations of educators? A spice rack is the ideal starter project, so a spice rack it is.
Quite apart from that, I actually need a goddamned spice rack. Damn, that makes me feel old.
So here it is⌗
Actually, that’s not really it - that’s a 3D render of it produced from Fusion360. But it illustrates the design nicely - three tiers of support plates, from which plastic holders hang. Inside each of the holders go the spice pots. I’m sure Philippe Starck would be proud. Well, maybe he wouldn’t - but I am.
Of course, it’s easy (well, within certain bounds) to produce a pretty 3D rendering. You’re probably wondering what does the real thing look like? So, here you go - this time, fully laden with spices:
It’s awesome, I want one!⌗
Well, then I have good news for you! I’m sharing this under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. You can find all the files you need to print your own over at my GitLab repo.