Hi there! This section of the site is my project blog! You can access the other parts of this site via the "archives" link somewhere on this page.
The original idea for "Aeva's Kitchen" came about after exhuberantly notifying a friend that I found a recipie for bio-plastic that could be accomplished wholely from ingredients found at the local grocery store and without any special equipment. My friend laughed and said that I should do a cooking show, speculating that it would go something like so:
"Hi there! On today's episode of Aeva's Kitchen, I'm going to teach you how to cook your own forks! Now, I've got this fresh batch, just out of the oven..."
This idea went through several iterations (including a video blog) before I decided I should just do a blog. Thus, this section of the site is for project writeups, proposals for projects I may or not have the bandwidth to actually work on, tutorials, not tutorials, and speculative projects that I spend far too much time thinking about but may shy away from for various reasons (budget, legality, etc). And I may eventually do them anyway.
Without any further delay, I bring you the first project:
3D printing is not the most practical way of making stencils - I personally vouche for laser cutting one at your local hackerspace. None the less, 3D printed stencils circumvent one of the big limitations in stencil design: islands. An island is an area which is to be masked off by the stencil, but ideally cannot actually connect to the rest of the stencil.
A common solution is to add "bridges" to hold the islands in place. This then allows the stencil to be reusable, but may require some creativity to look nice, especially with text. A 3D printed stencil can have literal bridges: raised archways that allow the spray paint through but still holds an island in place.
I printed the stencil used in the pictures above on a Lulzbot AO-100, because it has a removable print borosilicate glass bed. The bottom of the print is perfectly flat, and the print bed can be removed and tossed in your freezer for a few minutes. This will cause the part to pop off the plate, because the plastic will contract slightly. Lulzbot doesn't currently sell the AO-100, but it is open source, so you could build your own if you wanted. Better yet, go check out your local hackerspace and see what they have.
This process isn't immune to underspray, so be gentle if you want crisp lines. Personally, I regard what happened to my dice box (as seen above) to be a success, despite fucking it up. Imperfections in a print can add a sort of character or uniqueness to the result.