2015 – A winning year

My main plan for 2015 was to built a little Stirling Engine based on a design from Model Engineer with some tweaks and castings.

However even in January I was distracted by other projects. The Cel Robox 3D printer I’d been given to Road Test had some teething trouble so the Road Test lasted longer than anticipated.

Robox 3D Printer, Dual Extruder, High Definition

The printer did get put to good use over the year printing a medal for the PSTOIC dinner, record inserts, parts for a magnifier lamp and mechanics for the enchanted cottage project. Most of these prints were designed using OpenSCAD and I definitely improve my skills in that over the year.

At the start of the year I was selected as Element14 Member of Month and Maplin also recognised the Topsy Turvy Clock for their Arduino Day.

Then in March I entered the Enchanted Objects Design Challenge with my Enchanted Cottage project. This took up a lot of time but my efforts were rewarded and in July I learnt that I’d won the grand prize and a Trip to the New York Maker Faire. That in turn lead to some magazine articles for Imperial Engineer and Model Engineer’s Workshop

There were a few smaller projects that were made during the year, as mentioned above the Magnifier Lamp, also some simple woodworking tools in the form of a bench hook and coping saw table. As well as these tools I purchased a new temperature controlled soldering iron and some ex BBC drawers were also delivered and the furniture was altered so that they would fit.

Another time consuming project was the Dolls House, that took and evening to assemble and then three weeks to paint!

Finished

The model engineer exhibition at Sandown was not on this year but I did have a few trips out. I interviewed Kit Wallis about Peter Stanwell and saw Trevor Baylis talking about intellectual property. An amusing aside was Novelty Automation, an exhibition by Tim Hunkin which I’m glad to see is still running.

As I was spending a lot of time writing for the Enchanted Objects competition that meant that I still wanted to keep writing after that was over. This resulted in a few essays on Makers over on Medium as well as here on the blog.

There were plenty of repairs this year too, a toilet roll holder, bed, bag, and footstool all got fixed. I got to try out some rope splicing to fix a bag and also make some quoits. Some steelstik was used to fix a pair of bird ornaments that had gotten a bit rusty.

The popular posts this year were mostly those that were mentioned on other sites such as Home Made Tools, or Hackaday. The Enchanted Cottage also got promoted by Arduino and Atmel.

For 2016 the plan is to get back to that Stirling Engine project and to visit the Model Engineers show in September which will be at Brooklands.

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