Big  Blue Saw


General Updates

Just for fun, I thought I'd share with you some fun clocks that clever makers built using construction toys.

First up is a simple pendulum and escapement mechanism built using the modern plastic Tinkertoys. My son and I made one of these based upon this video, and it's a lot trickier than it looks to get everything lined up and running smoothly.

Next is a two handed clock made from the classic wooden Tinkertoys. I dig the horizontal pendulum, but wish that the video showed more detail so that you could build your own.

And finally, here's the greatest achievement: a K'nex clock that's designed to keep accurate time:

PETG is great stuff. It's clear, making it great for displays, enclosure windows, and artwork. It's far stronger and more flexible than acrylic, but can be cut and engraved on a laser cutter, unlike polycarbonate. If you've recently received a clear engraved business card from Big Blue Saw recently, it was made from 0.02 inch thick PETG.

We have added 0.25, 0.125, 0.09, and 0.02 inch thicknesses of PETG to our online quoting system to complement the 0.063 inch thickness we already offer. As always, if you don't see a material or thickness in the online quoting system, just contact us and we can probably get it for you.

Upload your design or create a new design to try with PETG.

ImageI recently started making samples of the materials that Big Blue Saw offers. Since I knew that I would be showing these to customers, and possibly giving them away, I made the samples in the form of business cards (some of you have received these with your orders).

I ended up with so many samples that I had to figure out some way of organizing them all. A clear acrylic box would be just the thing: easy to make, attractive, and it lets you see all of its contents without opening it. With the techniques in this article, you're not limited to making boxes to hold business cards. You can use this general design to make custom electronics enclosures, robot frames, and more.

I began by creating a design in the Big Blue Saw designer. The base of the box would consist of 5 laser cut pieces 0.118 inches (3 mm) thick that would slot together and be held in place with nuts and bolts. The top would slot onto the base, and be removable for easy access.

Box design in Designer

I then cut the 6 parts (5 for the base, 1 for the top) on the laser cutting machine. Our acrylic comes with a protective paper layer attached, as shown here.


I peeled the protective layer off, and was left with nice clear plastic parts.


I assembled the pieces and used #6 nuts and screws to fasten everything together. I think you'll agree that the brass hardware gives the box a polished appearance.


Here is one box full of samples. It's a little hard to see in this photo, but the brass nuts make little dividers between the cards.


I wasn't done yet, though. I decided to make another box, this time using several different materials. This box was made from clear acrylic, black acrylic, blue and white engraveable acrylic, and the (on the back face, not really visible) brushed nickel engraveable acrylic.


If you want to make your variation on this design, download the design file. One of these custom acrylic boxes currently costs $22.20 or $11.88 each if you order 10.


As we mentioned, the original Free Part Day was our most successful promotion ever. We would like to make the next Free Part Day bigger and better then ever before. But to do that, we need your help. How can you help? It's very simple, really, you just need to like us.

Well, of course you already like us. But we need you to declare your "like" for us on Facebook. This will help spread the word about Big Blue Saw and Free Part Day 2. When we get to 3,000 likes, we'll announce the date of Free Part Day and let you know how you can participate.

But we don't want to stop there. When we reach the 6,000, 12,000, and 25,000 level, we'll add a new stock material for Free Part Day. What's more, YOU will get to vote on which material you'd like us to give away.

So tell your friends, enemies, co-workers, neighbors, and family to "like" us on Facebook. Just use the "Like" button below, or see the Big Blue Saw page on Facebook.


We have implemented a couple new ways to keep up with the goings on at Big Blue Saw.

And, of course there's still our blog on the Big Blue Saw website, which includes links to RSS and ATOM feeds.