Flat-Pack Multi-Tool Has Many Dimensions

Sometimes, you just have to see whether something can be done. Such is the case with [ToolTechGeek]’s flat-pack metal multi-tool build. Can an entire multi-tool be made with only flat pieces of laser-cut metal and fasteners? It would seem so, yes. And quite nicely, too, as you’ll see in the video after the break.

[ToolTechGeek] started by designing all the parts in Inkscape, and then made a few 3D printed versions to check fitment before committing to laser-cut metal. Once they had the pieces cut, everything came together nicely except for a few tabs that connect some of the parts together. These just had to be filed down a bit.

So now, [ToolTechGeek] has a handy set of pliers, flat- and Phillips-head screwdrivers, a knife, and a bottle opener all in one place. Although the pliers don’t have teeth, they still do a fine job of removing nuts and the like. Be sure to check out the final product and see it get put to the test.

No use for such a thing? Maybe you’d prefer an NFC multi-tool.

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Flat-Pack Pasta: Like Ikea Furniture Without The Weird Wrench

When it comes to food packaging, there’s no bigger scam than potato chip bags, right? People complain about the air (nitrogen, actually) inside, but it’s there for a reason — nitrogen pushes out oxygen, so the chips live in a state of factory-fresh dormancy until you rip open the bag and release the gas. If you want flat-pack chips, there’s always those uniformly-shaped potato slurry wafers that come in a can. But even those usually manage to have a few broken ones.

On the other hand, no one complains about the extra space in their box of fusilli — that would be silly. But seriously, successfully shipping fragile foods requires either flat packing or a lot of extra space, especially if that food comes in a myriad of fun 3D shapes like pasta does. Everybody knows that 3D pasta is superior to flat pasta because it holds sauces so much better. The pasta must be kept intact!

The great thing about pasta as a food is that it’s simple to make, and it’s more nutritious than potato chips. Because of these factors, pasta is often served in extreme situations to large groups of people, like soldiers and the involuntarily displaced. But storing large quantities of shapely pasta takes up quite a bit of space. And because of all that necessary air, much of the packaging goes to waste.

So what if you could keep your plethora of pasta in, say, a filing cabinet? A research team led by the Morphing Matter Lab at Carnegie Mellon University have created a way to make flat-pack pasta that springs to life after a few minutes in boiling water.

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Laser Cut Drum Kit


[Segwaymonkey] picked up an arduino based drumkit circuit and needed a kit to place it on. He worked up a pretty cool design and had it laser cut out of acrylic. The cool part of the design is how he delt with the head motion of the drum. Each head has 4 “springs” that were also cut from the acrylic. The Arduino based drum circuit sits on a little pedestal in the middle, as though it were on display. We really like the design, but we have to wonder if a little noise dampening on the heads might be a good idea. He hasn’t released the plans, but says he might once he gets it perfect.

Folding Hexapod Bodies

SideBySide (Custom)

At Berkeley, they’re coming up with new ways to make their itty bitty hexapods. These are basically tiny flatpacked bodies cut from cardboard. The end goal is to not only make them smaller and faster to build, but to reduce the friction in the joints.  You can download the files on their site as well as download movies of them in action.  For a larger and somewhat less complicated flatpacked robot, check out the flatpacked 2 motor walker.

[thanks  Thuli]