Acrylic Art Pen Caddy

I picked up a set of Uni Posca paint pens while working on a project. They came in several boxes and, I quickly realized they would be a lot more pleasant to use if I had a way to keep them organized. There are a bunch of appropriate caddy designs floating around that use planes with aligned holes. While those use less acrylic, they seem kind of fiddly to insert and remove pens. In the interest of keeping friction while working to a minimum, I designed this divided box caddy. This works well both upright and on horizontally.

I remember my grandmother working with acrylic in the 70s. I think she would have been amazed at how quick and easy this sort of thing is now with digital fabrication. Solvent bonding the pieces still requires some dexterity and practice to master but, doing precise layout in Inkscape and having the laser cut the pieces perfectly would have been magic back then.

Snow Elf Manor Pop Up Card

Inspired by the 2015 Snow Elf Cottage, the 2021 Snow Elf Manor is a larger home in the snow elf community. This was fun to design. The cards were cut from the Arctic Gold stock with translucent vellum for backing the windows.

I made a short (5 minute) video showing the whole process of building a card.

Drawstring Key Bag

This scrap (faux) leather bag with a Celtic key theme is an initial exploration of a technique for using small scraps of leather or similar material leftover from other projects. I thought the tiles would be fun with a minimal Celtic key pattern motif in the center of each, then leaned into the theme with a circular key pattern ring on the bottom and, some 3D printed key, sculpted in Nomad Sculpt.

The SVG for the “leather locker” tile is linked below. You will likely want to adjust the slot height to match the thick ness of the material you are using. Let me know if you use it to make anything interesting!

This file is for personal, non-commercial use only.  Note that, by referencing these, you are agreeing to release any variations you create under identical terms.

Attribution-Creative Commons NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Leather Locker SVG


A quick jack-o-lantern modeled and (vertex) painted in Nomad Sculpt on the iPad, animated in Blender.

Depthmaps Straight from Nomad Sculpt

This is an update to my last post on modeling Celtic knots in Nomad Sculpt and creating depthmaps in Blender to carve with laser engravers and CNC machines. A newer feature in Nomad Sculpt makes it possible to export a depthmap directly, without having to go through Blender. A checkbox option in the debug menu (named “Heightmap”) switches to a depthmap view, which can be exported as a render. For best results, use a bitmap editor to spread the dynamic range.

I made a short video with a walkthrough:

Celtic Knots in 3D

I came up with a relatively simple workflow for creating 3D models of Celtic knots, used those to create depth maps and, used the depth maps to do 3D carvings on the Glowforge and the Nomad 883 desktop CNC. The modeling process goes from a pencil sketch through Inkscape to produce a reference image, then into Nomad Sculpt (which has no direct association with the Nomad 883 CNC machine, despite the name collision) on the iPad to model the knot. I exported the knot models to Blender to make the depth maps, which are, in turn, used by the Glowforge UI and MeshCAM to create appropriate jobs for their respective machines.

If you are interested in modeling Celtic knots in 3D, I made a video walking through the workflow. It’s longer than a lot of my videos at around 16 minutes but, I try not to waste too much of your time watching software interface fumbling or machines running. There are also chapter markers in the video description if you just want a particular segment. Let me know if you find any of it useful.