Squirrel and World Maker Faire

So I’m finally settled after the NYC trip. The trip was a great success despite having it cut short and missing a chance to do some shopping and take advantage of the 48h+ trip.

I got to show off the project to thousands of people, met piles of new people and also lots of my old friends.

For any of you that are considering World Maker Faire, I’d say just go. You don’t have to have your project ready. If you go you’ll have just as much fun because when you’re presenting you’re a bit tethered to your display so it’s another cool angle.

I invented the wearable Squirrel

I’m so proud, I invented the wearable Squirrel.

I was thinking of good ways of carrying them and this is what I came up with.

QR Code Test

Complete this test before 1pm (Ottawa time), September 12, 2011 and win a free Squirrel Model Airplane!

Thanks everybody, it seems to check out.

I managed to give away 2 Squirrels in the process. 🙂

Quadcopter project

Jim and I didn’t get out to film a Squirrel from his RC plane yesterday (due to my schedule). We’re going to try it this week or next weekend.

Anyways, one thing I’d like to do is make a quadcopter that is programmed to follow a Squirrel and return to home base.

Jim gave me these links to an affordable project that may be a good starting point (link1, link2, link3).

RC plane to carry camera

I’m hoping to meet up with Jim tomorrow. We’re going to get some Squirrels flying and try to film them from a camera on his RC plane.

It will be interested to see what results we get and what we learn.

Nikon P7000 working out

I was doing some Squirrel model planes yesterday. In the past it has been very difficult to get pictures of these sorts of events.

The new camera has proven to be very much better. It’s faster, works better in low light and has better battery capacity.

Model airplane experiments

I made 30 model planes out of foam.

This is the stuff of egg cartons and meat packaging.

Pound for pound, this stuff is as strong as steel. Well that is after being combined with balsa.

Stand by for a report of how this went. 🙂

Interlocking parts on model plane


Yesterday I made up some Squirrel kits with interlocking parts.

I bagged up some prototypes so I could bring them along with my meetings for the day.

I was able to find a taker to make one of the prototypes at Buster’s Pub where I had one of my meetings booked.

The build took place during my meeting and I kept an eye on it to see what I could learn.

Ian was able to get a plan running fairly quickly.

The Squirrel design is usually built right on the tissue (BOT — Build on Tissue). This method is only shared by one other model plane design (AMA Cub) which is the major competitor of the Squirrel.

With the interlocking parts the BOT technique may not be the right choice. When you put the parts down for the wing, they stick to the tissue using glue stick. You can’t easily reposition them to make sure the interlocking parts mesh.

Ian mentioned that he didn’t like using the glue stick. He prefers to use the craft glue for the whole process.

Squirrel is attending Toronto Makerfaire!

Looks like I’ll be going to Toronto to present the Squirrel model airplane at the Toronto Makerfaire.

Visitors can buy tickets here.

I’ve presented the Squirrel model plane at two makerfaires so far. I want to come up with different stuff for showing it. Perhaps a banner or something. Any ideas?

The Inventor

Documentary by Abby Vara and friends. This was a lot of fun to shoot. Met lots of new friends. We’ll be doing a Squirrel building party this summer for sure!

foam Squirrel

foam squirrel

I tested out a foam Squirrel. It was a successful test. This proves that the foam isn’t too heavy for this type of construction.

For Squirrels I may use foam parts for younger children.

It’s heavier and I suspect will not perform as well in a competition but for getting something together quickly it seems to work.

I found it tricky to work with. Of the ten or so steps, 4 of them were quite challenging so I’ll need to work on developing techniques and modifications for that.

CNC box


I was just out doing volunteer work this evening (and running around with lots of kids with model planes).

I started to deploy the new Squirrel totes I made as practice on my CNC mill.

I cut them out with a 1/16th end mill. It’s a carbide, 2 flute. Seem okay for cardboard.

I’m now needing more cardboard to make some more. Today I bought some coroplast to see if that’s overkill. Probably a bit expensive for this application but it will be interesting to see if the mill will cut it nicely.