I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN

Sunday 24 October 2021


 Christie or Kristy called round yesterday to enquire whether I had any thoughts on her latest pipe dream. Fortunately I had. It's been wet and dry here, cool and warm so I've had time to play in FreeCAD. FreeCad is free so one oughtn't to moan but it is an absolute bugger to do complex things in. I don't know how many years I've been playing in it but I get disheartened and go back to Blender. I used to play in SolidWorks but they have gone a bit snotty and won't let me have it for nowt. I have promised I'm a student but they don't believe me, if they saw my work they would. I'd be given a private tutor as a Special Needs person.

She sketched out a very rough outline of what she imagined would be a pleasing little engine and wanted some ideas on embellishment. Were I doing the job I'd do one with just the basics, make it, try and make it work then polish the structure for the next one. She would like a table engine like this but IC not steam.

This is a Stuart Models James Coombes steam engine. It is an early colliery pumping engine. 

I have been looking at modelling the pillars and flywheel. Most Victorian engineers were very proud of their creations and rarely missed any opportunity to embellish them. I am getting enthused so may do the whole thing.

These look crap, all out of proportion but some Victorians liked curved spokes. I enjoyed doing them as lofting sections along a Bezier curve is a recipe for some really inventive words. FreeCad is parametric so I can go back and adjust stuff anyway I fancy, I can pick the start profile, the end profile and the curve and it updates in a minute or so but not if I've popped fillets on. Never do fillets until it's going out to print. 

Columns can be anything you fancy. It's hard to get one that looks the business.

These are not too bad to do. Hard to imagine it starts as a simple circle. Cast in solid brass or silver it would look okay I think. I'll keep persevering with this job in FreeCad. It is far from user friendly but once one susses that mm or inches after something means any number and if it has 0.000  it only means 0 or 1, they also use true and false which as far as I know means the same thing in computer speak. It's not Blender but Blender is very user friendly. FreeCad can do stuff Blender can't but it is far from easy. Not to worry I can remember when I got my first digital camera and downloaded Photoshop Elements for free. I hadn't a clue which way was up but then as my camera collection grew I got the proper PS6 for silly money £1.2K if I recall, after that it went to monthly. It was expensive but then most cameras are three grand plus and lenses start at £500.00p. I don't have to think what to click in PS or Blender, give it another week/year and FreeCAD could be the same....Dream on Adrian, dream on.

Enjoy the week ahead, don't forget your booster jab. It's only another three weeks to flatten the curve. You could also look at Sweden or Florida and ponder whether it is worth bothering.
Last week I called at the dog vets for some ear drops for Alf, the pompous wee lassie asked if I was jagged. I told her I'd let her know if she told me whether her genital warts had cleared up. I never did find out as the boss came through and handed me the drops, cost me thirty quid bet if I hadn't been a smart arse they would have been twenty. This Batflu will never go away as it has spawned a whole new income stream for the lazy and incompetent.


  1. Hi Adrian, I didn't understand nearly anything of all that. Until the last bit when I just had to laugh out loud. It's a pretty dismal day (not just with the weather) when I can't find anything at all to laugh about. Hope young Christie or Kristy appreciates your humour.

    1. Pauline she rarely hears anything from mem she doesn't shut up long enough.

  2. I don’t know, but this post doesn’t seem like the work of a Special Needs person to me. I could be wrong, of course. I often am.

    1. Bob, I feel Special Needs and these days it's feelings that matter.