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

Wednesday 20 October 2021


 It's been a funny old week, very wet and warm but today it has turned a touch freezio and sunny. I have been looking into designing and investment casting some posh decorative bits for my muses(pain in the bum) table engine with a glass cylinder. I was just sketching stuff out and my draughting compasses broke again, they are forty years old and have been repaired twice before so I bit the bullet and ordered a new pair; £6.99p from Amazon, possibly less than a tin of brake cleaner and tub of Loctite to repair the old ones.

They look fine if they are all metal, I pick them up tomorrow as I have to get somebody else with Amazon Prime to order them, saves a fiver delivery.

I am having trouble using FreeCAD it really hates generating a helix. I looked at classical columns and can do those.

The one on the left is mine and the one on the right I stole or borrowed. The one I did FreeCAD has no trouble with. The one on the right is a very low poly model and would 3D print in wax but even at a few inches tall would take a lot of cleaning up. I could re-mesh in Blender but haven't mentioned that.

 As you can see it's a bit bumpy and I suspect would create too much work to finish. I could ask the pain in the bum to fork out $50US for a decent model but that would cause much sucking of teeth and then without doubt it would require modifications. She has yet to find an investment caster that will work for nothing but has found a gullible soul with a 3D printer that can print a wax master for nowt. She has gone away to see the lass with the printer. I did say that the column will have to have runners, risers and air bleeds popped in by someone skilled in the mysteries of cire purdue. 

I have been trying to do a sort of barley twist pillar in FreeCad it all but stops the computer.

I don't like this and neither does the computer. I'll give it a whirl in Blender, maybe make the circular bits subtractive so they cut a hemispherical groove in the column. I'll try starting with a square or some other polygon and extruding and twisting it making a classic barley spiral.

It's all time but I never stop learning, it keeps me amused and the upside is I can work 2D CNC with only minor hiccups.

Does anyone else think the NHS is unfit for purpose? It has been half private for years as they pay massive PFI and charge for medicals and anything else they can get away with. If one needs anything but triage and stabilisation then it's best to go private and have the job done by a surgeon one knows to be clued up. How many billions has this government thrown at the job? It's not at all cost effective when some GPs refuse to look at folk or look after them and hospitals are sitting with empty beds when the poorly of the populace are denied access. It employs a lot of dross, some middling and many really good folk but there is not a system in place for differentiation between them. Hence the rubbish get paid the same as the superb.

I'll leave you with this.

Have fun.


  1. Ah. Draughting compasses. I had forgotten they existed. Haven't use them since I left school. I used to really enjoy technical drawing lessons.

    1. John, these work okay but Staedtler they most certainly aren't.