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Remember those little stamped-wood you-assemble-it dinosaur kits you used to pick up at the museum and build in an afternoon? TM reader and photo pool member dbthetd does, too, and he’s found a new application for his CNC router.

After a little programming, he cranked out a much larger version from plywood, pictured above. Actually, he’s made two so far. Check out the pool for additional pictures. That’s the kind of “yard art” we’re down with.

Next question: how big can he go? Assuming that the horns are probably the largest piece, how big would the ‘saur be if that was cut from a 4′ x 8’ sheet?

Toolmonger’s Photo Pool [Flickr]


7 Responses to Glove Winner: The Yardasaur

  1. Michael says:

    I don’t know if they’re still available, but I remember having something like this as a kid. It would be great to make it in any size though.

  2. Process and more pics here: http://mydaddidntliketheurl.blogspot.com/2007/06/yard-art.html

    You can still get the puzzles. I bought the ones I worked from on Amazon.

    How big? The biggest piece is about half the length of the body. If you blew the thing up so that the largest piece just fit on a 4×8 the finished dino would be close to 14′ long. I’ve thought about it, but there are a couple of problems.

    It turns out the engineering starts to matter. We used 3/4 pressure treated plywood so it could live outside without needed a sealer. In the bigger models the weight of the model was already becoming too much for the design of the joints. We did a T-Rex, but when you stand it up the ankle and the hip just snap. So if we went bigger, we’d need to use a stronger material or provide an armature.

    Also, with the exception of something that is in this proportion, changing the scale pretty much means redrafting a large part of the file. The existing tool paths will work as long as the scale change yields a slot that will work for the stock. So if I made it bigger and didn’t want to redraft all of the joints the stock would also have to get thicker. Not sure I would want to go thicker than 3/4, and there might be a diminishing point of returns engineeringwise.

    I have thought about scaling down and changing material, maybe down 2/3 of this to use 1/4″ aluminum plate, or 1/2 to use 3/8″ clear acrylic. Both of those would be doable without significantly more CAD work. Might be fun.

    There are even more pics here: http://mydaddidntliketheurl.blogspot.com/2007/08/dino-workshop.html

    the group I worked with over the summer had a “Dino Night.” There are process pics here from that event. You can get an idea of scale and see the T-Rex and the Spinosaur too.

  3. Fred says:

    Steel plate. Welded. Someone has got to do a big T. Rex in steel plate.

  4. Mel says:

    Somewhere along I-95 in S Dakota there is one! I’ll have to check my vacation pics from last fall and see if I can find it.

  5. PaulS. says:

    In reply to Mel: Maybe this is what you are thinking about.


    It’s near Montrose, South Dakota, called the Porter Sculpture Park. There are quite a few large sculptures there.

  6. alas, doing steel plate would require a water jet or a CNC rig for a plasma cutter. There’s been a few DIY CNC rigs on here. Maybe next summer I’ll try to rig something up. But if I’m going to use our router table, I’ll have to stick to aluminum.

  7. Douglas Morency says:

    search for cnczone 3d puzzles, there is a dino ttf font that has the plans for a few dinos, and there is a ton of other models that can be scaled to any size.

    Have fun

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