One of my many hobbies is modeling objects in 3D. About two years ago I became obsessed with the idea of a flat-pack camp stove that could be designed with 3D modelling software and then cut with a plasma cutter.
The idea was to have the stove in several parts that could be friction-fit together (and then taken apart easily) so that it could rest in the back of almost any pack. Of course, there are many of these on the market already, but what is the fun of buying something when you can make it yourself for fifty times the cost? None I say!
I dubbed my project “Sto-vo-kor” or “Stovahkiin” (depending on whether I as in a Star Trek mood or an Elder Scrolls mood) and set out.
My first issue was finding software I could use to create the camp stove. Many 3D modelling packages exist, most being expensive, so my initial enthusiasm began to taper until I tripped across “Tinker CAD“.
Tinker CAD is a free, web-based, 3D modelling suite that most anyone with some background in 3D modelling can use within a few hours. It has the ability to export models to several popular formats, or even send them off to 3D printing / CNC services for rapid prototyping. I quite like it, and you can see my latest stove design above – slanted for dramatic effect.
I do have access to a plasma cutter, so some form of this stove will probably be cut out and actually usable by the end of the year. When that gets done, I’ll post more of the plans as well as pictures of the actual stove – hopefully on fire and boiling water. I mean, holding fire. Not on fire, although that would be cool.
Anyway, I don’t have plans to sell the design, or the resulting stoves, since this is a learning project for me. If you really want a flat-pack stove for camping purposes, just buy one of the many fine commercially made ones. It’ll end up costing you much less than trying to buy time on a CNC / cutter and then purchase materials on top of that.
If you’re an educational institution looking for projects to cut on a plasma cutter, please contact me and I’ll probably make the plans available after I’ve had to time to test the design later in 2017. Students can alter the design to include their own initials in the stove, making each one unique.