The design and manufacture of a cat toy

Yesterday I taked about fix­ing a cat toy.  Today, I should briefly men­tion the one I designed a cou­ple of week­ends ago.  I’ve had the idea kick­ing around in my head for quite a few months to design a treat-dispensing cat toy.  Surprisingly, there is not one already on Thingiverse.  I sketched out a quick idea and fig­ured out some geom­e­try.  (Remember, kids!  Geometry and alge­bra are NOT lame skills you’ll never use in the real world!)  I mea­sured nuggets of cat food and treats with dig­i­tal calipers down to a tenth of a mil­lime­ter pre­ci­sion.


From there, I drafted up some­thing in OpenSCAD.  Actually, I drafted up sev­eral things.  The first few design iter­a­tions were way too brit­tle.  I had to thicken the wall and reduce the num­ber of dec­o­ra­tive holes to give it strength.

After a few revi­sions, I ended up with some­thing strong, aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing, and with enough holes in it that cats can see, hear, and smell the treats inside.  As they kick it around, it will occa­sion­ally dis­pense a treat.

The print­able files are on Thingiverse under “Food Dispensing Cat Toy.”  The source files are in a github project.

Posted in: MakerBot Projects

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Brian Enigma

Brian Enigma is a Portlander, manipulator of atoms & bits, minor-league blogger, and all-around great guy. He typically writes about the interesting “maker” projects he's working on, but sometimes veers off into puzzles, software, games, local news, and current events.

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