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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