Beta Project: Triceratops

For yet another frivolous project I wanted to pay homage to my childhood memories of wooden dinosaur models and make something decorative for my office. I started by going to Harbor Freight and picking up a cheap wooden dinosaur model of a triceratops.

I then scanned that in and traced the pieces I wanted to use in illustrator. I find that putting the picture on one layer and locking it makes it easy to trace on another layer and then you can just delete or hide the image layer later.

I ignored the slots at first and then used rectangles in their place so I could later adjust the width of the rectangles to match the thickness of my material. I opted for the 1/4" plywood so set them to .226" in the end which fit pretty well. My first cut was pretty close, but I had to redo a couple of pieces. The first one was the central part that holds the face pieces together as it was a bit too wide in the back and was blocking other slots from being accessed. It was fairly simple to pull the corners in and re-save. Next was the neck bone as I needed to adjust the angle to fit properly to display the head better. Last was just the frill around the skull because I’d gotten ahead of myself and glued it to the previous neck when I was testing and needed a new one for the new neck :slight_smile:

With the “bones” out of the way I moved on to the mounting plate that would
hold it on the wall. I got to thinking about how fancy plaques I’d seen out of thick wood in the past had key holes on the back where the nail/screw would slide in and hold it flush against the wall. Since I was planning on doing a 3 tiered cut to look fancy anyhow, I decide to try a keyhole cut on the wall side and create a void under it on the second layer which would be covered by the top layer.

It turned out nicely and would probably work well for other projects as well. I also used a hole for the neck bone to both attach it to the mount as well as align the 3 sheets that make it up. Here’s a few of the finished product. I put some natural stain on it to bring out the wood grain a bit. Mostly helped the mounting plate, but the bones look a bit nicer with it as well.


That’s sweet! So many people with so many great ideas here!


Just the kind of thing to make for little stocking stuffers! Great job! :smile::squeeee:


A great source for CNC and laser plans, is makeCNC.
A lot of their plans are very inexpensive $5. They do sell collections of plans.
Check them out.

I will be buying a few sets of plans. Also cannot wait to see what the Glowforge store offers for plans.


Your idea for dealing with material thickness is a great down & dirty solution for adaptation and prototyping!


I really love the solution you have for the wall plate! That’s Amazing! I will have to use that 3 layer design concept in my own designs.


Oh I like this! I have always admired those head mounted things! Very cool!

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Wow - they have projects to please almost anybody. Some of my friends would really like those steam punk models, for example. Thanks for posting that link.


Sadly a terrible breach of copyright…


As long as it isn’t sold it really doesn’t matter


This is their copyright notice and, as I read it, grants the user the right to make for sale or gift up to 50 copies of one model for the original purchase price. Terms are offered for making more copies, leading to a commercial license. The license prohibits giving away, sharing, or selling copies of the plans themselves.

That seems like pretty enlightened license terms to me, especially given the low price.


I’ve noticed quite a few ‘crafting’ type companies have gotten really generous with their licensing. I don’t know if it’s out of necessity (because policing is really time consuming and expensive) or if they’re just catering their businesses to suit their customer’s wants, but it’s nice to see.


Awesome!! Lets hope you dont run into any pro dino advocats that will shun you for the needless hunting of triceretops and mounting the trophy on the wall…lmao​:smirk::wink:


Ahaha, yesss. This is something I’ve been thinking of since I first ordered.

Can’t you use the back half of the Tricertops for the other side of the wall ? :grinning:

I’m looking forward to cutting this sort of thing on my GF ( I don’t really plan to sell - I just like to create or gift, at least at this time). Good job and instructions BTW !

( or what did HF call it? an STyracosaurus ?):hushed:


Yes, but I haven’t traced that bit in yet or found a place on the other side of the wall to place it :wink:


Oh wow! How did I miss this one. Nice work and thanks for sharing the details like that. Great project :slight_smile:


This one brings me back to my childhood too! I must’ve had all the models at one point :slight_smile:

Did not expect the mounting of the head! Love the idea.


Wow. Thats a cool ste. My daughter loves to put things together. I think I just found her stocking stuffers!! Thank You!!!


thank you for this link! I’ll be building a Star Wars At At from their plans.