Computer Controlled Machining

Finding Inspiration

Goals: My goal is to create a great toy for my nephews, Alex and Will to play and learn with.

Process/Progress: Blair, executive director of Incite-Focus asked me what I was thinking of designing.

This is what I showed him.

My current limits of construction are: 2'x4'x0.5 feet (0.61x1.22x0.15 meters).

Blair stated to "make something big out of a few pieces".

I found some other online resources to help me with this process:

...and local distributors for foam, plastics and wood: The Foam Factory in Macomb, MI; Ain Plastics in Southfield, MI and Public Lumber & Millwork in Detroit.

After the reviewing as a class with Blair & Zuberi, I need to think big and work small.

Due to a lot of misunderstanding of what was expected from the instructors and what I spent time planning to make using Rhino/Grasshopper for my proposed design (a sailboat shelf unit) and visiting a local carpenter, I lost a lot of time and just decided to make a box. I drew out the precise shapes in CorelDraw and exported them into PartWorks.


Toolpath was created here:
Then the box cut depth:
I had to create a tool in the program before we could cut it:
Virtualization of the material before cutting:
Cutting out the box with the Shopbot CNC machine, proved to be challenging enough, but even more so because the machine quit on us 3-4 times within 15minutes of operation! Zuberi, our lab coordinator, plus, plus, plus - troubleshooted and observed that while the control box was open, sparks were flying around its circuit boards. An electrician had tobe called in to fix an issue with the power connection.
Though we were successful in finally getting the maching to function properly, I found a bump on the bed which could have contributed to the bit not being able to go through birch plywood I had selected for my material.