When I lent my services to a collegue who was working on a film about 12 years ago, I was introduced to the world of cnc. I remember watching this huge machining centre milling out a slab of mdf and turning it into a fantastic set of gears. I knew that it would have taken me hours to achieve the same thing with traditional power tools. I decided then that I would invest in a cnc router for my own business Oxenham Design. At that time I could turn on a computer, but even to check email seemed like a crazy set of operations. I persevered and learned every piece of relevant software I could get my hands on. I am now fortunate enough to be using Vectric's ASPIRE software, and Techno cnc routers, which has helped us to create some amazing projects, both in part, or in full. I thought that this blog would be a great place to share "behind the scenes" adventures with the software, materials and equipment we use, as well as the projects we build.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Death can be a little complicated in the beginning

Or at least all the parts for it are! I finally got to cutting some of the bits and pieces for the Death machine today, and I hope it all comes back to me when we start to assemble. There are a lot of pieces that don't differ all that much from each other. When I nested all the parts in Aspire, I had grand plans of keeping the pieces that went together in some sort of grouping. That approach quickly went the way of the dodo as I would sneak a piece from there and put it in here, to get the best sheet yield. Almost all of the structure is going to be 1/2" MDF, due to the cost vs quantity of all the parts. Our Techno made SUPER short work of cutting it all out. No more than 18 min per sheet. I could have easily halved that, but I can be a bit of a baby when it comes to cutting sheet parts, playing it safe, rather than pushing feed speeds on the Techno to hard. I ran all the parts with 2 passes. The first one was at .4" and the last was .5" As I dont have a vacuum hold down yet ( but the router came all plumbed for it) I have to resort to screwing my sheets down. As a lot of the parts were skinny strips, I have found that taking a deep first pass, leaving only a small amount for the final pass, results in less pulling on the part by the cutter. I also have found that running a parallel cutting bit over using a spiral cutter creates a better edge on the MDF parts.


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