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.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

TurboTown 2

Today I got to run our Techno cnc with the flipped z-axis. It worked beautifully! in fact, it worked so well, I didn't have to re-position the material block I had bolted down yesterday for machining the car body.

Setting up the material/ model in Aspire was tricky at first, but it all made sense pretty quick. I machined the first layer at 2" thick. As this is a test mold to see if everything fits properly (as well as a test for me using a different set-up than I'm used to) I wasn't overly concerned on flawless machining. After the first layer was cut(I only ran the finishing pass in one direction to save a bit of time) I glued up the next 2 layers on top. I lied a bit to the router, as well as Aspire, to get the cutter to over-machine the block by 1/4", this was so the seam between the layers would be handled by the machine, not a piece of sandpaper!
There's always the thought that things might go very, very wrong, but my math worked out, and so did the part.
The roughing pass went pretty quick, even though I slowed the machine down to avoid any possible jitters that could arise. I ended up roughing it at 180 ipm. The great thing about running a test model was that it allowed me to identify any collet/ part collisions. The tips of the headlights had a bit of collet damage from the clearance, but it won't affect the test at all. It does let me know what I have to adjust before I cut into the tooling board.

 The first pass was cutting while I had dinner at my sisters, but when I got back to the shop, I decided to run a second finishing pass 90 degrees to the first one on the top layer, just to be sure everything was still OK.

 All in all it turned out great!
We have a meeting with the Director tomorrow,  and I'm sure he'll love the new truck form! I hope to be cutting the building parts tomorrow, as those need to get put together pretty quickly.

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