CNC milled frames

I went to go pick up a set of frames milled by a CNC machine in Brampton, ON from Sawdust and Noise today as I was heading back from the Maker Festival Launch Party.

Why do we mill our frames using a $90,000 CNC machine? These CNC machines can achieve extremely high levels of precision (+/- 0.001″) that is needed to make our desktop CNC machines precise as well.

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We’re attending Toronto Maker Festival!

Hey guys, we just got confirmation that we will have a booth at the Toronto Maker Festival. Feel free to come by to check out our machine and chat!

The Toronto Maker Festival is happening on July 9th and 10th. It’s a free event open to everyone at the Reference Library. More details are coming out soon, and we’ll make sure to update you as time goes by.

I also wanted to mention that we will also have a booth at the Startup Showcase hosted by the Entrepreneurship Society at UWaterloo at the University of Waterloo’s Student Life Centre. The event is on Thursday, from 11am to 3pm, so if you are in the area, come by to say hi as well!

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Updates on testing

Since we have the prototype up and running, we’ve had a bunch of fun testing it out by making some cool things.

The wood router bits came in so we were able to try doing some engravings with them. The carbide endmills and ballmills just arrived today so keep an eye out for milled metal.

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Milling wood with the rotary tool

So I printed out a mount for our 20 dollar rotary tool and stuck it onto the machine to test. We haven’t gotten any router bits for the Makita spindle yet, but we did have the rotary tool on hand so I thought we might as well try carving stuff out.

 

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We carved out “Hello world” using G-code generated from Makercam and a diamond cone burr bit. Looks pretty good!

Successful dry run with our desktop CNC machine

I went out to laser cut the frame on Friday and put the machine together today to see how it looks and test it out. The machine is designed to have 1 inch thick material for the frame (either wood or HDPE) but I just wanted to make a quick frame mock up using 1/4 inch acrylic.

Check out our video of our dry run!

Next step is to put together the wiring and electronics box for the machine. We’re really close to milling some actual parts so make sure to stay tuned for more updates on that!

We get a new 3D printer

We’ve had our 3D printer, the Tevo Tarantula, for just under two months, and it has served us beautifully. I decided on picking up a new printer due to the fact that it kept breaking down and needing maintenance, and so the plan is to take apart the Tarantula and use the parts to build new machines.

The Tarantula decided to start doing weird things in the z axis and I finally pulled the trigger in purchasing a new printer.

So we purchased a new Wanhao i3 Duplicator on Friday, and Tim brought it back from Richmond Hill last night. It took about 20 minutes to set up and we were printing right away.

Besides a mishap involving the spool falling out in the middle of the night, everything has been working great! Long live the Duplicator!

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Iteration four of our desktop CNC milling machine

We’ve been working hard for the last few weeks to iterate and design our desktop CNC machine design and here’s a rendered CAD image of where we are right now.

Before putting in the electronics, we have just over 160 parts. Compared to other desktop CNC milling machines, this is an incredibly low number (about 280-300 on the Shapeoko BOM and X Carve BOM) but we’re still working on finding ways to do more with less parts, simplifying assembly, and making repairs easy.

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