Apr 21 2016

3D vs 2.5D


3D vs 2.5D

CNC hobbyists and people in general are both familiar with the terms 2D and 3D. Everyone knows that a 2D object is flat, like a square drawn on a piece of paper, while a 3D object has multiple angles, like a cube-shaped puzzle. In between these two levels of perception there is 2.5D. In terms of machining, 2.5D is when you make an object that is 2D but looks like it is 3D. Even though the item is 2D and lays flat the use of lines, thickness and depth give the illusion that the object is 3D when you look at it. The tool paths used are 3D but only 2D information is put into your machine, hence the name “2.5D”. Despite the similarities 2.5D has to 2D cutting it is only usable on machines that do not cut all the way through material; you need to be able to make low points or pockets. As such, you will not be seeing any plasma or laser cutters that can make 2.5D objects.


3D work

Making something that is 2.5D is actually a great starting project for new CNC enthusiasts. The cutting process for making a 2.5D object is very similar to making a 2D project so the G-code that you need to write will be very simple. Many older routers could not move the spindle up and down the z-axis while also moving along the x- or y-axis. Projects could have points of different depths but that entire process had to be done all at once. Making an angle that was not parallel or perpendicular to your machine’s tool was impossible. Items that were made from this process are 2.5D since only 2D depths and tool paths are used in the cutting process. Because of their simplicity 2.5D objects can be made on the 3-axis milling machines that are used by most hobbyists. Depending on whether you are using standard engraving or V-carve engraving the information needed in your programming will change. Both processes need information on 2D toolpaths but standard engraving requires data on depths of faces while v-carving needs data on the angle of the cuts as well as their depth or width.


truck loader 3D model

While a 3-axis machine works for 2.5D milling there are 2.5D machines (also called two and a half axis mills) made specifically for this type of work. 2.5D machines are equipped with three axes but can only cut with the x-axis and y-axis. Some of these machines only have a line instead of a true z-axis installed. Because these machines use less hardware and more basic software they tend to be less expensive than a 3-axis machine. Shops that are dedicated to 2.5D milling are referred to as drilling and tapping centers. 2.5D machines are not very common today; as new technology has made 3-axis machines less expensive 2.5D machines have been phased out since they are less capable. As a result many of the shops that used to use 2.5D machines now provide services with 3-axis machines instead.
As far as appearance goes 2.5D is essentially a more advanced version of 2D. 2.5D objects tend to look nicer than a 2D counterpart; a sign for a business made using 2.5D techniques would visually be more pleasing than a 2D sign. While 2.5D is not as advanced as 3D it still works spectacularly for projects that you do not want as 3D. Additionally, 2.5D projects are much simpler to code and take less time to mill than 3D objects. They do not take much more work than a standard 2D project either. Whether you are trying to make more innovative items to sell or if you just want to try a different kind of project learning to use 2.5D techniques can open up a whole new side of CNC machining that you never knew was there.

Feb 4 2016

3D Printing -Is It Hype?


3D Printing – Is It Hype?

The first functional 3D printer was created by Charles Hull in 1984 but it is only in the last few years that the technology has received large amounts of public attention. With this technology now in the spotlight many people are asking whether the technology is genuinely useful or if it is all just hype. The short answer is yes, the technology is useful. Manufacturers in various industries are already using the technology to save billions of dollars that would have been spent using other manufacturing techniques. But many people ask, “What will this technology do for me?” The best way to answer that question is to look at benefits 3D printing can provide to the average person.

3D printing procedure

3D printing process and How 3D printer works

3D printing has the ability to advance various medical technologies very quickly. First and foremost is the ability to 3D print organs for individuals in need of transplants. Already 3D printing has been used to take cells from a patient and print new organs for them. In addition to removing the need for donors this also allows medical professionals to quickly create constructs made for implantation that would have to be crafted by hand otherwise. Dr. Anthony Atala was able to use 3D printing to create an artificial organ that was then coated in living cells. The technology to print artificial materials and living cells at the same time is currently in development. The ability to rapidly make organs and constructs that can save a person’s life can not only help adults, but can also save children and infants who would otherwise not survive long enough for life-saving measures to be taken. Aside from aiding internal functions 3D printing can also fix external functions by creating prosthetics. Using a 3D printer allows custom prosthetics that fit the exact need of each patient to be created instead of manufacturing factory-produced models that do work but are not ideal for all patients.
Research is also being conducted into using 3D printers to make food. Thus far most of the work in this area has been used to print sugar and chocolate but research is continuing to look at other options such as pastries and pizza. Food that is 3D printed could be customized so that people could eat the exact amount of calories, vitamins, sugar, fat and other nutritional factors that they desire. The texture of food will also be customizable and that leaves nutrition options open to new ideas. Taking a vegetable and giving it the texture of a burger or a hot dog could be a great way to get your children to eat healthy. It could even help adults to eat foods that are good for their health even though they normally do not like the taste. Foods could also be made softer while retaining their appearance, making it easier for the elderly to eat foods that they would not be able to chew otherwise.

3D printer structure

3D printer

Big industries also have the potential to be revolutionized by 3D printers but there is some potential danger there as well. The automotive industry has been using 3D printing to make parts for a while and now citizens are starting to do the same thing. There have been a fair number of news stories in the past few years about individuals who are printing and assembling their own cars. While this could revolutionize the automotive industry, there are possible negative economic effects that we could see if the current large automotive companies start to crumble. There has also been concern about 3D printers being used to create firearms. Several people have been shown to make firearms entirely through 3D printing and there are now firearm companies that make their products purely through this method. The ability for anyone to make a useable gun overnight could put a serious hamper on gun control wherever 3D printers are available.

May 10 2015

3d jigsaw puzzle projects and 3d sculptures with your hobby cnc


3d jigsaw puzzle projects and 3d sculptures with your hobby cnc

3D Projects(3d jigsaw puzzle)

            A common use for a hobbyist’s CNC router is making items that can be sold for profit. CNC routers are able to make unique 3D items such as puzzles(3d jigsaw puzzle), sculptures and everyday items. This article will help you think about what the possibilities are with these items and where you can find ideas to get going on these projects.

free dxf lawnchair puzzle 3d jigsaw puzzle

free dxf lawnchair puzzle ( see my article in the projects pages)

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