Jun 23 2016

Easter egg design with Eggbot & CNC Egg Decorating

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Easter egg design with Eggbot & CNC Egg Decorating

Decorating eggs is an age old past time for children, especially in the spring when it starts getting close to Easter(easter egg design). Traditionally, you would take an egg and color it by hand. But like many older past times, this task has been made faster, better and more efficient through the innovation of modern technology. This particular CNC machine may have a very specific function but it is a basic machine that serves as a good way to teach CNC technologies to children and young adults. The name of this machine is the EggBot.

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Apr 21 2016

3D vs 2.5D

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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

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.

3D

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.


Mar 3 2016

Laser CNC Engraving Metal

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Laser CNC Engraving Metal

In the past #lasers and metals have not mixed very well. While a laser does produce high amounts of heat suitable for cutting or engraving it is still, at its core, light. Anyone who has ever walked through a full parking lot of shiny cars on a hot, sunny day without their sunglasses knows that metal reflects light very efficiently. Many individuals know that laser cutters traditionally do not work on metal and would not attempt any kind of metalworking project using a laser. However, there are multiple types of lasers and some do work well enough with metals for engraving projects.

CNC Laser Engraving Metal

CNC Laser metal cut

One of the first gas #laser invented was the CO2 laser and it is still one of the most common lasers used today. This type of lasers work on some metals but not all, as some metals reflect the laser beam too much for it to be effective on metal projects. One type of the metals that works well with a CO2 laser is anodized aluminum. Anodized aluminum comes in several different colors and you will observe different effects depending on what color the metal is. For example, black anodized aluminum turns white when engraving with a laser while red anodized aluminum turns light pink. You can intensify the color with a second pass and get a whiter sheen but you will usually not be able to completely remove the original color created by the initial cut. Anodized aluminum should be cut at low power, high speed setting in order to generate crisp, clean engravings. Using too much power can distort engravings and result in images that have been burned too much during the cutting process.

 CNC Laser Engraving Metal

CNC Laser cut

Painted brass is another metal that works well. Do not use unpainted brass with a CO2 laser; it will reflect the beam and you will likely get hurt. The laser will remove the coating from brass that has been painted, exposing the brass beneath for appealing visual effects. You can also use brass-coated steel. Like with painted brass, you will be removing paint to expose the brass beneath. Brass-coated steel just has a thin layer of brass over steel instead of being made from pure brass. The polished brass that you expose with your #laser is protected by the lacquer, preventing the brass from being oxidized and keeping it bright and shiny for many years. If you do not know whether your material is painted brass or brass-coated steel you can test it with a magnet. Magnets will stick to brass-coated steel but not to painted brass since solid brass does not have a sufficient magnetic field to attract and hold a magnet.
For other metals you can use an Yb: Fiber Laser, a fiber laser that uses the element ytterbium. Fiber lasers have several distinct advantages over more traditional lasers. The key component that makes them suitable for laser engraving is that the light used is already coupled into a flexible fiber, allowing it to be delivered to a movable focusing element easily. This is what makes it much more difficult for metal to reflect the beam, making this type of #laser safe to use with more types of metals. Fiber lasers also have a very high power output and can have active regions up to several kilometers in length. The fiber’s high surface area to volume ratio allows for continuous output at the kilowatt level, resulting in efficient cooling. Because fibers can be bent, unlike rod or gas lasers, they are usually very compact machines. The pulses that the lasers generate operate within nanoseconds, further making fiber lasers well-suited for metal engraving projects.


Jun 15 2015

cnc Plans and free dxf of my front end loader jigsaw puzzle

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cnc Plans and free dxf of my front end loader jigsaw puzzle

cnc Plans free dxf loader jigsaw puzzle plans

cnc Plans free dxf loader jigsaw puzzle plans

While its Thursday again in time for another huge undertaking for the weekend you can see the finished product here above but believe me when I started it was nothing more than an idea.  I search to the Internet for small file and I found somebody selling this model above on eBay and I also tracked down on Aliexpress. but instead of buying the model I had used pictures from the Internet and built the model from scratch in the bundled software that came with my CNC machine. the most important thing when you’re thinking of making one of these files is that every piece must fit together perfectly.  All corners must be square so that the 2d model can be easily assembled without too much filing or corrections.  This is where the CNC machine comes into play.

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