Tag Archives: Digital modeling and fabrication

How [not] to CNC-Mill a Longboard

Hello there again!

Remember my Longboard-project? [Link here]

Well, in continuation of that project, I went to Happylab yesterday, with a roughly sketched file to CNC-mill the shape of a Longboard out of a ply of wood. I say “the shape of a Longboard” here on purpose, because the cut thing will not be useable as a longboard whatsoever. The thing ply I got is a 5mm thick 600×600 mm made from beech. That shit’s going to break quite rapidly (I guess) and it’s not the right length either, but it’s enough to experiment with it!
The goal of this project is quite the pragmatic one anyways: “Learn how to operate a CNC-Mill”. Mistakes are welcome and expected!

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Modelling with Blender

Modelling with Blender, yep. Don’t start crying already, it will be alright, we’ll go through this together!
(I dearly hope you got the sarcasm.)

So, right now I am trying to model myself a nice Trinket, I have been toying around with the idea of making myself a model of the Bastion-Crest, because I loved the game so much and I’d like to hold something of it in my hands.

Bastion Game City Crest

So I started modelling with Blender, which I decided on using/learning even though it is quite the daunting program to use, I think it is the most powerful and I can do nearly everything with it, so let’s get on with it, I’m going to try giving you all the steps I took in designing it. Let’s go then:

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Shapeways Magic

Have you heard of Shapeways yet?

No? Well, you should most definitely change that and I will gladly help you out!

When I first heard of 3D printing I was amazed. Remember my first post? I wanted to print myself a coffe-cup and all kinds of other awesome consumer goods, and for whatever reason, I wasn’t even thinking about how hard it would be to actually print food-safe ceramics. Think about it for a second, it takes around 2000° C to manufacture ceramics!

Now that you know how impossible it seems, have some magic!

Shapeways is a service where you can upload your design and have it printed, now that in itself is nothing amazing, but the fact that you can have all of that done in an amazing array of materials is what makes it, not just special, but mind blowing.
You can check out the full list of 3D printable materials here.

The materials include stainless steel, ceramics, gold plated brass, silver, full color sandstone! You might find some other amazing ones there, either because I left some out or there are new possibilities when you are reading this.

The founders could have just ended it here, but no!

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3D Printing Workshop

I’m back in full beauty!

As I might have said at some point back in the days of this ageing blog, there is a workshop for a different device every Wednesday evening at the happylab I “belong to”.

After a 2-week workshop break because of…. to be honest, I don’t know why and I don’t really care.
Back on topic: This week, it was the 3D printers turn to shine and I am about to tell you what I got out of it.

The presentation started with a disclaimer which went something like “We just assume that you already have a 3D printable .stl-file, because explaining how to model stuff would make this presentation go way overboard.”
That’s cool. I still don’t really have a clue how to design now, but I do not think that this is going to be a huge problem with all the know-how floating freely on the Internet!

So we went right down to the technical stuff of what our cute “Dimension BST” can do. Let’s go then, shall we?

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Off rails & first times

Unfortunately, I have been a bit off rails lately.
But don’t you worry, I m back and trying my luck on using a laser cutter! (not that anyone missed me by any stretch of the Imagination =P)

So I have been working on an Event and had some private trouble, but well, shit happens, and sometimes said shit needs/deserves a lot of attention ;).

Now, in continuation from where I stopped a week or so ago (I could check the date but I am too lazy). I went back to the Happylab the next day with my nice little minion file prepared to see some laser cutting action!

Exited as I was, I stormed in, and, hold your breath!
Of course, the machine was in use at that moment. That was to be expected though, because it’s the time where architecture students have to finish their Projects, so the laser cutter is in heavy use.

So I went up to the guy there, and smacked him in the face!

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Fab? Yes, thats a “b”!

No, I didn’t misspell *cough cough*!

Due to most of this equipment being quite expensive and basically being out of date after one or two years, it is quite unlikely that any of you is going to get him or herself a 3D Printer right now.

Don’t worry though, there is other ways of getting access to cool tech like that, and to even more cool stuff!

What I am referring to calls itself a “Fab Lab”, these hold an array of flexible computer controlled fabrication machines. They are aimed at making the ability to fabricate almost anything accessible to anybody who wants to.
Said “Fab Labs” usually have one day a week where anyone can come and toy around with the equipment, even if they are not signed on to their ridiculously low-priced subscription plans. (With the one I know, it’s 3€ a month for access during the opening hours, and 19€ extra if you want a key! 24/7 access!)

Well, today will be the first day I step into the “Happylab”, let’s see how it works out.

If you are as excited about this as I was when I first heard this, you can check out if there is one near you on the MIT’s website, here is the link:

http://fab.cba.mit.edu/about/labs/

Happy making!