Week 3 - first CNC and Inlay test

September 27, 2018

Testing out the inlays process

Laser cutting was the obvious first choice. The parts generally lined up correctly, but at closer inspection you would see that the vertical cut lines are actually converging a bit. so a cross section would look like a trapezoid instead of a rectangle. This wouldn’t have mattered much for the head because most of it would be hidden inside anyway, but i was planning to do the same on a flat surface, so that’s when i tried the Othermill for it.

This test gave way better edges. way better. I also by accident found out how to keep the parts in place for multiple passes: just make sure you leave about 0.2mm of material on the bottom of your stock piece. That way everything stays in place for your multipass milling jobs. Acrylic is pretty tough so it wont break out that easily. After milling you can just pop the parts out like a pill and easily chip away the remaining thin material.

4 Axis CNC, my new favorite tool

Learning how to work with the 4 axis was a great experience, though the CAM software is very finicky, it seems to produce fairly reliable results and works as expected when you figure it out.

Next Steps

Is to design a head for the inlays i actually planned for. Figuring out the technical considerations would be a challenge, but that seems to be recurring anyways…

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