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Browsing articles in "Cool"

What’s Dell Going to Do With 5000 3D Printers?

Jan 23, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Cool  //  2 Comments

Just read an interesting story on  Dell has just ordered 5000 3D printers from Polish-maker Zortrax.
Zortrax went through a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the development of the printer, and they’ve now launched their product and are apparently geared up for very large orders such as this one from Dell.
It’s a slick looking machine with capable specs at a very decent price ($1895):

Zortrax M200 Plug and Play 3D Printer
Build volume: 205x205x190mm
Nozzle diameter: 0.4 mm
Layer resolution settings: 100, 150, 200, 300 microns
Filament: 1.75mm ABS, PC-ABS and Nylon
SD card holder
Three different printing speed modes
Weight: 16kg
The sample 3D prints from their web site look very high resolution:

All this just begs the question:  What’s a company like Dell going to do with 5000 of these cool 3D printers?… Read the rest

A 3D Printer for Mad Max, Martian Astronauts, and Burning Men

Jan 17, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, CNC Projects, Cool, DIY CNC  //  3 Comments

This was just too cool to pass up.  Suppose you are in a post apocalyptic dessert world or perhaps an astronaut on Mars.  You’d like to do some 3D printing, but there’s no source of filament.  Just dessert and sunlight as far as the eye can see.  Well, if you had this 3D printer, you could use solar power to fuse dessert sand into glass:

Totally impractical?  Yes.
Totally cool?  YES!
The technology is similar to laser sintering, but with sand and sun power focused by a big Fresnel lens.
(Thanks to Trevor for bringing this video to my attention)… Read the rest

Take the 2014 CNCCookbook CAM Survey

Jan 16, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, Products, Software  //  8 Comments

Another year is upon so it is once again time to do a big survey.  I like to alternate CAD and CAM surveys year by year.  We did a CAD survey last year and a CAM survey at the end of 2012.  These surveys are very popular because we always get several hundred respondents and I know of no other place to get a good cross-section of machinists participating in a survey so we can all see the relative popularity of these packages.  In addition, by comparing the results year over year, we get a chance to at least glimpse the gain or loss of market share by these different players.… Read the rest

Extreme CNC: Diamond Wire Cutting Granite Into Exotic Shapes

Jan 16, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool  //  1 Comment

Here’s something you don’t see every day–granite being cut by a giant CNC diamond wire cutter into these exotic shapes for art and architectural use.  Here are some samples of this kind of work:

Pretty amazing work from stone!
And here is the Breton CNC Machine that makes it possible:
As you can see, the machine somewhat resembles a giant bandsaw.  There are two axes of movement enabling it to take slices out of the stone with a diamond coated wire.  For the more ordinary task of slicing a big block of quarried stone into slabs suitable for counter tops and the like, they make multi-wire machines that slice straight down and create many slabs at once.… Read the rest

Details: Essential for Successful CNC Design

Jan 7, 2014   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  1 Comment

CNC has the potential to make any imagined design real, and perhaps successful as a product.  There is an element of art if the design is inspired enough.  Perhaps you’re thinking of designing the ultimate CNC product of some kind.  Maybe it’s purely for your personal enjoyment, or maybe you have in mind something that would be a good Kickstarter project.  One of the things that may help is a good scrapbook of ideas to help stimulate the imagination.  I like to use Pinterest to collect such visual imagery.  It’s available there in great abundance.  As I was recently looking over some of my Pinterest images trying to get ideas for a new PC Case design, I started wondering about some of the different design details CNC can help with and decided to write this post that categorizes some of the motifs.  … Read the rest

CNCCookbook’s Most Popular Pages and Posts of 2013

Dec 30, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool  //  No Comments

2013 is just about done and I can say with certainty what the most popular pages and blog posts have been for CNCCookbook over the course of the last year.  If you didn’t catch these the first time through, be sure to check them out as they’ve gotten a lot of attention from your peers.  What follows are the pages and blog posts listed in order of popularity.
Most Popular Pages
G-Code Course:  Our g-code course has been a perennial favorite since the beginning.  Where else can you find such in-depth g-code training completely for free?
G-Wizard Calculator:  Of course a great many visitors to CNCCookbook check out the G-Wizard Feeds and Speeds Calculator.… Read the rest

Latest Neat 3D Printing Products

Dec 22, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Cool  //  2 Comments

We’ve only got one weekly CNCCookbook Blog email newsletter left for 2013, and I’ve decided two things about it.  First, it’ll be short–people are busy with their holidays.  And second, it’ll be about fun cool stuff, again, because people are busy with their holidays.
This installment is a compendium of cool 3D printing products that I’ve come across.  I did a comprehensive sweep of my information sources, and while I can’t claim to have found everything, I’ve found a bunch of very cool 3D printing products I wanted to pass along.
The Solidator is a novel DLP-based high resolution 3D printer that’s being launched as a Kickstarter project.  … Read the rest

Game of Drones: A CNC Project Waiting to Happen

Dec 9, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  No Comments

Hobby drones have come a long ways.  The ubiquitious quad copters are available in all price ranges and it’s becoming almost routine to see video shot from them.  What’s not so routine are combat drones.  We do see robot wars of various kinds, but these are aerial robots, and they’re not autonomous.  Rather, they have human pilots.  Now there’s a video show that’s all about them called Game of Drones.  Check out a couple of their cool videos:

A tiny rocket launching combat drone…

Paintball shooting drone…
These crazy things look dangerous as heck, but I can’t help but think there’s a CNC Project waiting to happen here for someone.… Read the rest

Neat Desktop CNC Wire Bender

Nov 22, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  6 Comments

Long time readers will know I have something of a fetish for odd CNC machines.  I spied this cool little CNC Wire Bender on the Tormach Blog and couldn’t resist passing it along:

Here’s the full on demo…
The guts of the machine look something like this:

Gears, steppers, and timing belts, oh my!
Pensa is a design consultancy, so the machine, web site, and software are very stylish:

Looks more like a high dollar Hi Fi Tube Amp or something Apple would make than a CNC machine: cool!
The machine is very cool, and at $3000 on Kickstarter relatively affordable if you have a use for one.  … Read the rest

G-Code Robotics and Face Milling a Titanium Caribiner

Nov 22, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool, Manufacturing, Products, Techniques  //  10 Comments

These two para-biners have a finish called “Gonzodizing”…
Once upon a time, Caribiners were exotic mountain climbing equipment.  Eventually, someone started using them to clip keychains to their belts and the like, and they became a fashion statement.  Once things are fashion statements and cool, there’s no telling where they go from there.  In this case, we may have the ultimate evolution.  The Ti2 Para-Biner is a Kickstarter caribiner that is CNC machined from Titanium, finished to the degree it looks like exotic alien astronaut gear, and given a variety of additional functions for the everyday carry crowd.  This thing is a caribiner par excellence, but the set of three can also be used together to do the following:
–  Instant block and tackle with paracord to deliver 200-400% mechanical advantage.  … Read the rest

Start a CNC Business Around What You Love

Nov 17, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Cool  //  13 Comments

One of things I try to do on this blog is pass along some entrepreneurial insights.  CNCCookbook is the fourth company I’ve started from scratch and the 7th startup I’ve been a part of.  I love being a small business owner and I want everyone who wants to do the same to get as much help as possible.
The Internet and cheap CNC have opened up opportunities to start niche manufacturing businesses that would’ve been a lot harder 10-15 years ago.  It’s easier to market than every before, whether directly on the Internet as CNCCookbook does or using a 3rd party vehicle like Kickstarter to help get the word out.  … Read the rest

A Tale of Two Neat Little CNC Mills

Nov 16, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, Products  //  3 Comments

Came across two neat little mills in the last week that I wanted to share.  It’s intriguing that they’re so similar in size.  I’ll also put my likes and dislikes down.
This Mill is Nomadic and Likes to Be Moved
Prototrak has this neat little 2nd op mill that is so easy to move it actually comes with a pallet jack to encourage dragging it around the shop:

I’m really curious what this little guy costs.
–  Easy to move with included Pallet Jack
–  Table comes with pre-installed Jergens ball locks so you can move fixture plates on and off quickly and easily.… Read the rest

Apple to Build New Solar-Powered Manufacturing Facility in Arizona

Nov 4, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, Manufacturing  //  1 Comment

After years of gutting US manufacturing with offshoring, it’s good to hear there’s some new manufacturing being built in America again.  Apple apparently plans to build a new facility in Arizona that they say will create 2000 new jobs.  The story is that this facility will be used to manufacture sapphire crystal to be used in Apple products.  The crystal is used for components like the camera lenses on Apple’s products.  Supposedly the plant will even be solar-powered.
Apple’s products certainly involve CNC machining, and that’s what they’re doing in their new Texas plant.  Check out this video of the Mac Pro, which has some neat shots of the lathe turning of the case that’s being done at their Texas plant:

I understand they turn the cylinder, polish it, then apply the protective coating as shown so they can mill the various openings.  … Read the rest

Turn Your 3D Printer Into a Laser Cutter / Engraver

Nov 4, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Cool, Products  //  6 Comments

This is a neat idea:  J Tech Photonics is offering a kit to turn your 3D printer into a laser cutter / engraver.  The price is not too bad at $224.99.  In exchange you get a 1.7W 445nm laser diode in a housing suitable to attach to your 3D printer, a driver board, and power supply.
Here’s a video of the thing in operation:

One serious reservation I’d have about it after watching the video is it needs to be covered up lest it be a serious safety hazard to your vision or anyone else’s who happens by while it’s running.  … Read the rest

World’s First Mac OS X CAM Software + CNC Software Suite

Nov 1, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, Guest-Post, Software  //  1 Comment

I get tons of cards and letters from Mac users who love the fact that our G-Wizard software works on Mac OS X natively.  But they want more.  Yeah, sure you can run Parallels or do something similar to get Windows on the Mac and access your CNC software that way, but that’s not what they’re looking for.  Robert G. is offering the world’s first Mac CAM software for those folks.  I’ll let him tell the rest of the story:
Hi- Robert from GRZ Software here again.  Bob was kind enough to invite me to make a big announcement.  MeshCAM, the CAM software that I develop, is now up and running on the Mac.… Read the rest




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