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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
It could well be the world’s most capable air mobile CNC facility. It’s the US Army’s new Expeditionary Lab:
Outside the Expeditionary Lab, it’s containerized with easy hook ups and integrated satellite communications…
Inside is a fully equipped CNC workshop including this Haas OM-2 office mill with all the goodies, including a 5-Axis trunnion…
The idea behind this project is to improve logistics and innovation right on the front lines where the soldiers who know what they need and have the most experience are located. The Expeditionary Labs are fully equipped:
- Haas OM-2A Office Mill with 5-Axis Trunnion Table
- Solidworks CAD workstation
- 3D Printer
- Welding and Plasma Cutting Gear
- Full video-conferencing
Each lab costs about $2.8M and is equipped with its own electrical generators and heating/cooling system. … Read the rest
I was trying to think of a couple of good Halloween posts for CNC Cookbook and decided to do one fun one (3D Printing Jack O Lanters) and one a little more scary. People have typically painted robots as scary machines bent on killing human kind. So far, nobody has built such things yet, but the defense industry is certainly interested in the possibilities. Here are a few video takes of what the early technology looks like.
The Boston Dynamics Wildcat has a natural gait. How’d you like to have one of these locked onto your infrared signature and chasing you across the battlefield?… Read the rest
Making ornaments and decorations is a tailor-made task for 3D printers. Here’s a couple from a post over on 3D’ers.org:
Neat little USB-powered Jack O’ Lantern…
3D printed Jack O’ Lantern lights…
How would you ever make something like this without 3D printing?… Read the rest
If you can imagine it, you can build it with CNC. That’s what I love about CNC.
Here is a ridiculously cool Espresso machine, made up to look just like a V12 engine. The ultimate garage accessory?
Crema on that espresso shot looks good…
Love how the put the heat colors on the exhausts!
The cups are made to look like little pistons and con rods when flipped upside down…
Wouldn’t be right without a red valve cover version!
… Read the rest
Every so often I like to tally up our most popular articles so the newcomers don’t miss them. Here it is, the Magnum Opus, get ready to feast:
1. CNCCookbook G-Code Course
Our free g-code course is perennially popular and has become a go-to resource for the community. If you don’t know the g-code yet, start reading and article or two from the course every week. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to pick it up. We even include tons of examples using our G-Code Editor so you can see the g-code come to life. More of your colleagues than you’d think know the g-code:
2. … Read the rest