3D printing is great stuff, but the reaction of many is that it is either a toy or at best only suited to prototype work. Most 3D printing processes are too slow and too inaccurate to be used for full-scale manufacturing. Until now.
I recently found out about an entirely new 3D Printing process invented by a Silicon Valley company called Atomic CNC. Atomic are being very secretive about what they’re doing until they have all their patent ducks in a row, but I was able to get a preview of the technology and a few details. Essentially, they have created a process that can 3D Print almost anything atom by atom (that pretty much guarantees any level of accuracy you might want) and at extremely high speeds. … Read the rest
Are you ready for this?
Foodini has launched a Kickstarter program to sell their 3D Printer for Food. The machine hails from Barcelona, Spain from a company called Natural Machines. The earliest “investors” on Kickstarter will be able to get a Foodini 3D Food Printer for $999. The Foodini retail price will be $1300.
The machine works by extruding food stuffs that are inserted in “food capsules” which are then placed in the machine. Here is a shot of the machine and an extruder capsule:
The Foodini 3D Food Printer: Very sleek design for your high tech kitchen…
Here’s the extruder capsule that it uses. … Read the rest
The exciting thing about CNC is you can make almost anything you can imagine. For some, even more exciting is the prospect of owning their own business manufacturing products they have designed. In the Internet Age that’s a lot more possible than you might think given the leg up in marketing services like Kickstarter can provide. Kickstarter is a marketplace for not-yet-manufactured products. The idea is to provide seed money that can be used to launch a product by offering the initial units in the Kickstarter marketplace. Here’s a round up of 10 Cool Kickstarter Projects that are waiting for people to invest in their future as I write this. … Read the rest
Gearotic is Art Fenerty’s specialized CADCAM program for gear design. Art is the man who wrote the original versions of Mach3, so he knows a thing or two about CNC. I have wanted a good video that will both teach you what Gearotic is capable of and also be related to a real project. Art’s video about designing and building a “Ticker” was a great example, so let me pass it along here:
What you’ll see is Art’s narrative and demonstration of how to use Gearotic to design what he calls “Tickers.” A Ticker is a sort of kinetic sculpture that uses escapements like you’d find in clocks to create some really interesting motions.… Read the rest
I hear you’re a machinist, you’ve got access to CNC machines, and you’re dying to do a cool project that your friends will love. Youo just need the right idea. How about this:
– Take an existing product.
– Discard, some all, or none of it.
– Create a new skin for it that radically changes the product to something MUCH better.
That’s a Reskinning Project. There’ll all over the web if you look carefully. Here’s some ideas to get you fired up to Reskin something:
PC and HiFi Case Mods
Reskinning PC’s and HiFi’s has been going on a long time and there are some very cool results out there. … Read the rest
Sand such as is used for casting is a good medium for 3D printing. The green sand already used for casting is a combination of ingredients that help it to hold the shape of the pattern placed in the sand. The pattern is a reproduction of the part to be cast so that the sand forms a negative image of it.
In 3D printing the mold is built up layer by layer in typical 3D printing style. Binder chemicals are used to lock down the sand in the proper shape. Casting hollow parts requires cores, which can also be 3D printed at the same time. … Read the rest
One of our users posted a note in our User Club today that made me feel good. Here’s what he had to say:
I just got my yearly review at work, 4.28 % raise! Hey Bob, 6 months ago I knew nothing about milling. I couldn`t even spell VFM. I spent 14 hours training on what buttons to push before our mill operator went on vacation. I searched the internet for info. on milling and came across your web site. Every night after work, I read the vast amount of information you have posted on milling. I purchased both GWE and GWC.… Read the rest
I wanted to give another update on my Tormach CNC Lathe this week. I’ve been one of the Beta Testers. Good news is that Tormach has announced the Beta Test is winding down and they’re hoping to make first sales in Q1 2014–right around the corner, in other words. I know from my perspective the Beta Testing has gone extremely well with only minor teething troubles, all of which were corrected. In addition, the Beta Team gave Tormach a number of constructive suggestions for how to improve the already very nice machines and most all of these were accepted.
I want to talk just briefly about the Tooling for the lathe. … Read the rest
I saw this one over on Garage Journal, which is a very cool web site if you like garage and home shop organizational articles. Here is Von Dutch’s tool box:
I love it just for the hand lettering (if you didn’t know, Von Dutch was an amazing pin striper of hot rods, among many other things) and the great yellow color. I love rolling tool boxes and seem to buy another one each year. You can never have enough drawers and if you wait for the sales, they are way cheaper than the commercial style Lista-type cabinets. I buy the nicer ones with the ball bearing slides. … Read the rest
Just read an interesting story on 3Ders.org: 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
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
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
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
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
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
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