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Browsing articles in "Cool"

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

The US Army Rapid Equipping Force’s new Expeditionary Lab

Oct 25, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool  //  3 Comments

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

Scary Robot Videos for Halloween

Oct 22, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  No Comments

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

3D Print Some Jack O’ Lanterns for Halloween

Oct 22, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Cool  //  1 Comment

Making ornaments and decorations is a tailor-made task for 3D printers.  Here’s a couple from a post over on 3D’

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

V12 Espresso Machine: La Dolce Vita!

Oct 17, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  No Comments

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…

Manufacturer’s Plaque…

Wouldn’t be right without a red valve cover version!
 … Read the rest

20 Most Popular CNCCookbook Articles and Pages of the Last 6 Months

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

Quarter Scale Fuel-Injected DOHC V8 Engine

Oct 15, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  2 Comments

We CNC’ers don’t know how easy we’ve got it, but one look at this quarter scale V8 told me that builder Keith5700 from Home Model Engine Machinist is nothing short of an amazing craftsman.  HMEM is one of my favorite hobby machining boards as it is filled not only with amazing craftsmanship but also genuinely nice people.  We’ve all suffered at the hands of some Internet Troll on one of the big boards or other, but HMEM doesn’t tolerate that sort of thing.  They just want to be a big group of friends having fun building model engines.  And build them they do.  … Read the rest

Building a 40% Scale 1927 Miller 91 Race Car With 3D Printing

Oct 14, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Cool  //  2 Comments

What happens when a talented designer, Bill Gould of Gould Studios, gets together with a serious 3D printing shop (C.Ideas) to build a cool 40% scale model of an antique race car?
The technologies and results of this project are nothing less than amazing.  Best of all, they’ve made a detailed video so we can follow along and see how it was done and what the end result looks like:

The video shows details of the 4 different 3D printing technologies used as well as the finishing steps required after the parts come of the 3D printers.  The latter were particularly interesting to me.  … Read the rest

Check Out Our New CADCAM Wizards Video Tour

Oct 1, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, FeedsSpeeds, Manufacturing, Products, Software  //  No Comments

The positive response to our new CADCAM Wizards feature in G-Wizard Calculator has been overwhelming.
CADCAM Wizards are a whole new approach to Feeds and Speeds for CNC machinists.  They work the way your CAM software does to quickly create a recipe for each individual CAM operation. Powerful algorithms in CADCAM Wizard consider thousands of combinations of variables and give you the best answer quickly.
Check out this new video to get an introduction and tour of them.… Read the rest

Lots of Great New Features in G-Wizard Calculator v1.99

Sep 30, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, FeedsSpeeds, Manufacturing, Products, Software  //  No Comments
Facemilling feeds and speeds

-If you’re wondering why it’s been so quiet on the blog (I even skipped last week’s weekly email), it’s because I’ve been busy on this release.  Boy is there a lot of new goodness in it!
New Facemill Wizard
For starters, I added a new CADCAM Wizard: the Facemill Wizard joins the Pocket, 2D Profiling, and Hole Wizards.  Here’s what it looks like:

It’s the same idea as the other CADCAM Wizards–enter as little information as possible and get back a full optimized cut.   In this case, it just needs to know the depth of the material to remove.  If you can tell it the X and Y extents, it will also figure how long the operation should take.  … Read the rest

CNC Business Idea: Personalized 3D Products

Sep 24, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Business, Cool  //  No Comments

Ever come across a really neat custom bumper hitch?  Does your truck have a custom bumper hitch?
Many of those launched someone’s CNC business.  Fire up the milling machine and pretty soon you have a custom hitch cover that sends a very personalized message.  Mine is the familiar red with white stripe “Divers Below” flag.
We’re starting to see this kind of thing emerging in the 3D printing world too.  Check out Deka, which creates custom 3D printed headsets that are personalized to each individual’s tastes:

Start with a standard bluetooth headset base and add a snap on decoration…

Now you’ve got a personalized bluetooth headset for your phone…
There will be many more opportunities for personalized products.  … Read the rest




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