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Carbon Fiber Ghost Watch

Jun 18, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Cool, Products  //  1 Comment

Okay, I admit it.  I am a sucker for all cool things manufactured via CNC and using cool materials like Titanium or Carbon Fiber.  Couldn’t pass up this wild carbon fiber wrist watch:

I’ve written not too long ago about molding parts from carbon fiber, specifically wingtips for a fighter plane turned air-racer.  If you have the talents to manufacture something very high quality and beautiful like this watch, then you have the ability to create a business around that talent.  You just need to decide what your product will be and how you will connect with the audience that wants that product.
Speaking of watches that tell time in many time zones, I will always chuckle when I see one:
Pawnbroker: Burnt my fingers, man.
Louis Winthorpe III: I beg your pardon?
Pawnbroker: Man, that watch is so hot, it’s smokin’.
Louis Winthorpe III: Hot? Do you mean to imply stolen?
Pawnbroker: I’ll give you 50 bucks for it.
Louis Winthorpe III: Fifty bucks? No, no, no. This is a Rouchefoucauld. The thinnest water-resistant watch in the world. Singularly unique, sculptured in design, hand-crafted in Switzerland, and water resistant to three atmospheres. This is *the* sports watch of the…

Wonder how a 3D Printed Guitar Sounds?

Jun 12, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  1 Comment

Since seeing the emergence of 3D printed guitars and running the article on the Americana Guitar, I’ve been wondering how they really sound.  There’s no doubt they look cool and are very unique, but in the end, it’s the sound that matters.
The same designer that did the Americana, Olaf Diegel, has done quite a few 3D printed guitars:

Really snazzy and unconventional look, yet with the classic silhouette.  Very cool, no?
Here is Olaf’s video on their sounds:

I’d like to hear a higher quality recording before making any final decisions, but my initial impression is their sound is very promising.   It makes sense as Olaf reveals they have a solid wood core tied to the conventional neck.   It’s not just plastic that we’re working with here.  I’d love to see something like this show up with one of the local Club Bands I’m very fond of seeing.  If any of you out there are actively engaged in making musical instruments via CNC, drop me a note if you’d be interested in writing a guest post for CNCCookbook.…

More on Using CNC’s as General-Purpose Motion Platforms

Jun 4, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, DIY CNC, Techniques  //  4 Comments

Our recent article on using CNC’s as general-purpose motion platforms has gotten a response from Tormach’s blog with even more great examples.  They go into some detail about how a Tormach Mill was used to help wind a special component for NASA’s Piper mission:

Creating these intricate arrays of tiny wire filaments was obviously a job that needed some automation, if only to keep the precision high and the manual boredom to a minimum.  The gizmo is a polarizing filter for the microwave spectrum.  Photographers have all seen these for visible light, but this is what one looks like for the microwave end of the world.
Here’s a video of the machine in action:

More details over on the Tormach blog!…

3D Printed Americana Guitar

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

I came across this one browsing and thought it appropriate since the Fourth of July is coming up in a month:

Guitar body is 3D printed stars and stripes…

The interior is filled with various icons of Americana, including the Statue of Libery…

Nice spot for a bald eagle…
I’d be really curious to know more about how a 3D printed guitar like this sounds.  If you’re happy with the materials available, there’s not much you can’t do with 3D printing.

DARPA’s Pick-Pocket Drone Robot

May 30, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool  //  6 Comments
robot arm drone

I’m not sure that this has anything to do with CNC, other than that it had to have been made with a lot of CNC work, but I came across this picture of a DARPA-funded Drone that has a robot arm attached:

Can’t you just see this goofy thing swooping in to foil some despotic ruler’s evil plans?  I can see it now, “Who let that thing steal my shark’s frickin’ lasers from their heads?”  Or more likely, “Okay, who moved my frickin’ plutonium?”…

An Entire 3D Printed City?

May 20, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Cool  //  1 Comment

Modelers must love 3D printers, especially those with decent resolution that make small plastic parts with fine details.  How about a model of an entire city done with a 3D Printer?
That’s what architectural firm Mitekgruppen did for Stockholm:

A 48 square meter model of Stockholm…
A Stratasys 3D Printer was used to create over 10,000 replica buildings for the model.
Are any of you gentle readers using 3D printers for modeling or architectural work?  This would’ve been awesome back when I was building a big HO train layout.…

What If Dyson Made CNC Routers Instead of Vacuum Cleaners?

May 14, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Router, Cool  //  10 Comments

Here’s a cool CNC Router made by Michael Warren who is the James Dyson Fellow at the Royal College of Art’s InnovationRCA.  It’s a portable CNC Router and his web site is Grow CNC.
Check out the video (can’t go wrong with Johnny Cash on the soundtrack):…

Tale of Two Engines: Giant Crankshaft and World’s Smallest V12

May 6, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  No Comments

Two great videos for machinists and engine lovers.
First, this big brute.  Marine or industrial crankshaft of some kind:

In contrast is this “World’s Smallest V12″:

The creator is a retired Spanish naval machinist.…

Desktop Manufacturing is Here With Two Amazing Announcements

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

First announcement:  Staples will be selling 3D Printers from their website, and soon right in the store.  They’ll be offering the Cube 3D Printer for $1299.

Staples will be selling the Cube 3D Printer for $1299…
Second announcement:  The world’s first completely 3D printed gun was shown.  There are only 2 non-3D printed parts: a nail used as a firing pin and a six ounce piece of steel put into the gun to make it show up on airport metal detectors.
Forbes got the scoop on the Liberator 3D printed gun…
Check out Forbes for more photos and details.
I’m not going to comment further on these developments other than to say the pace is picking up quickly.  Desktop Manufacturing is a reality today.  Almost anyone can own the means of production.…

G-Wizard Customer Fox Engineering Builds Custom Fuel Injection Systems for Hot Rodders

Apr 24, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, CNC Projects, Cool, Products  //  1 Comment
Fuel Injected Big Block Chevy

I got a nice note from Josh Bentley recently, talking about how he used G-Wizard and his Industrial Hobbies CNC Mill to do some amazing fuel injection work for his company Fox Engineering. Here are some samples:

502 Cubic Inch Big Block Chevy in a Steel Deuce Hot Rod…

Cross Ram Fuel Injection Setup for a Small Block Chevy…

Custom Injection Setup on a Hemi…

Custom Fox Injection on a Lamborghini V12 in a T-Bucket Roadster:  Gotta Be a Wild Ride!
That Lambo V12 in the T-Bucket roadster is a real kick, isn’t it?
Josh had this to say about using G-Wizard to make these wild custom setups:
I just had the opportunity to read your blog post “CNC Project Ideas Super Custom CNC Products” and knowing you are a car guy, like me, I thought I’d share a little about my CNC based business with you.  I am much more of a car guy than a CNC machinist.  In fact, I really only got interested in CNC machining so that I could make my own parts for my car projects.  I consider myself to be no more than a hobby level machinist.  But, even with my limited abilities, I’ve…

Hexapod Robotic CNC Router Walks to the Site of the Work to Be Done

Apr 22, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, CNC Router, Cool, DIY CNC  //  8 Comments

This is a cool little Hexapod robot I came across:

The resolution on the 3D face looks pretty darned good.  I’m imagining combining this sort of technology with sensors that let it precisely locate itself via some optics.  You’d have a ‘bot that you could turn loose to carve large areas with 3D relief carvings, drill holes, extrude plastic ala 3D printing, or whatever the job called for.  It could even run a plasma torch or Mig welding gun for metal projects.  Or, how about an airbrush attachment so it could pain murals and signs?…

CNC’ing the World’s Ultimate Pizza Cutter

Apr 17, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, CNC Projects, Cool, Products  //  No Comments

I’ve recently written that there’s always a market for the very best of any product type and this story from Tormach’s blog is a great example.  Imagine what the world’s ultimate pizza cutter would be and you’ve got to come pretty close to Frankie Flood’s art:

I love the idea of the course he describes where each student makes their own 3D printer.  Check the Tormach article for more information or click on Frankie’s Logo above to go to his web site.…

Machining a Titanium AR-15 Lower Receiver on a Hobby Mill

Apr 15, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool, DIY CNC, FeedsSpeeds, Software, Techniques  //  5 Comments

We featured Kingjamez’ video on making an aluminum AR-15 lower receiver on a small hobby mill (Sieg X3) quite a while back.  He used our G-Wizard Feeds and Speeds successfully, and I was tickled to get a note from him recently about his use of G-Wizard for this project:
Just wanted to write and say thanks for GWizard. I’m a hobbiest (you featured my youtube video of my CNC’d AR-15 a couple years ago) and have a tiny CNC Mill, but thanks to GWizard my first efforts at machining 6AL-4V titanium went flawlessly. I used high speed machining techniques (at low speed, and inspired by your HSM blog post) on my little X3 mill and was able to make deep passes that had great surface finish the on the very first cut. I didn’t break any tools, or say any curse words! Who would have thought that possible on a benchtop CNC machine with an inexperienced operator? Not me! GWizard paid for itself on just this project alone in the tooling and frustration it saved me, and I’ve had it for 2 years. That’s money well spent. Thanks again.
Thank you Jim, for all your interesting projects on your video…

CNC Project Ideas: Super Custom CNC Products

Apr 15, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool, Products  //  2 Comments
cnc billet suspension

Have you ever wanted to own your own CNC Business?
One of the first things you have to figure out is what to sell.  There’s a range of opportunities out there, but typically you want to choose your business strategy so it fits one of three styles:
1.  You’re building the absolute best product of its kind.
2.  You’re building the cheapest product of its kind.
3.  You’re building a product for a particular market niche that #1 and #2 do not serve very well.
I really like going after #1 just because the passion around doing the very best helps drive the marketing and is more fun for me too.  Also, there is always a market for the very best of almost anything, and CNC often plays a role in creating the very best.  I want to do a quick survey of just a few of the possibilities, and hopefully get some juices flowing.
Hot Rodders are very familiar with “billet” parts, though machinists cringe at the improper use of the term.  For the Hot Rodder, a “billet” part is one that has been machined from solid material sparing no expense or craftsmanship.  Cars built with such parts are…

Custom Aluminum Frame Fixture for Working on the Venerable Colt 1911

Mar 25, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  No Comments

I came across this article on the 1911 Forum and it scratches two itches:
–  I’m a major 1911 fan–it’s my favorite handgun to shoot.
–  It’s always a treat to see a machinist go crazy and do something custom that mere mortals don’t have access to.  Fellow machinists: that’s one reason we like to be machinists, is it not?
For the full article, go to the link above.  Meanwhile, here’s a few “teaser” photos:

Milling.  Lotsa coolant swirling around–that’s a good thing…

Shiny fixture:  Cool Beans!

Here’s what it’s good for…

I’ve done a little trigger work on my 1911, but I’d love to build a full custom pistol some time, with all the CNC’d trimmings.…



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