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Browsing articles in "Cool"

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.… Read the rest

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.  … Read the rest

Custom Aluminum Frame Fixture for Working on the Venerable Colt 1911

Mar 25, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  No Comments
1911FixtureCoolant

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.… Read the rest

Moedls: An Inexpensive 3D Scanner on Kickstarter

Mar 18, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Cool, DIY CNC, Products  //  1 Comment

I just signed up for Moedls, which is an inexpensive 3D Scanner project on Kickstarter.  It uses a turntable, a red laser, a green laser, and your phone’s camera to generate a 3D model of whatever you put on the 9″ turntable.  Cost to buy in early is as low as $199.  I went for the Early Backer Advanced Scanner for $249.  They need to raise $40,000 for the project to become a reality, so we’ll see how it goes.  The idea of an inexpensive 3D scanner seems very appealing.  I hope to get a chance to play with it.
Here is a video of the Moedls:… Read the rest

Build a Mechanical Iris

Mar 12, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, CNC Router, Cool  //  No Comments
IrisPartsDrawing

G-Wizard customer Lepton Heavy Industries has a neat blog post out about building a mechanical iris.  I don’t know why, but these darned things have always fascinated me.
This particular project uses a laser cutter to make the iris out of Baltic Birch, and it is based on a ShopBot CNC Router article by Chris Schaie that has extensive details for constructing an iris.  He imports the DXF into Corel Draw and uses the latter to scale to size for his material:

As you can see, it’s a very nesting-intensive sort of project if you want to get full use of your material.  … Read the rest

Hebo: Automated Blacksmithing

Mar 12, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool  //  No Comments

I took a course in Blacksmithing at the local community college.  It was a lot of fun, but seemed like the furthest thing from CNC and automated manufacturing.  Seems that where there is a will, there is a way.  I give you the Hebo automated blacksmithing machine:

No need to worry about it replacing the artistry of blacksmithing, but it’s still a neat machine to watch in action.  There’s some interesting mechanisms at work here.
Love the old, “Money, money, money” soundtrack too!… Read the rest

Check Out Our New 3D Printing Category

Mar 12, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Cool, DIY CNC  //  No Comments

I’ve just added another category to our blog:  3D Printing.  Categories are a way for you to dial in a bunch of articles that all share a common theme.  We range pretty far and wide here on CNCCookbook, so it is sometimes helpful to be able to focus in on one category or another.  You’ll find our current list of categories in the left hand navigation bar on our blog pages.
Our 3D Printing category already has a bunch of great articles in it:

Manufacturing is Cool Again: It’s About Time 
Have you noticed that manufacturing is cool again?  Seems like it has been a long time.  … Read the rest

Bartendro: A CNC Cocktail Mixing Barbot

Mar 9, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  No Comments
peristaltic pump

Long time readers will know I am fascinated by Barbots–robotic bar tenders that can mix up cocktails.  I just saw Bartendro on Kickstarter and thought it was neat:

The biggest problem with a Barbot is how to measure out the drink ingredients.  You need a way to meter multiple ingredients (15 in Bartendro’s most complex and expensive incarnation) that is food safe and easily cleaned.  I’ve seen Barbots with various tipping mechanisms that try to pour the alcohol from a bottle the way a human bartender would.  I’ve also seen them that use a valve that is opened for a specific time interval.  … Read the rest

Manufacturing is Cool Again: It’s About Time

Mar 7, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Cool  //  4 Comments
new-balance-3d-printed-1

Have you noticed that manufacturing is cool again?  Seems like it has been a long time.  But, thanks to 3D printing and a new DIY/Maker movement, there are definite signs that manufacturing is cool again and that the mainstream public is very interested in it.  Here’s a sampling of the cool:
Personalized Products
A number of big brands are announcing personalized manufacturing initiatives that involved 3D printing.  For example, the athletic shoe companies are really jumping (no pun intended!) on the 3D printing and custom manufacturing bandwagon.  New Balance is going to offer customized 3D printed spikes to the soles of their shoes:

They monitor athletes with over 100 sensors to determine the optimal placement of the spikes based on that athlete’s specific footwork.  … Read the rest

Neat Portable EDM Drill and Tap Remover

Feb 4, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, Products  //  No Comments

As soon as I saw this video I thought, “What a cool product.”  It’s a portable EDM sinker that can be used to remove broken taps and drill bits.  EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) can literally disintegrate metal like Marvin the Martian’s Ray Gun.  It’s a fascinating process, and there are parts that are impossible to make any other way.  This little gizmo applies EDM to the problem of removing a broken tap or drill bit from the workpiece.  This is a problem we’ve all had at one time or another that generally leads to some strong language.  If you’ve got a workpiece you’ve invested a lot of work in, it’s very expensive to start over.  … Read the rest

Donek Drag Knife Adds Versatility to CNC Routers and CNC Mills

Dec 27, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Router, Cool, Products, Techniques  //  No Comments

Came across this unique drag knife from Donek Tools and thought it was very slick:

The video demo shows some pretty amazingly sharp cuts being made at high speeds because the knife orients itself.  It takes ordinary utility knife blades and comes in 2 sizes.

Donek founder Sean Martin invented the Donek Drag Knife to cut graphics for the custom snow boards he was making on his Shopbot CNC Router.… Read the rest

What If CNC Machines Could Cook? Digital Gastronomy

Dec 24, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Cool, DIY CNC  //  1 Comment
digitalchocolatier

What if CNC machines could cook?
I’m not sure what took me down this odd path, other than that I recently made up a batch of Texas Chili Fudge and a batch of Peppermint Bark for a Christmas Eve Party.  I have been dimly aware of some CNC cake decorating projects, and I confess to a fascination with cocktail robotics, but there is an odd little niche that involves using CNC to cook.  Since the Holiday Season can be very food oriented for some, why not take a look at a couple of these slick design concepts from Marcelo Coelho’s project Cornucopia:
 
The Digital Chocolatier dispenses ingredients into a thermoelectrically heated mixing cup to produce a custom confection…

The Virtuoso Mixer is all about automatically assembling your ingredients…
I like this last machine particularly.  … Read the rest

Movie Prop Maker Fon Davis’s Workshop

Dec 23, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Cool  //  1 Comment

Make Magazine ran a fascinating interview of Fon Davis, who runs a neat movie prop making company called Fonco Creative.  It included a great video tour of his workshop:

Be sure to check out the original article for a bunch more photos and information.
I’ve noticed over the years that there seems to be a fairly significant underground community of people making props both for the film industry but also just for fun.  Always fun to see what they’re up to, and it often includes some CNC or some techniques that any CNC’er would find interesting and useful.… Read the rest

Rose Engines: The Preferred Machine for Guilloche

Dec 6, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, Techniques  //  No Comments

I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the brief blog posting on Engine Turning, Jeweling, and Guilloche was the most popular post last week.  It seems that others share my fetish for these interesting decorative machine arts.  As a result, I wanted to share a couple of great videos that really show how Guilloche (that’s pronounced “Gee-o-shay”) is done with a machine called a “Rose Engine”.  Perhaps the idea that a Rose Engine is used results in the use of the term “Engine Turning” for Guilloche.  I like that latter term better.  It’s more elegant and Engine Turning has become firmly entrenched in many minds as being the little abrasive circles that appear on metal.  … Read the rest

Engine Turning, Guilloche, Damascene, and Jeweling

Dec 2, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, Techniques  //  No Comments

Sometime, when you’re not doing much else, Google “engine turning”. You’ll find a number of extremely fascinating entries:

Classic engine turning by Eamonn Keogh…
That photo is what we classically mean by “engine turning” here in the States. It goes by a number of other names as well:
Jeweling
Krayling
Damascene / Damascening (particularly for firearm bolts)
Ornamental Turning
Swirling
Snailing
Mottling (especially in the UK)
 
It is a purely decorative effect that is quite pleasing. Even more elaborate, more impressive, and also called “engine turning”, is the work done for fine jewelry, cufflinks, clocks, and similar purposes:

Guilloche…
This work is often referred to as “guilloche” and to my way of thinking it’s more a type of engraving than engine turner.  … Read the rest

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