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Here’s a non-tool CNC project I found on MAKEzine. I love it because it combines workshop skills used in a novel way with another of my favorite pasttimes: cooking. I’ve seen articles before that are similar. The idea is to use the CNC to create a food mold of some kind. In this case, they’ve made these wonderful little white chocolate skulls and used a walnut for the brain. Cool!
Full details on how these were made are in the MAKEzine article. In this case, the artist sculpted the skulls from polymer clay and then made a silicone mold from the clay.… Read the rest
When people hear I have a machine shop, invariably they want to know what I make. And my answer tends to be “tools”. The discussion rapidly goes circular, since the curious onlooker wants to know what all the tools are going to be used to make. Making “tools” for their own sake seems not to be a real answer for the layman. That’s okay, the beautiful thing about a machine shop is you start to realize there isn’t much you couldn’t make, it’s more a matter of what captures your imagination enough to be worth the time.… Read the rest
Thanks to Make Magazine for pointing out this very cool product:… Read the rest
I came across these two videos by accident while researching something else, but they’re interesting. Crankshafts seem like the poster children of less-than-obvious machining work, so here are two different examples at radically different scales and costs of how to go about it.
First up is a German Golmatic CNC mill being used to machine the crankshaft for a model of a Boxer 6 cylinder engine:
Machining a crankshaft with a 4th axis…
I couldn’t find any more information on this interesting project, so I don’t know if the engine was ever completed or not.… Read the rest
I’ve been fascinated for a long time with articles about the world of Additive Machining. In this approach, materials are added to make a part as opposed to conventional machining which removes material by turning it into chips. Recently, I found this beautiful project to build an “Ideal Harmonic Transformer”, which is essentially a mechanical analog computer for trig functions. Long time readers will be familiar with my obsession with astronomical analog computers in the form of elaborate clocks with orerries that show the position of heavenly bodies in the night sky.… Read the rest
Over on Practical Machinist, there are many great stories about folks making things. It’s probably the largest online community dedicated to manufacturing, and there is something there for everyone. I just saw the video that Kevin and his nephew put together that shows what Potter USA does, and it’s wonderful:
Small Company Making Things: Tools for Jewelers…
There’s so many things to like about the video. It shows a one man manufacturing business, his collection of vintage (some WWII era) machine tools, and the craftsmanship involved in making tools for jewelers and jewelry manufacturing.… Read the rest
There’s a great pair of articles on Straightline’s manufacturing over on MMSOnline. The first talks about the company’s highly automated CNC manufacturing in general. Straightline makes Mountain Bike components, and was started by a family working together.
Here is a typical part, a stem:
While Straightline is a Canadian company based in Vancouver, rather than an American company, that takes nothing away from the story they have to tell, which is a story that works equally well in this country. The company started out in a garage as a Job Shop, and about 1/3 of their business is still manufacturing for others.… Read the rest
I read this great little story, almost as a footnote to other things before I realized what I was seeing. It seems that a part of the Mars rover that grinds up samples contains a piece of salvaged aluminum from the Twin Towers. “What a great tribute,” I thought. And then I read the rest and realized that the maker of the part for the rover, Honeybee Robotics, is a CNCCookbook customer that uses G-Wizard. They’re based within a mile of the World Trade Center and wanted to pay tribute to the victims.… Read the rest
I got a chuckle out of this crazy YouTube video:
The bar stool racers are cool, but this beer case scooter is awesome!… Read the rest
Thanks to MAKEzine for putting me onto Jeff de Boer’s beautiful artwork:
Atomic Duelling Pistols by Jeff de Boer
De Boer has the aesthetic just right for pulp science fiction. I have no idea whether the pistols can actually fling their fanciful atomic projectiles, but the work is beautiful nonetheless.
I always enjoy seeing fine machine work that’s turned to art and wish there was more of it. There is an office near my area that I visit from time to time. One of the partners of the firm collects patent models, another source of beautiful work and what a great display for a firm that invests in technology.… Read the rest
This is a fascinating development (hat tip to Dezignworks blog for putting me on to it). 3D Systems is a 3D printing company (think everything from personal Reprap-style extruders on up to commercial industrial strength solutions) that went public relatively recently. They’re showing nearly $180 million a year in revenue and a market cap of over $1.2 billion. Evidently their newly-minted public stock currency has enabled them to go on a shopping spree for technologies they view as strategic. I’ve been saying for a while that in a CNC world, digital tooling is just as important as and perhaps more important than actual physical tooling.… Read the rest
The Tormach guys are really excellent people to deal with by all accounts. I already have a mill, so I have largely been a customer for some of their accessory tooling. I love their offline Tool Presetter “Tormach Tool Assistant” and their CNC Scanner, for example. Both very cool gizmos, and I’ll be writing more about them at some point. But, a recent blog posting of theirs has got me wondering whether a Tormach machine may be in my future after all.
I have been wanting a larger lathe that is CNC–preferably a toolroom lathe rather than a pure manufacturing lathe.… Read the rest
I loved seeing this cool little rocket plane model done via a BobCAD 3D profiling job on CNCZone:
Neat Rocket Plane…… Read the rest
Check out these awesome brake rotors by G-Wizard users Braketech:
Gorgeous motorcycle brake rotor by Braketech…
We always enjoy seeing what our customers are up to. If you’ve got some parts photos you’d like to see published, drop us a note. We’ll help you get the word out and give you some link love back to your site as well.… Read the rest