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Browsing articles in "Cool"

CNC Projects: World’s Most Advanced Tape Dispenser?

Sep 18, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  1 Comment
cnc scotch tape dispenser

Part of the magic of CNC is that it can transform even the most mundane objects to look like something right out of a secret DoD UFO project.  Take this tape dispenser, for example:

You can find more pictures and information about the project over on the Acuteaero Blog.  There are several other neat projects along a similar vein too, including an alien flashlight lantern and a cool bicycle light.… Read the rest

Meet Stompy, the Giant Rideable Hexapod Robot

Sep 18, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  No Comments
rideable hexapod

We’ve written about Kickstarter before.  There are a lot of interesting things being funded there, but they’re not all products.  Some projects are art or in this case a combination of art, education, and experimentation.  Meet “Stompy”, a giant rideable Hexapod Robot.  Stompy has both a blog and a Kickstarter project.
The Kickstarter project funded to the tune of almost $98,000, but Stompy is still not finished, though he does seem to be moving right along.  Here is what the finished concept is supposed to look like:

Stompy is a giant rideable hexapod robot…
Stompy is being fabricated with welded slot-and-tab construction:

Welded slot and tab construction…
I’ve seen this kind of construction before among the more sophisticated fabrication crowd using plasma cutters or waterjets to cut out the parts.  … Read the rest

Check Out Our New High Resolution DLP 3D Printer Page

Sep 11, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, CNC Projects, Cool, DIY CNC, Products  //  No Comments

I’m very interested in High Resolution 3D Printers based on DLP (Digital Light Projectors), so I created a page for them.  These printers are different than the normal fused-filament 3D printers.  They’re capable of printing faster and of creating much higher resolution output.  “How much higher resolution?” you ask.  Check it out:

Now that’s High Resolution!
The new page will be a gathering point for information on these intriguing devices.  I’ve started it off with a roundup of available printers.   If you come across some good data on this technology, be sure to drop me a note so I can add it to the page.… Read the rest

Chip Fans for Clearing Chips

Aug 31, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  1 Comment

I remember the first time I saw a Lang Chip Fan.  I friend showed me on his VMC and we both had ear to ear grins in no time.  Imagine a tool that sits in your carousel.  Load it up, spin the spindle, and fan blades pop out to blow away coolant and chips:
The idea is a simple one, but effective.  Rather than blowing coolant and chips off the part with an air gun, and getting the back spray from all that while standing in the machine’s open door, you program a pass with flood running to wash down the part real good, and then take a pass with the chip fan to blow away the coolant and any remaining debris.  … Read the rest

Austin Barnett’s Awesome Custom CNC Car Badges

Aug 15, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Cool  //  3 Comments

I originally wrote about Austin’s work some time ago, but wanted to revisit and refresh the post as he has a very cool CNC business with products I’m sure a lot of folks would be interested in.  He is a great inspiration for those who have the imagination and craftsmanship, but wonder how to turn that into a business.  I first discovered Austin’s work on CNCZone, by accident. It was one of those “follow the link” treasure hunts, but boy was it worth it.
Check out these amazing custom badges he makes for the Corvette community:


Aren’t they gorgeous?
If you are interested in any of Austin’s badges for your car, here is his contact information:
Austin Barnett
(218) 828-4544
(218) 839-5928 cell
Making Car Badges
In the original CNCZone post, Barnett provided some details on how he makes them on his Mach3 converted Bridgeport Boss mill:
I cut them from 6061 aluminum, sanded them up to 800 grit and buffed them out.… Read the rest

MIT Students Create Hand-Held CNC Router: You Gotta See This!

Aug 9, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Router, Cool, DIY CNC  //  5 Comments
handheld cnc router

Every now and then you see one of those inventions or products that makes you do a total double take because you realize they are game changers.

Three MIT students,  Ilan E. Moyer, Alec Rivers, Frédo Durand (left to right in the picture), have created a game changer for CNC Routing and woodworking.  Their invention takes a handheld router and converts it into a precision CNC machine that can still be handheld.  It does this using a combination of digital camera vision and servo-controlling the precise position of the bit.
Think of it as the CNC version of image stabilized cameras.  … Read the rest

I am a Coach Builder

Aug 8, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool  //  No Comments
Shinya Kimura motorcycle dash

Long time readers will know CNCCookbook frequently mixes machine aesthetics and art with machining technique and knowledge.  I was drawn to CNC in order to make things, certain specific things.  I was captivated by the hot rod scene and wanted to create a roadster that was entirely my own design.  Along the way, I became totally seduced by the art of machining itself, but I will go back to making those things some day soon.
A long-time reader recently sent me a note about Shinya Kimura.  The video and blog post are very inspiring for all who love motorcycles and the art of making things.  … Read the rest

What if tool boxes were made like WWII Fighter Planes?

Jul 29, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, Techniques  //  1 Comment
WWII Fighter Toolbox by Aero1946

What if tool boxes and other things were made of rivetted aluminum like WWII fighter planes?
Well, you’d get the kind of thing Aero1946 does:

The gorgeous work is all hand-crafted, not a CNC in sight at Aero1946′s shop in Germany.  Check out his web site, there are a lot of photos of his manufacturing process in his workshop (Die Werkstatt):… Read the rest

Using a 3D Printer to Machine an AR-15 Lower Receiver

Jul 28, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, DIY CNC, Techniques  //  1 Comment
3D Printed AR-15 Lower Receiver

Here is a surprising find: someone has now 3D printed an AR-15 lower receiver and successfully test fired the weapon:

World’s first 3D printed firearm…
Here’s a lower receiver, the part that was 3D printed, for those not familiar with this firearm:

The most common 3D printing processes and the one used in this case resulted in a plastic lower receiver.
There is a lot more detail on this project over on the AR-15 Forums and I first came across this on (although I think my friend Nora was trying to tell me and I wasn’t listening hard enough!).
While the gun fires, the author says he is having problems with jamming and misfiring, so there may be some kinks to be worked out.  … Read the rest

3D Printing an Engagement Ring

Jul 25, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, DIY CNC  //  2 Comments
fiancee profile

Folks loved our recent post about making an engagement ring with CNC, so we thought we’d pass along this article from Cubify too.  I had to try the technique described, so here is what I did:
Start by taking a profile photo of your fiance:

Take a profile shot of your fiancee, and use the profile as a form for the ring…
 I drew the red line freehand in Photoshop with the image magnified full screen so I would have something to go by.  I then loaded that image as a background image in my CAD program, Rhino3D.  A lot of CAD programs will do this to make it easy to trace things from images.  … Read the rest

Use a Digital Microscope to Monitor Insert Wear

Jul 25, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, Products, Techniques  //  No Comments
Digital Microscope

I saw this trick over on Practical Machinist and thought it was pretty cool.  How many times do you hear on the shop floor, especially a Job Shop, “How long have those inserts been in there?”  It’s hard to keep up with tool life unless you have invested in a bunch of automation.  Inserts and other tooling can and do wear out, and it’s almost always better if you can spot the wear before something breaks.  If you have a digital microscope, it’s easy.  For those that have access to a PC at their CNC machines, USB digital microscopes are cheap.… Read the rest

Making Cool Fasteners to Set Off Your Projects and Products

Jul 23, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool  //  1 Comment

I like cool and offbeat fasteners. Call it a fetish, but I got hooked on weird fasteners working on cars. They can be very decorative and aesthetically pleasing. Take this shopmade example for a folding knife that I saw recently on the awesome HSM Shopmade Tooling thread:

The “bolt” looks great on the knife, doesn’t it? The tool would be a real nuisance to make manually, but very straightforward with CNC. I’ll have to try something like this at some point. It needs to wait for my CNC lathe to be finished though.
A thought:  you’ll notice that the bolt head has only indents and the tool has the protrusions that engage the indents?  … Read the rest

Crazy Cool Wood Joinery with CNC

Jul 12, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Router, Cool, Techniques  //  3 Comments

If you can imagine it, you can probably make it with CNC.  But how many of us are so used to seeing non-CNC’d things that we forget to imagine?
There is an indicator on the front of a Mac Powerbook laptop.  The case is aluminum, and if the indicator is not lit, you can’t see any evidence of an open.  When the indicator lights up, it is as if the indicator can actually shine through the aluminum.  It’s done by means of tiny holes put there via CNC controlled laser beam.  Seeing that really expanded my imagination.
In the arena of expanding your imagination about wood joinery, I loved an article over on MAKE called CNC Panel Joinery Notebook.… Read the rest

Do you like weird gears? Wooden gears? Do you have a CNC router?

Jul 11, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Router, Cool, Software  //  No Comments

If any of those are true, there’s two things you need to do.
First is to check out this Clayton Boyer video that went viral with nearly 2 million views as I write this:

I’ve written about Clayton’s wooden geared clocks before.

Gears designed with Gearotic Gear Design Software…
The second thing you need to do is try out Art Fenerty’s (the father of Mach3) Gearotic Gear Design Software.  Gearotic lets you design those sorts of oddball (as well as regular geartrains) gears you see in Clayton Boyer’s video.  Go on over to our Gearotic Gear Design page and check it out.  … Read the rest

Make Awesome Control Panels and Signs With “Gravograph”

Jul 8, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, CNC Router, Cool, Techniques  //  No Comments
CNC Control Panel

I learned a new technique from this great article on CNCZone describing how the original poster used a product called “Gravograph” to make this gorgeous CNC control panel:

And here is some work in progress:

This engraving material is a laminated plastic, that has a self-adhesive to make it easy to stick to aluminum or whatever the real structural material for your panel might be.  The plastic has a layer of black that is 0.012″ thick and then white underneath.  Set your engraving depth to just a little deeper (say, 0.015″) and look for great looking results like these.
What are you secrets for great engraving jobs like this?… Read the rest



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