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Browsing articles in "Cool"

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.…

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:…

Build a Mechanical Iris

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

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.  It’d be a good project for a waterjet cutter too if you’re making it out of something besides wood.  Between the Lepton and ShopBot posts, there’s plenty of information available should you wish to build your own iris.


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!…

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.  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.   …Read the rest


What if CNC Machines Could Cook? 
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…

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.  Bartendro uses what is probably the most commercial efficient mechanism–an array of peristaltic pumps.  Here’s a shot of a really high capacity peristaltic pump that shows the mechanism off well:

The concept is simple.  There is a length of tubing around the circumference.  Rotating the pump activates a cam action that pinches off part of the tubing.  The distance between the cams causes a “slug” of liquid to move through the tubing twice per revolution.  The volume of the “slug” is the unit of measure the pump is capable of dispensing.  It’s ingeniously simple, and the tubing…

Manufacturing is Cool Again: It’s About Time

Mar 7, 2013   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Cool  //  4 Comments

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.  Suddenly it’s become very hip to mention 3D printing in press releases for mainstream products.
Not to be left out, Nike has also announced 3D printed football cleats:

As another example, companies like Apple are doing personalized engraving on products selling in the tens of millions of units.  Apple in general has been all about cool manufacturing.  Expect to see personalization driving ever more innovative manufacturing technologies to the big leagues.
Mainstream Manufacturing Access
Companies like…




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