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Browsing articles in "Cool"

Amazing Shopmade Plasma Table

Nov 12, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool, DIY CNC  //  No Comments

This plasma table from CNCZone is probably the most impressive table I have yet come across:

It’s a big beast. The gantry is mounted on the long axis so that when it is slid out of the way, access to the table with a full sheet of material is easy.

They had the various parts laser cut by a nearby supplier. Note the copious use of “tab and slot” construction. I see this a lot when plasma cut (or waterjet) parts are to be welded together.
Also note that cutting out parts like this would be a perfect job for a plasma table (or laser or waterjet).… Read the rest

Jared’s Cube: Baffling and Beautiful

Nov 12, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, CNC Router, Cool  //  3 Comments

If you like Turner’s Cubes, perhaps Jared’s Cube will appeal:

I found these quite by accident via Google. Aren’t they cool?
Something similar would make a neat CNC router project.  I could imagine one like the last photo but done so the layers alternate light and dark woods.  If you’ve done something artistic with your CNC machine, send me some photos.… Read the rest

Every Day Carry: New Ideas for CNC Projects

Nov 5, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  1 Comment
Boker Plus Toucan Multi-Tool

According to Wikipedia, Every Day Carry (EDC), “refers to a small collection of tools, equipment and supplies that are carried on a daily basis to assist in tackling situations ranging from the mundane to the disastrous.”
While there can be something of a suvivalist overtone to EDC writings, I just see them as neat ideas for CNC projects and something a machinist ought to be carrying around in their pockets.  They’re typically little tools designed to go on your keychain or on a chain around your neck.  Here are a few to take a gander at so you get the idea:
I’ve got links on a couple of those in case you’d rather just buy one.  … Read the rest

Rocketman: Toys and Curiosities for the Mechanical Mind

Nov 5, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool  //  1 Comment

Mechanisms can be beautiful as art, and I am always pleased when I find a new site that offers that sort of thing.  Today, we’re celebrating Rocketman’s many fascinating toys and curiosities:

Gears, a crank, and precision dowel pins let you customize this gearbox according to your own desires…

CNC’ers appreciate the backlash-free operation ofa  ballscrew…
Check out the rest of the site for more interesting mechanical art.  Perhaps it’ll inspire you to your own project or toy.… Read the rest

Awesome V-Twin Desktop Engine

Oct 15, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool  //  No Comments

I’m always stopped dead in my tracks when I come across an obviously CNC-made work of art like these little engines:

Aren’t the aesthetics of this thing tasty? It definitely has that “billet CNC machined” look about it. This is a $700+ toy available from the odd little firm They have some wonderfully fun contraptions that are well worth checking out. How about the 4-cylinder model:

I discovered a little later that these engines are made by a firm called “Maier”. You can Google for “Maier Butane Engine” to see other shops selling them.… Read the rest

Congrats to Felix on the World Record-Setting Sky Dive

Oct 14, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool  //  No Comments

My son and I watched the jump just now, and it evoked feelings I haven’t had since watching the major events of our space program with my own dad. I wish we could get back to more of that, and less of flying the dinosaur bones around.
Very exciting, and we were so glad to see him land on the ground.
Congratulations, Felix!
Looks like maybe private enterprise can do a few things too.… Read the rest

Check Out Tormach’s CNC Knife Making Workshop With John Grimsmo

Oct 3, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool  //  1 Comment
cnc knife making fixture

Tormach is teaming up with John Grimsmo to teach a CNC knife making workshop.  John runs the Knifemaking Tuesday YouTube Channel, which I am addicted to, as well as John Grimsmo Knives.  He’s been doing it for a while and tells every detail of how to make knives like these using CNC:

I’d love to have the opportunity to attend just to get to know John and the Tormach guys, but alas, too busy here with CNCCookbook.  You can go though.  Full details on the Tormach Workshops page.  If you ever wanted to get started making knives, this is a great way to jumpstart a learning curve that John has been on for years.  … Read the rest

Making Custom Weatherproofing and Strain Relief Boots With RTV Overmolding

Sep 30, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, Techniques  //  5 Comments
Custom Weathproof Wiring Boots

Just got a nice note from Kenneth Maxon who runs Max’s Little Robot Shop explaining how to make these cool weatherproofing boots:

Doesn’t that look seriously professional?
Don’t they look seriously professional?  Well they should, because Kenneth is a professional at doing these sorts of things and he builds gorgeous robots for fun too.
Here’s the guts of how it’s done:

He’s made up a mold in aluminum on his CNC for the 2-part RTV Urethane.  He uses core pins to keep the holes for the mounting screws open.  The cable itself starts off with an overbraid that he heat treats with a match to keep it from unravelling.  … Read the rest

Form 1: Another New High Resolution 3D Printer Takes Off on Kickstarter

Sep 26, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Cool  //  5 Comments
Form 1 3D Printer

I just spied another High Resolution 3D printer over on Kickstarter:  The Formlabs Form 1.  With 29 days still to go, they’ve raised $366,000 against a goal of $100,000 showing there is a lot of interest in a high quality 3D printer.  This particular printer uses a technology called Stereolithography.   In both types of printer, the resin sets up through exposure to light.  The other High Res 3D printers we’ve covered on our 3D printer page have mostly used a DLP projector to deliver the exposure light.  The Form 1 and other Stereolithography printers use a precisely targeted laser beam to do the job.… Read the rest

Dinosaur Bones Just Flew Over My House

Sep 21, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool  //  6 Comments
Santa Cruz Space Shuttle Flyover

A space shuttle on the back of the special 747 just flew over my house on its way to its final resting place in LA.  It was a proud but bittersweet sight because it was a taste of what had been in an era that’s come to a close for our manned space exploration program.  We got a call from a friend that it was coming, walked out onto our deck, and there it was within a couple of minutes. The trio of aircraft (there was a fighter escort) were moving along at a stately pace and at a fairly low altitude to give anyone who cared a chance to see the craft fly, one last time, albeit with a lot of help.… Read the rest

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



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