Large Format CNC

CNCs, or Computer Numerical Control, are highly automated milling/metalworking machines which have interchangeable blades that carve 3-dimensional shapes with precision.

For this week assignment we have to do design and test two things:

  • Doing a joint test
  • Designing something useful to be used with the joint method.

First Step is to measure and double check the thickness of the wood we are going to cut. According to thickness of the wood, we have made our joint test design in Fusion 360. After finishing the design we have to export the design in DXF format.

  • Next step is to import the DXF file in VCarve application. VCarve application allows you to create an exciting 3D carving from a simple 2D image. Routing or engraving using standard tools produces square-edged cuts of a set depth.

  • After that, try to align all the drawing inside the white box and kind of closer to each other to utilize the space on the wood your going to cut with.

  • Make sure to create fillets between your joints, the name of the fillets we are using called "Dog-Bone". The DogBone Fillet command is different to a normal Fillet command because it creates a circular arc that is outside of the edges. The point of intersection for both edges is actually the mid-point of the arc.

  • After adjusting everything needed to be adjust, you need to choose the Toolpath your going to cut on from the Toolpath Operations.

  • To make the cutting more accurate, we can add more tabs for the toolpath. In this case I have added two tabs. The tabs are the number of time the machine going to cut the same line.

  • At the end make sure you save the toolpath in (.sdp) format.

  • Before start cutting with machine, we need to calibrate the z-axis for the machine. You can do that by putting the metal plate under the drill point and the climber in the position as the picture showing. In addition to that make sure that the starting point for x-axis & y-axis is starting from the edge, in order for it to cut as its showing in the design we adjust.

  • Next, upload the file to machine. Make sure than vacuum machine is working and then start cutting.

  • This is the end results for cutting the test joints.

  • I have added multiple different ratio between the original size of the joint, and its ends up that 0.2mm is the good fitting for me.

  • After all this experiments I have started working on my design and create a small shelf. This is the unassembled version for it with 0.2mm joint gap.

  • Following all the steps we have done, this is the end results of my work.