After building the CNC carving machine, I had to learn how to design parts for it to cut out. When people hear that I have a CNC machine, they often say something like, “Oh, so the computer just makes this?” Well, not really. There’s a lot to it. First I have to design the finished piece, in this case the shelf. Then I have to figure out how the pieces will fit together to make the finished object. Then I lay out how the parts will be cut from plywood.
And finally, I have to figure out how fast I can drive the machine. How deep can each pass be cut? How fast can the carver be driven through this type of wood at that depth? Which direction should it go?
[Parts being cut from plywood]
Finally, I’m ready to send the carving instructions to the robot. Here, it’s just finishing a two-hour carving job. Yes, I could have made this by hand way faster, but that’s not the point. The point was to learn how to design and create with this machine.
[Hidden internal join]
Here’s how this shelf works. The joints are hidden inside when it’s assembled.
[How it fits together]
[Stack of parts]
When it’s time to travel, though, the thing just pops apart into a flat stack of pieces.
[End result in the booth]
And here’s the final result, a jewelry display in my booth. Not so bad for the first try.