"One Perfect Part at a Time"


Project Tessa

In case you missed this, here is a picture of a project I made on the HB2 router. I published it over on the Ramblin’ Dan blog too.

The layout was designed in Vectric Aspire and output for the  MACH3 controller. Of course it is MACH3 that runs the steppers on the HB2.

Four files and three tool bits were required. One file cuts the outline using a 1/4 inch flat router bit. It leaves tabs for support so I did this first. Next was the roughing file again with the 1/4 flat bit in 1/8 inch steps. The third pass was the finish (detailed) pass using a 1/8 inch ball nose bit with very shallow step over.

The last file was the V-Carve for the name and date.

Total run time on the HB2 was about 2.5 hours. Speeds were 100 IPM for the roughing and 70 IPM for the finish. The HB2 handled them all just fine.

I actually made three runs. The first one is where the coupling broke, the second I spelled Tessa’a middle name as Daniel (Horrors!) and then the final fully successful ran you see here. At least I had a test piece to practice the finish work (and I did).

Three coats of shellac gave the oak the color you see here (no stain). Then the color painting. Last a final coat of clear lacquer.

I also used a table router to cut a T slot in the back for hanging on the wall.

Oh yes, the date is correct. Tessa is one year old!

HB2 First Project


Picture 1 of 6

HB2 has been brought to full functioning life with sounds not much unlike a trim router. I am kind of alluding here to a new baby cries when first born.

I am not one to choose an easy project for the very first run. What you see here is the Aztec calendar with a lot of detail. I set the design up in Vectric Aspire V2 and sized it for a 12 inch diameter. The process is known as V-Carving.

I used a 90 degree V-Carve bit. I discovered I should have used a 60 or perhaps 45 degree V-Carve bit. I would have deeper cuts and wouldn’t have had the dropout in several areas due to board warpage.

But all in all, not too shabby for a first run. I and HB2 can only get better. Enjoy the pictures.

See Video -> V-Carve Action

Vectric Software Update

The Vectric Software that I use for 3D carving and engraving design with my CNC machines (and the main reason for HB2) has just published a new creative design program named ASPIRE. It is kind of a blend and update to their previous products with additional creative ability for 3D designs. For a look-see follow this LINK.

Lithophane Making

Here is my latest creation. The carving is called a Lithophane. In the first picture you can see that it is a reverse relief carving. The darkest details are raised in the design The material is 1/4 inch thick Corian produced by DuPont. Its the stuff from which counter tops and wall covering is made. As it turns out, it is very easy to engrave.

The second picture is the same carving with back-light. As you can see, when illuminated from behind, it shows a very high detail gray scale photograph. You can even see the reflection in my glasses! The detail is outstanding.

In this example the photo area is about 4 x 5.75. Just the right size for the CnC Taig Micro-Mill. I don’t have a step-by-step example in my hobby web site yet, but I will soon. Probably this week end. I’ll post a link here.

What is hard to believe is all I used was two ball end mills to machine this picture. The first was a 1/8 inch mill for roughing out, followed by a 1/16 inch mill for the finish pass. That was almost 1000 lines. Total machining time was about 2.5 hours.

Update 4/20/08:

As promised, The Hobbyist Machine Shop has the lithophane making process in the web site. From the menu bar select “Projects” then select “Lithophane” from the drop down. Enjoy! ~ Dan’l

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