On Jan. 29th, Rob Burns had a great workshop on using Draftsight as a base for 2D/3D design. I have plenty of experience with 3D design, but I have wanted to learn to use the CNC router we have at the downtown located. This was the perfect opportunity for that!
Designing the case was surprisingly easy in Draftsight. I first sketched out the design on paper, then refined the design while it was in Draftsight. After the case was designed, we used CamBam to turn the 2d design into the gcode which the CNC mill runs on.
The material we used was 4.6mm thick plywood, using a 1/8th inch router bit. The inside portions were cut first, with each pass removing 1.5mm of materials. The outside cut used the same depth-per-pass, but we also told CamBam to leave tabs which connected the pieces connected to the rest of the stock, so they wouldn’t pop out and be damaged by the machine. The total cut time was just over 20 minutes.
I connected my HD webcam to the router, set up my camera on my tripod, and we started the cut. You can see the awesome timelapse below:
For a first iteration prototype, with the first time using Draftsight/CamBam/Linux CNC, I can say the finished product turned out much better than expected. The only design flaw was the slot on the side was a little too short for the pi’s audio port, but my Dremel quickly took care of that. Thanks again to Robert Burns for holding the Draftsight workshop and teaching me how to run the CNC router. Expect plenty of awesome projects in the future, I want to see what the router is capable of!