Archive for the ‘CNC’ Category

3D printing

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

My wife surprised me this Father’s Day with a QIDI X-smart. It’s a great little printer that turned out high quality parts right out of the box. I’ve been making a lot of things, some of them even useful, and learning a lot.



New controller for laser

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

I replaced the controller in the laser engraver/cutter with an Arduino and RAMPS board. This lets me use g-code and thus an easier and more flexible workflow. Winter is here so shop time is limited but I did get some testing done and it works great.

Baby gate brackets

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

What do you get when you mix a large clumsy geek, a dark house, and a poor defenseless baby safety gate? An excuse to make parts of course! While blundering around in the dark I managed to shear off the hinges on the baby gate that guards the top of our stairs. I have repaired them a time or two but they were never quite the same and finally there wasn’t enough material left to repair. With time off work and some shiny new 1″ thick HDPE for Christmas I decided to make some new brackets. The design was done in Google Sketchup and exported as DXF. Vectric Cut2D took in that geometry and I created the tool paths. After an air cut to see what kind of mood the CNC was in (it has been idle for months) I let the chips fly. The posts the gate attach to were fabricated from a couple of sacrificial 5/16″ nylon bolts. In hindsight I should have left some thread on and topped it off with a flange nut. Should the gate decide it likes to pop off enough I’ll upgrade the posts.

Sketchup model


Repaired gate


Bracket detail


Here are some rough, unedited videos. Note that the router is very loud so you will most likely need to crank down your audio.

The air cut, some closeups of the CNC machine


Cutting the first bracket.

Clamps for the cutting bed

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

The CNC itself was used to cut the groove for the T-track. I only did one track so far because my cheap 20K RPM router and cheap HSS bit were getting too hot. I also completed a probe setup for automatically determining workpiece height but failed to snap a picture.