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Showing posts from 2015

RadarNow! New Current Conditions box

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In version 6.0, we altered the way the current conditions are being displayed. In prior versions, the current conditions were selected by pressing the current conditions icon in the top right corner of the screen. This would provide the conditions from the weather station closest to the user's location. It would tell the user exactly where the weather station was located and there was no way to change that weather station.

The current conditions could also be reached by doing a long press on the map and selecting that option from the dialog box. Again, there was no way to tell exactly where the weather station was located. If one of the bubbles were selected, the current conditions could be reached and the exact location of that weather station would be known.

In version 6.0, the current conditions are reached by a new icon at the bottom-left corner of the screen, or by doing a long press on the map as before. The difference is now the map aligns to where the weather station is l…

CNC Precise Hole Drilling Jig

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I was beset with a tough problem in how to drill a precise hold in parts I'm making for a project. It's fairly easy to position a part within 1/32nd of an inch but if the tolerances are less, and especially if they are a lot less, it is very difficult if not impossible to repeatably register a part manually with greater precision than 1/32".

The precision I needed was on the order of 1/100" or less. In order to be able to repeatably machine a hole .215"in diameter in a plastic part that measures 1.25"x1.25"x.35" I came up with a method of building and using a jig in my CNC machine made from the same .375" acrylic material the parts were made from.
The trick was to first mount the jig blank in the CNC machine, then make the jig itself with the CNC. Once made, it wasn't moved and that guaranteed that registration wasn't going to be an issue.

The part needed to be quite steady as boring out acrylic takes a considerable punch. Any movemen…

Creating a 3D object on a CNC indexer

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This week I set out to run my first 3D indexer job on my ShopBot machine. The indexer (a lathe like tool) along with the CNC spindle is quite a capable tool. Up to now, I've only used it to create symmetrical carvings, much like would be produced by a standard lathe.

I needed a model that didn't have a lot of undercuts. An undercut is a place on the model where the bit won't be able to reach. Since the bit always goes straight down towards the center of rotation of the model, anything that is hidden from above can't be cut. For models of animals, a naturally bent leg or the back of an ear would create an undercut. The model I chose, a porcelain cat, had undercuts between the ears but that's all. I figured that would be easy enough to chisel out by hand.

The digitizing process is fairly easy using my NextEngine 3D scanner. This device is painfully slow but for doing once in a while 3D scanning, works quite well. The resolution is excellent and it's mostly an aut…