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Showing posts from February, 2015

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…