This is the forth in a series of Instructables on how to use CAD (Computer Aided Drawing) and CAM (Computer Aided Machining)
if you have been following along you should be getting quite good at using prodesktop so there is not as much detail in the photos and we will be focusing more on the design part of the program as engineering drawings and photo album have been covered in the first three instructables.
This project is a simple laser cut box which little kids love to play with, or you can cut it out of clear and use it to display an object.
If you haven't seen project one, take a look as it covers where to get the Prodesktop, how to activate the software, how to navigate the screen, what you will need and the mouse functions.
Digital Manufacturing - project one Key tag
Digital Manufacturing - project two desk name plate
Digital Manufacturing - project three 3D printed box
Digital Manufacturing - project five printed toy car
As computer tutorials don't translate to text very well, for this series of instructables most of the info is in the photos. So click on the first photo and use the arrows to go to the next photo. The boxes in the photos show the location of the icons and have have text in them when you hover the mouse on them.
Step 1: Designing the Front and End
A couple of things before you start, if you make the box too big, it may not fit on the laser cuter, so think a ahead, will six sides and the lid all fit on the bed of the laser? The other problem with making a large box out of acrylic is the material is not very strong so a large box is more likely to break if it is dropped or handled roughly.
Also fitting legs to box will help protect the bottom from scratches and also help the box to sit flat on a surface.
Ok let get started, click on the photo and use the arrows to follow along.
Step 2: Assembling the Front, Back and Ends
We need to keep our 2D drawing so cut and paste the parts into new designs, and is is also important to get the parts correctly orientated so we will be using the "work-plane new sketch" command
As always click on the photo and use the arrows to follow along.
Step 3: Tracing the Top and Bottom
click on the photos...
Step 4: Designing the Handle and Final Assembly
If you have a problem when assembling a part often is is easier to delete the component and add it again
Click on the photo to begin
Step 5: Speeding Up Cut Time and Exporting to DXF
It is important that you delete the "lines on top of lines" as if you don't the laser will cut in the same place twice.
This step also covers how to export a DXF file which is the format the laser cutter needs to cut out your project.
click on the screen-shots...