Done at Edinburgh Hacklab - time needed - about 4 hours (including trial and error).
Equipment, software, ect. needed:
- CNC Milling Machine + software + milling tools
- Piece of material for the die (plexiglass/hardwood/aluminium...)
- Press or vice
- piece of paper, journal or paper notebook for embossing
- Dremel (optional)
Step 1: Creating a Die Template
I have downloaded the bitmap logo of Edinburgh Hacklab, imported into SolidWorks and made a new part where the logo was cut into a piece of solid body - exactly as it would look like on a final product. Now, to make the die, the template has to be mirrored.
This is easy with SolidWorks - use Cavity function from Mold functions. This will create a perfectly mirrored part which you can use to generate G code for milling machine.
To generate the G code I have used Cut3D - it is very simple and absolutely appropriate for this type of work. And is cheap!
Generate the G code and save into file - to be loaded into CNC control software.
Step 2: Mill the Die Out
The CNC milling machine at Edinburgh Hacklab is controlled by EMC2 (LinuxCNC) runnig on Ubuntu (RT).
Step 3: Finish the Die for Embossing
I have used Dremel to remove the rest of the material.
Step 4: Embossing
You will have to experiment here. Use different materials to emboss, however make sure the material is always laid onto a soft(er) base so the die can actually push the material into the soft foundation to make a nice emboss.