For your next project, try this one. I always had a fondness for the works of M. C. Escher, so i decided to make the reptiles out of wood.
I started with a dxf from here, but quickly found that the 1/8" diameter end mill couldn't hope to cut out the sharp internal corners, so I had to modify the drawing to allow for the tool diameter. For those of you with a laser cutter, you can just ignore this instructable all together and cut away. The laser definitely has some serious advantages here: zero material waste, perfect sharp internal corners, etc.
This instructable will show how I started with a non-CNC-able tessellation and modified it to allow for CNC-ability. It's not as simple as it seemed at first.
For this, you'll need:
- A tessellation pattern to start with (I used the M.C. Escher reptiles)
- A CNC router/mill
- A parametric 2-D (or 3-D) CAD program with the ability to place multiple identical blocks. I used the free and quite good SolidEdge 2D Free.
- Some wood. I used 5.2mm (.2") birch veneer plywood from Orchard Supply. It's $10 for 24" x 48" x 1/4". Real solid hardwood would be much better because the birch veneer tends to fray and peel.
Step 1: Import your image into your CAD program
Take your stating image, say a reptile, and import it into SolidEdge. I use the 2D model view for just about everything.
Insert->Image. Get it sized to the size you want to print it. In this case, about 2".