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Picture of Whaletail! Coat Rack Part 1
I'm makin' a coat rack! This instructable will be broken down into several parts, each one focusing on a skill necessary to create each component of my coat rack. My goal is to make this piece modular...we'll see how it goes...=)


Programs:
Rhino 4.0/AutoDesk Inventor
123D Make
V-Carve
Cut 3D
FlowPath
FlowCut

Materials Needed:
Wood (Maple, Pine...whatever you can find)
Metal Rod/Tubing 1/2" and 1/4 "(Steel, Stainless, or Aluminum)
Sheet Metal 16g or 14g (Steel, Stainless, or Aluminum)
Wood glue
Polyurethane
Sandpaper
Files

Skills and Tools Needed: 
Shop Bot 2 and 2.5D
Water Jet
TIG Welding
Slip Roll
5"  Diameter Pipe
Sanding and filing
 
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Step 1: Making a model

Picture of Making a model
I began by taking measurements of the space for the coat rack. I looked up some standard sizes to get an idea of how large it should be. I also had a handy dandy dead tomato plant to use as a reference! 

Once I gathered my measurements, I created a model in Rhino 4.0. The parts in purple will be made of wood and the blue, metal. From this model, you're going to create the part files for the Shop Bot.


Step 2: 123D Make

Picture of 123D Make
123d make.jpg
I created 2 more files, one with the just whale cranium and another with the tail.

I considered doing a 2.5D for the round portion but since I placed registry holes in his body it is necessary to route this section in layers and then glue him together. This method of construction is perfect for 123D Make.

I saved my file as an STL, then imported it into 123D Make.
From there, you can input the size of your object, your material( it's good have your material on hand so that you can take accurate measurements) and how you want it sliced.

It will automatically draw the vector files for you based your parameters! (There will still be some clean up in V-carve) You will then save the file as an .eps or PDF.

Step 3: V-Carve

Picture of V-Carve
v carve.jpg
v carve tool paths.jpg
In V-carve, open the .eps vector files. From here I need to delete any extraneous lines and numbers that are in the drawing. Leave only the necessary lines to make your profile and pocketing cuts, then add tabs accordingly.

An endmill is an appropriate bit for the types of cuts I'm making for these parts.

Step 4: Shop Bot it!

Picture of Shop Bot it!
mini model.jpg
Now I'm ready to route out my pieces! For this round, I'm going to start off by making a miniature model of my whale using scrap material found around the shop.

This is to insure that my files are written correctly before I destroy any new material.

In addition, I'm still in the process of acquiring the tube for this piece and would like to get accurate measurements so that my registration holes fit around the tubing snugly.

As you can see on the individual layers, my part files weren't entirely correct, so some adjustments will have to be made before the finished piece is routed.

I then glued and mostly sanded the model to get a idea of how the finished piece should look. Yeah...not going with plywood.

In part 2, I'll being working with 2.5 to create the whale's tail!