Introduction: Birdhouse

About: We are a family of Artistic minds who not only create the ArtCAM Software, but make fun things aswell.

Things you need:

  • ArtCAM Express
  • CNC Machine
    Selection of cutting tools
    Piece of wood (preferably 15mm thick)
    Wooden dowel

Step 1: Watch the Video

Step 2: Creating the Walls

1. Open a new model of dimensions 1500 x 1000 x 15 mm

2. Use the Create Rectangle tool to create a rectangle of a width of 350mm and a height of 200mm

3. Centre this in the middle of the model by selecting the Centre in Model icon or pressing F9

4. Create a circle with a radius of 32mm so that the bottom of the circle and the bottom of the front
wall is separated by 125mm

5. Create ventilation holes by selecting Create Rectangles and manually dragging and creating a rectangle to
one side of the front wall until you have the dimensions you want

6. Use the Create Arcs tool to create an arc which connects the top two corners of the rectangle and use the
Trim Vectors tool to delete the top side of the rectangle

7. Hold Shift and select both of the new vectors and use the Join Vectors With A Line tool to merge these two
vectors and create a closed vector

8. Mirror this vector across the model using the Mirror Vector to create a symmetrical hole on the other
side of the front wall, ensuring that the original vectors are not deleted

Step 3: Side Walls and Back Wall

1. Create a rectangle using the Create Rectangle tool with a height of 200mm and a width of 250mm

2. Reposition this to the left hand side of the front wall using the Transform tool

3. Draw a line vector vertically upwards from the centre of the top of this new rectangle which has an approximate height of 125mm using the Create Polyline tool

4. Create a new polyline that originates from the top left hand corner of the rectangle and snapped to the top of the vertical line and then finishes at the top right corner of the rectangle, ensuring that Smooth Polyline is off

5. Use the Trim Vector tool to delete the vertical line and the top side of the rectangle, leaving a pentagon

6. Join the two remaining vectors with the Join Vectors With A Line tool so that a closed vector is

7. Create two parallel vectors using the Create Polyline tool that go across the width of the wall. These will
make up the banister rails

8. Use the Create Ellipse tool to create an ellipse between the bottom of the wall and the banister rail

9. Use the Block Copy / Rotate tool to block copy this with 1 row, 12 columns and a gap of 10mm. This will
finish of the effect of a balcony

10. Select all the vectors that make the side wall and open the Mirror Vectors menu and mirror the vectors
across the model. There should now be identical side walls either side of the front wall

11. Select all the vectors in the model and use the Transform tool to drag them over to the left hand side of the model

12. Select the vector which encloses the front wall and holding the Ctrl button, drag it over to the over
side of the right hand wall, this should copy the vector and create a back wall

Step 4: Creating the Roof

1. Use the Create Rectangle tool to create a rectangle which has a height of 200mm and a width of 350mm

2. Drag this rectangle so it is positioned above the front wall

3. Use the Create Circles tool to create a circle with the centre snapped to the top left hand corner of this
rectangle and a radius of 17.5mm

4. Open the Node Editing menu and while hover over each of the two nodes half way up the circle. This should
cut the circle in half. Delete the top half of the circle leaving a semicircle centred around the corner of the rectangle

5. Use Block Copy / Rotate to block copy this with a gap of 0mm, 11 columns and 1 row

6. Select all these vectors and while holding the Ctrl button drag the vectors left 17.5mm and down 17.5mm

7. Select all of the semicircle vectors and use the Block Copy / Rotate tool to block copy the vectors with a
0mm gap, 1 column and 7 rows

8. Group all these semicircle vectors

9. Select the rectangle vector and then reselect the grouped semicircles and then use the Vector Clipping tool to constrain the vectors inside the rectangle, clipping any vectors which overlap

10. Create a rectangle above the back wall with a height of 176mm and a width of 350mm

11. Drag the semicircle tiling vectors across from the front roof section while holding Ctrl so that the vectors are copied. Repeat the Vector Clipping process

Step 5: Create the Floor and Support

1. Create a rectangle the dimensions of a height of 300mm and a width of 350mm below the back wall

2. Create a rectangle with a height of 400mm and a width of 50mm and position below the front wall

3. Create a square of side length 200mm and use the Node Editing tool to cut the square at the top right
and bottom left corners

4. Delete the bottom part of the square and use the Create Polyline tool to create a wavy line at closes the

The design is now complete.

Step 6: Creating the Toolpaths

1. Select all of the semicircle tiling pattern vectors, click on Toolpaths on the Project Tree and then select
Profile Toolpath

2. Create a toolpath that goes along the vectors, cutting to a depth of 2mm and select a V-Bit Carving tool

3. Select the four vectors which make up the banister rails and create a Profile Toolpath along these
vectors to a depth of 1mm with a V-Bit Carving tool

4. Select all the elliptical vectors in the banister and create an Area Clearance Toolpath to a depth of 3mm
inside these vectors

5. Select all of the window and entrance vectors and create an Area Clearance Toolpath inside these that cut
all the way down to a finish depth of 15mm

6. Select all of the remaining section boundary vectors and create a Profile Toolpath that goes outside these
vectors to a depth of 15mm to cut out the sections

7. Click on Simulate All Toolpaths to see what the sections will look like once machined

8. Save these toolpaths to export them

Step 7: Assembling the Design

1. Once the different sections have been cut out then either glue them together using glue safe for birds or
nails but do not permanently attach the front roof

2. Attach the front roof with a hinge so that it can be opened the nesting box may need to cleaned in autumn.
Leather or rubber from a bike wheel could be used as a hinge

3. Drill a hole into the front of the nesting box and insert a cylindrical wooden dowel for a perch for the
birds to stand on

4. Nail the support beam and nesting box to a tree