Introduction: Birdhouse (parametric)
I was looking for free DXF-Plans to cut a small birdhouse out of 4mm thick wood. All the parts should fit on 2 sheet of wood in the DIN A3-Format (42 x 29,7 cm). These type of wood is easily available at german hardware stores.
As I did not find any plans I decided to make some on my own. Looking at the free Autodesk Fusion 360 I was amazed by the parametric features to later on change the whole dimensions and leave the dependencies intact.
So I decided to use this software and make the plans as parametrical as possible.
This is my first instructable and the first time I use Fusion 360. The plan in Fusion 360 is far from being good and has some flaws. When you change the parameters to often in one session, the plan might get corrupt. So the best thing is to just open the file, change the parameters to your needs and export the DXF-Files.
As I am using my favorite CAM-Software Estlcam, I did not use the CAM-Module of Fusion 360. With Estlcam you can really quickly do the CAM-Part.
- Computer with (free) Autodesk Fusion 360
- A CAM-software (optional). I use Estlcam
- Wood. Can be in different sizes and thickness. I use 4mm thick A3-Sheet (42 x 29,7 cm)
- CNC-Machine (optional: Use can print the DXF-Files an cut the wood by hand)
- Wood glue (to glue the pieces together)
- Some small rope to fix the birdhouse onto a tree
Step 1: Open the File and Change the Parameters
After you open the file in Fusion 360, you see the simple birdhouse.
Know you can open "Modify" and "Change Parameters". In the dialog you can change the parameters like thickness, height, depth, and width. The parameter "length" is used by internal calculations and should be set as well. The size of the birdhole also can be changed.
Some birds like more wider/narrow holes:
For each bird species there is an ideal size of the entrance hole. The smallest titmice like a diameter of 28 millimeters, the larger great tit 32 millimeters and the starling 45 millimeters. (translated from: nabu.de)
Step 2: Export DXF-Files
If you want to have DXF-Files to print or just to use in another software like me, you have to export the single components.
I found that the easiest way is to use the projection feature in Fusion.
What I do is:
- Create a new component
- Select that component and create a new sketch
- Edit the sketch and "Create--> Project/Include --> Project" (or simple hit the key "P")
- Mark the geometry you like to export and click "OK"
- Right-click onto the sketch and select "Save as DXF"
Now you have a DXF-file of the selected component. Repeat this with all components. You can see this in the video.
I made two versions of the back. One with a hole you could use to make a door.
Step 3: CAM
Use your favorite CAM-software and program your CNC.
I use "Estlcam" as shown in the video. It is very easy to use, reasonably priced and well maintained.
You could use the files here which I had to rename to DXF because you can not upload the Estlcam-projectfiles. Just remove the ".dxf"-part in the name. These files combine all parts of the simple house on 2 A3-sheets of wood.
Step 4: CNC
Start your CNC-program and cut the components.
Step 5: Put Together and Paint
Put the single pieces of wood together. A little bit of glue should help (especialy at the roof).
You can now use linseed oil for example to paint the wood. It does not harm the birds.Don't paint inside.
Maybe you also want to put some roofing felt on top of the roof.
Step 6: Put the Birdhouse Somewhere
Just put a little rope through the holes at the back and fix the birdhouse to a tree.
It would be good, if the birdhouse would not get too wet and can be placed at a sheltered place.
The birdhole should face south/south-east.
I hope your birds like it. Have fun!