Introduction: CNC Bubble Table

This table was made from Shopbot (CNC Machining) as part of my assignment for class 'Rapid Prototyping'

When given this project to complete, i had the aim of creating a flat pack furniture which could be quick to create and ascetically pleasing. I have came up with this different design with inspiration from the 'Branding Table' made by Sonder Mill.

I created this table from MDF and Clear Acrylic but this can be modified to suit your needs. Hope you understand the following steps and enjoy the final outcome!

If there is any questions, concerns, or comments, please just comment below and i will aim to respond.

Step 1: Modify File on Rhino CAM

The original file posted is for a 24" x 49" MDF board with a thickness of 0.75 inches. If the material you would like to use has different thickness or the amount of space, it is important to change the shopbot file to modify the drawings before cutting to prevent problems and waste of material. Remember to save the file in 'sbp' instead of 'nc'

The 'Bubble Table Cut 1' will be green, then " 2" is Blue and finally " 3" will be red.

Step 2: Clamp Down Material

When using Shopbot or any other CNC Machining, it is extremely important clamp down work to prevent material flying off the machine and seriously injuring someone. Here i have used screws at the corners of the material and ensured that they will not get in the way of the cutter.

Step 3: Insert Tool Into Chuck

Once the material has been secured, we need to insert the cutter into the inside taper which should be inserted into a bearing style nut then postioned in the spindle. Always ensure that the all the parts are clean as if dirty it cause the tool to cut in an elliptical fashion which will decrease tool life and cause inconsistency in this operation. This can be overcome by using compressed air to remove dust and chips from parts.

For this piece i have used the .250 inch end mill cutter.

Step 4: Position the X,Y,Z

Next we will now position the X,Y,Z axis onto the corner of the material. Prevent from being too close to the holding screw as this could cause damage to the cutter.

Step 5: Cut With the File 'Bubble Table Cut 1'

In the original files which i have provided, The first file you should use is 'Bubble Table Cut 1.sbp'

The following cuts of this file which will proceed in order are -

- The legs

- The engraving for centre of the table

- The holes cut out

- The outline of the table.

This should take under 40 minutes to complete.

Step 6: Clean Down Surface and Turn Over Table.

Once the previous cut has finished, you may then take out the legs and the table itself. Using the compressed air, clean the surface of the table and material. Turn over the table and place into the cut in which it was before. This process will be to create holes at the base of the table.

Before proceeding with the cut, it is extremely important to clamp down the table or ensure that it will not move around when being cut. For this i have use double sided tape which works extremely well as it prevents the clamp being in the cutter's way which can cause problems.

Step 7: Proceed With 'Bubble Table Cut 2'

Once the table has been secured, you may use the file 'Bubble Table Cut 2' which will now cut out the holes at the base of the table in order for the legs to be positioned into.

Step 8: Take Off MDF and Secure Plastic Sheet

Once the the holes for the legs have been engraved, the MDF can be removed. Once again clean up the workspace with compressed air or a hand brush and ensure that there are no wood chips on the work surface. Secure the plastic sheet onto the surface with screws or a fixture. This material must be fully secured as it can easily dismantle as the tool goes into the work surface.

Step 9: Run the 'Bubble Table Cut 3' File

For the final cut on the shopbot, run the file named 'Bubble Table Cut 3' and ensure you stand away from the work surface and wear safety glasses as plastic chips can fly out and easily harm you.

Step 10: Remove Material From Work Surface and Clean Down Shopbot

Once the previous cut is finished you can then remove the material from the work surface and switch off the main switch to the CNC machine. Before leaving, please clean down the shop bot and area around the machine itself for the person operating next. You may do this using compressed air or a brush.

Step 11: Sand Down and Assemble Pieces

Before assembling the pieces, they may require some minimal sanding to remove the bridges and tabs.

The assembly is very simple as the legs go in the holes provided at the base of the table and the plastic sheet is positioned at the top. You may glue the legs with PVA Glue if you wish to make it permanent.

Step 12: Enjoy!