Project6_learning_CAM

Introduction: Project6_learning_CAM

About: First-year PhD student at University of California, Santa Barbara.

This week's assignment aimed to understand the steps to generate the tool paths required for CNC milling within a CAM software. In this case, we used Fusion 360 Manufacture feature and imported the P9_HaasMill_Aug2017 tool library.

Supplies

Step 1: Making the Model

I didn't have a previous design that was particularly fitting for this assignment so I modelled a simple planter composed of three parts in Fusion 360. I made sure that each part could fit into the previous part and left one side open in order to insert a piece of glass and see the roots of the growing plant.

I first made a one-piece version of this design but realized after trying to manufacture it that the tools were not long enough to drill a deep hole into the material. I also had to go back and forth from the design to the manufacture process in order to adjust some dimensions that were often to small for the tool at hand, particularly around the glass slit.

Step 2: Manufacture Process

I began by trying to make the three pieces with the same piece of material but quickly abandoned that avenue because each piece was a different height and it was confusing for me to decide which action to do first. So I decided to fabricate each part from a piece of 4'' x 4'' x 1''.

I am not one hundred percent sure that I did this right, but here is the workflow that I followed, inspired by Jennifer Jacobs' instructions.

  • facing with a large flat tool.
  • 2D adaptive clearing on lower sections of the piece with a flat tool (with a smaller diameter than the previous step)
  • 2D pocket with a flat tool (with an even finer diameter than the previous step ~ 1/8'' for my pieces).
  • repeating the two previous steps on the contour of the part.

And when drilling was necessary:

  • spot drilling at a depth of diameterOfTheHole/2 with a large-ish drill bit.
  • drilling a bit further than the full-depth of the hole with a drill bit finer than the actual hole in the design.
  • boring the hole with a flat tool that has a finer diameter than the hole.

I took the same strategy with the top and bottom parts of each parts which ended up producing 6 different setups (one for each side on three parts: 2 x 3 = 6).

Watching the simulation generated by Fusion 360, I can see that it is not perfect. I could not match the initial design everywhere on my parts. The slits for the glass, for instance, are not as sharp as they could be. Changing the dimensions or the geometry of the slits could be necessary in order to machine them properly.

Step 3: Rendering

Since we don't have access to a milling machine currently, I rendered my model in Blender. I made an exploded and assembled views of the design.

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    6 Comments

    0
    merttoka
    merttoka

    1 year ago

    Awesome work Sam! I loved the idea of using a translucent container for plants. Would be nice to see how a root lock would appear through there.

    After Jennifer's warning, I double checked my model dimensions and found out that it was 10 times bigger than it is supposed to be. After scaling and adjusting the tools, clearing operations with Multiple Depths solved my problem of digging a relatively deeper hole in my box.

    0
    sambourgault
    sambourgault

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you, Mert! I hope it's realistic for the roots to reach the side, it probably depends of the plant species!

    Happy that Multiple Depths worked well for you. I also tried it out on a very simple plane surface with a lot of material on top just to see how it works and the collisions were solved. Now we know that we can dig deeper into the material with a milling machine!

    0
    stejaraiulia
    stejaraiulia

    1 year ago

    Gorgeous documentation and outcome, as always. I really appreciate the way that you designed the box in different parts to fit together in the end!

    0
    sambourgault
    sambourgault

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hey thanks, Stejara! Yeah, before Jennifer showed us how to use the Multiple Depths feature, I thought it was the only way to make a box.. But I think there is something interesting in designing an object by layers. To be explored!

    0
    soniahashim
    soniahashim

    1 year ago

    Great outcome Sam! Thanks for sharing. I thought it was really interesting to see the issue with the connector components not being milled exactly and that it wasn't a problem because the extruded parts were shaped by the same tool and fit. It's cool to see design being shaped by the fabrication process and how this prevents the realization of an exact hylomorphic workflow... also your rendering made me realize it would be great if there was a way to save out the result of the simulation!

    0
    sambourgault
    sambourgault

    Reply 1 year ago

    Oh, that such a good way to think about it. So true that in this case the notches are definitely influenced by the affordances of the tool. Simulation in Fusion 360 is such a powerful asset to detect this even before the parts are manufactured.

    And yes, another great idea! It would be so cool to be able to retrieve the simulation data and to modify it in a rendering engine!!