Milling with cylindrical objects

So, as previously shown, wood is an excellent material to machine into the desired form. It is possible to mill shapes using the tools of tiny sizes. In this case, a 1/32nd in. endmill. You simply need to be careful about the length of the flute of the tool.

Fusion 360 has a text feature in the model section. By selecting the desired font size, not too small for the endmill tool, and choosing the contour milling in the 2D section, it is possible to make appropriate alpha-numeric shapes onto almost any right kind of piece of material.

Ideally, I would have milled an actual cylindrical piece of object, but i found this weird wooden, plain looking keychain. Just so you know, the shape of the wooden part of the keychain is almost cylindrical. So it is better to select a cylindrical stock to make the CAM file.

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Another reason why I milled this keychain was because we used to have an incredibly boring acrylic keychain, badly cut using a laser cutter (and not the one I had milled a while ago).

I’m really glad that I was able to fit the logo and all the letters on the keychain!

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Project Spark: Electronics Workshop Level 2

This was a bit advanced than the previous workshop. The kids used an integrated circuit, the 555 timer. They learnt to operate it in both monostable and astable mode. In the monostable mode, a push button was used to turn an LED on, where as in astable mode, the circuit operated on its own.

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Further more, some of them modified the astable circuit to alternatively blink two LEDs. A short video summary of the workshop is below:

Project Spark: Elementary Electronics Workshop

So, the second Project Spark workshop was on basic electronics. It was conducted on January 21st 2018. The kids learnt things such as Ohm’s law and it’s application in building simple circuits.

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They also learnt about special types of resistors, such as light dependent resistor and potentiometer, and also about the bipolar junction transistor. They built a circuit to control the brightness of LEDs using these elements.

 

Delrin

Although, it sounds like someone’s name, Delrin is actually the name of a plastic brand. The plastic itself is called polyoxymethylene, which happens to be a thermoplastic. It is relatively soft when you compare with metals and wood, however, tougher than ABS, making it an excellent machining material. Ever seen a  white colored gear? It is made of delrin. The plastic can also be used to make other objects like handles, guitar plectrums, toys, machine parts etc.

I was working on a CNC based project, and has to mill parts for the final product. In this post, there are only two milled caps. I will make another post on the giant flower-shaped hole in the middle, and the completed project in the future. So, for now, there is this video with royalty free YouTube music and some background noise. The video below shows the milling of delrin, using the circular milling method.

Laser cutting and engraving of Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn

Some time ago, we were testing the biggest laser cutter, the universal, which has a bed size of 2 ft. X 4 ft. We wanted to do an interactive project for little children to play at the New York Makerfaire.

A map of Downtown Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan with some of the most iconic buildings and monuments was decided to be the best choice. The children would press the monuments and a display would show the actual photo and a brief description of it.

But before making the actual prototype, we decided to test it out on a test piece of acrylic. It came out pretty good.

Here is the video of the test:

Project Spark: Mars Lander Workshop

On November 5th, we had a Mars Lander developing workshop. Of course, we were not actually going to build a lander, but use the concepts to build something which can be dropped from the 4th floor (5th for the Americans) of a building. With 18 participating kids between the age of 10 and 13, grouped into 6 teams.

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At the end of the workshop, the kids learned about using fundamental concepts of physics and creative thinking to develop a surround structure of a fragile payload. The payload was a light bulb wrapped inside a plastic covering. Each team had the opportunity to build a prototype which had to use at least two of these concepts:

  1. Create an external casing to protect the payload from impact
  2. Use a material to reduce the drag of the falling object
  3. Build a surface at the point of contact to reduce the impact

Ultimately any combination of these had to be use, with making sure that the total weight of the prototype including the payload is the least. The kids were given only a selection of prototyping materials: masking tape, ice cream sticks, plastic straws, balloons, thread, plastic bags, papers, and barbecue skewers.

The great thing is that we had also built a structure. the tetrahedral pyramid using straws and showed the kids when we began testing all the

prototypes. All 6 prototypes were tested, and none of them broke when thrown from the height. Below are the 6 teams with the prototypes, and after that, the testing video.

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Project Spark

In this day and age, even little children cannot escape the harshness of the world forcing them to focus on becoming something. My friend is interested in helping children figure out the kind of career path they want to pursue. This mostly will relate to those interested in fields of STEAM aka., Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics.

Project Spark is an initiative of doing exactly this. It is a series of workshops on STEAM fields, and I help him in designing and facilitating them. The following posts on Project Spark will tell the stories of the outcomes of each workshop.