Hello everyone, Some news and new work. Here is my effort for April. It is a nice medium sized work made of Aluminum and bronze, it stands 8.75" tall by 7.625" wide and 6" deep at the base.
The main element for this piece was borrowed from a much older design that was giving me a lot of trouble. It just wasn't going anywhere, so I salvaged the useful elements and reworked it until I arrived at this rather unexpected ( for me anyway ) form.
Drawing a design is always one thing, but building it is another thing entirely. This was a technically very complicated shape to create, I spent nearly as much time planning the process I would use to create the parts as I did actually making the parts themselves.
People often ask me if CNC tools make complicated shapes easier to produce. I always answer "yes and no" and this piece is a great example of why I give that answer. The three main Aluminum elements in this design were complex to the point that there was no reasonable way to cut them without using a CNC machine. On the other hand, because they were geometrically complicated and at the same time, one of a kind, I could not trust any of my usual automated processes for generating the tool paths for the milling machine.
The CADCAM programs I have work well for simpler parts, but because the work had to be rotated many times and had multiple overlapping facets, I had to create the tool paths the old fashioned way. And so I ended up spending two days checking geometry, plotting coordinates, and writing the entire G code program line by line, all by hand. It was a tedious task, and it was certainly by no means easy.