Or, how to be an absolute boss
Here’s a wonderful write-up on the trials, tribulations, and inspiring successes of Michal Zalewski’s 6-year journey into robotics. This well-written story is focussed on techniques for using CNC routing to create intricate molds for casting precision mechanical parts. Mouth-watering pictures after the break… (more…)
Or, how to be an absolute boss
Time to go dotty with your CNC artwork
Halftone-styled images have a compelling power to them. Perhaps it’s the retro-nostalgia of 1960’s Pop Art, the grainy speckles of old newsprint, or maybe it’s something else entirely? Either way, there is just something about all those dots.
There is a considerable amount of control as you tweak the algorithms, whether you are after a specific number or style of dots, or even a continuous TSP path. It’s all geared towards use on small CNC devices such as the Egg-Bot, but don’t let that stop you if you have larger aspirations.
StippleGen is designed to be easy to install, easy to use, and easy to modify. It is capable of producing excellent quality output with up to 10,000 points.
Click through to EMSL for a thorough run-down on just what this neat little software package is capable of.
An experiment in interactive generative design
Inspired by the likes of Nervous System, Alan Rorie of Hero Design has created a generative software bookshelf application with Processing based on the voronoi pattern algorithm. The software allows users to determine variables such as overall size, shape and depth and then automatically generates the appropriate 3D geometry which can also be flattened and saved as a PDF in 2D for cutting out via the selected production process i.e. laser/waterjet cutting or CNC routing. (more…)
Software for cutting images into materials with CNC… Software developer Jason Dorie has created a couple of Windows applications – Halftoner and Reactor that allow people to create halftones images for CNC routing from ordinary image files. They both require the Microsoft .NET framework, V3.5 (more…)
Last summer, Edward Ford announced a Kickstarter campaign to support a project he had been coming back to for years: the most affordable desktop CNC machine ever, completely open hardware.
It’s been 8 months of late-nights in the garage, community feedback, sourcing woes, and huge support. And a few weeks ago the first batch of ShapeOko kits shipped out to his Kickstarter supporters.
ShapeOko looks a lot different these days than the previous laser-cut MDF machine holding a ballpoint pen. : )
It now features extruded aluminum rails from MakerSlide, custom laser-cut steel plates, and an 8″x8″ cutting area with a Z axis height of 3.5″
I’ve recently been checking out the Grasshopper forums where people have been experimenting with CNC milling fibreboard and plywood with wave forms. For those interested in creating these patterns there is a tutorial by over at Instructables by Brian Ottrogge on how to achieve some similar forms, without needing to fire up Rhino’s Grasshopper plugin. (more…)
Pocket-sized printing at a suitably tiny price
Even with the various DIY kits and systems available these days, the costs involved can be prohibitive for new enthusiasts trying to get set up with quality CNC equipment. But not for long…
The Piccolo CNC platform is a pocket-sized stand-alone device that will soon be available for under $70. This diminutive laser-cut wonder is capable of more than just plotting graphic designs. It includes Arduino and Processing libraries that enable the device to move autonomously or respond to sensors and data. Multiple Piccolo plotters can be programmed to work together to create large scale outcomes, and the platform is also just right for further experimentation in either 2D or 3D fabrication.
We are currently refining the Piccolo prototype into an open-source design that is simple, quick to assemble, and easy to use, and is entirely composed of digitally manufactured components and inexpensive off-the-shelf hardware.
Click through for a perky little demo clip of the Piccolo CNC-bot in action. (more…)
Plus make-your-own Kid Stuff with FREE filesGot kids? Know someone who does? There are always some running about, squealing, getting in the way and demanding treats. At least that’s what I hear. So what can you do? You can 1) ignore them, 2) tell them to get back in their cupboard, 3) buy them something plastic from the nearest department store, 4) buy them something that didn’t get assembled by their peers in a third world country somewhere, 5) make them something yourself. The good news is that we can help with the last two.
Ideas, inspiration and free stuff after the jump:
3 helpful forum posts
In addition to lasercutting and 3D printing, Ponoko lets you make your own stuff with CNC routing.
Working with CNC routing lets you make much bigger stuff than you can make with lasercutting. But it’s a tricky technique to work with, so we’ve put together some rules and guides to help you get the best results from your CNC project.
The first thing you’re going to want to check out is Things You Must Know for CNC Routing. This forum post will walk you through 11 key considerations when using CNC, things like minimum and maximum design size, required width of the tool path, and how to format your design file.
Once you know the rules, you can move on to the guides on how to offset your lines for CNC routing. We’ve even got a video of the process.
If you’ve got questions, please leave them in the forum. And if you’ve used Ponoko for CNC routing, we welcome any tips & tricks from the community.
Best of the Blog 2011: Art
Take a moment to step back and see the world a little differently with this selection of ten memorable works of art that appeared on the Ponoko blog during 2011.
From unique perspectives on everyday objects to different ways of capturing and expressing movement, join us to explore how artists continue to use digital manufacturing technologies in new and exciting ways.
The mesmerising motion of professional dancers and martial artists is captured in this intriguing project by Mathew Schwartz. Data from the sinuous movements is 3D printed before being cast in bronze, giving a unique perspective on human movement that would surely have Muybridge’s nod of approval.