We have a couple of rigid golf caddy cases that take a full golf bag plus whatever else you can squeeze in when going on a holiday trip. Last trip to Hawaii this included lots of shoes, snorkels, flippers etc. These have or at least had two cabinet style locks on them but not anymore. Customs / security at Seattle decided they wanted to have a look inside and took the easy option and smashed the locks off, had a look inside and then Gaffa taped the case back up. Lovely.
Everything arrived home safely with nothing missing but now the debate on how to replace the locks. Clearly the idea of locking them does not go down well with baggage security teams. I have knocked up a design in Fusion that only needs a single cable tie to make it secure. I have 3D printed a concept model from the Fusion design and I have now run the finished items in aluminium using the Tormach CNC. I used a combination of CNC and manual milling to get the results and this highlighted once again that the combination of a CNC and manual is incredibly useful.
I first of all edit the centre clearance hole in the boss in Fusion in preparation for printing. I then 3D print the power supply box and lid and while putting this together I get the boss print underway. The boss takes around 7 hours to print on standard quality. . Given the amount of interest being shown I think a formal write up would be useful for others with perhaps the Fusion file as a download. Working on it and more to follow.
Update – the ring lights are available on Amazon at around GBP14 per pair and you can select diameter (and colour). Buy the largest diameter you can so that there is reduced shadowing around the tool point in the mill or drill press. They are cheaper to buy on EBay from China but there is a longer delivery time.
Having got home from Chicago I had a few weeks at home before we left for Hawaii where my son was participating in the Ironman World Championships. This is a crazy triathlon event in 30 degree heat and he finished in just over 9 hours.
We played a few rounds of golf on the Makalei course on Hawaii which is at 2500 feet above sea level. Sometimes in sunshine, sometimes cloud and sometimes hissing down with rain all of which made it challenging. We also visited Pearl Harbour which was quite moving and this included visiting the Aviation Museum on Ford Field.
No visit to Hawaii by a Brit would be complete without a visit to the Captain Cook monument in Kealakekua Bay. We completely misjudged the arduous terrain we would experience in getting down to the monument and nearly came to grief with dusk fast approaching.
On the way home from Hawaii we stopped over in Seattle for a few days which was a culture shock on body temperature. We visited the Pacific Science Museum and the Space Needle plus a tour of the Boeing works as part of the stay. The PSM is brilliant for kids (and OAPs).
All in all a good trip but will now be glad to get back in the workshop.
CAD & Farming
Being away home and more precisely away from the workshop, allowed me to do a few write ups that might be of interest and both of which were stimulated by reading forum posts on MEW. My waffle would have been too long to post in the normal way.
The first write up is about CAD/CAM and my concern that there will probably be unfilled expectations from the news about Alibre doing a special deal for MEW readers.
The second write up is about harvest time in North Yorkshire that is based on my younger days in a farming family. This has been on the stocks for some time and the posting on the forum kicked me into finishing it off.
Rather than have the annual Open House at his factory in Zannesville, John Saunders at NYC CNC decided to have a joint event in Chicago at the MHUB facility under the banner of a Manufacturing Entrepreneurship Summit.
The format was for key presentations together with the attraction of having a tour of the MHUB setup which is a resource facility for product development.
John Grimsmo, a highly respected knife maker, told of his ups and downs prior to his current success. This was followed by Jay Pierson telling his not dissimilar path to his company’s success in the machining work holding market.
After a break for a tour of the facilities there was an update from AutoDesk regarding developments on their wide portfolio of engineering software with particular interest in Fusion 360. There was then a closing Q and A session.
The tour revealed the breadth and depth of the resources available to external organisations at MHUB to help get a product to market. An extensive mechanical workshop, 3D printing, electronic workbenches and software development are just a few of the tools and resources available. It was impressive.
The afternoon and evening passed quickly and it was good to see some familiar faces from my visit to last years Open House and the training course I attended in Zanesville.
As I sat listening to Jay and John I could not help but identify with how they had got to where they are and the parallels with my business days. We may be many years apart but we have all suffered the same ups and downs, long hours etc that are an essential part of getting to success.
Some time ago I made a rough and ready wall mounting rack for my parallels so they would sit to hand adjacent to the Myford manual milling machine. I used double sided printed circuit board for the construction and while not elegant it worked OK …. until after I had finished it when I found two of the set lurking in a box with a half finished job. I had not allowed for them in the construction and being OCD me, it annoyed me to have two lose ones that did not fit in the grand order of things.
An idle half day lead to a Fusion design to replace the tired old PCB disaster. This lead to some thinking on how to design it. I wanted a rack that sat on the tooling board with the parallels stacked on it with a slight upward angle to keep them in place. I chose therefore to draw it slightly strangely with the ‘back’ at an angle and extruded it accordingly. See below.
All well and good you might say. Less messing with angles etc.
I squirted the job into the Sindoh 3D driver software and then tried to be clever and print it with the backside down on the printer bed …. or at least what I thought was the backside down. You will no doubt spot that that this is not a simple rotation of 90 degrees but I didn’t.
The printer began producing spaghetti that was not bonding to the printer bed. After three re-tries I took a closer look at my design and realised that the only part of the job that was in contact with the bed was the leading edge (red arrow below). The rest was airborne at an angle all due to the way I had chosen to draw the object and rotate it.
Reset brain and reset printing so it would be now vertical. All was good and my nice new rack sits on the tooling board.
A little bit more brain engagement next time perhaps ?
OK this is a silly one I know but follows on from my theme of just how valuable a 3D printer is to own and how it makes you think outside of the conventional box when solving simple problems.
French markets always have a stall selling brightly coloured table clothes in various materials. These rarely have a prepared hole in them for your sun umbrella to slot through as you sit quaffing and nibbling in the sunshine. If they already have a hole it usually doubles the price. If you make a hole yourself then it will fray and degrade.
Up steps “Fusion Man” and in five minutes you have a design for a locating boss and ring to sandwich protect the hole in the material and keep the cloth fixed on the table. Design done and its off to the Sindoh 3DWOX to print it.
Lay the table cloth on the table where it will be used and ensure it sits square all round. Crawl under the table and with a Sharpie pen or similar, draw the shape of the hole on the back of the table cloth.
Remove the cloth from the table and flip it over. Place the printed ring over the marked circle and remark the circle position to the ring ID. Cut out the marked ring circle but make the cut about 3 or 4 mm smaller all round. (Nail scissors are ideal for cutting curves). Test fit the boss. Because the hole in the cloth is slightly smaller than the boss diameter, the material will naturally turn up the vertical face of the boss. Check it is not causing wrinkles in the cloth when on the table.
Put hot glue around the boss at the horizontal/vertical interface and then push the boss through the cloth to let the glue hold it in place.
Apply glue to the locating ring and push this in place over the boss to sandwich the material between the ring and the boss. Here is a greatly exaggerated cross section.