Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Art of the Machine: the Wooden Wave

I really enjoy making things out of laminated wood.  Recently, I've been creating curved surfaces in Rhinoceros 3D and machining 2 part patterns to clamp the curves into existence.  It goes something like this...

First, I model a smooth surface in Rhino


Then I machine that surface into wood

I love seeing CAD curves in real life.

Then I clamp a few layers of veneer between those layers with some wood glue.  And I end up with something like this.

My skin looks pale, but the leaves look nice.

This piece is then cleaned up and stained using my proprietary process (it's motor oil and sandpaper) to get a nice finish.

Laminated wood is awesome.  This photo, not so much.

And that's it, the Art of the Machine.

Fiberglass Outdoor Speakers for My Parents' Patio

 I bought speakers and crossovers with the intention of building my mother some outdoor speakers about 2 years ago from Parts Express.  I then placed these on my shelf, and didn't work on them for quite some time.  Before Christmas this year, I decided it was time to finally make something with these.

The drivers, recently released from their prison on my shelf.

I decided to make these using some basic fiberglass techniques, so the first step was to fabricate a mounting plate for the speakers.

drilling a hole for the tweeters
test fit
Next, I attached it to a slightly larger bottom plate using some dowels and hot glue.

check out that glue

Next, I stretched fabric over the form.  Fleece would've been ideal since it stretches smoothly in every direction, but all I had around were some old t-shirts, so I used that.

Mmm, look at that curve.

After doing both of those, it was time for fiberglass inside and out, then a quick coat of textured paint.

well this looks ugly
ah, thats a little better

Next, it was just wiring and testing.

quick connects are fun when I don't feel like soldering

The finished product being tested, awesome!

Now that they are finally done and sound right, I need to install them.  Unfortunately, I haven't done that yet, so these are just sitting on a shelf at my parents' house now.  Whoops.

CNC Electronics Barbecue

I've been trying to figure out for a while how exactly I was going to contain the electronics for my CNC mill.  For a while, I had my c10 breakout board and my Keling Inc. stepper drivers and power supply just bolted to a board next to my machine.  

Look at this model of electrical safety!
This method proved to be completely stupid, so I soon moved on and put everything in a box.

A very ugly box.

This ugly box was not all that I hoped it would be, so I kept my eyes open for something more interesting.  Then one day, I looked at an old, rusted BBQ grill and thought "Perfect!" With a quick coat of paint, I had something much more interesting.


With a bit more work....

and some parts from radio shack...

I now have a super cool electronics enclosure.

with pretty, twisted wire groups
So now, my Grizzly SX3 can machine RepRap parts for me.  


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