posts tagged with the keyword ‘cnc’


CHC Hip-Hop

I don’t know if the Maker Movement has any hip-hop artists in its ranks, but at some point someone is going to want to write a rap mentioning CNC machines, so I’ve compiled a list of suitable rhymes for “CNC” and I present them here.

Note that some of these words/phrases are serious, and some of them are just for fun. It takes all kinds.

  • Jamboree (fun word)
  • Wait and see (should be in reference to the time it takes to finish a job)
  • Filigree (should be in reference to detailed artwork.)
  • My man Adrian B (should be in reference to Adrian Bowyer of the RepRap movement.)
  • Look good to me! (should be in reference to how a job turned out.)
  • Jubilee (fun word)
  • My main man Bre (should be in reference to Bre Pettis of MakerBot)
  • Bumblebee (fun word)
  • Bruce Lee (fun, but could also be in reference to strength/power.)
  • Guarantee (fun word, but could also be used in reference to how a job turns out.)
  • Tree (should be in reference to the consumable used for a job is wood, which comes from trees.)
  • Billy D[ee] (should be in reference to Billy Dee Williams or the other Billy D)
  • Whiskey (fun word, but you should think twice before combining alcohol with any power tools.)
  • Debris (should be in reference to the scraps/waste left after a cutting job is finished.)
  • Banshee (fun word)
  • Emcee [MC] (this one is obvious, I should hope.)
  • Waikiki (fun word, possibly only suitable for Jerry Isdale.)
  • Potpourri (fun word)

Alright! That should be enough to get started… can you think of any more?


Cookie Design

I’m designing a cucoloris (or “cookie”) that I hope to eventually make on the CNC Router at the Milwaukee Makerspace.

The image above was exported from Inkscape. I started with a few basic shapes and filled a rectangular area about 20″ x 30″ with them, rotating and resizing a bit for some variance. (I’m still not 100% pleased with this, so I’ll probably keep tweaking it.)

I can export a DXF from Inkscape and (supposedly) that will go into CamBam which is the controller software the router uses, and a G-code file will be produced from that. I’m hoping once I see that G-code file, I may be able to create it directly from Inkscape in the future, but right now I’m just hoping to get a file that works and cut some wood.

This should be a fairly simple project. It’s pretty two-dimensional, just cutting shapes out of a thin piece of wood. There’s a few more ambitious projects other members are talking about, but I’m a simple man with simple needs for a simple cookie… at least for now. :)


ShapeOko at Milwaukee Makerspace

You may have heard me talk about the ShapeOko, a DIY CNC Mill you can (well, should be able to) build for around $300. Edward Ford, the guy behind the project, just wrapped up a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project. And just to be clear, he’s been working on this project for many years, it’s not like he just had an idea a few months back and launched a campaign. (2004 is when he first attempted to build a CNC Mill.)

Edward was kind enough to make the drive up to the Milwaukee Makerspace and talk about ShapeOko with us. It was great to hear about the project, and I think he may have even gotten a few new ideas while he was here. :)

The goal of ShapeOko isn’t to build a business around selling these things, but to create a project that is fully open source, with easy to acquire materials. Typically when you find web sites describing a DIY CNC machine, they involved getting parts from ebay, or from scrap, or other unreliable sources. Edward wants you to be able to get all the parts you need easily, and not have to scrounge around and have a friend who happens to own a mill to make you parts.

Edward’s demo was great, because he wasn’t afraid to talk about all his failures. He admits he’s not an engineer, and he’s learned a lot over the past 7 years about designing and building things. A lot of his description of the project included “So I tried X, and that didn’t really work, then I tried Y…” type things. Experimentation, a bit of guessing, and a lot of testing.

We also learned a bit about running a Kickstarter campaign, and some of the gotchas involved with that. Like refunds, and how you can end up losing money if you issue one, and what happens when there are insufficient funds. Great tips for anyone interested in Kickstarter.

So now that the Kickstarter campaign is done, and instead of the $1,500 he was hoping for, he’s got about 7 times that much, he’s been ordering parts, and is working on a new design, correcting any of the problems that previous designs have had.

For more on the project, check out the web site at, as well as the blog, Twitter, and the forum.


First Plot

First plot… of many. Stay tuned!


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