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David Burrell

X-Carve CNC Machine Inventables

X-Carve DIY CNC Machine from Inventables

By | CNC, DIY | No Comments

Here’s a recent video series where I talk about the X-Carve CNC machine from Inventables. I also have some pictures of the assembled unit as well as a few shots of their newly released X-Controller.

I think the X-Carve is good for beginners and people looking to make crafts.  With the spindle upgraded to the DeWalt 611 you can cut much faster and use larger bits.  This comes at the price of increased noise from the router.  I’ve seen others build an enclosure to keep the dust and sound at bay.

For the price, it’s a decent introduction to CNC. Especially when considering the larger of the two with around a 40″ x 40″ work envelope.  With the drive mechanisms being belt oriented, be prepared to tighten them occasionally.

I found the control software very easy to use.  Its a very pleasurable experience in fact.  The first job on the Shapeoko 2 (version prior to the X-Carve) used the same Easel software and it was so straightforward that my 9 year old son ran it.

I beta tested the X-Controller and was also very pleased with the ease of setup and use.  As I said in the video, the last thing I want to do after I finish building the X-Carve is building the electronics.  The X-Controller solves that.  It’s very plug and play and well thought out though I’d like to see some dust control and an external e-stop option on it.

Click HERE for the picture gallery.

Neo7CNC DIY Parts Tumbler

DIY Parts Tumbler

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When I was researching how to finish the LoopAliens, I decided to build a tumbler.  It turned out well after I converted it to a larger, more capable motor.  It’s ended up being more of a ball mill than a tumbler, but it did work.  Creating it gave me a good excuse to turn out some really nice parts on the larger CNC machine I built some years ago.  Click HERE to see the CNC machine I used.

After the proof of concept, I ended up buying a very large vibratory tumbler to run production parts with.  It allowed me to finish hundreds of parts at a time rather than 50.  Creating the “ball mill” was a good educational experience.

Here are some decent pictures from the DIY parts tumbler build I did some time ago

View Gallery

Neo7CNC LED CNC Machine Can Light – Start to Finish

By | CNC, Software, Start to Finish | No Comments

LED Can Light – Start to Finish

In this start to finish project we go through the entire process from Ideal to finished part.  First we do the 3d design on the computer using Onshape.  We then CAM (create the tool paths that tell the CNC machine how to actually cut the part) using BobCAD/CAM.  Next we use a 5C collet fixture to hold the stock and test cut the part in plastic.  Finally we cut the design from 1 inch (25mm) 6061-T6 aluminum bar stock.  The lens is made from 1/8 frosted acrylic. You can tell in the pictures that this process made a big mess! The tolerances on the lens were “spot on”.  The KR33 CNC is a beast of a little machine

I polished the aluminum version and that made it pop.  It’s a nice, compact unit.  I still need to finish them and mount them to the machines.  One issue I have is finding good wire to use.

Neo7CNC Onshape

Free* 3D CAD Software

By | Software | No Comments

There is a new online CAD software that allows free use.  With Onshape you can design parts, assemblies and drawings.  The basic account is free and limits the number of projects (currently 10) you can create that remain private (only you can see them).  The rest will be public so that anyone with an Onshape account can access and use them.  They also offer a professional account for $100/month that allows all your files to remain private.

They’re also working with other OEMs to bring added functionality into the cloud based software like CAM and finite element analysis.

Check it out at http://www.onshape.com

Neo7CNC KR33 CNC Version 2 Table

KR33 CNC Machine – 2nd version – Table Progress

By | CNC, DIY | No Comments

The table has been machined and now I need to tap the 225 holes in it to 1/4 20.  They are blind holes which means they don’t go all the way through the material.  This will make it harder to tap but we’ll get there.  I did get around to counter sinking the holes at least 😐

I’ve tried out a few different taps so far to see what will work best.  The tap with the smaller neck seemed to work the best.  These are bottoming taps so I can get threads in very close to the bottom of the 0.4 inch hole.