Monday, October 10, 2011

Implementation Challenges

Updates on the project are lagging behind some milling issues I'm having.  The latest designs of the ball support socket and PCB bottom cover have proven to be difficult to mill on my small CNC router.  I have tried about six times with some degree of incremental success.  The issues primarily stem from getting into two-sided milling and a more complex design.  While I have the process figured out, my machine is throwing fits and messing up jobs.  I'm having to slow down quite a bit, which makes each piece take 2+ hours per side.  I just about had one side of the PCB cover complete last night, only to have the finishing pass skip a couple steps about half way through and take huge chunks out of the model.  I've added a waterline finish middle step to mitigate this issue and ordered some new deep cut ball end mills that should help.  I'll update with pictures once the new design is done.

I tried my hand at rotocasting some silicone into a plaster mold.  I added too much accelerator to the mix and made what looked like a large snot ball at first.  The second run looked better, but still had some holes and thin spots.  I have some silicone thinner on order to help make this stuff flow more evenly inside the mold.  The plaster mold was made from a 4.5" Christmas ornimate ball I bought at the local store, so the end product will end up being a hollow sphere that gets filled with wet sand. 

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