Glossary | Tools

CNCMachine

CNC Machine: Computer numeric control.  A computer controlled machine for cutting and removing material.  Typically consisting of two or more axis of movement.

Router

Router: The tool that spins the bit in the CNC machine.

Bit

Bit: Tool that cuts material in a CNC machine by spinning.

ToolHead

Tool Head: The cutting end of the bit.

Shank

Shank: The non-cutting end of the bit.  This is the portion that is held in the collet.

Collet

Collet: The clamping device that holds the bit in the router.

UpcutBit

Upcut Bit: A bit that pulls the removed material up and away from the bit.

DowncutBit

Downcut Bit: A bit that pushes the removed material down and away from the bit.

StraightBit

Straight Bit: The cutting surface is perpendicular to the cutting surface and flat.

LaserCutter

Laser Cutter: A 2-axis cutting machine that uses a concentrated light to burn through material.  The laser cutter is computer controlled.

Spindle

Spindle: The rotating axis of the router in the CNC machine.  This is where the collet and bit are fastened to.

DustCollector

Dust Collector: Vacuum device that collects waste material that is removed from the cutting surface as the CNC operates.

SpoilBoard

Spoil Board: The sacrificial backer that the cutting material is fastened to.

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Removing | Mill Plaster

SUMMARY:

  • Milling Plaster is a more precise way to carve into plaster than a dremel tool. When milling plaster it is important to take proper safety precautions and allow PLENTY of time for clean-up. Milled plaster can then be used to create molds or the final piece itself.

MATERIALS:

  • Molded Plaster (steps here)

TOOLS:

cncmachine_iconsandpaper_iconscrewdriver_iconscrews_icon

  • CNC Machine
  • Sand Paper
  • Screw Driver
  • Screws

SAFETY EQUIPMENT:

icon_earplugs icon_glasses icon_mask

  • Earplugs
  • Safety Glasses
  • Dust Mask

CLEAN UP:

dustvacuum_icondustpanmop_icon

  • Vacuum and mop up the CNC room after using (heads up it will look like a blizzard afterwards)

READY TO CONTINUE?
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CONTINUE ON TO STEPxSTEP PROCESS

Forming | WonderCurve

SUMMERY:

  • WonderCurve refers to the process of creating a thin double curve, in this case using Rockite

MATERIALS:

  • Rockite
  • Plexiglass
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Sawdust

TOOLS:

  • CNC Machine
  • Screw Driver
  • Screws
  • Heat Gun
  • Blow Torch
  • Bandsaw
  • Vaseline

SAFETY EQUIPMENT:

  • Earplugs
  • Dust Mask
  • Safety Glasses

icon_earplugs icon_glasses icon_mask

 

CLEAN UP:

  • Vacuum and mop the CNC room after using
  • Let any excess Rockite dry up in the bucket for easy removal and disposal

READY TO CONTINUE?
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CONTINUE ON TO STEPxSTEP PROCESS

Forming | Bubble Mold

SUMMERY:

  • Creating a Bubble Mold refers to the process of creating both the texture and form of bubble wrap. By overlaying either Rockite or Rockhard on the bubble wrap a negative form could be mimicked.

MATERIALS + TOOLS:

  • Rockite
  • Spray Foam
  • Rackhard
  • Bubble Wrap
  • 2″ Foam
  • Vaseline
  • Stir Stick
  • Plastic Bucket
  • Metallic Spray Paint & Glitter (if desired)
  • CNC Machine
  • Screw Driver
  • Screws

SAFETY EQUIPMENT:

  • Safety Glasses
  • Dust Mask
  • Earplugs

icon_earplugs icon_glasses icon_mask

 

CLEAN UP:

  • Vacuum and mop the CNC room after using

READY TO CONTINUE?
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CONTINUE ON TO STEPxSTEP PROCESS

Forming | Plexi Glass

SUMMERY:

  • Plexi Glass can be formed through cutting a positive form on the CNC followed by vacuuming a negative of the form to create a mold. After the mold is constructed a plethora of techniques can be applied to create various results.

MATERIALS + TOOLS:

  • Rockite
  • Wood
  • Polystyrene
  • CNC Machine
  • Vacuum Former

SAFETY EQUIPMENT:

  • Safety Glasses

icon_earplugs icon_glasses icon_mask

 

CLEAN UP:

  • Vacuum and spray down the CNC room after using
  • Brush down sanding area after finished to clean up any dispersed material

READY TO CONTINUE?
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CONTINUE ON TO STEPxSTEP PROCESS

Removing | Cutout MDF

SUMMARY:

  • Cutting MDF consists of using the CNC machine to cut out flat positive sheets from a solid sheet of MDF. Similar principles can also be used for other materials such as various woods, HOWEVER, it is critical to do small scale tests to make sure both the tolerance of the material and bit are ready with the correct settings.

MATERIALS:

  • 3/8″ MDF Whiteboard
  • Desired Rhino/PartWorks File

TOOLS:

cncmachine_iconpalmsander_icon

  • CNC Machine
  • Flat Sander

SAFETY EQUIPMENT:

icon_earplugs icon_glasses icon_maskgloves_icon

  • Earplugs
  • Safety Glasses
  • Dust Mask
  • Gloves

 

CLEAN UP:

dustvacuum_icondustpanmop_icon

  • Power blast dust from machine
  • Use dustpan and mop to clean up floor

READY TO CONTINUE?
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CONTINUE ON TO STEPxSTEP PROCESS

Forming | Aluminum Smelting

SUMMARY:

  • Aluminium Smelting is the process of extracting aluminum from its oxid alumina. This process occurs in three steps; first by creating the kush head pressure tool, followed by constructing the foam and plaster molds, and lastly by forming the kiln out of a propane tank. For each of these steps it is important to keep in mind that the molten aluminum CANNOT come in contact with either water or moisture as it will cause an explosion, and that’s bad.

MATERIALS:

  • 3″ Foam
  • 1.5″ foam glued together
  • Aluminum Scrap Metal
  • Quikrete Concrete

TOOLS:

bucket_icon stirstick_iconpropanetank_icon

  • Bucket and Stirring Stick
  • Propane Tank (for creating the kiln)

SAFETY EQUIPMENT:

icon_glassesweldingmask_iconapron_icongloves_iconclothing_iconsteelboots_iconfireextem_iconpropanetorch_icon

  • Safety Glasses
  • Welding Mask
  • Leather Apron (for potential splashes of molten aluminum)
  • Leather Gloves (for handling molten aluminum equipment)
  • Cotton Clothing (so molten aluminum will roll off rather than burn)
  • Construction Boots
  • Spats (cover the fronts of legs)
  • Fire Extinguisher (for pouring aluminum)
  • TWO Propane torches (for heating the kiln and crucible)

CLEAN UP:

dustpanmop_icon

  • Let kiln and other hot pieces cool down before moving and cleaning

READY TO CONTINUE?
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CONTINUE ON TO STEPxSTEP PROCESS

Removing | Double-Sided Mill

SUMMARY:

  • Double-Sided Mill is one of the most difficult objects to fabricate as material must be removed from both the top and bottom of a surface. When using the CNC machine it is important to remember that the slightest misalignment can cause the second mill to break through to the first or create an undesired placement of the design.

MATERIALS:

  • Found Wood

TOOLS:

chainsaw_icontablesaw_iconcncmachine_icon
screwdriver_iconscrews_iconsandpaper_rougher

  • Chainsaw
  • Table Saw
  • CNC Machine
  • Screw Driver
  • Screws
  • Sand Paper

SAFETY EQUIPMENT:

icon_earplugsicon_glassesicon_mask

  • Earplugs
  • Safety Glasses
  • Dust Mask

CLEAN UP:

dustvacuum_icondustpanmop_icon

  • Vacuum and spray down the CNC room after using
  • Clean up around all saws used by mopping up sawdust

READY TO CONTINUE?
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CONTINUE ON TO STEPxSTEP PROCESS

step x step on its way

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By the end of this month, the makeLab will have developed its Step x Step section of the website and published it for public consumption. The primary objective of Step x Step is to provide designers and architects with a reference on how to perform the specific fabrication processes of joining, forming, and subtracting. The Step x Step section will break down each of the three categories into a series of detailed tutorials.  These tutorials will include important safety tips and advice on how to exercise craft in the context of digital fabrication. Step x Step will provide architecture students with useful examples of processes that range in complexity.

Three LTU students (Nick Green, Erika Zajac, and James Case) have taken up the responsibility of developing the Step x Step web page.  Currently the Step x Step design team has been focusing on organizing the structure of the tutorials and its graphic appeal. An iconology scheme has been established that clearly communicates the prime idea behind each tutorial.  The objective is to make the tutorials accessible to all students regardless of  background or expertise.  Eventually the Step x Step section will serve as an open source database, allowing its viewers to add to pre-existing tutorials based upon their personal experiences.  A template will be provided that outlines the format expected for the Step x Step website submissions.  This template will include ways of conveying information graphically.  The goal of Step X Step is to provide clear ideas, list any required supplies, and provide a well-documented process for infusing the technical skills of craft into the design making process.  This is achieved by setting up a narrative that outlines the best practices for digitally fabricated design and subsequent analog methodologies.  Step x Step will act as a new resource for students and experienced designers alike to review the makeLab’s advancements and setbacks as time goes on. Additionally the aspiration of Step x Step is to foster a community founded on process-oriented knowledge sharing.

stepxstepwebsite

Authors:
Dustin Altschul
Brandon Mainster
Eric Craig