Happy Wednesday everyone.
Last week we talked about how to take something you designed in Sketchup and make it real. This week we’re going to do the same process with someone else’s design downloaded from the internet.
One of the most powerful parts of designing things digitally is the ability to share designs, build off of the work of others, and collaborate with people around the world.
One great resource for furniture designs is OpenDesk, a London based furniture maker which shares all of their designs for free and manufactures them using a network of CNC owners around the world. You can check out their whole design catalog here: https://www.opendesk.cc/designs .
For this week’s project I will be making the Slim Chair. I think the design is elegant and I actually need a chair.
The first step is to download the plans from the OpenDesk website. Plans for any of their designs can be download from the “Download” tab at the top of the page.
They provide .DXF files so I converted the .DXF file to a .SVG file for MakerCAM. I used the program Q-CAD to do the conversion (free, open, Window Mac and Linux - https://qcad.org/en/)
Next I opened the files in MakerCAM and used all the same settings as we showed last week to set up the cut. Because the original file is in millimeters and MakerCAM works with inches or centimeters you will want to resize the file by either 10x (mm to cm) or 25.4x (mm to in). This can be done by selecting all the parts and clicking edit -> Scale Selected.
From there it was just a matter of pressing “Run”. Just kidding, I tripped over the USB cord part way through and had to cut one of the side braces separately. I also encountered a bug while cutting the chair seat and decided to re-cut it. I also messed up the millimeters to inches conversion on my first go around and ended up with a slightly too small chair (but we don’t need to talk about that).
Here’s a quick video showing some real-speed and time lapse footage of the cutting process. You may notice in the video that I am testing a new sled design. The new design replaces the router’s base plate with a much larger one cut from wood. The early results are good with improved stability and much improved ability to move across cavities in the wood left by previously cut parts.
One of the nice things about building someone else’s design is that you have the opportunity to appreciate their craftsmanship. I particularly liked the way this design used a slight pump in the cut to allow the right angle on one piece to fit. It’s a common practice to do it that way, but I thought this implementation was particularly subtle.
Kickstarter asks for an estimate of when each reward level will ship and while projects are notoriously late, we intend to be on time. Getting our Batch 1 and Batch 2 kits out on time shouldn’t be too difficult, but getting the beta kits shipped has been an all out sprint. As of now we have in our possession all of the hardware (nuts, bolts, screws, pulleys..etc), the motors, the sprockets, and Arduino boards. The power supplies are clearing customs in Portland right now, the roller chain is clearing customs in Long Beach (because of the weight it was cheaper to go through Long Beach and truck them up here). The wiring harness are in route via FedEx and should arrive shortly. The fabrication of the mounting brackets is complete and they should ship in the next few days and be in our possession by mid February. The item which we think will arrive last is the Arduino shield which will ship via DHL express on February 22nd. It will be close, but we expect to hit our goal of a February ship date for beta kits albeit close to the end of the month.
What do you want to see more of?
Is there anything in particular you would like to see in next week’s update? Let us know in the forums!
Have a great week everyone! Thank you again for your support!
-Bar and Hannah