Saturday, November 30, 2013

Parsing Solid Models for Holes

I've been playing with a macro to get hole information (coordinates, diameter, etc) out of solid models in FreeCAD. It is a challenge and I don't think I will ever be totally done, because there are so many corner cases. I am concentrating on the types of parts that I would be milling in my shop- ie blocks of metal that I can drill with a simple 3 axis Bridgeport CNC mill. I will leave the 5 axis stuff to others :) Here is a screenshot of what I have so far:
The lines coming up and out of the holes indicate that I am successful. Here is my macro:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Welcome to the Monkey Lab

I had a client request that I make an aluminum panel for mounting an LCD monitor and touchscreen for his research group. He supplied the monitor, touchscreen, a light, and a drink dispenser. Hmmm- sounds interesting. Who would be using the touch screen? Monkeys of course. Wow...
Here is how I did it: To begin with, I found spec sheets for the monitor and touch screen online.

I used FreeCAD to make a 3D model of the components and an assembly.
Then I used HeeksCNC to create CNC code for milling out the panel.

Milling the whole thing on my Bridgeport CNC was a challenge. My Y axis travel was barely 10.75" and the cutout for the monitor/touchscreen was 10.3" alone. This meant that I needed to slide the ram that the milling head attaches to back and forth in Y to get the full range. To do that, I had to pick up on a known edge, with my edge finder, several times. That was a bit of a trick, but I got it to work.
Here is a picture of the finished assembly:
My client was very happy with the panel. Maybe I will make another and install it in my kitchen...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Javascript G-Code Generator

Bolt Circle G-Code Generator
Bolt Circle G-Code Generator
Drill Cycle
Feed Rate
Clearance Plane
X Center
Y Center
Z Depth
Number of Holes
Bolt Circle Diameter
Start Angle