During the waterjet training, we got excited about the "make gears" feature of the software and made a spirograph. I learned something about gears as a result: our spirograph didn't work because the number of teeth on the outer gear was a multiple of the number of teeth on the inner gear.

I went to the first session of the Mantis construction, and helped cut out the parts on the ShopBot.

For my "make something big" project, I wanted to make a bedframe. My mattress at home is currently sitting on the floor. I also had the idea of basing the design off a children's book from when I was young. This image is of little beds as "islands" with "pillows that tell you stories," from a book called Ma Vallee by Claude Ponti.

I didn't think the class materials would be strong enough to hold up a bed, so I went to Boulter Plywood and bought a 4' by 8', 1" thick sheet of birch plywood. I designed the bed using scans of the images from the book and 2D cad, with some 3D CAD "sketching" to get my head around where the bed locked together. I designed it with some press fit aspects to make assembly more accurate, but also with places for screws so I could trust putting my entire weight on it.

Then I cut it all out on the ShopBot (many, many thanks to Peter Schmitt for a lot of help). As suggested, I put the hold down screw holes on a separate layer, made them their own toolpath, and cut them first. Next (after a few mishaps in which I forgot to add them to the toolpath) I cut the press-fit holes and screw holes. Then I cut out all the outlines. The software on the ShopBot computer is really great, I learned it is better to put in the inside corner indentations in that software rather than doing it ahead of time (there were some issues with the ones I had), and that the join function is extremely useful. I had thought my lines were joined, but they turned out not to be. Otherwise the toolpath creation went smoothly. Here are some process pictures of the pieces being cut out:

The edges came out somewhat rough. I don't know yet if this was a function of the material, the tool, or my settings, but I plan to experiment more with this machine in the future.

Now working on getting the parts home (it's taking a few trips), pictures of assembled bed coming soon.


Assembled and sleep-tested! The mattress fits and it's super comfortable...no more sleeping on the floor!