Week 6: Make Something Big

This week we had to make something with the large endmill machine. I was missing a nightstand on my room so naturally, that's what I did!

Finished installed nightstand


I designed my nighstand within FreeCad to get a sense of the demensions that I had to cut. In FreeCad I tried to parametrize the design by cloning the pieces that were the same. In the end, the design ended up pretty neat. I then opened InkScape 2 and proceeded to draw the pieces based on what I'd done in FreeCad.


This week's assignment was mostly composed of getting a successful toolpath for the endmill to follow , and configuring the endmill to work correctly. One of the most important aspects of the configuration was the tool that would be used for the cutting. I used the 1/4" tool and the settings to cut through wood were 10000 rpm, 120 in / hour, 60 in / hour. These settings were in the "Profile Cut".

Endmill cutting


For this project, I just encountered 3 problems. The first was that I did not check very well how deep the tip of the endmill was in, and the machine made some horrible noises. Eventually, the machine finished the job and we realized that the tip was out too much. The second problem that I encountered was that the machine did not cut through the wood completely. This was fixed by making the cut depth slightly larger. Originally, I had it in 0.5in, so I increased it to 0.55in and it worked flawlessly. The third problem that happened to me was that I wanted to calibrate the Z axis, but I had forgotten to turn on the endmill motor, so the calibration never ocurred. The fix was to turn it on and run it again.

Endmill computer while performing a cut

Results and Assembly

I took my cut pieces home and bought some L joints and screws and began to screw it together. I tried to follow the dimensions that I had established in the FreeCad model and I can say that they ended up pretty nicely. I bought a kit that contained the joints and screws, but forgot that I needed smaller screws so the screws I bought trespassed the wood.

Assembly pieces and bought additional pieces

Assembling the night stand

Putting screws on the nightstand shelves

Tightening the screws


Here are the files that I used for the models.