Here's a recap of making something big with a ShopBot machine. This machine is huge. I used a 4' by 9' piece of plywood, and there was still plenty of room on the cutting surface of the machine. Since it's mid-October and way before Christmas, I thought it would be cool to do something impractical for the moment that could be really fun in a couple months: build a Christmas tree. I downloaded an initial design on GrabCad, and I edited it in Rhino to make sure the width of the slots match the thickness of the board, which is about .45 inches. Then, I added an extra slot and a star. Because what's a Christmas tree without a star or angel on top.
The machine is quite dangerous--it spins a quarter inch thick mill head at 10,000 RPM (at least that's what I set it at) to cut through the material on the sacrificial layer. So, every step along the way, I double checked with John or Tom to confirm that things looked okay. And the machine is quite loud. Here's yours truly, Monsieur Six Eyes, with some ear muffs
Here's a break down of the steps
Here's what it looks like while running
And some stills, mid-machining and post-machining
When you cut out pockets, which I did to make designs on the tree, you create a lot of dust. So, last but not least is cleaning up with a vacuum.
Et voila! Ho ho ho. Check here if you want to know if it's Christmas.