Week 3 – More CNC-ing

For this other CNC project, I wanted to recreate and puzzle I had growing up, that consists of yellow and orange shapes and has a stack of cards with different images you can create using these seven different shapes, each shaping is used twice.

I did some quick sketching to come up with measurements/proportions.

Last week I used Illustrator and found the process going from that to SVG to the Bantam Tools software pretty easy. However for this week I decided to try Vectorworks. I like the drawing mechanics in Vectorworks however it got a bit more complicated trying to get an SVG file.

I first tried to export it as a DXF (v. 2010) and then into Illustrator, although I keep receiving the error that it was an unknown format. I tried different version years and would still get the same error. Ben also suggested an EPS file, and with the Vectorworks would always crash, not sure why. So instead I imported the DXF file into AutoCAD then exported as an SVG. Another suggestion from Ben, I used an online converter and eventually just used that — https://cloudconvert.com/dxf-to-svg.

I started to cut the frame or base that would hold the pieces together, but I ended up scrapping that because then I ran into my main issue below —

My next issue, and the one I suffered through the most, was cutting all my little pieces out and for the love of god I couldn’t get the scaling right. I spent way too long cutting and recutting and resizing, and I just ended up splitting the seven shapes into two different files that way at least those grouped together would be scaled right. I also ran into issues that I can only say now is — there’s no such thing as too much double sided tape … My pieces came up and the material did as well a couple times during milling. So when that happened, I also had individual files for each individual piece so that I could get the last few that I couldn’t get in the group cut.

There was a lot of trial and error.

I eventually got all the pieces out and in pretty good shape (a couple have some little bumps and accidental cuts made into them, but for the most part they fit together and are mostly proportionate), I sounded them down a bit, it’s not perfect but for now it’s ok.

The next thing I need to do is make the frame so everything and sit inside and not move around so much … since I had to scrap the original base/frame.

And also maybe paint the pieces, but I think I want to redo this with acrylic.

Well, making the base didn’t go as planned. Should’ve been simple, just a square pocket. I had the most flat piece of wood I could find and I thought I put enough tape but apparently still as mentioned before there is no such thing as too much. Eventually, as the bit kept going around and around, the material started to twist ever so slightly and there was quite a bit of tear-out so I think the bit kept getting caught on that as well — so the edges of the square are not straight. I know I got the measurement right at least because one side that didn’t get messed up is the correct length to fit the puzzle pieces.

We’ll try again, and maybe I’ll just super glue it down because the double sided tape hates me.

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