Series 1 3D printed 3D freeform carving machine.
This machine is designed to allow an artist to sculpt in 3 D on a 3 inch square X 5 inch tall block of stock. Materials may in clude styrofoam,floral foam, balsa wood, basswood etc.
A rotary cutting tool is used and any standard shank dremel bits can be used including sanding drums for material removal. The cutting motor is variable speed 0-8000 RPM. The motor is attached to a floating Z axis that can access the entire face of the workpiece. The Z axis is in turn mounted on an X,Y axis set that allows the entire face of the work to be exploited. The workpiece is mounted on a rotary indexed table that can be moved in a complete rotation in 48 steps so complete access to the workpiece is available.
The machine is guided using an analog gaming joystick. Each button on the joystick allows the user to move axis and the workpiece. I found this to be much more natural than using the Ps2 joysticks in my other machines as it gives a feel of actually holding a tool while sculpting.
The entire structure is 3D printed(less the X,Y axis on this model I am low on materials) to form a rigid structure for mounting all the hardware. The controller interface is an Arduino Uno coded to interpret the analog joystick and buttons to perform driver signals.
The rotating table uses a stepper motor and printed turntable and vise while having an overhead centering clamp to resist the torque effects while carving.
The machine makes a bit of a mess but the shavings stay fairly close to the machine so it isn't too messy.
There is a slight learning curve when using the machine. You don't have active feedback on the joystick and have to get used to not aggressively trying to make deep cuts. As with any Dremel you let the tool do the work a bit at a time. Once I played with it an hour or so I quickly got the knack for shaping smoothly. The freeform carving machine lets you explore sculpting without tiring your hands and wrist, and without the vibration of a running motor tool normally associated with traditional methods.
Fun for the whole family and foam is cheap! In many cases it can be free(packing etc).
This is my second machine in the series, the first being the rotary duplicator which can be seen on my profile page with the lathes mills and other designs. I hope to design six machines this year all of which will be 3D printable..