Series 1 3D printed Relief cutting machine

Cut and carve relief sculpture with a mouse!

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A precision 3D printed machine that carves in wood and foam to produce precise relief carvings. This project was made for makers to make! (Made just for the HaD contest!)
Relief carvings such as these made can also be used to produce a mold for casting resins etc and making multiple items from a master original.
This machine can answer the call for the occasional or serious artist or somebody who just wants to build it and try it out.
It is inexpensive and fun to make, light weight and highly portable.

Carve in Styrofoam,balsa wood ,poplar basswood and other soft materials.

Series 1 3D printed Mouse operated Relief Sculpture machine

This is my 3rd machine this year in this series.

This machine is designed to cut reliefs into a single face media freeform by the artist. It can cut foams and wood. The machine offers real time freedom for the user to carve and create quickly, accurately and at various depths into the media with precise control.
The workpiece is held in a screw clamp vise and can hold up to 3 X 3 inch media. The vise is mounted to a two stage axis for left,right up and down access to the face of the workpiece. Positioning is done by moving the mouse with a specially designed driver and firmware.
I posted some details about the mouse controlled axis last week.

The rotary tool is mounted to a specialized sliding axis driven by a stepper motor. The motor is connected to an offset and a lever that pushes and pulls the tool into and out of the workpiece. A keypad is attached to the machine which allows incremental toolfeeds into the workpiece at precise depths in 3/32 inch steps, allowing the user to cut at any depth desired and hold that depth until another is reselected. This control combined with the mouse movements allow the user to make very detailed cuts at any depth desired for relief effects. This axis also uses a unique driver and firmware to control the tool head.
The cutting motor is variable speed and set by a knob for the given material and uses a ball cutter or router bits(dremel size 1/8 inch shanks).
I conceived this machine for the artist who creates reliefs, cut stamps and general small sculpting. A great advantage is no hand fatigue, and the ability to effortless control depth for better detail, yet still allow freedom of creative expression.
This machine only makes a small mess when in use(chips mostly fall down just below the workpiece). It is lightweight and highly portable. The structure and base components are mostly 3D printed, and otherwise uses common inexpensive parts to construct.

I have had some fun with this and plan to make some items when I take a break from building machines.

  • The toolbit feed monopole axis

    castvee803/27/2017 at 20:36 0 comments

    This machine makes use of an unusual tool bit feed system. Instead of a conventional axis like I used in my other machines, this uses a stepper motor and cam plus levers to move the toolbit and motor assembly forward and back from the workpiece.

    A keypad on the front of the machine controls the feed allowing the user to select incremental feed into the workpiece.

    The guides are a single top rail that secures the assembly while a lower rail provides stability and counteracts torque from the motor bit assembly. As can be seen it is a very "beefy" assembly necessary to support the gear atop it.

  • Using the machine

    castvee803/27/2017 at 18:23 0 comments

    Here is the start of a rough out of a head(no one in particular) Note the basic features have been cut, but lack distinct detail:

    Here is a better view of the roughout. The goal is to use a coarse cutter to generalize the image, then change bits and clean things up.

    It is important to leave lots of room for finishing later. Don't try to cut too close in the beginning stages of a project. It is rather obvious the subject is snarling, angry and very upset......Probably an overworked writer or some such. The glasses he wears help hide some of the anger, but it still can be seen even in this rough stage of art development.

  • Mouse Axis interface

    castvee803/27/2017 at 17:13 0 comments

    Key components for the mouse axis interface.

    The Arduino provides the signal conversion for the drivers.

  • X,Y media holder mount and axis

    castvee803/25/2017 at 22:43 0 comments

    I used the same X,Y axis for this machine as the others. The X and Y are stacked and the square media vise sits atop the completed assembly.

    Thumbscrew hold the media securely in the vise frame.

  • The machine foundation

    castvee802/07/2017 at 15:45 0 comments

    I developed an interesting and functional base for this and the last machine I made which serves as the support for all the machines components. I call it tube and block fabrication, and as the name suggests is comprised of 3D printed blocks and short tubes which are interconnected by short lengths of steel tubing or rod.

    These are made by printing and assembling the blocks and tubes then setting them all together on a flat surface and gluing them solid in place, allowing to dry until rigid. I use loctite brand superglue for all my machine assembly work.

    This provides a very solid structure on which to build the machine and is inexpensive. The steel rod can be standard 3/8 diameter obtained at any hardware store and cut to length as required.

    Here is the foundation for this machine.

    You will note that the axis upright area has no steel rod between them. The upright assembly mounts directly over the 4 block matrix.

    This is the mounting areas for the other components. These thick flats provide support for the toolmotor axis actuator as well as some electronics.

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esot.eric wrote 03/26/2017 at 00:27 point

Am curious about this mouse-interface you're using... I once used the encoder-outputs from an old ball-mouse to directly drive quadrature-signals into stepper-H-Bridges... no microcontroller necessary :)

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Yann Guidon / YGDES wrote 03/26/2017 at 01:11 point

HAhahaha awesome idea !!!

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castvee8 wrote 03/26/2017 at 01:54 point

I did an "of the shelf" solution. No cutting, no hacking just a bit of code and leftover microcontroller functionality for future expansion. What you did is entirely viable.(and clever!)

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esot.eric wrote 03/26/2017 at 02:11 point

Ah hah... For some reason I thought the acceleration was built-in to the mouse... would make drawing difficult. As long as that can be disabled, it'd be a great interface for something like this.

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castvee8 wrote 03/26/2017 at 02:18 point

The real payoff of using the Uno is that it is all so fluidly adjustable with code tinkering. You can make tiny movements with large results and visa versa.......and someplace in between is a dozen sweet spots that are user selectable for best feel. I prefer a near 1:1 ratio but others want a 2:1 or more. It also made mating with multiple drivers easy-steppers,DC motors etc. All this possible with a few code adjustments.

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esot.eric wrote 03/27/2017 at 16:17 point

great call... use a click or even a scroll-wheel to adjust the resolution... Cool

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