Building a Box using the CNC.

Don Baer

Moderator
Staff member
This won't be anything fancy but I thought it would be fun to build a box that I need to hold the cutters an and collect for the CNC using the CNC. I Started out by designing a tool holder to handle the collect and bits. I started out by designing a holder to hold the collets and bit that I have or plan on buying in the near future. I have room for 4 ER 20 collets, 8" 1/2 shaft end mills 8 1/4" shaft end mills and 4 1/8" end mills along with 4 pockets to hold four boxes of 1/8" mills that I have.
Fusion 360 allows you to do parmetric designing. For those not familiar with parmetric design I will try to explain. To do this I first make a table of the various dimension for the parts of the design assigning them names as I go along. Then when doing the drawing to use a dimension instead of saying 18 inches for the side you define side in the parameter table as 18" and then you merely say "side" when you are doing the drawing and the program automatically knows what you are talking about. Then if in the future I want to change a dimension I can just change it on the table and it will automatically adjust the drawing. This will be useful if in the future I want to build another one but make it bigger to accommodate more bits or different size bits.
Here is the parameter table for the holder
Tool Holder Param. jpg.jpg

and the layout of the holder
ToolHolder.jpg
and finally a rendering of how the holder will look after it is machined
ToolHolderRend.jpg
Now I needed to design a box to hold the tools and since I have the tool holder done I now have the dimensions of the tool holder. I wanted to make the box drawing more flexible so I could use it for other boxes in the future so the parameter table will make this very easy.
Here is the table for the box parts.
Box1.jpg
There is a problem in the box design in the box width is an inch off from the tool holder but since I used parametric design it is very simple to change by just making one change to the table.
here is the layout for the various parts
Untitled.jpg

I and only showing one side and one end, I will uses software to create the second set of parts
and last here is a rendering of the parts after they are machined.
Box2.jpg

Next I will briefly cover how Fusion 360 set I set up Fusion 360 to do the various parts to creat the parts program and then finally cut out the parts.
 
Don make you some holes for 3/8" cutters. When I had my CNC that was what we ended up using the most for cutting parts. You can cut faster with less power and use less material and are less expensive than 1/2" bits. I bought mine from Vortex. I picked this tip up from a Pool table co that I used to do work for. Its all he used in 2 twin head and one single head Andi CNC's I had an Andi
 

Don Baer

Moderator
Staff member
Looking good Don. Love what you are doing with F360
Thanks Leo. This whole CNC project has been a journey and has allowed me to expand my knowledge of what is currently available versus what once was the norm. I find myself constantly challenge myself to learn newer and better ways of doing things. For many years I was and still am a proponent of Sketchup because it was what I knew best and for some tasks it is a great tool but it is not and should not be the only tool in my tool box. The ability to go from idea to final product using a single software program has a lot of appeal to me. Being able to be able to modify a complete set of drawing of a design by simply changing a few numbers in a parameter table to me makes Fusion well worth the effort to learn the software. I am sure there are still many feature in this program I am yet to learn.
 

Don Baer

Moderator
Staff member
Don make you some holes for 3/8" cutters. When I had my CNC that was what we ended up using the most for cutting parts. You can cut faster with less power and use less material and are less expensive than 1/2" bits. I bought mine from Vortex. I picked this tip up from a Pool table co that I used to do work for. Its all he used in 2 twin head and one single head Andi CNC's I had an Andi
Thanks Jay I'll look into it it would be simple to add a few holes and a few inches to the design. After all it's not like I would have to redo all the drawings...lol
 

Don Baer

Moderator
Staff member
so this morning after reading Jays comment I decided to go back and add space for 3/8" bits. No big deal it was about an hours work all told including changing the box to match the tool holder. Then I got distracted and didn't get around to making any parts until a little while ago. First let me cover how I went from design to program again still using Fusion360.
The program know the dimensions of you part already but you still need to let it know certain parameter before it can develop a cutting program. The first thing you need to do is tell it what size of a piece of stock are using and also where do you want to start from when the program begins. This is done by creating a "Startup profile" The start up box is on the right hand side of the screen.
Setup.jpg

I told the program I wanted the cutter to start from the top of the stock and the lower left hand corner. Also it gave me the size of I stock I needed for the part but only the dimension of the part with no extra. I added an inch all the way around because I am cutting this part from a larger piece of stock.
Next I needed to tell the program what type of a machining operation I wanted to perform. I selected 2D and piocket milling from the drop down menu. Next it asked me what part of the piece I wanted to pocket. This is done on the box on the right.
Pocket.jpg
here I can also select various other machining parameters such as telling it the cutter size, feed rates and spindle speed, amount of material to remove each pass as well as other items need to perform the operation.
I repeat this for all of the rest of the operations. As you can see I am drilling the smaller wholes and boring the larger holes. The final operation is a 2 d contour to actually cut the finished part from the stock.
Next i am given the opportunity to simulate all the the operations showing me the tool path prior to actually generating the program.
Simulate.jpg
the program is now ready to generate the G code which I will download to the Mach 3 via my home network.
20200507_155423.jpg
you will notice a small mark on the left hand side of the part that is a tool mark where the bit put an indentation into the part. I failed to tell the program to ramp in from the top and this is the result. My bad.
Tomorrow I'll cut out the box.
 
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