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Old 31st Jul 2013, 21:30   #1
Cheapskate
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[Bit-Tech/Intel NUC Competition] Tooobular, with 3 ooo's --Finished, Pg. 4--

I'd like to thank Intel, Bit Tech, and anyone else involved for giving me another chance to have some fun.
Relevant links:http://www.bit-tech.net/modding/2013...announcement/1
http://www.bit-tech.net/modding/2013...-competition/1

I apologize for not having a name yet. Let's just say it's already been a long week for me here.
OK, Let's get started:
Early in any of my projects I'm digging around for things I can use. Design inspiration for the NUC case came from rooting through my trash/treasure for stuff to build around. This time, I thought I'd use a chunk of stainless steel pipe leftover from a reservoir build. I had also been working on a larger design based on the concept of using pipes, and the idea of a tiny rig on a giant hinge seemed neat. I also wanted to build something that looked black until it was "brought to life." -That part may end up having to wait...

-First, before I could do any building, I had to make a chaotic mess of the original rough model.

-Well, that's not exactly what was going on here. I'm trying to organize the cutting for the part billets and get everything within my mill's 5.5" x 12" work window.

-Here we have a robot cow looking into his stargate... Or maybe it's some of the parts being prepped for cutting. The dotted line between them is my .15" exclusion zone to keep the bit from cutting into the opposite part.

-I apologize for the cruddy quality, but it gets the point across. Here I've imported into a CAD software. You can see I did some deconstruction of the original before importing to speed things up. Crosses will be converted into drill points, and other stuff.

-I have to draw paths for the beveling bit when I only need one area angled.

-Since I don't have any fancy CAM package, I also work out my bevel bit clearance in Sketchup.

-This isn't a very spectacular starting point, but I couldn't see to saw in the middle of the night. The neighbors don't seem to like me doing that either.
Here I've dug out a tactile switch salvaged from an old optical drive.the metal cage on it is perfect, but I need to hack off more of the remaining PCB flesh.

-That's much better. I may never find all the bits of circuit board that shot off during the snipping attack.

-Hmmm, Powering lights on such a petite system may be tricky. There will likely be a jumper for power and HD activity LEDs, but the rest might have to be powered by one of the on-board USB ports.
I need to test something, so out from storage comes the loose power bricks.

-USB is 5 volt DC, and cell phone chargers are the same voltage. -Just gotta hack off that antique plug head...

-I needed to find out if I could light 2 ultrabright LEDs with 5 volts. These old fan plugs work great for testing. I can, I just can't hold 4 wires and take a picture.

-I'm setting up the first plexiglas cut here. My cutting guide needs to be offset 4 1/16" from the line.

-OOF! Strange round things have taken over my work space, and the grass is going wild. (I mean, I'm letting the grass go wild because it's friggen July.)

-My weapon of choice for cutting plexiglas will always be a wet-cut tile saw. -Also, Don't walk out past the edge of that shadow. Your hair will catch on fire!

-I stumbled onto a problem. This is the transparent brown I had planned on using for this project. It's not very transparent. Instead of just looking black, it is black, and will stay black even when back-lit.
In order for this to NOT look like a black blob when finished, I have to make some changes. I hope no one minds.

Last edited by Cheapskate; 28th Sep 2013 at 20:58.
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Old 1st Aug 2013, 00:15   #2
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This is looking pretty exciting already! It's cool to see the parts all laid out with their corresponding measurements etc. not to mention you've got some proper modding going on with this one. Can't wait to see how it progresses!
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Old 1st Aug 2013, 02:20   #3
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Thanks!
It's pretty chaotic at this point.
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Old 1st Aug 2013, 22:15   #4
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I received the NUC unit this morning. -Holy mackerel, that was fast!
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 02:24   #5
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Looking good Cheaps, It's nice to see the models of the stuff you plan to machine. I'm going to have to learn how to do this kinda stuff
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 22:39   #6
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Nice start cheaps, looks a nice complex project.

Now I've got to get some done so I can start posting.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 23:38   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waynio View Post
Nice start cheaps, looks a nice complex project.

Now I've got to get some done so I can start posting.
Yeah I was just about to ask if you had something you should be getting on with ?
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 02:08   #8
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Thanks.
@Asouter -That reminds me- I should screen shot some of the cheapskate cad/cam process...for extra padding.
@Waynio -You are officially the last of us to start a log. That means you have to have the best build to draw attention to yourself.
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 21:14   #9
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-Now with 4 ooos


-This is my second weapon of choice. Sadly, she is getting a little long in the tooth and has to be re-adjusted every time she is moved to a worksite.

-The first short cut. I've removed the masking since the surface of the middle layer doesn't need to be perfect. The mask was a little sticky too. It's best to get rid of it before you soak it a few times.

-Braaaaaap! The beauty of using a tile saw on plexi is that it can cut any thickness without melting or chipping. An older blade makes a cleaner cut too.

-Oh, yeah. She's a little out of calibration again. These are just billets, though. I gotta stay outside the line, that's all.

-If you squint, you can see through the brown here. I'm prepping for fusing the layers and have my can of IPS Weld-On #3, a glass plate to protect the freezer/table, (the ONLY workspace in my garage,) and a layer of paper towels to catch the spillage.

-After slapping the layers together, I raise the plate up off the towels. This keeps the soaked up solvent from damaging the underside face.

-Here I'm prepping some scrap black for making the small parts. Here the plastic is glued to a sacrificial MDF palette. There's a layer of blue masking tape on the bottom of the plastic, and I'm gluing that to the MDF with wood glue.
The big bottle filled with lead shot is for... well, crushin' stuff. The glue/tape combo insures that the parts stay mounted during cutting. Using this setup on larger parts often destroys the MDF trying to pry them free.

Last edited by Cheapskate; 3rd Aug 2013 at 21:20.
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 21:21   #10
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slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!
I really like the The big bottle filled with lead shot. Gotta get me a few of those. #crushingit
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Old 4th Aug 2013, 17:10   #11
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Everyone should have a hurricane-grade paperweight or two.
The second set of NUC parts arrived Saturday. I am amazed I couldn't dig up a loose power supply for this. Wait, I just remembered there's a 15 gallon bin of cables that might have something. I'm also kicking myself over how may micro WIFI antennas I've trashed. There may be some laptop murder in a future update...

Last edited by Cheapskate; 4th Aug 2013 at 17:23.
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Old 7th Aug 2013, 21:26   #12
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Now with 5 ooos...


-For the people new to my logs, here's a shot of my c̶h̶a̶o̶s̶ mill setup, and a few other things. I see a slab of granite, some marble, 486 keyboard, Smackenstein, some PVC pipe, a pile of recycling, and some unfinished projects. Originally, the base was going to be a chunk of that granite, but I think shipping that to the UK would pulverize everything else in the box with it.

-Here's a celebratory shot of the first milling operation. The mill is drilling pilot holes for a 4-40 tap drill. I got a little boog on the bit, but I wouldn't go near that sucker when it's moving... Cameras are awesome aren't they? To my eyes that spinning booger would look like a blurry ring.

-I changed to a 1/8" bit and started cutting out the parts. Space monkey head says Hi.

-Ah, good! When cutting roughly 3/8" thick material with a 3/8" long bit down to .38", you never know if it you will see the bottom. Plexiglas isn't very accurate when it comes to thickness.

-It's starting to look like something, but I opted for a single pass cut. There's a lot of crud building up in the channels. A wider/cleaner channel = cleaner cut = less sanding.

-I was cleaning the channels out with this bellows bottle, but I got a little close to the bit...

-I had been meaning to try out my ghetto air compressor anyway. Space monkey had to go orbit something.
Yes, that's a garden sprayer. I used it on an air brush ages ago. It works great, but you have to keep the O-ring lubed if you use it dry.
...Don't say it. This one's a family-friendly log.
...maybe.

-Next up came the bevel bit pass. That thing in the top left is my high-dollar air nozzle setup.

-This part is done, and the other part has one of those half bevel/half not passes next. I have to remove this part to protect it from the bit.

-No, not the fan, the blurry thing in the foreground. That's the part I just cut. As I suspected, it's way too dark. Past 1/4" thick the(my) human eye can't see through it.

-So these are junk, but it was a really good, (and elaborate,) test cut. They have a good friction fit on the hinge tube too.

-I'll leave this as a hint about what the new transparent color will be. Here's another hint: The water in the saw's tub looked like a shark attack happened when I was done cutting. You can see the recent cuts drying below.

Last edited by Cheapskate; 7th Aug 2013 at 21:35.
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Old 8th Aug 2013, 15:41   #13
Waynio
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Shame about the brown being too dark, looks an awesome fit though, really nice use of tube.
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Old 8th Aug 2013, 16:03   #14
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Pranja is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.Pranja is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.Pranja is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.Pranja is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.Pranja is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.Pranja is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.Pranja is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.Pranja is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.Pranja is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.Pranja is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.Pranja is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.
Black plexi looks so good on that cylinder. Great work,mate.
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Old 8th Aug 2013, 19:33   #15
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Thanks guys.
I should have realized that a plexi made for blocking sunlight might completely blot out an LED. The new color seems to work, though.
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Old 12th Aug 2013, 20:50   #16
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Quick virtual update:

-OK, I'll be the first to admit that I do things a little backward in the design phase, so how about an overview of the cheapskate way:
The dimensions in Sketchup are mostly accurate, but there's some problems with it being a polygon/render based modeler. So it sometimes needs to be re-drawn in a proper CAD software.
The first thing I do with a part is take a flat profile of the part/parts to cut, and position them on the zero point. The Zero is important because it becomes the position reference on the mill.

-I've installed an export to DXF rubyscript that gives me something to work with besides the proprietary format.

-I import that into, don't laugh, Turbocad. This shot shows one of the biggest weaknesses of a polygon-based modeler. The circles are actually 24 sided polygons. I've already traced the one in the bottom-left corner.

-Before I started, I grouped the import together so I could delete it quickly afterward.

-I'm currently using CamBam. I'm still shopping for a CAM package with full rotary 4th axis, and haven't locked down on anything. CamBam is excellent for 2.5d, though. Here is where all the cutting paths are worked out.

-When done I render the toolpaths and make sure nothing is wrong. Occasionally you get something freaky like the object's inside being set to be it's outside.
When I go into the milling software, The bit is moved to the bottom-left corner of the material and the coordinates are set to zero.
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Old 12th Aug 2013, 23:50   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapskate View Post

-Here's a celebratory shot of the first milling operation. The mill is drilling pilot holes for a 4-40 tap drill. I got a little boog on the bit, but I wouldn't go near that sucker when it's moving... Cameras are awesome aren't they? To my eyes that spinning booger would look like a blurry ring.
Thanks, now I have this stuck in my head....

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Old 14th Aug 2013, 21:21   #18
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Now with 6 ooos, say it like you just got kicked in the jimmies.

Thanks, Now I have that stuck in my head too.
Nobody look. I'm pushing my allotted bandwidth.

-A single bit of scrap from the GG build will handle all of the 1/4" parts with room to spare.
This is the power button assembly.

-In the process of cutting "the angry frog" bevel here. I must have been half asleep when I coded the cuts, because I beveled the button the same as the body parts.
It'll come in handy later anyway.

-Oh, that's some glorious fit. Have some iconic size reference object. Slipperyskip's Coke can is too big for referencing some of these parts.

-I've had my first nightmare involving waiting for holes to cut. It can get really tedious if there's a lot of them. Fortunately, I have my manual air pump cardio work out to focus on.

-OK, cutting out squares is pretty tedious too.

-The NUC unit arrived early in the morning. -Wait. I said that a week ago. How far ahead of my progress reports am I? (-and a week since I typed this up to boot.) Everyone else has already posted high-res tech porn, so my pics will be small and blurry, but with common size reference objects.

-Here it is with a blue thing, some kind of printout, and a round slug of metal.

-This is more Bit-Tech's speed. Here it is lost somewhere in a Chieftech Dragon. Oh, Oh! It got cornered by a couple of 80mm fans and they are about to take it's lunch money...

-The obligatory Lego mime. I thought a xeon heatsink would be appropriate too. I thought about using it to make a passive heatsink for this build originally.

-Um, Does anyone know where the power plug goes?
-Anyway, enough whimsy...

-I got started on cutting new versions of the parts from the last update. You can really tell when you hit the middle layer.

-I had to take a break, so I parked the bit in the zero point. When I boot back up, I can just zero the positions in the controller program, and tell it to start at line 40641.

-Yawn, SEEN it!

-Woah! That was new. Apparently I didn't get this area glued too well. Check out the amount of plastic carnage at this point.

-Bevel pass.

-2nd bevel pass. You can already see through the middle layer in spots.

Last edited by Cheapskate; 14th Aug 2013 at 21:35.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 07:10   #19
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Interesting stuff cheaps, I didn't realise that the machine would mill a polygon instead of a circle. That's gonna save me learning the hard way
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 18:00   #20
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Thanks. Learning curves hopefully get shorter. You can bluff it a bit by increasing the polygon count of your circles. I did that with GwassGween since I was sanding massively anyway.
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