My Job is great!

(James Carter) #1

I get to hang around all day, making things like this with my Nomad :slight_smile:

I run the machine constantly… sometimes I finish two dies a day.
Some dies are “secret” that’s why there are gaps (plus sometimes I plain forget).

(James Carter) #2

Here’s today’s die:

The holes don’t go all the way through because I still have to face off the back side to relieve stress, otherwise the die would warp when it’s heated to 500 degrees :slight_smile:

(Dan Nelson) #3

What sort of die is it? I mean, what is the final product?


(James Carter) #4


(James Carter) #5

Today’s Die!

(James Carter) #6

Today’s die!

(James Carter) #7

Today I have a threefer… A three part die set.

The top one is the biggest… that will create a green background.
The middle one is smaller, and will create a silver body with a green border.
The bottom one will add grey “diamond plate” pattern.

(James Carter) #8

Here’s what I ran yesterday :slight_smile:

(Tchad Rogers) #9

Wow, impressive! The back plate is clearly aluminum… what material is the stamp? What end mill are you using? You get impressive detail, especially in the trademark R.

(James Carter) #10

Actually, the entire thing is brass. the light just reflects funny, and makes it look brighter.
I use 3 or 4 different endmills, depending on the detail I need to produce.

1st Rough Pass is a .125 2-flute carbide endmill. I use that to remove all the extra material around the geometry.
2nd Rough pass is a .062 2-flute carbide endmill. I use that to rough out the gross features in the geometry, to save the life of the next tool.
1st finish pass is a engraving tool with a 20 degree taper. the tip is .005 I use that for most of the features in the geometry.
2nd finish pass is a engraving tool with a 20 degree taper. the tip is .003 I use that to get the tiny details like the R in the corner.

The geometry on all my dies is 4mm deep, thus the need for a good roughing pass. The whole die is 3" by 3".
I make the mounting holes using the .125 tool, after everything else is done.
The counterbores on the mounting holes are done by cheating: I have a counterbore tool in my drill press. It’s takes a few seconds compared to 10 minutes on the cnc.

Need Someone to Provide Milling Service
(Phil Thien) #11

Those are very impressive.

Can you give us any ideas of machining times for these?

(James Carter) #12

Most of the time, it takes about 1.5 hours for the rough pass, and 15-20 min for the finish passes. The last die took significantly longer, because of the tiny details. That took a little under 6 hours for the fine finish pass, so a total of about 8 hours.

So normally, about 3 to 3.5 hours per die unless it’s crazy with the details.

(William Adams) #13

What CAD/CAM software are you using? Have you tried different software with different results?

(James Carter) #14

The art department uses Adobe Illustrator. I just use MeshCam to get the tool paths. Nothing fancy :smiley:
MeshCam is very picky. So far, I’ve narrowed it down to two file types it can handle consistently: .DXF and .SVG

Sometimes I have to pick features from both file types to get a complete die. We are considering some alternative software, since MeshCam is so limited. Unfortunately those programs are also more expensive… to the tune of thousands of dollars :confused:

(William Adams) #15

STLs should work consistently (and I thank you for your mentioning of SVG — didn’t realize that MeshCAM could import those) — if you find some which don’t, please pass them on to support, similarly, I’m sure that @robgrz would be interested in the file pairs of SVG/DXFs where you needed elements from each.

(James Carter) #16

Darn, Adobe does not support STL’s … That’s another file type I’ll have to include on my list when looking at new software.

(William Adams) #17

STLs, as noted at:

STL (STereoLithography) is a 3D file format which defines 3D shapes as a mesh of triangles. Most 3D CAD programs will export to .stl, e.g., Rhino, Solidworks, Autodesk Inventor, Viacad, Blender, Sketchup, Tinkercad, AutoCAD, Alibre, ZBrush and OpenSCAD (licensing discussion:,701417 )

Since your work is 2.5D, arguably that’s an unnecessary complication — I only mentioned it for sake of completeness.

Oh yeah, while Adobe Illustrator might not support this, Photoshop CC does export to STL.

(James Carter) #18

Just a simple Princeton die… I’m already starting to find the easy ones to be a little boring…

(James Carter) #19

Here are some candid shots of what the dies do…

(James Carter) #20