Stuff I made: data logger case and lid

A case and lid for a custom data logger. The opening in lid allows access to the controls. this is simple but it went well. Case is renshape, lid is PC.

More stuff: Alignment plates for soap box derby car. These replace the wheels and allow measurement of toe and camber. Really just cut a big hole in the 6061 billet with the nomad and pushed in some bushings. Still, this hole (5/8th inch) would note be easy or accurate with my drill so i see this as a win.

another angle, just over an inch deep.

Clock frame and lens: material MDF and PC. Machined a ring of MDF with some hard to see features on the outside and a groove for the LCD ring. Hard to see but there is also a clear PC cover for the LEDs that fits into a groove in the ring. Given away as present so better photos not possible.

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hi would you mind sharing your feeds and speeds plus coolant used for this? also, how long did the job run. I’m surprised you managed to do this, that is some serious cutting for a machine driven with GT2 belts!!

to be clear I mean the 6061 bores for the bushes

Same question here, plus type/size of endmill used ?

So: the process for the big bore in the 6061 aluminum. Used some heavy duty “Duck” brand double sided tape to secure the billet to the platform. Used plenty of Tap magic cutting fluid. Removed the chips often. This included pausing the run and using an airgun to blow the chips out of the moat the tool was making towards the end. The cutter was the 0.125 ball end mill supplied with the nomad. My settings were as shown below. I did a waterline cut, (no roughing, no cut x or y, no pencil). It came out a bit undersized, so I ran the same program again and it took another 0.001 to 0.002 off. Running that fast will heat up the nomad. I added a cooling fan at some point to minimize this (put a pc cooling fan on the right hand side of the case, just out of harms way during homing). I cannot recall how long it took but I am guessing about 40 minutes to make one pass. It spends a lot of time slowly lowering itself into the hole with these settings ( esp the slow plunge rate). That gives me a chance to get some tap magic in there or blow out the crumbs. When you do not know what cannot be done. you will try anything. Sometimes it works.

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closeup of an early attempt where I did not reach the bottom (my bad, still learning meshcam). I should have adjusted meshcam settings, generated new code and run the part again with the same zero . Unfortunately, I took it out of the machine and did not feel I could find the same zero again so…it lives on as a reminder of what not to do.

Also, One needs to be careful. When the center plug lets go, it can cause all sorts of havoc. I paused and tested it on every cut when it was close. then paused and played an high stakes game of operation to remove it.

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Very cool projects, Mark! For the aluminum core, you should be able to cut within .005" or so of the bottom side, then tap from behind to “fracture” the core out with just a little cleanup required in the hole. I’ve done that in the past, specifically with 6061 aluminum and aluminum tooling plate, which actually tends to be brittle.


Yup those center plugs! Almost want to draw them in as part of the part with a few supports.

Thanks for the detailed reply Mark. I’ll be saving that one for when I need to mill some aluminium one day.

more stuff: These will form a transition element for a derby car, They will be fitted between the car and the axle which has a fairing matching the smaller end. Should improve aerodynamics a bit. They need finishing work but I am happy so far. They give a big filet without adding too much frontal area. The hole in the middle for the axle would be hard otherwise.

Made in 3 sections, from renshape, each 2 inches thick. I used the scale and slice features of meshcam to split a single part into these 3.


Wow- nice work again.


Bravo Mark, you’re making me itch to get some things finished and photographed to share as well; inspiring stuff!

Mark, do you have a suggestion for supplier of renshape?

No. What I have was from a source that dried up long ago. sorry

Other than getting blanks from Carbide (it’s the “synthetic wood”) the most visible supplier is Freeman Supply. It’s not cheap, but they’ve got closeouts from time to time that make it a bit more affordable.

They have a sample kit you can order that will give you a coupon for your next order which I’ve been meaning to try out :wink:

I believe the standard stuff we’re getting is the “440” grade of renshape, because it comes in a lot of different grades.

Lastly, when I was an undergraduate ID student at Virginia Tech, I know that the industrial design department got a lot of modeling foam from General Plastics, which also makes tooling board (which is what’s linked). No idea on costs.