Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wind Turbine Blades by CNC Router

by Brian Rodgers

First off our turbine is an Otherpower design built from the pre-published Home Brew Wind Power book we received after a week long class in Colorado. Sweet

I highly recommend Dan Bartman's and Dan Fink's classes to everyone considering building a wind turbine.

So,this is actually our second 10 footer, but we soon found out building a wind turbine at the Other Power workshop is a whole heck of a lot simpler than gearing up and building one in our living room.
Before we did much more than build a stator on the kitchen table I decided we needed a shop.

It only took a year to get the shop usable. On the bright side it wasn't expensive and we had loads of help from friends and family

Anyway our system is a 10 foot wind turbine mounted on a 46 foot, guyed, tilt up, 3" square tube tower on top of the hill we picked specifically for best wind and no few trees nearby, which performed poorly. With the decent mountain winds of 20 to 45 mph (guestimated) the turbine was putting out a meager 8 – 10 amps @ 24 volts. Then I caught sight of the ammeter in a few super winds, maybe 50-60 mph, it hit 25 amps, even while furling, finally, proof that our alternator could actually make the juice we hoped for.

It was back to the drawing board and in our case being computer geeks, back to Solidworks 3D modeling and Mastercam  G-code (CNC machine code) generator. Kevin's dad has been a pilot since forever, and he convinced us that the airfoil shape in the Other Power book was efficient only from a hand carving view point. A machine designed and cut blade can have negative curves for instance, similar to what we see on the bottom of PVC blades.

Kevin set about building faster, sleeker blades. I suggested we add six inches to the five foot blade just to pull a bit more energy from the available wind. So, what you see in the above design is a five foot six inch blade 1.5 inches thick  and 7.5 inches wide at the root. We also increased the blade area by cutting back the root by nearly five inches, leaving just enough room to mount the 10 inch plywood disks which hold the blades in position.    

Just in case you wonder if an eleven foot blades set will fit on our tower without hitting the guy cables. Yes we actually have a six foot two inch (id) schedule 40 pipe stub on top of the tower. That stub top was actually kind of a mistake, but it seems to be holding up even though I have seen it flex a little in those super winds. Next tower is going to be made from much larger material and the stub will go nearly to the top.
Anywho, this was a test setup, so it doesn't matter if most of the wind turbine and tower were made from what we had on hand, indeed that was a main part of the experiment. In fact, while we struggled to get the turbine in the sky before the notorious Spring NM winds I wondered which part of this system would fail first. Knock on wood all of our ranch engineering has held up to everything nature has thrown at it.
We will need to calculate a new tail to match the new blade sweep area, but building wood pieces just got o whole lot easier now that we are hooked up with a local cabinet shop where the CNC router now is setup. Boy howdy, we have tools, all kinds of tools: Last night before leaving,  we quick cut up three 4"X4" Douglas Fir cants using Louie's crazy cool 18" band saw. Once we had 12-2"X2"s we ran them through a planer, spent considerable time sorting the wood for grain direction and putting knots in places which are outside of the area the router was cutting, we began gluing and clamping.

The cabinet shop owner was a bit of perfectionist to say the least and he kept us doing a good job the whole day, OMG, no wonder we're exhausted. But that was cool, nothing like having a journeyman cabinet maker excited about homebrew energy making. So yeah, if you see any imperfections in the wood it wasn't because our resident craftsmen didn't make enough pencil lines on the wood as we were sanding, "this spot needs work, run you hand over it, you should be able to feel it."

That's it then, probably not a second to soon for some of you.
Obviously I like chronicling

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Metal Mulisha CNC Cutout Sign

New and useful applications for our large format CNC router are going through our doors daily. Today we finished the final touches on a sign for Metal Mulisha with a print on our hp designjet printer then mounted it to some gator board and cut it out to shape with our CNC router. The whole things completed looks so much more dynamic and eye popping than a generic sign printed and left in a standard rectangular shape. We are always happy to help companies and clients of ours with new and innovative solutions to their marketing and advertising needs with all of their large format prints.
by Jon

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cost Savings for CNC Routing Machines

The following is a short "Article" about  Cost Savings Program for Routing Machine Spindle Repair  by Ted Ladzinski. .

Cost Savings for CNC Routing Machines.

The spindle is the heart of every CNC routing machine. If you do not have a functional spindle you can’t make the parts you need. Due to recent advancement’s in today’s CNC routing Machines, many come equipped with high speed motorized CNC spindles not unlike what you find in many of today’s CNC machining centers. Whether is a Colombo, Gamfior, GMN, Omlat , Komo or another spindle OEM used in your machine, replacing damaged spindles new can cost nearly as much as the entire machine.

If you do have a spindle failure, don’t panic. Find a good CNC spindle repair company. Motor City Machine Tool Repair frequently rebuilds router spindles at 50% or less than the cost of new. This can save machine owners thousands of dollars. Furthermore, these repairs come with 1 year warranty. This warranty often exceeds those offered by the manufacturer. The average repair can take two weeks but emergency rebuilds are available in 1-3 days.
Knowing where to go when if your routing spindle fails is critical in savings both machine down time and the cost of the repair. Please don’t hesitate to contact Motor City Machine Tool Repair with any questions about our capabilities, where we purchase parts, or our strict testing procedures. Free estimates can be provided over the phone.

Motor City Machine Tool Repair

Friday, October 16, 2009

CNC Reproduction Work ... Technology in the Workplace


We have had our Multicam 1000 CNC router now for about four years. Trevor's been running it for almost 3 of them and we've refined our technique for reproducing stuff so that it goes remarkably smoothly. This table came to us recently. It was a Grand Rapids piece, probably from the 20's, not particularly valuable except sentimentally ... The end piece was broken off and missing but we had the broken off molding. So, here's how we get from the first picture to the last picture below ... Holman Studios is doing a little orange shellac and colored lacquer work on just the top and new piece to get it looking good. ... Click the pictures to enlarge them ...

The table as it came to us

First step, photograph the good end

Get the image full size, (in this case 13.06 x 1.81) in Photoshop and save it as 1 to 1 (1306 pixels x 181 pixels

Import it into your CAD program in a box 13.06 x 1.81 and draw over it ... Save it as the right kind of file for the toolpath program to read

Import it into Enroute and toolpath (have the program tell the router how to cut it, what bit, what order,etc.) it

Make a sample in luan to check it ... In this case ... perfect

Trevor then made a 3 ply replacement sandwich piece (two vertical pieces of veneer on a horizontal grain 1/8" solid wood core ... net 3/16ths " thick

Cut the real thing, stain it, install it and take it to Steve .... Start to finish ??? Hmmm, we'll see when we do the time clock, but probably less than you might think ...

We do all kinds of custom cnc work for our clients and for other furniture makers, both local and nationwide. This week we made the (200?) chair parts below for one friend and Monday we have a couple of big slabs to mill flat for another ... keeps Trevor off the streets....

The finished parts before running them through the planer them to release them

CNC at work ...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

KID's Wooden Cars

A CNC Router can be utilised to make shapes like this.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wine Tower

The main tower is made of solid Mahogany, the tower cap has a piece of maple sandwiched between two pieces of Bubinga, and the base legs are made of African Kiaat. All finished with a semi-gloss spray on lacquer.

Chair Beauty

Halloween Hanging Mobile Project

Written by: Alan Parekh

The Halloween Hanging Mobile Project was lots of fun. Hand drawn images were cut out using a  CNC machine as pieces of the spooky mobile.

Here are the basic steps of what was done:

Drawings were made on sheets of paper .

The drawings were scanned into the computer and touched up using MS Paint .
Artcam was used to convert the bitmap images into vectors .
The vectors were used to create tool-paths so that the images could eventually be cut out .

The tool-paths were exported to G code for the CNC computer

The CNC computer controlled the CNC machine to allow the parts to be cut out in exact proportion

Paint all the pieces

Tie them together with fishing line

Hang and enjoy!

Guitar-test cuts on a CNC Router

Dinosaur Bed

by Jon

Derric, the king of “I Have An Idea,” recently decided that if we can make tables at Monster Media with our flatbed printer and CNC router we can surely make beds. And if we can make beds then we can surely make a child’s bed. And if we can surely make a child’s bed we can make a custom child’s bed. And if we are going to make a child’s custom bed why don’t we start off with one for Dash, Derric’s four year old son, and make it in the likeness of one of his favorite things right now, a dinosaur? So, we did. This is a completely custom designed dinosaur bed, with detailed routing around the edges thanks to our large format CNC router and artwork printed directly to the wood thanks to our Digital Flatbed Printer. We have nailed it all together yet or thrown a mattress on it but we are so excited at how it turned out we went ahead and mocked it up on some two-by-fours and took some pics to share around. Check it out!