Saturday, December 17, 2011

Black Friday Computer Upgrade

I had an EXCELLENT Black Friday. I didn't want to distract myself for the last few weeks of school, so I shipped my amazing find home instead. In the end my Black Friday deal turned out to be a great "survived" the semester gift. This became one of my few impulse buys. I saw the deal on Newegg and couldn't resist. Who wouldn't want three monitors?

 They work great for CAD. Those wide format assemblies like my long board can be put 1:1 on the screens.

Ok... I'll admit they are somewhat ridiculous, but they finally gave me my "Command Center". I had been running two monitors for a few years before getting these new monitors. I found I have trouble using a computer with fewer than 2 monitors. I usually put whatever program I'm using on my main screen and something I need to use often on the other. When designing stuff I put my CAD on one display and the file browser on the other. I never have to minimize the CAD in order to open new files. With the three monitors I use the center and right monitors as I always have. The new left monitor gets used for "research". Research is usually Google for whatever information I might need for designs or homework.

Now I just need to figure out how to fit the monitors and my rather large speakers on my small desk at school... I'll probably have to hang a bit over onto my roommate's desk. Hopefully there won't be too many complaints =D

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Long Board Deck

After a long Friday with the CNC router I finally added the clear plastic deck to the chassis of the board. I hadn't worked with a CNC router before this, so it was an interesting experience. The setup was fairly different from what I do for milling. The 12"x40" sheet of polycarbonate was held on one edge by wood clamps, while the other was held down by a 2x4 screwed directly into the router's table. The setup took a few hours, but the cutting out of the board only took a few minutes. Hopefully I'll be a bit quicker with the next part I do on the router. Now I just need to finish the under glow and the board will be complete!

This was right after the cutout finished. The circle in the bottom of the board was a test cut. The default feed rates were a bit too quick on the machine. Although it cut out the circle just fine, the noise made by the router attracted a lot of attention. The high speed motion also risked the machine losing its position. Drilling the holes took forever because the router's spindle did not want to go below 6000RPM. At this speed the drill bit created a bunch of "stringies" as I call them. I had to pause the machine between every hole in order to remove them from the drill bit. Otherwise they would have melted large areas around the later holes in the deck.

I temporarily added some paper between the rails and the board in order to prevent scratches. I'll remove these once I get a clear protective film for the board. Until then the board will be covered in blue tape! The blue tape is kind of ugly, so I won't post a picture of it.