• beaspoli

The Year of Making: HackPGH

I think I found my ULTIMATE hobby... it's HackPGH! Please note: HackPGH has nothing to do with any sort of not-permitted activity. It's just a place with all kind of tools, from 3D printers to CNC machines, laser cuttings, plotters, sawing machines, welding... You have to see it in person to believe it. You can build a great deal of things. When I got in, they were 3D printing a 3D printer!


Yesterday night I went to my first tool training session and I decided to use the CNC machine. I learned the software VCarve and Sean, my instructor, helped me in creating ON THE FLY a small project for the occasion. I thought of a phone holder since recently I have been into phone holders (don't ask me why... I just feel I need iPhone and iPad holders...).

Check what I made with the CNC cutter!

First thing: we designed the project in the VCarve software. Then, we took a scrap of wood suitable for my project, and flattened it nicely. For a real project, BYOBB (bring your own baltic birch - or any other wood you plan to use). Then, we placed it on the CNC cutter, securing it with 3 nails. We set the machine's 0,0,0 XYZ and uploaded the G-code of my project, through the CNC computer. Finally, hit PLAY and get the party started!

After the hole and the name were "excavated", we cut out the extra wood and made a square out of it. As you see in the video, Sean helped me with the most dangerous saw. Safety first! I didn't take selfies, but we were both wearing safety glasses, short sleeves, no jewels nor watches, and our hair was tied up tightly. You need special training for special tools, but let's say that I now have enough knowledge (and hopefully enough notes on my sketchbook) to make something else myself.


Here few more pics, in the making:

On the left, the rough CNC cut. Before cutting out the final square, we sanded it all and made it smooth (I still have to do some touch-ups by hand with fine sandpaper).

...and finally, here it is! My on-the-fly phone holder. Enjoy, and stay posted for some more challenging projects.


Happy New Year of Making, everybody!



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