I really need that iPhone, you know?
The last two nights I’ve gone to TechShop without a definite plan but left with two waterjet cut frame parts (JAG17 and JAG02… the “JAG” stands for the blueprint part number “James A Greene” designed).
I was messing around getting the part .dwg files exported from the completed Inventor model and then threw them into FlowPath (the waterjet pathing software). Well, I figured, I might as well take the parts back and run a (free) dryrun to see if this worked. Sure enough, they did! The part ran without a problem.
So I was standing logged in to the FlowJet with my 1/4″ plate of aluminum in my truck and I thought oh, what the heck. I got the plate, fastened it down, held my breath, and hit CUT. A few minutes late a perfectly WaterJet cut part emerged from the metal! The first one I cut last night was really easy– basically a rectangle with eight holes cut. Tonight’s part was the much more difficult “Ring 2″ from R2’s body. It has 28 holes and a very distinctive “C” shape. I took calipers to it afterwards and confirmed that the cut is perfect! So far so good.
So in the last week I’ve milled up 24 rods (various lengths, 3/4″ diameter) and 4 very precise bars. I still have to tap and drill all these parts, which terrifies me since I’ll be remaking them if I break a tap. But onward we go!
I have 2 more main body rings to cut on the WaterJet and then two much thicker side pieces. Then I’ll be spending a lot of time at the mill edgefinding, drilling, tapping, etc. Tonight I got a master class from a member on lathe tool selection. There’s just so much to know. Cool tidbit: the guy I learned from helped Steve Jobs design the first iPod. He was also on the team that made the Starship Enterprise fly under early CNC control for the first Star Trek movies. An electronics genius. It’s amazing what kind of resources and people are at TechShop.
I’m building props for Sing the next few days so, ironically, I won’t be going in to to TechShop. Nope, I’ll be out in the cold and rain trying to stay dry. Cool stuff building, though. Next week I’ll be back at T.S. doing some more W.J. cutting.
Oh, and the dome (one of the few pieces I bought) should be arriving soon. Hooray!