Interesting new CNC Router Project

I’m not sure how the conversation developed, but somewhere along the way, Kate’s friend Matt mentioned that he wanted to have a more personalized logo stamp for the pottery that he makes (for examples of his fine pottery, click here).  Kate thought that we might be able to use the CNC Router to make a logo stamp.

At the time, I was thinking about trying to machine aluminum and thought that this project might be a good vehicle to try that.  So I gave Kate and Matt the assignment to design the logo while I researched machining aluminum.

They had more success than I did and came up with this fantastic looking logo:

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Logo for Matt Hallyburton’s Pottery

Looks pretty nice, but the narrow walls and my own concerns that this CNC machine wouldn’t be good for aluminum (aluminum really should have a continuous spray of coolant/lubricant while it’s being machined, and I’d have to seal the Router’s electronics to prevent aluminum chips shorting out everything) made me think of alternative materials.  I considered PVC, but thought that might not be rugged enough.  Amazon must have read my mind (something that I think happens much too often) because I got a promotion email from them telling me about the nylon rods they were carrying!  Hmmmm…

I researched machining plastics (Acrylic, Nylon, PVC, etc) and learned of a router bit design that was made specifically for plastic.  That, coupled with the availability of nylon stock, sold me on this approach.

Once I had all the material, Kate came over and we worked on it together.  We first processed and scaled the design so it would be the right size to fit on the end of the 1″ rod, created the CNC code, made the fixtures to hold the rod solidly on the Router (Kate made this), and began to route!

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Machining the logo into nylon rod.

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Another view machining the stamp.

Here is the result.  I was amazed at how well the nylon machined.  Those special bits are fantastic!  The side walls of the stamp are less than 1/32″ of an inch thick while being 1/4″ tall (Aspect ratio > 8:1!)


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Stamp complete, viewed from the top.

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Side view of the stamp. Notice the almost transparent quality of the thin walls.

Finally, the proof is in the outcome…

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And here is a pot stamped with the new logo. I’d say it came out pretty well and is distinctive!

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Close up of the logo…

Overall, I’d say the project was a success and Kate and I had fun working on it!

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