It is hard to believe that it was only seven years ago I witnessed a CNC router in action for the very first time. I was fascinated and simply had to have one! Although I had been in the creative end of the three dimensional sign business for most of my life I didn't really know what I would do with one - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Through extensive research I quickly found out that with the relative simplicity of EnRoute, CNC routers were capable of just about anything imaginable. This journal will chronicle that journey to date and continue each week with two or three entries as we continue to explore just what is possible with this wonderful software... -dan

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Complex robot arm - part one

One of the projects I'll be sharing at the workshop is a fancy name plaque I did a couple of years ago for Jeff Hartman, one of the authors of EnRoute software. Their company is called Artistic Automation and so this seemed like a fitting idea. The projects used a bunch of the wonderful features of EnRoute Pro.

The vectors were all created using the draw tools in EnRoute. At this point I was not at all worried about scale, instead only thinking about how all of the elements related to one another.

Then I used the offset tool to begin adding areas that would be modified.

I also positioned the pill shaped pieces that would connect the elements.

Then it was time to start in on the reliefs beginning with the straight potion of the arms. These were made 0.75" thick.

The sunken portions of the arms were then created by modifying the first reliefs by sinking the centres 0.25".

After every maneuver it is a good idea to check on what happened to make sure it is what you wanted.

The pill shaped connectors were built as separate reliefs.

Ditto for the travel limiters on the top of the robot arm.

The hydraulic cylinder brackets also were created in the same manner.

Next up was the robot arm hubs. I used the dome tool to create separate reliefs. The base (straight up portion) was set at 0.75" and the angle of the done set at 18 degrees.


Then the these reliefs were modified again by adding the outer ring of the centre.

Lastly the centre point of the hub was raised using the dome tool once more.

I then selected all of the reliefs and used the combine tool to make the whole assembly once piece.