No time to go out on a Friday night, only a couple of days before the challenge's deadline. Instead, I decided to annoy the neighbours by doing some final milling and sanding ... So, as promised, here's the enclosure for the second control unit. Unlike the alarm clock, this unit makes use of a touch screen and keypad for user input, on top of the voice commands. Because of these components, it is also quite larger than the alarm clock. It will be sitting on the cabinet.
Here's what I've done with it and how I got there ...
This unit was too large to cut solely with the CNC. The board to cut from was so large I couldn't clamp it normally and had to resort to alternative methods demonstrated below. The CNC was used to mill the slots in the front and top panel, just the maximum supported width of my CNC.
To actually cut the different panels out of the board, I used the classic method: the table saw. Using the router, I manually made the grooves, trimmed the pieces to fit and rounded the edges.
Using some wood glue and clamps, the pieces were attached to each other. This unit required a lot more manual work than the alarm clock, but was clearly faster for some actions, though not always as accurate as the CNC. I suppose accuracy in manual actions comes as experience is gained.
Milling acrylic using the CNC required a few attempts before achieving clean results. During the initial runs, the mill's feed rate was too low, causing the acrylic to heat up too much, melt and stick to the milling bit. This in turn, caused damage to the piece because of the molten blob swinging around.
By increasing the feed rate to 1000mm / min, with passes of 0.7mm, the mill travelled fast enough to cut without melting, resulting in clean cut pieces, as demonstrated below.
To compensate for possible inconsistency issues due to the manual cutting and assembling of this enclosure, the side panels would have to be measured and drawn individually for milling. A much easier and faster approach was to glue a slightly larger, roughly cut piece of acrylic to the sides and use a flush trim router bit.
The flush trim bit has a bearing which follows the shape of the wooden enclosure it is rolling on, while cutting the acrylic to the same shape.
Before and after a manual flush trim:
A bit of sanding will ensure everything is smooth and soft to the touch.
So, after all the sanding, glueing, filling, milling, etc ... I showed it to the wife, and I was allowed to put it on the cabinet
Here's the result:
It's a bit of a pity the touch screen's border is black. I'm thinking I could get some white film to stick on the edges of the display, giving it a white border.
By the way, I feel it looks like a microwave or retro TV. Can anyone confirm or deny this??
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