Thursday, December 19, 2013

scanner handles

The scanner needed some handles to allow Nathaniel to use it in a vertical orientation so I took some aluminum rod and turned a slight taper on the end so I could press fit a short section (1") of solid stock in the ends of a piece of aluminum tube. Then I cut off the excess on the bandsaw, chucked the pieces in the lathe, faced them, center-drilled, drilled, and then threaded 1/4-20. I figured it might be nice to allow water into the handles since he may need to worry about buoyancy with this whole scanner rig and there may be the need for weighting it. I thought the holes might also aid in the grip of the handle. I cut some handle brackets from some excess aluminum from when I made the sides of the box. These were just laid out with a sharpie and then cut and shaped by hand on the belt grinder. I sometimes forget how immediate and freeing it can be to fabricate without the aid of CAD or CAM. I find that CAD and CAM sometime interrupts the flow of making and the ability to  respond to the moment. I feel like the last three days have seen a flurry of activity and a lot of this has to do with the right flow between sketching, making chipboard models, making a test piece, doing a little CAD, and then cranking out some parts using CAM and CNC machining. It's hard to explain, but it feels good. I always tell my students that lots of models are essential and these have to be made to before you can make the jump to the virtual world. They never buy into it (even though they're made to do it), but I always hope they'll find their way to it on their own when they're older and wiser. I think it's easier to start building when you have a decent roadmap. You can aways get off the main road from time to time to visit "the worlds largest ball of twine" or the "worlds multi-story log cabin", but it's always good to know what the ultimate destination is. Live and learn...

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