• Elvin Ou

Subtraction 2- CNC

Updated: Feb 14, 2019

The goal is to use the basics of Adobe Illustrator, and to mill basic parts using our desktop CNC the Othermill.

Final product:


After the first introduction of the power of CNC, I wanted to use it to do some engravings to make a wooden dice. Originally I wanted to use a 2"*2"*2" wooden cube for the CNC until I realize it maximized out of the limit of the other mill so that I ended up just testing it on a thinner surface with acrylic and balsa wood and made some coasters.

Mid-process Images:

I was pretty excited when I decided I want to cut a wooden dice with Chinese characters engraved by CNC machine until I realized it does not fit...

It was quite sad because I actually spent lots of time tracing the six characters on illustrator and also spent quite some time trying to alternate each strokes so that the 1/8 flat end drill would be about to cut all of them. That was not even the biggest problem I had. When I was first setting up the machine and Bantom, the "locating " of the drill bit was so difficult, for some reason the machine was not doing what I think it was supposed to do. So I kept on trying to re-home and re locate, it was just not doing it until my friend told me switch the machine and try again, then it worked magically... Even though it worked and cut some stuff out, I still have not figured out how exactly the order is of setting up a milling.

When it was finally set up kind of correctly, I started cutting my first test pice which is a 1/8 thick acrylic. It was cutting fine until the tape was not strong enough to hold and it just slipped during the process ( :/ . ) Then I moved on to the second material, 1/8 thick balsa wood, and this time I really taped it down and hope nothing weird was gonna happen.

But of course weird shit happened, the location fo the drill bit somehow changed when I relocate it and it just destroyed the material. From there I started doing it again and finally successfully engraved one piece of coaster. However I thought the depth of the engraving wasn't enough so I decided to do my third take on balsa wood. Eventually... It worked.