This thought had been bouncing in my head for a while, so I had to get it out of my system. The idea behind doing a PLA inlay is that it gives me a lot of creative flexibility given the variety of filaments available. I can have the 3D printer doing the inlay while the CNC is carving the main part. I can sand/finish the PLA surface before using it. One thing I want to try is using “wood” PLA and simulating wood grain with stain.
For this first attempt I used OpenScad to generate the ‘inlay’ (just a letter ‘M’), export that as a DXF for ESTLCAM.
In ESTLCAM, I used the 1/16 flat bit to carve a 2mm deep ‘part’ as a hole, which basically also cuts right outside of the perimeter of the letter. This leaves a gap all around with a width equal to the radius of the bit (as expected). It’s still something I could use (see first picture).
Next experiment (which I haven’t done yet) will be to use the offset and minkowski functions in OpenScad to round the corners to match what the 1/16 mill will do. The code for the inlay would be something like this:
$fn = 50;
offset(delta=-1.5) scale([2,2])text(size=40,font=“Old Town”,text=“M”);
- I take my shape (in this case the text) and offset it inwards by the radius of the tool
- Then, I use minkowski to combine it with a circle with the same radius
The result is my original letter, but with the outside corners rounded in the same manner as those of the cavity.
I’ll post the results once I finish.