First Projects with Wood and Aluminum!

Here are a few of the projects I’ve started with on my MPCNC in the last couple of weeks. I’ve definitely figured things out a bit along the way and the quality of my parts and nc programming has improved a lot I’d say!

My current setup is a 12" x 12" x 3.5" build area running wireless via V1Pi using a raspberry pi and cnc.js. Everything designed and programmed in Fusion 360.

  • First part just messing around, a little spur gear with my initials
  • Then, I wanted to make an enclosure for my Raspberry Pi and Rambo board
  • Then I made a key rack with a mountain outline, machined out of one board, doing setups on the front and back.
  • A nice little cord organizer.
  • And finally, just completed my first aluminum part out of 1/16" sheet aluminum. This will (hopefully) get bent into a motorcycle license plate/turn signal bracket. Got it right on my first try and held really good accuracy/tolerances.
It's been a lot of fun learning building and learning how to do this stuff; let me know what you guys think!



Great set of projects and it shows your growth in CAM. Those could all be the subjects of beginner to advanced tutorials. Nice work. Thanks for sharing.


DANG! That is awesome work.

That cord holder could be a nice learning project as Jeffe pointed out, would you mind linking your Fusion project files for it? I think a lot of people wanting to use fusion might really learn a lot from that and end up with something useful, my favorite kind of demo!


All the projects are awesome and I really love bent metal stuff, the CAD is pretty fun, and making it is as well. I would love to see it installed when you do. Dude, so cool!

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Thanks! and another big thanks for doing all the leg work on the V1Pi setup. It made the whole process of getting up and going so much easier.


Thank you for the kind words, it means a lot. And yeah, I absolutely can share my fusion file for the cord holder. I probably should clean up the model and CAM a bit to make sure everything’s clear, but I’ll get the link up shortly. I should mention that I made that with a tool change so I could rough everything out with a 1/4" end mill, but I could probably just quickly do a duplicate setup with all 1/8" Toolpaths for those who don’t have Endstops.


Bonus: Some pictures of tonights final processing on my bracket, with a torch anneal for ease of bending, bent into shape, primed and painted! Couldn’t be happier with the result.


Also, @Jeffeb3 and @Ryan, I’m thinking about giving the PID project a shot. Other than reading through the thread, any advice on the best way to get going with that now that you’ve had a fair amount more time with it? Looks like there hasn’t been much activity in the thread in terms of new info/revelations in a while.

That bracket is amazing!

The PID works as is, I think it would benefit from a small control of it’s own, but a few test cuts and it’s dialed. I am not getting new PCB’s yet, but you can hand solder or just order some from the link. My biz insurance went through the roof with that one item so I really have to decide how far I want to pursue that as I lost a ton of money in insurance alone…I would have to sell hundreds a year just to break even because they do not understand it. So to them it must look like plugging in a fork to a light socket. Or I can try and find another insurance company that will take the time to understand it.

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I haven’t messed with it. I have the parts, and I hooked it up to the 660 on the bench. My LR uses the 611 though, so it’s just been in my todo list since then.

I really like the motorcycle bracket… I used to spend a fortune on stuff like that.


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Sorry for the delay, but here’s the link to my Fusion file for the cable holder for anyone interested:


A few important things to note:

  • This part is designed in inches with the intent to be post-processed and machined in inch mode (I turned on "INCH_MODE_SUPPORT" in my marlin config file). I thiiiiink you might be able to change the document unit to mm and it'll convert everything correctly, but I haven't tested this extensively. Sorry guys, but I design in inches all day at work so it doesn't make sense for me to use mm at home.
  • All the CAM operations are intended to avoid full-diameter (high load) slotting/cutting and instead do all the heavy lifting with High Speed Machining techniques (i.e. Adaptive Clearing a.k.a. Trochoidal Milling) and then finish up with light contouring and facing passes.
  • I designed this part to test out doing roughing with a 1/4 flat end mill and then do the final small details with an 1/8 inch flat end mill. I created a duplicate setup in the CAM application that is using all 1/8" mill Toolpaths, but it isn't necessarily optimized for that. I input typical values that I've used on my machine for feeds/speeds (not terribly conservative honestly), but I haven't actually tested a part with the all 1/8" setup.
  • I designed this to be able to take a small piece of nominal 1" x 6" board (actual 0.75 thick by 5.5 wide), and when I made it, I left extra stock on the back side and screwed it down to my spoil board. The CAM accounts for this extra stock.
  • I use Guffy's Fusion 360 post processor (linked on the V1 Milling Basics page) and haven't had any issues.
If nothing else, hopefully this gives a decent example workflow for doing a multi-operation part in Fusion! If anybody has questions, I'm more than happy to try and help.

It will.

I design everything in inches. Side effect of working in US based manufacturing. All of our tooling is imperial so it only made sense to design in imperial.

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My brain can’t decide. I use onshape. Luckily when I’m typing in dimensions it will convert inches to mm if the docunent is in mm. Or to inches if the document is in inches. It’s pretty bizarre to me which units I choose for each dimension. “The box is going to be 3” tall and 1.2mm thick and let’s have a 0.4mm round over on the bottom, and a 1/8" round over on the corners." I sometimes use 25mm for an inch or 3mm for 1/8" if I want even numbers and want to stay in mm.

Inches are more common for me if I am making something for woodworking and mm for printing. I do really wish I had been raised with metric, but there is something useful about approximating something as 1,2,3 inches or 1,2,3 feet. In metric you deal with more numbers like 6,12,18mm but in imperial you deal with more units like 1/4",2/4",3/4" and then you have to constantly reduce the fractions. Anything below 1/16" is a nightmare.

Anyways. If the us switched to metric, I would too, but I still use imperial for some convenience.

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Interesting! Why Onshape over Fusion out of curiosity? And then what do you use for CAM?

I have a Mac, so Fusion for the cad/cam combination seemed like the best route but I didn’t really look into other options much. Modeling in fusion is pretty good for free software but it definitely has its [anger inducing] moments… :slight_smile:

I use Linux, so onshape just works better. I also like that I can log into any computer and run it. I use EstlCAM in wine for CAM. I tried to like fusion but nothing seemed natural to me.

That makes sense. I definitely like the full integration between my cad/cam models for making changes on the fly, but I know what you mean about fusions CAM. I would definitely like the ability to try Estlcam for doing simpler stuff, so I will definitely look into doing a wine installation for that. Looks like it’s do-able.