First, I want to thank the folks at V1 Engineering for these awesome machine designs…it’s been a fun few months setting them up, familiarizing myself with their operation, and ultimately jumping into the world of CNC at home in my garage. THANK YOU!
I’ve decided to post about something I’ve been working on during the last week or two as the country has been locked-down for Covid-19. I hope you all remain in good health during this strange time… sincerely. Anyway, after looking at some Opendesk and AtFAB furniture designs, studying a few different cnc joinery techniques, getting familiar with OnShape, and Estlcam, and deciding to stick solely with sheet plywood as my building material, I designed a simple end table that can be cut and assembled with a small amount of glue at the joints in about 1.5 hours from first cut to fully assembled. These design cues will form the basis of several different pieces I’d like to design, so this is just the first of hopefully many. All the designs will be free and searchable in the OnShape public repository, and I’ll post links as I add new designs. While this first design and layout wasn’t optimized to conserve sheet ply material, my goal for the future would be to optimize the use of the negative space between pieces on the sheet ply to place other parts for the various furniture pieces I hope to design in order to minimize the scrap heap…that takes time and more designs, so not ready for that just yet.
Long term project goals would be to use variables in OnShape for dimensioning all the joinery so things auto scale as needed, and I can just focus on making nice designs without tedious joinery solving. If anyone knows how to do that, I’m all ears :). I’m an electrical engineer by trade, so I can figure out some complex math, but all this physical structure stuff is a new world for me…I really enjoy it so far. Also, I intend to stick with OnShape for all the design work so that I can easily visualize the designs and grow into 3D pretty readily as I get more familiar with that design platform and my LowRider CNC’s operation.
OnShape Link: Hardware-Free End Table![First Furniture Piece|667x500]
Final cut picture: Final Cuts on Ply
Test assembled but not sanded and glued yet picture: Assembled
All in one picture: https://photos.app.goo.gl/QipGCJxPvkMMCk5R6
Video of LowRider in Action: LowRider Cutting End Table
If you want to make this yourself, you can either export the drawing from OnShape (It’s at 1:5 scale), then import to Estlcam and scale up by 500%, or you can use the STL file in OnShape directly as a 3D export (not required as there are no 3D contours on this one).
Info for making:
Bit specs: 1/4 inch straight cut bit
Sheet Ply Specs: 3/4 inch (~18.6 mm as measured) birch plywood from Home Depot
- Scale drawing by 500% if using the drawing file
- All through cuts at least 19mm (+/- 1mm depending on how good your Z accuracy is)
The video above was actually taken just before my machine caught a snag on the vacuum hose due to a zip tied stepper motor wire (tried to be tidy) that I’ve since removed (zip tie I mean)…anyway, I had to do a slight re-design to the bottom leg support joint, so that cut piece was never used. When I finish sanding and staining, I’ll post the finished pics too.