Digital fabrication has been called the 4th industrial revolution, since it puts the capability to manufacture products into the hands of everyone. By using digital design tools and computer-controlled machines, products can be produced quickly, accurately, and with a high level of customization. In this class, we will focus on digital fabrication using a CNC machine – a computerized router which can cut shapes and designs in plywood, softwoods and hardwoods.
CNC machines are becoming very popular in schools, maker centers and woodworking shops – for hobbyists, professionals and teachers. If you or your organization has a CNC, or is looking into purchasing a machine, this course is for you.
We will start with an overview of the digital fabrication process – from idea, to design, to fabrication – while learning the terminology of CNC and design tools. This will be followed by an in-depth tutorial on VCarve Pro, one of the leading CAD/CAM products. You will design in custom sign in VCarve Pro by using text and vector design tools and generate a variety of toolpaths, including profiles, pockets, v-carves, inlays and textures.
We will then take your design to the CNC machine and cut your sign. During the process, you will learn safety and machine operations, hold-down methods, bit selection, feeds and speeds, and most importantly, how to diagnose problems when something goes wrong.