Subtraction – Week #8 More in 4 Axis mill

This week I decided to try another material on the machine- Wood. But on order to test that, again I started only with foam, just to see the paths, and how the STL shaping up with the bits available. Roughing paths went through smoothly, but the smoothing paths looked like skipped some information..


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The final foam piece:



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After everything was set, I found out that the Y axis has changes from the last time I used the machine. which means- Big trouble. Luckily, Seth, the 2nd year student, had some previous experience with calibrating the machine and after 2 calibrations the machine was ready to go…

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The final wooden piece came out good- but still, had problems that I didn’t see in the software, you can see that it looked like it the top got the smooth path, but that the bottom part skipped it.



Subtraction – Week #8 4 Axis mill

This week we learned about the 4 Axis mill machine in the shop. The machine looks promising and there’s not a lot of people that actually know how to use it at itp..

We had in class demo how to use it, I took some pictures to remember the order of operation. In order to use this machine we start by making a 3d model- which we can download or use vectorWorks to make one. It needs to be an STL file. This machine can mill aluminum, wood, Delrin, brass – Also cubic stock or round stock.


Getting the right size of the materials:

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Creating Tabs:

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My first tryout was an poop emoji that I downloaded from a 3d print model, planned to be cut from foam, just to test the machine.

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From my first test I figured that I need to use material that close in size to the original model. The bit requirements sometimes not realistic to the bit I have so I need to readjust the size in order to fit the material and tools I have. So I tried to make another foam test. This time it was a duck.




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This time, the machine just skipped the roughing path. so I had half duck.





Subtraction – Week #7 More from the Metal lathe


This week of spring break I had a chance to try more materials on the lathe. Ben left us some pieces to use. I took one piece of brass that looks promising and also small piece of Derlin. Before I started with the special materials, I wanted to try and make another aluminum piece, and this time I wanted to make something more functional.



After setting up I started to face the piece:


Then I used the turning tool to start and create diagonal cut in the material:

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By this point I decided to create dreidel, which can be fun to see if it works..

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I part the dreidel until it fell, which was a bit scary- but it just fell and didn’t fly somewhere…I took some pictures of all what I made in the end 🙂

I continued to the delrin, in which one I decided to try the boring tool, I saw that emmanuel used it before me and recommend me to drill first and then use it from the inside hole.


Eventually I made a 2 parts box from the delrin, and because if the hole it could also be used as a whistle.


The brass was really fun to turn. It had this golden dust coming out if it, other than razor sharp threads like the aluminum.

I decided to tap this part for our class assignment.

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Subtraction – Week #6 Metal lathe

This week we got familiar with the metal lathe in our shop. It’s the most accurate machine in our shop and can produce object really quickly. Using the lathe on a material is called “turning”, but turning also means cutting away from the diameter of the material.We can use it also to face material – cutting from the end of a material, and keep the surface straight, Parting is to cut straight in the material to part it away from the rest of the material that will stay in the lathe. Drilling and tapping can be done with the tail of the machine, with regular drill bits, and we should use it from small diameter to the desired one. We must use oil when we use this machine.

I started with just trying the machine, from Ben’s works, this is the most dangerous machine in the shop, and we should pay extra attention while using it..He also mentioned horror stories about people nit using it properly so I just wanted to get it out of my way and see what it’s all about. I decided to start with getting all the parts together:


After setting uo the material on the lathe, I locked the jaws, and started with the turning tool.


Then the facing tool:



After using facing and turning tool, I put the parting tool in order to create line cuts in  my material.
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The parting process took the longest, but give really nice touch if you’re not using it to actually part it away…

Next I started the drilling part, with detecting the center with this special bit.

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Gradually getting the size that you need is the only way to drill a hole:

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After the hole was drilled I set up the parting tool and started to cut away the part:


I made this part only to try the lathe and see how I can manage the machine. Overall it seems like the lathe have really good potential to bring small objects to life.. I didn’t measured dimensions this time, but I can check with calliper how far my cutting goes if I need accuracy.

Subtraction – Week #5 CNC Project

This week we had to continue working on our 2 weeks CNC project. All this time I debated whether I should make some sort of a furniture, or continue making the smiley joint to a functional object.
After a test I did for the smileys I figured I should keep it small, and make a 2 sided object, like my Pcomp project. I remember that I had fun trying to master this technique.
I designed more faces, that relatively remind me some people that I know 🙂
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While working on the design I thought how I can make the object be interactive somehow, and thought to create stamps that follow the positive area of the cut. I imagined it with pink rubber in the end.
I went to Prince lumber at 18 st, just to figure out that they moved!! This is the note from the website:
618 West 47th Street, NY, NY 10036. Please note that Prince Hardware is still open at 436 West 18th Street
I also noticed that their manager’s name is Ben Lambright! 🙂
Luckily, João introduced me to another lumber store in Soho- Metropolitan lumber. I went there and got some  1.1″ plywood with more layers than I tried in my tests, 1″ maple, 1.8″ mahogany piece.. On the way out I found two scraps pieces that no one really care that I’ll take..
The different types of wood encouraged me to make some sort of a puzzle, and I decided to make the handle of the stamps as a joint, and that way to try different woods, and maybe even one handle can switch faces..
My first test was on the school’s plywood, just to test sizes, positive negative cut, and test the handles joint.
 My second cut was on the new plywood, which was looking good in the cutting. This test showed most of the problems that I had in my design.. Square edges that suppose to go into rounded corners, depth comparison and centered cut problems.
The method of making the stamp require to make the design start from the center- then flipping the wood and readjust the Z axis- and continue from the same middle.
As you can see here, my first attempt didn’t end well.. I have mistakes picking the center in the second part of the cutting.
The handles had a different story. I had to calculate the material as my space between shapes, in order for them to slide in to another.
First test of handles:

Subtraction – Week #4 CNC Joinery

This week we looked at a lot of different ways to connect two pieces of material using the CNC. The machine gives you a lot of accuracy, but it needs to be well thought, as the CNC machines not that good in creating corners…This project should help us get a better idea on our two weeks CNC project.


I started by thinking about the joints that I can make, and how I can use it…at first I thought to create some sort of a furniture that I can use, like something to put beside my bed, and then I thought maybe to use the joints practice and make letters puzzle so I can sent it to my nieces and maybe they can have fun with it…

I’ll choose after I’ll play around with the joints.

I started to run some ideas on how I can make this joints look more playful, and decided to shape it as a smiley. I can’t actually create a round face, as It will be a cutout and I can’t use it- so I thought about a small tab to hold the round piece of the smiley head:


After the sketches and thinking what should be in which height (and designing it in Illustrator), I measured the material (0.721 Inch) and went to CAM in order to make the orders of operations for this cut. I’m using two bits – one 1/8″inch for the details, and 1/4″inch bit for the outline cut, just in order to save time and using the 1/8″ bit only for what I really need from it, in order to keep it from braking… As you can see I made the last two operations with the 1/4″ inch bit, in order to replace the tool only once.  More over, when I designed both shapes, I made sure to have the part that was meant to be a cut out, to be slightly larger than the other part, actually it was 0.005 bigger.


Shots from the CNC operation:


At this point I see that something is wrong and that I probably applied a wrong depth to this operation, as I wanted it to be only half of the material and not close to the bottom edge.
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I thought I’m hitting the bed, but actually it was something inside the plywood that looks weird and eaten…..

This is how a mistake looks like 🙂

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Nothing like spending time in sanding rather than cutting the whole thing from start..Even with 0.005 inch difference, I had to sand the negative part, to be slightly bigger.

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Mostly sanded part:

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Subtraction – Week #3 SKILL BUILDER: CNC / Techno Router

This week we had a chance to get more familiar with the CNC machine that we have at the ITP shop. This time I just want to try and get some sort of a graphic result out of this big machine, but still keep a natural and free lines.

I had this idea in my mind to take the graphics that we used to see everywhere in NY, that say “Thank you for shopping” or “THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU” ,and make a different function to these typographic phrases that we tend to ignore.


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At first I thought to use it as a laundry box, and planned to have folded walls, so when it’s open it might have a closer shape to a filled bag…:


Eventually I decided to first try out the text and the 1/8″ bit, to see that everything is working well.

I made an illustrator file with the same typography, and then brought it to the CAM software. After I figured that the size of my file is not enough for the bit to cut, I was able to scale it up through CAM, and checked with the size units that it’s not becoming a huge sign. Because I first did the pocket, after each scaling I could see the new process that it will make immediately. Usually I would go back to illustrator to fix it, but this time it felt like I can just solve it inside of Mastercam.

Information to remember: 0.0625 is the max rough step for the 1/8″ bit.

I decided to make the contour with a 1/4″ bit, so it will be quicker and also to save my 1/8″ bit for the delicate work only.


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After I was happy with the animation moch up of the drilling, I went to the CNC, and decided to fix this annoying thing where the big TV screen was not working. Now it’s working.


I’ve set up my 1/8″ bit, and after I tried to spot the straightest area on the bed, and screwed the board, I marked the 0 axis:



I opened the vacuum, and started the job.

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It looks like the bed positioning was effecting the cutting a bit….on part of the cut it left marks, and on the other side, the cuts were smooth. When the machine finished with the inside line, which is the last operation made with the 1/8″ bit, it paused and requested to change the tool. I continued with the 1/4″ bit.



Final result:



I was thinking of painting it using plastic roller, so it will paint only the surface, but not the inside- any recommendations?

Subtraction – Week #2 SKILL BUILDER: Other Mill

This week we got to know the Other mill, which is a really small CNC machine. It’s using 1/8 inch bit and smaller, and really good in cutting small parts from different materials, including metal, Plywood, Aluminum,  PCB boards and more.. I started with cutting some pieces of wood and aluminum. I used 1/8″ bit and plywood.

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I cleaned the bed and the machine itself before I started.


After placing the material, I calibrated the bed (Homing) and also oriented the bit.

I decided to go with a small refresher tree shape. I divided the work to three different files : tree outline, rounded cut through hole, and rounded rect engraving. I manually placed them in place because I didn’t have any marks to align to. I should do it next time.

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This is what happened in my first tryout when I didn’t divided the layers:



And this is the result after I made the cutting in 2 different operations:





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After the second round, I went back to the machine and this time with Aluminum. I measures the material and gave the engraving and the cutting new numbers.

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The machine ended the operation a bit far from the edge of the material but I was was able to take it out.



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Performing User – Week #02

Performing user class. Our first subject discussed in class was instructions, and how it can be an shooting start for a performance. We had to bring examples of instructions. These were mine: the link for the first instruction guide, which is a mini-site for one of Lomography cameras- Spinner 360°. It can take 360° photos on film. And vintage instruction,  this guide of an old typing machine.

We had to create a performance inspired by one of the instruction that we brought to class, or to choose new set. The performance should tell something about ourselves. I thought it will be a good chance to get some new pics with my Spinner and also to try and recreate the action that I’m used to take, share it with the class and try to get some new results.

I made this prototype of how we can use the camera remotly:


Setting an instruction for this activity will be probably :

1. Go to an open space with a lot of light with tripod and two sand bags.

2. steady the camera with tripod and sand bags.

3.  Stand in a circle around the camera, you can also release it from the stand.

4. Pull the string slowly but firmly, and release it. The time of the release is the time that the camera is capturing, so you can also release it slowly.

5. Wait for the development.



Subtraction – Week #1 SKILL BUILDER: ROUTER

In this semester I hope to get much more comfortable around all the tools that we have at ITP. Our first assignment this semester is to go back a little bit and try to get our skills better with tools that we might find using after we finish our studies, when we won’t necessarily have a CNC or laser cut machines available. This time we need to use the hand router. Last semester I had good experience with this one, when I worked on my Hanucake – wooden Menorah for Hanukkah, made from a shape of a 3 layered cake. I got to the shop on Friday evening when it was super quiet and had a chance to work calmly on this one. I started by collecting all the tools that I need for this assignment:






I placed the straight bit, using the allen key to keep it from rotating. After that I replaced the circle jig with the regular acrylic part. I still would like at some point to create a new jig for the router..maybe with new circle sizes or straight one.


I made sure that only tip of the bit is coming out from the jig height in order to start with a small depth of cutting.


This is the measurements I had on the wood in order to have a middle point. I then used 1/4 inch drill bit for the wooden part of the jig holder.



This is the placement of everything before I stated to cut…As we practiced, I wanted to make sure on a dry round how the cable will end up being when Im completing my cut.


The  I started, counter clock rotation, to cut my circle.



This is the first layer cut.


When I came up to start the cutting, after I started the machine, I couldn’t  make is smooth start and had this point start..It’s kind of jumped first when it touched the wood…


I continued t the next level of height:IMG_4960


In this part I started to think how I should use the phone camera in the shop beacuse right now it’s full with wood dust…..


Nest level height:


Cut through:


Measuring in order to check what is the distance from the line that I need to cut- till the fence i’m putting:




I figured I might do another round before I’m cutting the middle of my object, and used it to make another bigger round:

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Then I placed the ruler as a fence for the router..It didn’t kept it’s place with the screws…



Didn’t like the results, so I thought to try out the table too:





It wasn’t the accurate, and I wasn’t sure if the results can be more precise with a different bit, maybe a smaller one…









after I finished with the cutting I made sure that the collet is clean



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Finished with hole saw details..