Roland Chuck Spanner

Design files for this project can be found here

Here’s another small project I did a while back. The chuck spanner for the Roland MDX-540 in the Garage went missing, and without it the entire machine was out of commission as there was no way of tightening the lock nuts on the tool holders for the end mills. Rather than order and wait for a replacement spanner, I decided to model up and mill out a replacement on a Tormach PCNC 770. Results were great, but I did hit some alignment issues on the Y-axis which resulted in a small ridge running along the side of spanner. Lesson learned: check both the Y-origin as well as the X-origin after flipping the stock in the vise, the Y-axis origin may vary by up to a few thousands of an inch.

Compact End Mill Case

Design files for this project can be found here

One of the downsides of working with a large variety of materials (wood, plastics, aluminum, steel) in CNC mills is that each material requires a set of end mills tailored for that material. The basic requirement for each material is a square (flat) and ball (round) mill, but on top of that you have roughing (1-2 flutes) vs finishing (4+ flutes) mills, different sizes (1/2″, 1/4″, 1/8″, 1/16″, and 1/32″), and a number of specialty end mills (chamfer, dovetail, keyway, drills, threading, and engraving). All together, that’s a significant number of end mills to have to carry around.

My initial solution was to carry around my end mills together with my calipers, but that quickly became impractical as the number of end mills I had rapidly increased over the last few months. Instead, I ended up making a case capable of holding 22 1/4″ 2.5in length end mills, 8 1/8″ 2in length end mills, and 18 1/8″ 1.5in length end mills.

Mitutoyo Micrometer Case

Design files for this project can be found here and here

1/28/2017 – Updated rendered pictures to remove artifacts and fixed wood type for bottom half of the case

Here’s a fun project I made earlier this year: a replacement case for a Mitutoyo Micrometer as the one that it came with didn’t hold the micrometer very securely. To make a replacement case, I first modeled the micrometer as accurately as possible then did a subtract operation to get the initial model of the case. Following that, a bit of cleanup was necessary in order to smooth out the design so that it could be milled out relatively quickly. The top half of the case was milled from Peruvian Walnut while the bottom half was milled from Maple. Both sides were left unfinished as I didn’t want any oils or lacquer in contact with the micrometer.

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Mitutoyo Caliper Case

Design files for this project can be found here and here

1/3/2016 – Updated design to utilize magnets for holding end mills
12/24/2016 – Updated design, remade using IPE, and added milling progress pictures

Now that I’ve mostly settled into the life of a working adult, I finally have the time to explore some other stuff that I’ve been meaning to try out. Ever since I’ve moved away from the field of 3D printing, I’ve wanted to try my hand at realizing my ideas and designs using a CNC mill. Luckily for me, the hackerspace here at Microsoft has just the machine: a Roland MDX-540. And what is a better starter project than a case for my trusty Mitutoyo caliper?

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NCASE M1 Workstation Computer

5/3/2016 – Added rev. 2 and updated FAQ

Here’s a build I made recently as I was lacking a desktop system to use outside of work. It’s every computer engineer’s dream to build a no-compromise workstation, so here’s my super-compact variation with a Haswell-E Xeon processor, 980Ti, 32GB ECC RAM, and water-cooled with two dual radiators along with the highest performing waterblocks available. The complete Mini-ITX system measures in at 17″ x 6.5″ x 10″.

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Projects by Kevin