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CNC Cathedral Parts, design & techniques

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Blog entry by Bhaupt posted 01-26-2011 12:03 AM 5068 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is an example of a solid model done with cad (autocad). This is what typically is done when I start a new project. I design the part using core solids. Once the design is complete there are several steps needed to be done before code can be written.

Once the solid is complete I will convert it to surfaces, then too individual lines. Each layer of cut wood needs to be seperated in the cad program, then a single set of lines making up the patricular layer can be converted to a dxf file. This file is then moved to the “G” code program. A program is written, at that point the piece may be cut.

before cutting the cutting shape needs to be determined. typically a straight cut would be used but you can represent the geometry closer by using ball end mills or radii end mills as shown below.

as the cut pieces stack up this is what can be achieved.

This window was made to experiment with different materials and cutting geometry. It represents a window which can be found in Washington National Cathedral.

Some additional designs are shown here, this is the lower half of the spir sitting above the bell tower of St Patricks. This combination when assembled will be required 8 times to represent a complete circle.

The cathedral I am making will have Hardwood as the primary walls and buttresses. but most of the trim will be cnc made. This is an example of how some of the exterior trim will be applied.

Thanks

-- Brian, Wind Gap, Pa.



6 comments so far

View William's profile

William

9021 posts in 1494 days


#1 posted 01-26-2011 12:13 AM

Now that is nice. What really interests me though is how easily this could be adapted to a scroll saw. I do all kinds of woodwork, but the love of my shop is my scroll saw. I wish I had the knowledge to use programs like that to design my own things. Looking at those parts, and your description from another post I read earlier from you, I would love to have the plans to build a much smaller version of this cathedral, but cut on the scroll saw.
I hope you don’t mind. I’m going to add you to my buddy list so I can be sure not to miss a single installment of this. Thank you for showing it. We, I personally, love works in progress. And the more photos the better (hint, hint).

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View jim C's profile

jim C

1452 posts in 1750 days


#2 posted 01-26-2011 12:15 AM

I worked with Autocad 20-25 years ago, but on a metal manufacturing level. I designed progressive stamping tools for the electronics and medical industry. What a great software program, and what you are creating is awesome. This stuff has really progressed with the solid modeling. I was stuck at 2D and a 386 IBM computer. (Neanderthal)
Thanks for sharing

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4323 posts in 1700 days


#3 posted 01-26-2011 12:39 AM

Brian,
Thank you for sharing your very impressive and fascinating work.
But again I am thinking of those who designed and built the original ones without our modern technology! ( not to minimize what you are doing)
Could you give us an idea of how much time it takes you to compose the programs and then to actually cut/route/mill the pieces?

-- Bert

View jim C's profile

jim C

1452 posts in 1750 days


#4 posted 01-26-2011 01:10 AM

B2
I agree with you on the guys who did this by hand. It’s like the watchmakers of old.
They would laugh at us today. Incredible people with talents we could only hope to emulate.
It’s amazing.

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View Bhaupt's profile

Bhaupt

28 posts in 1333 days


#5 posted 01-26-2011 01:49 AM

William,
Projects like this would be great for someone like yourself. I tried this in 1978 with some of these same parts, like the spires. Some of the smaller walls are only .045” wide, my skill with that was very substandard. But you seem to have it, l seen your work. Hope you are encouraged to try.

B2,
It is very labor intensive. Most situations like this are performed and justified with large to very large quanities to justify the cost. But I’m not in this for profits, never made anything to sell. But to answer your time question.
The model could take months, I have models I am working on that I started in 1985. You could create a model in one hour. Then appox. another hour or two to program, and a few hours to create the blank, cut, then seperate the parts in a drum sander. A few hours to sand, assemble, and finish. So lets say a day or two for something simple.

Jim C,
I found a man who build a cathedral in the 30’s worked on it for decades, all by hand and with no drawings. Not much of this on the web. But there was an article on him, very impressive! I,ve studied all kinds of media most architectural models are made of plastic or foam today. Today with 3D printers even the entire model can now be produced in one pc. ABC plastic or even steel now can be rapidly prototyped.
But my intent is to build a hardwood scaled pc., and have spent 35 years gathering data, machines, wood and drawings to do so. Hope I answered your questions.
Thanks

-- Brian, Wind Gap, Pa.

View William's profile

William

9021 posts in 1494 days


#6 posted 01-26-2011 02:43 AM

Thank you ery much for the compliment. I do choose certain projects based on the “wow factor”.
There are many impressives plans out there. What I am impressed the most with though is the computer skills to design this. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I think the program you mentioned was a computer program.
Usually when I do buildings, it is clocks. Below are links to three designs that I hope to do within the next year.
Grand Tower Clock
Shopiere Clock
Dome Clock
I say hope, because being able to do them isn’t exactly the problem. My problem is usually haveing the money for the plans and material. I usually have plenty of wood. I found out from experience though that some of my favorite projects easily went through my little bit of spending money with comsumable things like blades, glue, printer ink to prink the pattern, and such like that.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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