Will Moores

Driven to Design

Week 3: Computer-controlled Cutting

This week we were asked to design and make an object that slots together using parametric dimensions to control the material thickness and depth of the slots on the objects component parts. I decided to make a 3D sun burst (or as it turned out, a paddle wheel). The image below is of the ‘hub’ of my sun burst and demonstrates parametric dimensions in use as only the top slot has its dimensions defined and all the other identical slots around the circumference of the circle are controlled by the one set of dimensions. This is one version of parametric dimensions.

Hub component

Another version is using the equal constraints in solidworks as demonstrated on the ‘paddle’ of my wheel, to allow for symmetrical parts without having to repeat dimensions from one side of a part to the other. as seen below with the green squares containing equal symbols to represent the constraint.


Sun Ray/Paddle

Below is the finished CAD model of the sun burst, Parametric dimensions were used to control the number and spacing of the paddle/ray parts around the circumference of the hub component. This is a digital representation of what the final laser cut object will look like.


Sun Burst CAD model

In order to create the sun burst/paddle wheel, I had to create .DXF files for the cnc laser cutter to read from in order to cut the components. This is then loaded onto the laser cutter software and sent to the machine once it has been setup.

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