Idea Engine

Augmented Production

augmented production


Project 3: Modular Milling Machine v1

Milling Machine CloseUp.png


This is a modular 3 Axis CNC based off of a milling machine. The machine is designed to create custom shaped molds for use in small scale jewelry production. The machine is designed to be almost entirely 3D printed and uses three Nema 17 stepper motors.

The design allows for the machine to be customized depending on the user's needs. A slide plate, clamp and grid plate snap onto the bed to allow for different material to cut. While the tool stock allows for a DC motor driven cutting head or laser engraver to be attached.



I made a few of these simple bent copper wire brooches inspired by reaction-diffusion patterns, made using round nose pliers. After speaking with jewelry designers about the difficulty of producing their pieces at scale, I decided to develop a system for simplifying the production process. Focusing specifically on my brooch design I looked for ways to create precise templates for bending wire into the curved regularly spaced shapes in my prototypes. Aiming for harder materials I decided to try and build a simple CNC machine.



Milling Machine overview.png

design began with modelling a single axis with a threaded screw and nut. Once the basic concept was understood I went through a series of 3D iterations before landing on a printable design.



Testing lead screw drive mechanism with a small HD microscope. 3D printed parts, steel lead screw and nut, frosted acrylic plate.



The pieces are designed to be 3D printed on a Creality 10 printer.

Required Hardware:
-6 Steel rods
-3 Threaded rods
-6 Skateboard bearings
-3 Nema 17 stepper motors


Issues with production:

-The parts have failed to print, likely due to printer jams, and overcrowding. I will continue work on these issues.