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Dipping My Toe Into 3 Axis Machining...

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by BOOMER52, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. BOOMER52

    BOOMER52 CNC Custom Scalesmaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 27, 2013
    I have a little better than twelve years of machining knife scales using CNC... however that involved 2D/2-1/2D design and output. Although my CAD/CAM application always possessed the capability to design and produce g-code for 3D machining... I have been so occupied with the 2D/2-1/2D side of things that I could never find large enough blocks of time to attempt to teach myself 3D design and machining. 3D machining involves contoured shapes from flat stock, sculptured surfaces, and tapered or draft surfaces.

    The present inspiration for this is the excellent work product of Aramis Ahmedov... a Russian designer/machinist that is producing some of the most sumptuous, eye pleasing machined scales available today! I am absolutely covetous of his work...!

    So... while the planet is engaged in the difficult struggle of home quarantining and social distancing... I have been taking time and I'm attempting to self educate myself 3D CAM design and machining.

    The following images may not appear all that impressive... and I would agree with that opinion... it is however the result of dozens and dozens of late night sessions fraught with copious frustration and plenty of humbling error. This stuff ain't easy...!

    To start... I decided to covert one of my simpler 2D designs... the Delica/DeliZano.

    The CAD render output this...

    The machining operations will produce this...

    I tested the CAM G-code output on a piece of scrap yellow/black layered G10...

    Which look like this once installed...

    My choice of the layered G10 was a mistake... the layers do not play well with my eye. The scales look like a garter snake... but at least my first 3D set of scales machined without a single glitch. That at least gives me a scintilla of hope.

    I've also run the Delica/Lil'Para and the Military through the 3D CAD process... and actual machining will follow. Loads more to learn though...


  2. DA170

    DA170 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 12, 2020
    Nice work! Looking forward to see the finished product.
  3. 91bravo

    91bravo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    Hey Steve, I’d be interested in some Millie scales set up for the factory clip.
  4. NWPM2

    NWPM2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2019
    Those look great!

    I've got an older model Millie. I don't know the different iterations of the model, but it has three sets of T6 body screws and two of those sets go into what feel like an aluminum backspacer. It also has a T15 pivot screw with a torx head on only one side. If the scales you're making would fit this model Millie as well, I would be very interested in a set.
  5. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Very nice!!!!

    I love that DeliZano!
  6. foofie

    foofie Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 25, 2011
    Nice work! A little 3-d contouring makes a world of difference.

    The layered g10 looks great as well, and shows off the depth of contouring. Looking forward to seeing how the lil para translates.
    jux t likes this.
  7. boing


    Dec 11, 2003
    See, what you really need is some customer-supplied data files to really stretch your legs on. After that, it’s as simple as “parasolid goes in, finished scales come out, cash the check.” :)
  8. Elgatodeacero

    Elgatodeacero Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 5, 2014
    Could you machine wood scales?
  9. tinfoil hat timmy

    tinfoil hat timmy Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2014
    Nice work. What machine do you use? I'm working on Citizen Swiss lathes mostly.

    I wish that I had access to solidworks.
    RustyIron likes this.
  10. BOOMER52

    BOOMER52 CNC Custom Scalesmaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 27, 2013
    Sorry... no. I dabbled with wood scales years ago but abandoned the pursuit.
  11. BOOMER52

    BOOMER52 CNC Custom Scalesmaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 27, 2013
    My machine is self designed and built... high speed spindle based. With my spindle RPM's I cannot achieve feeds and speeds capable of machining metals.

    I'm ignorant of the application Solidworks. I run Vectric Aspire.
  12. mattmanyam


    Apr 28, 2010
    I hereby sign on the dotted line for a set of grindmod 3d.
  13. jd_elam

    jd_elam Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    Very nice work!
  14. Skar


    Mar 24, 2020
    I like the yellow and black scales.
  15. Jhoops01


    Dec 6, 2012
    That’s some really nice work!
  16. BOOMER52

    BOOMER52 CNC Custom Scalesmaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 27, 2013
    It's been a spell since I did the first test! It's difficult to find a large enough block of time to be able to play with 3D contour machining a bit more. I finally carved out a half day today but when so much time passes between sessions... what was learned with my last attempt tends to fuzz a little or fade completely. I spent a good deal of time going over my notes and proof checking my G-code.

    For today's foray I felt confident enough with things to forgo machining scrap G10 and went with carbon fiber. The following pics are the first Delica/Lil'Para full contour scales to come off the machine. It went OK... I had to tweak the G-code on the fly for two separate operations. That's not all that unusual but I will need to modify the file to incorporate the tweaks so it runs flawless next time. I also will thicken the scales up slightly which is a personal preference.

    I've yet to machine a small flat pocket clip mounting pad. I'll do that tomorrow and take some additional pics with the clip attached. I'm going with the Lynch NW shorty Ti clip... a favorite of mine.


    V-1, Crazy Canuck, loon#r and 9 others like this.
  17. BOOMER52

    BOOMER52 CNC Custom Scalesmaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 27, 2013
    Seth Green, V-1, Crazy Canuck and 8 others like this.
  18. SixtyLion


    May 6, 2010
    Great looking scales!!! Keep us posted on the progress!!! I am looking forward to getting one of these scales for my Delica!!!
  19. BOOMER52

    BOOMER52 CNC Custom Scalesmaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 27, 2013
    Thank you for that...!

    I'm nowhere close to the sumptuous work product of Aramis Akhmedov but if I can eventually gain even half the 3D design skills he has... I'll be happy!

    The above prototype scales finished out just a bit thinner than they need to be... the g-code has been modified and the MKII set will be machined sometime this week.

  20. TravisH

    TravisH Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 22, 2014
    Well ... I and my GF like your 'mistake'! :D:thumbsup: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!"

    And we have a mating pair of garter snakes in our gardens. I think they'd approve too! :D
    jux t likes this.

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