Project 3 Fab-You- lous Design

Project 3 was an individual project centered around design for manufacturing and fabrication. I was tasks with designing and fabricating three items that help me understand the parameters of manufacturing using three different CNC machines. A major focus of the project as it was presented to students was the concept of designing for manufacturing. This means designing products in such a way that they that they are easy to manufacture and assemble. This usually means designing for a CNC machine to produce as much as possible in a single step, minimizing wasted time and energy.

Initial Design

All three of the designs produced during this project by myself were originally depicted on a piece of sketch paper. The sketches showed the very general design of the products and rough dimensions.

As seen in the mechanical iris' first conceptual sketch there were many components that are not present in the final product. the gears were ultimately not necessary and I resolved to a design with less moving parts. The spinning top is an extremely basic and was only half an inch larger and didn't change in any major way.Its beauty is within the simplicity of the design. I changed dimensions the most with the SMR-20's Trilobite as I was unaware of the size limits that were at work in the machine. The fix was quick however the part has still not been constructed.

CAD Drawings

All models that were to be 3d printed were designed in a program called SolidWorks 2016 that were then either converted to STL or AI files. the file type depended on which machine needed to be used in the production of the part/parts. In the design of the Iris I was able to verify that all components would work in conjunction with each other through the assembly I designed them in.

The Mechanical Iris was cut out of a single piece of plywood using a Virsa 4 laser cutter and was designed to be assembled in post machining. With the rest of the products I designed them to start and complete in the same step.

The spinning top was by far the easiest of the three to CAD. In total, it only took me about 30 to forty minutes to create a 3D model of.

While CADing the Trilobite, I had great trouble keeping the entire model mono-surfaced as a solid body. I was concerned that if I were to use surfaces, the CNC mill would tool path for the one above and below.


The Mechanical Iris was the only part that need assembly. This means it was the only one that had the CNC create parts that needed to be assembled together to create a larger, more complicated structure. All parts were cut out using the virsa4.6 laser cutter and only took about 3 minutes to complete. If anything can be improved about the design it the number of parts and I would merge the blades and their perspective arms into single parts as they do not move relative to each other.

The spinning top was made Using the FormLabs 2 3D printer which has the capability to produce very accurate fabrication in very short amounts of time. That being said I still had to downsize me model to 0.6 its original size. Even at this smaller size the print still took roughly two hours.

Created By
Jacob Harmon


Created with images by Creative Tools - "Formlabs_Form2_Bild11_5184x2912"

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