Make designing projects easy
Modern technology has made robotic CNC (computer numerical control) machines such as mills, routers, and 3D printers which allow people to make things by milling or routing or printing more accessible than ever before.
Help in the creation of a collection of designs for projects for CNC machines, or which can be made with traditional techniques, which will be customizable, and available for anyone to adjust to fit their needs, and then to make.
CNC machines are more accessible than ever, and making stuff is more popular than ever, but it's still just as hard as ever to create designs for projects to make. Help change that by making it easy to design a project by just selecting some options and making the settings for what you want to make.
Examples of possible projects include:
- boxes which can be adjusted in size and proportion, and hinge and lid type ― this has already been done for fingerjoint boxes: http://community.carbide3d.com/t/cnc-finger-joint-box/8880
- furniture which can be adjusted in size and proportion, and features
- storage devices: https://www.reddit.com/r/functionalprint/comments/4yt295/hex_bit_storage/
- anything else which might need to be adjusted in size, proportion, or other features
Please help us to help you design the projects you want to make! With your help, Design into 3D will be the best resource for CNC designs which are open source. The designs being open source means that everything about them will be documented and published and the designs will be freely available for anyone to download, make, or change and improve, using software which is also free and open source such as OpenSCAD or freely available software such as Carbide Create.
Current design techniques are hard
A frequent refrain for new CNC owners after building a machine is, “What do I make?” ― this project will provide an infinite variety of possible projects for folks to customize and make. While there are already project-generators and sharing sites, mostly these are for 3D printing or lasercutting. Designs suited for making on CNC routers and mills are not as available, and when found, often not easily customized. We hope to fix that.
We need your help coming up with ideas for projects to make, and defining features and options and possible size ranges for them. Once we have a bunch of possible projects, we will work up systems for making them in parametric tools such as OpenSCAD which will be easily customized in an interactive, graphical view.
With your help, we are going to make CNC even easier.
Making projects will be as simple as
1 — Customizing the design
2 — Cutting out the parts
3 — Putting it together
We came up with this idea when we needed to make a box for storing trading cards. It's an old idea, as folks involved in the original Apple Macintosh will attest: http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?story=Calculator_Construction_Set.txt
The OpenSCAD customizer above was successful and made designing and making the box much easier:
and makes it possible to make variations.
We would like to apply this concept to other projects and make it easy for people to make anything which they want just by choosing:
- what they want to make
- what size it should be
- what features it should have
We have been working on supporting the opensource hobby CNC community since getting a Shapeoko 1 shortly after it launched in June 2011 ― since then we helped with the instructions for the Shapeoko 1 build instructions PDF , and worked up interactive diagrams for the plans for the Shapeoko 2:
We hope to work up systems for making files which are actually ready to cut, with pre-made toolpaths as well as instructions and other resources to help folks make projects.
For projects which warrant it, the Design into 3D book (and possibly automation system) will include:
- cut lists (a list of parts to cut out and the dimensions of necessary stock)
- assembly diagrams and instructions
The goal is to design (and make prototypes of) at least 10 different base projects to be in the letter-sized 64-page (or more!) softcover printed book, and available in electronic form (uploaded to sites such as cutrocket.com, libre3d.com, and/or https://projects.buildbotics.com/).
Each of the projects will be customizable and so allow you to make any variation which you could specify ― change sizes, proportions, materials, thicknesses, features ― add or remove dividers, lids, hinges ― almost anything! All you will have to do is decide:
- which project you wish to build out of what material
- its dimensions
- which features or options should be turned on or off and their parameters
Furthermore, rather than just describing how to make a single instance of a given project, the book will discuss cutting techniques, joinery, and design principles so that the reader will be able to learn to understand how the project is designed, and how it may be changed or adapted themselves if they don't wish to use the electronic customization options.
We have already worked up customizable designs for fingerjoint boxes and ¼″ hex bit storage, and look forward to creating your ideas!
Supporters will have the chance to make suggestions on which designs will be created, what settings will be used for them, and which will be included in the book, as well as participate in working up design prototypes. Any backer who wishes to can download an OpenSCAD customizer, work up a design, and post the parameters to the comments ― an SVG for that design will then be generated and posted.
The project will be funded if at least $2,000 in pledges are made, and at least 10 projects will be created for customization. Note that all project suggestions must conform to Kickstarter guidelines, be legal in all applicable jurisdictions, and be family-friendly and in good taste.
How you can help
Suggest projects and features for projects and designs!
Let us know what sort of hardware you would like to use in your projects and its dimensions so that we can add support for it.
Let us know what sort of machines and tools you have access to so that we can design projects which are feasible with what folks have.
Let us know what sort of binding option would be preferable ― would a wire binding which would lay flat be something folks would want? Or a perfect bound softcover which would look nice on a shelf?
All you have to do is fund the project at any level, and you can make suggestions and help us to work out the details in the comments section for this Kickstarter (open only to backers).
Once the Kickstarter has closed, you will be able to suggest projects and features and improvements, then project selection will begin, and projects will be designed, prototypes will be made and posted, and feedback taken on the projects.
- March 2019 ― Kickstarter ― project suggestion, discussion, and selection begins
- April 2019 ― Project suggestion, discussion, and selection begin
- May 2019 ― First project design posted
- June – August 2019 ― projects designed, tested, feedback from backers, prototypes made, further suggestions, and system worked out for customization of each project
- September – October 2019 ― book design, composition, and illustration
- November 2019 ― book printing and binding, surveys go out to verify addresses
- December 2019 ― books and projects ship
Who I am
My name is William Adams. I have worked in book publishing for decades, working on everything from creating the ads for a database-published 2,200 page reference book of food industry companies and products, to laying out scientific and medical books and journal articles and doing redesigns for academic journals, through developing the typesetting backend for a series of customized children’s books, using everything from FrameMaker through Quark XPress, or Macromedia Freehand or (La)TeX.
I've owned a variety of hobby CNC machines, and have been actively involved in the community since buying a Shapeoko 1 back in 2011, making projects ranging from boxes and tool holders through tools such as calipers, and helping out on the wiki some. I am currently employed by Carbide 3D doing off-site remote tech support (but this project is not affiliated with, or sponsored by Carbide 3D). With your help, I hope to take my work in the hobby CNC community to the next level.
Funded! Thank you!
- $3,000 ― the number of projects in the book will increase to 12
- $4,000 ― in addition to computer generated 3D renderings and line art drawings, hand-drawn illustrations of each project will be commissioned from a professional illustrator and included in the books and on the electronic access site(s)
- $5,000 ― the number of projects in the book will increase to 15
Risks and challenges
This should be pretty straight-forward to finish up — several parametric CNC projects have been done already. Thus far, customization of projects has been of fairly straight-forward things — while project selection will be bounded by what is viewed as feasible, it may be that some projects cannot be done as desired in the Kickstarter timeframe, in which case a simplification will be made, a different project will be selected, or (last option) the number of projects in the book will be reduced. This is an opensource project though, and it is our hope that all obstacles can be overcome with the help of the community.
I have printed and sold books before, and the hardest things about it are coming up with the money for a press run, and waiting for the books to sell, and Kickstarter addresses both of those directly — I have decades of experience in book design and composition, and have worked with a number of printers who are very reliable. Current print quotes for digital short run printing for a 64-page softcover book are about $15 and we expect to use media mail for domestic shipping, which ranges from $2.58–3.67 for an 8.5″ × 11″ book, international first class shipping for a book is usually $25–$30. The balance of the money will go towards packaging and labeling materials and purchasing materials and tooling for project prototypes.
We have extensive experience hand-binding books (usually given as gifts) as well as making a variety of projects, and look forward to doing so.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)