Home > I Made a Thing! > A Mess, and Hopefully A Computerized Lathe

A Mess, and Hopefully A Computerized Lathe

These days the making takes place at night, as I sell my time during the day to the biotech industry in support of its lofty goals of biological making. Yes, a JOB. It’s new to me, and I believe I am slowly getting used to it. In any case, I had some time around the edges to put into an auto-lathe, now about 80% complete.

I’ll start from the beginning. A lathe is a machinist’s tool that spins a piece of metal, and brings a very solidly mounted cutting bit into contact with it. This enables very precise shaping, and the ability to bend metal to your will. How can this possibly be cooler? Here’s how: the machine does this on its own, according to digitally designed shape designs. Cooler!

This involves using the lathe itself to machine some motor mounts, then mounting the motors, building some driving circuitry to turn them, and connecting the whole shebang to the computer. I’m juuust about done with the mounting the motors and machining hardware bits.

The dream: have the machine make a tiny chess set, which I will sell on Etsy. Some day. Some glorious day.

My favorite part so far was making a little tiny adapter–outer diameter is 1/4″, inner diameter is 3/16″, the walls are 1/32″ thick.

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Categories: I Made a Thing!
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