I finally made a good flipper! After yesterday’s mistakes, I had three bits of raw material left to make the flippers I need. Today I examined my CNC programming, learned what mistakes I made and how to fix them (and hopefully avoid them in the future), and reprogrammed the mill to make my flipper. So I run through the whole process, three different tools, and it looks great. Then I put it next to yesterday’s failures and see that the 0.376″ hole looks way bigger than in should. Sure enough, the auto toolpath algorithm cut to the outside of the hole instead of the inside! So I get back to the CAM station (it’s connected to the milling machine), fix the toolpath, and go back and happily start getting my second flipper. Except when it gets to the hole, it’s cut too big again. Arg! Then I realize that although I fixed the toolpath, I never sent the revised instruction set to the milling machine and I just reran the bad program. *Sigh*
So I resend the file, cross my fingers, put my last bit of material in the vise, and start machining. Sure enough, I get my first viable part! Aside from my time, manufacturing this single flipper has cost me about $24 in materials. My next one, as long as I don’t make some other silly mistake, will cost me about $3. Way more reasonable.
I ended the night on a success, which is nice. Soon I’ll mill the other armature piece I need, and I’ll assemble the full flipper mechanism and be ready to test it!