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í Assignments

í Assignment 11 (updated)

Part 1: Plywood Object
Finish and assemble your plywood object. This project will be the subject of the final critique, next week on May 15.

Part 2A: Surface Driven Toolpaths
Follow along with the tutorial to create toolpaths for a simple paneled surface. You can download the Rhino file used in the demonstration below:

Part 2B: 2 Sided Surface Driven Toolpaths
Follow along with the demonstration below to create a “Flip Mill” series of toolpaths for your spoon.

Make two screenshots of the completed “verify” for both Machine Groups from MasterCAM: one showing the top, one showing the bottom. Create a new folder called “CAM” in your folder for “Spoon” project on the shared google drive. Place these two screenshots and your MasterCAM file in this new sub-folder. Name your files so we can easily identify you as the author and know which project this is for.

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í Assignment 10

Part 1. MasterCAM
If you don’t have your MasterCAM file done yet, we might not be able to get your part cut on time. Get this file done!!

Part 2: Spoon Modeling
Follow along with the video tutorial below and build the spoon shown.

Using the modeling strategy demonstrated in this video, build a new spoon of your own creation. Because you are to use the same strategy as was demonstrated, there is a limit to how different your design can be – proportions and dimensions can change, the cross sections can vary, etc, but you should not need to develop new techniques to build your design. The purpose of this exercise is to gain experience building a complex object like this, but with guidance to ensure the modeling strategy is sound.

Work in layers to organize your model, saving curves, and other construction geometry in a logical, organized fashion. Create a rendering with Keyshot of your model showing several instances of your design arranged into a composition. You should arrange the numerous instances of your spoon in Rhino, then bring it into Keyshot for rendering.

Upload your model and rendering to the shared google folder in the “Spoon” folder. Create a new folder for yourself in this shared folder. Name your files so that it is evident to us who you are and what project this is.

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í Assignment 9

Part 1: MasterCAM
Make any necessary modifications to your Rhino file as needed to facilitate the completion and perfection of your MasterCAM file for the Plywood Object Project. You final MasterCAM file should go in folder called “Final” within your personal folder for the Plywood Object Project. Sign up for a time to cut your project on the CNC machine. This would also be a good time to consider finishing options.

Part 2: Make Up Work
If you are missing any work, this is a good week to make sure you are all caught up. Make sure your work is following the assignment submission criteria and includes all of the deliverables.

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í Assignment 8

Model Refinements and MasterCAM

1. Make any necessary revisions or refinements to your model so the design is completely finalized.

2. Optimize your cut pattern, contours, and joinery for production on the CNC router with a 15/32″ diameter cutting tool.

3. Create a MasterCAM for your project. Some things to keep in mind:

  • you can only use three toolpath types for this project
    • contour
    • pocket
    • drill
  • capture operations with the same settings in a single operation (hypothetical example: all pockets that cut halfway through should be in the same operation, all contours that cut on center all of the way through should be in one operation, etc, etc.
  • leave at least a 1/2 margin on the edge of your sheet
  • tabs should be set to VERTICAL MOVES (NOT ramp moves) with a thickness of .125″ and a width of .75″
  • for drilling operations, set the spindle speed to 6,000 rpm and the plunge rate to 15 ipm

Use this Rhino file as a template as a reference for how your model should be situated relative to zero and the X,Y axes.

Create a new folder called Phase 3 in your folder in the “Plywood Object” folder on the shared google drive. Put your final Rhino file and your MasterCAM file in this folder. If your files (especially MasterCAM) are not uploaded by the next class (April 24, 2017), we can not guarantee your project will be cut on time. Make sure your Rhino file uses layers to organize all of the various elements and iterations in your file. This will be taken into consideration for grading purposes.

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í Assignment 7

Revise and refine your Plywood Furniture Object designs as was discussed during the reviews in class. This phase of this project is to finalize the design, resolving issues related to form, dimensions, structure and joinery. For some of you, this means more incremental improvements, others will require more drastic reworking of your design. Regardless, after this phase of the project, we will be working with MasterCAM to create toolpaths for the CNC machine. Students should finalize their design so that the MasterCAM phase will be focused on optimizing for machining (as was discussed in class) and not on design.

For next week, you will be required to create another model of your design. We have discussed the requirements based on student feedback and have decided that models can be 1:2 scale models or full scale, but the material thickness should be scaled appropriately. If you decide to make a 1:1 model, you should use 1/2″ foam core.

If your design does not require major revisions, you are encouraged to begin developing strategies for how you will deal with the rounded terminals associated with cutting on the router. As was shown in class, creating “I” shaped mortises and tenons with cleared out corners is an advisable way to deal with this. If your design is fairly well resolved, you can try to include these features in your next model.

In your folder within the plywood object folder in the class Google Drive, create a sub-folder for last week’s assignment called “Phase 1”. Create a second sub-folder called “Phase 2”. Create the following files and put them in this folder for this week:

  1. a photo of your second scale model named “FirstnameLastname_PlywoodScaleModel2.jpg”
  2. a screenshot or rendering of your rhino model named “FirstnameLastname_PlywoodModelRendering2.jpg”
  3. and an image of your nesting scheme for the parts named “FirstnameLastname_PlywoodNesting2.jpg”


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í Assignment 6

Part 1: Chair Exercise
Finish the chair exercise that was started in class. Be sure to post a rendering to the class folder (both in your personal folder and the group folder).

Part 2: Plywood Furniture
Working from the Plywood Furniture project brief, make a 1:2 scale model of your design. Use a material that is properly scaled (1/4″ thick) for the production of your model. You are welcome to use the laser cutter for this project, but be aware that only certain materials can be cut with this machine.
Create a folder in the shared google drive with your name and place in that folder:

  1. a photo of your scale model named “FirstnameLastname_PlywoodScaleModel.jpg”
  2. a screenshot or rendering of your rhino model named “FirstnameLastname_PlywoodModelRendering.jpg”
  3. and an image of your nesting scheme for the parts named “FirstnameLastname_PlywoodNesting.jpg”
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í Assignment 5

Part 1: Last chance for revisions
After spring break, the open period for revisions to any of the projects thus far will close – the glasses, chair study, and paper model project. Any revisions and improvements you make will be taken into consideration for grading purposes. If you do make revisions, make additions to your documents or folders, don’t erase the originals. The revisions should go in your personal folder as well as the shared assignment folders in google drive.

Part 2: Cat Face Tutorial
Follow along with the Cat Face Tutorial to create your own MasterCAM file.

Part 3: Name Plate – due Monday 4/3 at 9am!
Create a name plate for your self, to be executed in 1/2″ thick MDF on the CNC router. We will supply the material and will cut all of the names in one go. Some requirements:

  • Students are required to draw the letters for their name plate as “single stroke” fonts
  • The names will be cut with the following configuration
    • contour toolpath, with compensation turned off (cutting on the center of the line)
    • cut with the 1/4″ ball end cutter
    • cut to a depth of 1/8″
  • The outside profile will be cut with the following configuration
    • contour toolpath, compensating to cut to the outside as a climb cut
    • cut with the 1/2″ flat-end cutter
    • cut depth of 1/2″
    • stepdown of 1/4″
    • four tabs at .75″ wide, .125″ thick (use Vertical Moves, NOT RAMP MOVES!!!)
  • Name Plates must fit within a 9″ x 14″ rectangle

You will be required to submit a MasterCAM file and a Rhino file for this project. Use the Rhino file below as a template to fit your Name Plate within. Use the layers included in this file as follows:

  • Place your name curves on the layer called “Name Curves”
  • Place the outside contour on the layer called “Outer Profile Curves”

Name your Rhino and MasterCAM Files with the following convention: Firstname_Lastname_NamePlate
Place these files in your personal folder and the shared folder called “Name Plate”

Get the Template Here:

The template includes sample curves for the name and outer profile. Delete these curves – don’t include them in the file you post the google drive.

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í Assignment 4

Part 1: Paper Model Round 2 (final)
Revise your Rhino model as needed and create a final paper model for this project. This model should be a well crafted, carefully proportioned likeness of your chosen object, demonstrating thoughtful decisions about what to include as part of the form, what to represent with graphics, and how to abstract compound curving surfaces into simple, developable surfaces. For now, focus on creating the model, but over spring break we will ask you to create another google doc with similar content to last week, so be sure that you are working in an organized fashion in Rhino as we will review the files.

Part 2: Install MasterCAM 2017
You will get an email with instructions for how to download and install MasterCAM 2017. This software will only work on Windows.

Part3: Bring Protective Eyewear to Class
There is a chance we will have a hands-on demo with the CNC router. Students will need protective eyewear to participate.

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í Assignment 3

due March 13
Part 1. Chair Study Drawing
Working from the models of the bentwood chairs that were built in the previous assignment, create a drawing. As has been stated in the project brief, this drawing must show at least one of the chairs in use, with the linework for the chair executed on the Klic-N-Kut Plotter. The aspects of the drawing that show use should be executed by hand. Your drawing must make use of the “make2d” command, and the chair or chairs must be a “primary” subject matter, but there is a plenty of freedom to approach this assignment in a variety of ways so each student can create a work that has relevance and value to their personal interests.

As we’ve discussed, the plotter can accept a variety of media and drawing tools, but paper that is too thick (heavy watercolor paper) or too thin (fine tracing paper) may be more difficult to work with as may also be the case with drawing tools that are especially sharp or wet. The drawing should be composed and laid out within Rhino, with all of the linework that will be plotted included. Keep in mind that the plotter can only process “vector” curves – pixel or raster images can not be processed by the plotter. Be sure to refer to the separate post with instructions for how to use the plotter.

Part 2. Paper Model Round 1
Working from the Paper Model project Brief:

  1. build a model of your object in Rhino
  2. translate this model into developable surfaces
  3. unroll the surfaces into a pattern that can be cut
  4. revise and modify as necessary (add tabs, etc)
  5. cut out this pattern in paper with the digital die cutter or the laser cutter
  6. assemble and finish

In the class google drive folder, put the following content into a google doc:

  1. rendering or screenshot of your rhino model
  2. screenshot in orthographic view of your cut pattern
  3. photo of your assembled model

name this file: FirstName_Lastname_PaperModel. Make sure this file is in the shared paper model folder as well as your personal folder.

Part 3. Install Windows
Make sure Windows is installed and working on your computer. Please get in touch if you are having problems or have questions about this

Part 4. Install MasterCAM Home Learning Edition
We will update this post with instructions for how to access and download this software, but this software is only available for Windows.

Part 5. More Revisions
You are welcome and encouraged to continue / begin revising your work for the previous assignments. This means improving the design and rendering of your glasses based on the feedback from the comments and the improving the model and renderings of the chairs. You are also encouraged to continue the discussion in the comments of the glasses assignments.

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í Assignment 2

1. Comment on Someone else’s project
A. Due March 3
In response to their work on the drinking glasses part of Assignment 1, write a very brief statement commenting on the work of the classmate whose last name follows your alphabetically (the last person in this order should comment on the first person). Describe at least one positive and one negative aspect of their design, but also make specific suggestions for how their rendering can be improved. This comment is required, you are also welcome and encouraged to comment on anyone’s work. Use Google Doc’s commenting feature to do this.

2. Improve Your Post for Assignment 1
Due March 6
If your post from the first assignment had any problems, or if suggestions were made that could improve your design or rendering, you have the chance to go back and make improvements. Technically this is not required, but the improved submission will be considered for grading purposes, should you choose to revise. If you choose to improve your work, modify your document, adding the new content so we can see the improvements in relation to the original content. Don’t delete the original work.

3. Chair Study: Models and Rendering.
Due March 6
Working from the brief  for the Chair Study  project, you should create the following content:

Rhino File

  • Build a model of each chair.
  • Begin by drawing 3D curves that faithfully capture the proportions and scale of the chairs.
  • Most of the bentwood components should be built with the pipe tool, with the majority of remaining surfaces built as extrusions or surfaces from planar curves (“planarsrf” command).
  • Build all chairs in a single Rhino file.
  • Place each chair on its own set of layers
  • Use nesting layers to place each part of the chair on a separate layer
  • Build each chair to have a consistent relationship with the origin (if one is centered over the origin, make all of them centered, for example)
  • Keep all important curves on layers to facilitate organization and management


  • Using Keyshot, create a single rendering of all three chairs composed and arranged into a photographic scene in order to create an interesting image.
  • Save your rendering in JPG format. The image you post should be 800 pixels wide.

Don’t worry about the drawing aspect of this project – that will come next week.

Put your rendering in your personal google drive folder and the “chair rendering folder”. Name this file “Firstname_Lastname_Chair”.

4. Install Windows
Instructions for obtaining Windows and Parallels will be covered in a separate post, but you should download and install the virtualization software (parallels) and Windows.

5. Paper Model Selections
Select and bring in several objects for consideration to use in the next project, Paper Model.

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í Assignment 1

Part 1: Software
Purchase and install Rhino and Keyshot. Purchasing this software is not optional.

Part 2: Tutorials
Complete the “Pull Toy” and “Flashlight” tutorials from the Rhino 5 user’s guide.

Part 3: Glasses
Working from the brief for Project 1: Glasses, create the following content:

1. Description
Write a brief text description of your design proposal. Your description must include the following content:

  • 1 sentence profile of the museum, include the name of the museum, location of the museum, area(s) of focus (for example: contemporary art, civil war history, New England wildlife, etc)
  • why your design is appropriate for this context
  • 3 descriptive adjectives that characterize the aesthetic qualities of your designs

2. Development Sketches
Sketching is versatile tool for a designer, and is particularly helpful to resolve forms and solve modeling challenges when working with 3D CAD. Use sketching to develop the initial concept and form of your glasses’ design. Sketch on 8.5” x 11” sheets of paper. Scan or take legible photographs of the sketch(es) that guided your modeling. We recommend using Photoshop to clean up this image. Bring your sketches to class next week.

3. Rhino File
Your Rhino file must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Each glass must be modeled solely with a single revolve
  • Each glass must be a solid
  • Place each glass on its own layer and name the layer accordingly
  • Place each revolve curve on a sub-layer for each glass and name the layer accordingly
  • Any construction geometry worth saving should be placed on a layer(s) with clear, logical naming and organizational strategy
  • Align the revolve axis of each glass with the origin’s (0,0,0 point) Z-axis, with the base of the glasses resting on the Top CPlane

Put this file in your personal folder on the Google Drive. Name this file Lastname_Glasses.3dm

4. Rendering
Include 2 Renderings of your glasses:

  • Front orthographic view showing all glasses
  • Perspective view showing all glasses

Your renderings must satisfy the following criteria:

  • horizontally align the glasses so they form a neat row, arranged in the following order (from left to right): wine glass, pint glass, water glass, juice glass
  • leave equal spacing between each glass
  • save your renderings in JPG format, with a maximum width of 800 pixels

5. Screenshot
Include a screenshot of your revolve curves with the control points turned on. Your screenshot must satisfy the following criteria:

  • compose this screenshot in an orthographic view
  • explode any joined curves
  • horizontally align the revolve curves so they form a neat row, arranged in the following order (from left to right): wine glass, pint glass, water glass, juice glass
  • leave equal spacing between each revolve curve
  • save your screenshot in JPG format, with a maximum width of 800 pixels

6. Google Doc
Create a google doc that includes all of the content listed above, in the order indicated below:

  1. Orthographic Rendering
  2. Descriptive Paragraph
  3. Perspective Renderings
  4. Screenshot of Curves
  5. Image(s) of Preliminary Sketch(es)

Save this document in your personal folder on the Google Drive, and copy it to the glasses assignment folder.  To do this use the ‘move to’ option when right clicking on the file, navigate to the Glasses Assignment folder and hold down the option/ctrl key to enable the ‘add here” function. This is how many assignments will be collected. Name this file Lastname_Glasses.

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