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For this week's assignment, I focused on learning how to use this great machine without focusing too much on aesthetic or the purpose of the object being created and also gaining more experience with VectorWorks.


I fired VectorWorks and tried designing somethings that contained 3 circles. This simple process took me a couple of hours to complete because I am just starting to get confortable with using VW.

The main issues I had were making sure that the units were coherent, that the designed was contained on a single object and that there weren't any additional artifacts in the file.

After the design was ready, I imported the design into CAM and started configuring everything, realizing that there were inconsistencies in my file. The object wasn't visible in CAM due to an exporting format issue. Additionally, the object's lines were not contained as a single shape so the multiple toolpaths were showed to be necessary for a single line.

I went back and forth between CAD and CAM approximately 4 times until the toolpath was coherent. Finally, double-checked everything by animating the process and exported the GCode.

Once the GCode was ready, I went inside the shop and set up the CNC as well as my material.

The job took about 6 minutes to complete.

I got a 'U' shaped cutout on the right side of the object. Not sure if something is wrong with my file or it is an artifact that the CNC adds for a reason.

Left: piece straight from the CNC

Right: piece after sanding it with grade 200 and a file.


I feel extremely comfortable working with the CNC now and my overall fabrication skills are getting better every week. There were a few bumps in the road, but I'm sure that with more practice they'll eventually get flattened out.

A thing that was very helpful to me is that the day before I worked on my assignment, I helped another person with the CNC since I'm part of the shop staff. We went over the assignment guide and CAM for about an hour. Naturally, when I worked on my assignment I felt much more in control and enjoyed the process a lot.

Very happy to have this tool under my belt.


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