Week 11: 3D Parts on the 4 Axis


We will go over some best practices for the 4 Axis CNC.  Discuss our 4 Axis Assignments.  And a quick CAD demo of sweeping a line to make a shape.



Tabs are a necessary evil with the 4 axis.  Take into consideration the best size and location for them.  If at all possible, incorporate them into your design.

Tabs can be resized and moved.


Saving Time

As you probably already know, the 4 axis is very exact, but takes a very long time to complete a job.

Always prepare your stock material as close to the ideal dimensions SRP Player gives you.  A few minutes on the lathe or the miter saw can save you many minutes (possibly hours) on the 4 axis.

The ideal dimensions are on the right in parentheses.

Thick Tabs

If your design can allow it, the thicker your tabs are, the shorter the time to mill them.


Editing Tool Paths in SRPlayer

This video gives a detailed description on how to do this (at the 6:20 mark).


Inspirational Projects

Dune 3D Wall Art Tiles


CNC Milled Reaction Diffusion Sculpture


Adafruit Pi Holder


Plywood shell for DIY cell phone


MIT Media Lab industrial designer Yoav Sterman’s case places the internals in a milled enclosure, allowing for a more organic design without an exposed circuit board.


Aluminum Chassis for a Personal Rescue Device


Runcible (more images)


Moonscapes 3D



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New print for today, variation of Moire 3. #firsttry

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Useful / Useless : Sculpture #3

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Hubb Lifetime Oil Filter


Glow in the Spark


Discuss 4 Axis Assignment Ideas

We will all talk about our upcoming project.


In Class Demo

Setting Z origin after changing an endmill.  Adding new endmills to SRP Player.

Creating a shape in Vectorworks using sweep.

Push Pull Tool in Vector Works


Oculus Medium CAD

  • Create your object in Medium and export
  • Convert your obj to an stl using makexyz
  • Mill your object on the 4 axis


For Next Week


You will create an original 3D CAD model and cut it out on the 4 axis mill.


Final Project

Finals are right around the corner.  Start thinking about what you would like to do, what it will be made out of, and most importantly what machine(s) you’d like to use.




Related Reading/Viewing

Vectorworks Loft Surface

Vectorworks Deform Tool

Vectorworks Create Helix Spiral

Vectorworks Oval Tool

Vectorworks Fillet Tool

Vectorworks Cone Tool

Milling Time: Testing the Roland MDX-540 4-Axis CNC

Convert obj Files to stl