100 pins project

So my 5 years old son had to do a ‘show and tell’ on his 100th day at school, where he had to bring something to school that had some connection to the number ‘100’ and get up and talk about it.

I decided to make him something that was interactive in some way, and after a bit of thought came up with a pachinko-type toy, so when he got up to talk about it, he could demonstrate it in front of everyone. This is the resulting project for my Carvey.

It took a couple of tries to get it right - I initially tried to have a larger ‘ball’ and thinner pins, but they weren’t robust against the deeper carving, and a couple snapped off as the bit carved deeper. I think that’s due to their circular form (there’s always going to be some inward force as the bit goes around the pin, unlike a square pin) but enlarging them made for a robust carve and it worked first time.

The plexiglass window was carved as well, although I lost a few bits doing that, with the plexiglass fusing to the bit as it was cutting through the larger part. Given that it was rectangular, I probably ought to have just done it with the chop saw :slight_smile:

Matthew did his show-and-tell and apparently all the kids loved playing with it afterwards as well, so overall a definite success :slight_smile:


Speed 1 on the Dewalt611 is pretty fast for acrylic. You have to find the perfect mix of depth and speed for the bit you are using.

As a general rule, cast sheet will always machine better than extruded sheet although the price is usually higher.

Awesome project, I was actually thinking of trying my hand at making a pachinko game using the x-carve, We have a local arcade that displays old games in it’s windows, and one is a pachinko machine. I can’t cut a straight line or hammer a nail in straight to save my life. my concern has been the speed of the spindle (Dewalt) with the fine drill bits I purchased.

Reading your post though, I think I may give it a go, the bits only cost 9 bucks from harbor freight, so not a huge loss if I fail.

This was on the Carvey, so it’s whatever the Carvey sets it to - it’s not reported in ‘Cut settings’ AFAIK … I did have cast Acrylic set as material, and a 1/8" bit, which gives

Feed rate: 36"/min
Plunge rate: 9"/min
Depth/pass: 0.04"

After 2 or 3 passes, there’d be a gummy ball of plastic wrapped around the bit. It took 3 bits (IIRC) to get the piece cut :frowning: Anyway, live and learn. It’s easy to cut the stuff on the chop saw :slight_smile:

where did you get your acrylic sheet?


Inventables :slight_smile:

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As far as I know, all they sell is cast so that is good. The auto settings are usually quite conservative and a good start. A good starting point for depth is half the diameter of the bit and then as fast in ipm as the bit can handle. Keep a log of feeds and speeds and you will build up a good reference library.

Additionally, use the largest bit you can get away with and either straight flute or upcut. Downcut bits on plastic and metals push the swarf back into the cutting path.