Inventables Community Forum

Metal Costume Accessory

Monday a friend asked if I could cut metal on my machine, as they wanted my help in making a metal accessory for their Wasteland Weekend Costume. It was perfect timing as I happened to be cutting new, taller Y plates at that exact moment. When I showed them what the machine could do they got very excited and started working on the art for the cut file right away.
I got the art file on Tuesday, and started cutting it that night. I finished off the cut yesterday. (total cut time, around 4 hours)
I am very happy with how it turned out. I had no problems actually running the cut. My new upgrades are working great.
This project really made me happy as it was so “easy”. Before, when attempting a metal cut there as been some issue, some modification or learning curve I had to overcome.
For this cut, all the mods, upgrades and experience finally came together and I was able to just carve.
:blush:
From Idea, to art, to final project in only a couple of days, that is the best feeling :slight_smile:

They are very happy with how it turned out, and with how light weight the aluminum is.

The final piece will be sort of a belt buckle / sporran suspended from a waist chain, with a smaller chain “fringe” hanging off the bottom.)
They wanted the mount bolt visible on the forehead, though they have decided to go with an acorn nut instead of a wing nut.

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what mods did you do?
I want to cut metal myself and the only mod I applied is the z axis stiffening.
I do plan on using the mods that Phil has posted like the Z axis replacement to the more sturdy assembly.

I would like to get my machine ready to cut metal. It cuts wood perfect now so I just need to beef it up for the metal cuts.

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I have done a lot. Even with the bar stiffening mod (now obsolete with the new wide maker rail gantry upgrade) I was still having issues. So I wound up replacing the gantry and z axis with c-beam Gantry Upgrade to C-Beam.

In the process of doing the teardown for the upgrade I found that my z axis eccentric bolt holes were taking damage and wearing out of shape! It seems like the lower wheel was taking most of the load. This wear was probably a source of a lot of my wobble issues.

I think for metal you should definitely do the inventalbes gantry upgrade and consider replacing the Z axis. Either with a c-beam or a e-bay liner rail setup.

I also replaced my $5 collet adaptor with a real 1/8" collet. I think this helped too as the adaptor had terrible runout. And runout is very bad when cutting metal.

The last trick I found was to modify profile cutting. Cutting deep, single bit-width paths in metal is problematic. Any flex or runout and you hit the wall and bad things happen.
So I do a offset outline 40% bigger and cut a wider pocket first, leaving 2mm of metal. Then do the final 2 mm as a normal profile cut. This goes much smother. If I was not using tabs I could probably do the whole thing as a profile cut.

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Cut your bolt hole first. Use that has material hold down. No tabs necessary.

I did that for part of the carve, the round “base” for the cat I was not as confident that the larger eye holes would hold, so I kept the tabs.