Ok, here goes...
The trick is to learn from what I did wrong. I wanted to mill a test case just to see if my tolerances were too low and to also show some physical progress to this project. It was all looking good to up to a point.
Here are some things that went wrong:
- The case is way too thick in the Z-Axis and more than double the thickness of the CAD model
- There is a clear shift between the 2 sided carve in the X-Axis
- Even for a test the carve is too rough for my liking
- At the beginning there were some very strange results and whole sections of the piece didn't get carved
Here are some things that went right
- The fit to the phone is spot on and feels like it should
- If the carve turned out right, then he wood chosen and the grain direction would have been nice
- I think I understand where each problem came from
Here are some places where I think it went wrong and/or what I can do to fix the problems
- I am not absolutely sure that the rendered height map from blender showed an accurate representation of the height of the piece due to the reuse of a previous scene as a template and therefore shifting the start height
- seeing that the depth of the pocket that the phone sits in is correct to the 3D model, I used Illustrator to shift the grays darker on both sides after doing some tricky math to determine what they should be (fingers crossed I did the math right)
- the conversion to vectors had a hitch in it... In Illustrator, when converting an image to a gray scale set of vectors I have learned that I need to do the following:
- In the Image Trace options under Advanced, choose Overlapping rather than Abutting for the Method
- double check that the created vectors match up with the original images
- In a two sided carve, always visually check and verify that the two sides line up perfectly with reference to the registration pins and to each other.
- Go slower and shallower and step over closer to 50% for cleaner results
- For inside pockets where curves are used, strongly consider using a ball end mill for a smoother inside finish.
- One of the registration pins broke off most of the way down so registration was tricky to get right... I won't use masonite for the fixture/registration pins next time
Here are some pics of the fail
I was putting off posting this progress update due to it being a fail, but I hope that it will help those attempting a similar project in the future.
The next step is to fix what went wrong and carve another iteration. I started that carve tonight.
For those of you wondering how I am going to get the phone to stay put:
- The case actually holds pretty well
- I can turn it upside down without the phone falling out
- it just can't withstand much shock or the phone falls out of it's friction fit
- I have a few tricks up my sleeve that are not being revealed yet