Google Earth Topography To .STL file To Vectric Aspire CNC

I have long loved Topography and maps and love the visual you get by seeing the terrain topography.  I also love how amazing Google Earth is dealing with the terrain.  It seems magical to me. I wanted to see what we could do with the Google Earth.  We have found .STL files of existing terrain, but I wanted to customize it to a specific location.  The San Juan Islands.  I tried this a few years ago, but the process was very involved and I gave up on some other pursuit.  I looked at retrying hoping that someone had gone to the work of simplifying the process.  I was in luck!  I found terrain2stl.  .Stl files are simply a triangulated surface of a 3D shape that is usable by almost any 3D software.  I think of it as the .PDF file of the 3D world.  It is complicated to manipulate once made, but easily transferable to post process for manufacturing.

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2 Sided Machining a Native American Flute

Our lofty goal was to have a precision blank that could be made on our CNC machine that could then be personalized on the lathe or however the student saw fit.  The problem with the blanks available is that they are fairly expensive, not customizable and the precision I was most interested in is the hole placement.  Blanks available are not already drilled for holes.  We were not aiming for a finished flute, but I wanted a proof of concept that the Slow air chamber and flute parts work, so we designed a working prototype that is actually a finished flute.  It would be easier to test a finished product.  The first test worked perfectly and the sound quality is superb, but it is royally out of tune and we are working as a class to devise a plan to create a prototype that we can move and individually tune specific holes.  With this prototype we will be able to plan each individual note and customize each student’s flute to the desired key and scale desired.

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Incoming Freshman Showcase Night

Tonight is one of the great events at Arts and Technology High School.  Marysville School District high schools are a series of small learning communities that specialize in different pathways.  Tonight, at our school, next year’s incoming freshman will get to see all of the clubs, classes and groups our school offers.  Each class and club puts up a booth showcasing their work.  It acts as a great way for incoming freshman to feel welcome and get a feel for the school.  It has also served the upperclassmen feel a sense of accomplishment seeing these students excited about their work.  It is one of the best community building activities at our school.  Here are some pictures from walking around.

My 1st year with Social Media in the Classroom

I will start with this statement.  Our class uses and has improved due directly to social media use.  Both as a consumer of other classes and professionals content and as creators of content, the relationships with other classes and professionals have an immediate and direct impact in our class. There have been some very positive results with students that I never would have dreamed up until they happened in my class.

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Graduate Profile: Dylan

This is a weird one.  A student stopped by that was a former student, but he graduated from our school prior to my time as the shop teacher.  I decided I wanted to interview him anyways.  He is still part of the Arts and Tech family.  This will be sharing info about the program from years ago.  Thanks for stopping by Dylan.

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CNC Star Wars carving the Millennium Falcon

This entire project was designed to test our ability to accurately machine 2 sides of a part.  Accurately aligning the second side to match up to the first side boggled my mind and I tended to steer students away from this.  We settled on the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.  It has good detail on 2 sides, but we wouldn’t be able to get the detail on the edge of it.  Since most of  the detail is on the top and bottom, this seemed acceptable.  We had to make a new CNC table that easily and accurately aligns to the actual bed of the machine and has a home that can be aligned to without thought.  Here is a link to the details of the table we made.

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Student Profile: Braden

 

Our next student profile takes us to Braden.  He is a do-it-all kind of student.  He has done CNC, Carbon Fiber, woodworking, machining and welding.  He is actually on a half day schedule his senior year in order to work at his local manufacturing job.  His kind spirit and hard work has made him a pleasure to have for the last 4 years.  I wish him the best of luck in his future and I know he will do very well.

  • What made you want to join this class?

I have always liked manufacturing and working with my hands.  I like accomplishing things and seeing what I have made.

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