Custom CNC’d Lens Caps

If you like this project, why not check out my open source Bluetooth Low Energy Color Sensor at www.nixsensor.com!

I recently bought a Chinese made CNC (UNICUT 3020) to finally replace my old ferric chloride PCB etching setup. As most people know, it is fairly difficult  to mechanically etch your own PCBs for a multitude of reasons. So as I have been tweaking and optimizing the system, I have been trying to brainstorm some other projects to keep the CNC busy. You might  have seen my CNC’d acrylic letters that I posted before HERE. Another hobby of mine is photography so I decided I would attempt to CNC my own custom lens caps. You can see the full process step by step below. If you just want to see the results, scroll all the way to the bottom :)

Unicut 3020 CNC

Unicut 3020 Control Box

Step 1

The first thing I did was to grab my trusty digital calipers and measure the dimensions of the flat, blank lens caps I ordered off of Ebay.

2013-02-23 16.21.05

Step 2

I took the dimensions from step 1 and created an outline of the lens cap shape in Adobe Illustrator.

adobe1

Step 3

I downloaded the Hack A Day logo and placed the logo in the center of the lens cap outline in Illustrator. (You can use any vector file, or make your own!)

adobe2

Step 4

Here is where it gets a bit tricky. You have to select the items you want to cut and export them to a .dxf file type to be able to import the image into CAM software.

The settings I used can be seen below.

adobe3

Step 5

Import the file into CAM software. In this particular example I used CamBam. I love this software and you can get a free trial!

had

Step 6

Center the image and select paths to be cut out. (Pocketed)

had2

Step 7

Input CNC settings/parameters.

had3

Step 8

Generate toolpaths/G-Code.

had4

Step 9

Open G-Code in CNC control software (NcStudio in my case) and run the program.

had7

2013-02-23 17.03.15

Step 10

Remove lens cap for jig, clean, and paint with model paint using a syringe!

2013-02-23 16.58.45

2013-02-23 17.07.50

The Finished Product!

IMG_20130224_093922

Other Designs