Kitty Condo - CAD/CAM primer

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Blog series by Mainiac Matt updated 08-30-2012 12:39 AM 8 parts 31336 reads 12 comments total

Part 1: Kitty Condo - design process

08-17-2012 03:31 PM by Mainiac Matt | 1 comment »

Our 17 year old tabby cat went to the happy hunting grounds last fall, and we decided to console everyone with what else…. a pair of kittens. A brother and sister….. too cute. They soon took to sitting in the window sill near where the bird feeders are hung and the plan was hatched for a kitty condo. I surfed the web with Google images to fill my head with hundreds of ideas, expecting to make the typical carpet lined sono-tube on a pole…. but then came across this des...

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Part 2: modeling the new design

08-17-2012 05:08 PM by Mainiac Matt | 0 comments »

Being a low budget project…. I first had to take inventory of what I had kicking around… > several half sheets of 1/2” particle board> a dozen 3/4” dowels (stained)> left over paint from the destination room I decided to use the same footprint and base height as the free plans…. but then sized the platform to match the cats’ bed and set the pole height to match the level of the window by the bird feeders. It seems that cat’s like to “t...

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Part 3: Detailing parts and joints

08-17-2012 05:34 PM by Mainiac Matt | 0 comments »

Once the overall design is done… each of the parts needs to be detailed and the joinery decisions made. Because I knew I would CNC cut the parts cut from the salvaged 1/2” particle board, I played to the strengths of the tools and used as many slots, pockets and lap joints as I could. bottom and top sides platform end with door Stair treads Hopefully, if all goes accurately with the cutting and if I didn’t botch the layout…. th...

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Part 4: preparing files for the CNC router.

08-17-2012 06:03 PM by Mainiac Matt | 0 comments »

So far, all of the design work has been done as 3D solid modeling using Solid Works. Next, 2D CAD files need to be created for each routed part, and I went ahead and laid out the parts on the panels so I knew how much material I’d need to bring in to work (fortunatley… I have permission to use the CNC machines on the back shift after my normal working hours). I prefer to do the 2D work in Auto CAD, as it’s faster for me. Here’s the layouts for all three ~ 44...

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Part 5: time to cut the parts

08-17-2012 06:50 PM by Mainiac Matt | 7 comments »

I’m in heaven since we upgraded our CNC table router ~ 2 years ago… The boss gave me a budget of $20K and I found us a nice little plumb on the second hand market… CNT Motion Systems 900 series, 5’x10’ gantry robot style table router, with the gantry going the 10’ direction…. 10 HP Italian spindle, 8 station automatic tool changer, 15 HP vacuum table blower, WinCNC controlled… I cut the parts with a 3/8” dia. spiral down Onsrud ...

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Part 6: a little color and a little glue...

08-19-2012 08:20 PM by Mainiac Matt | 0 comments »

starting to look a little more like the model… Finally, I think this is the first glue up I’ve ever done where I didn’t bemone not having enough clamps.

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Part 7: base and steps done

08-22-2012 01:31 AM by Mainiac Matt | 3 comments »

here’s the base (with my helper).... and the steps are put together… and here’s a detail showing how the stair treads join to the stair stringers almost done

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Part 8: calling it done.... almost

08-30-2012 12:39 AM by Mainiac Matt | 1 comment »

it’s off the bench and out of the shop :^) I still need to wrap the post with double sided tape, sprinkle on some cat nip and wrap it with twine. But I may outsource that to one of my helpers. Putty cat seems to enoy the perch best… and even more then the windo ac unit comes out.

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