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Measurement and Analysis of Carved Surfaces Made on a Self-Assembled and Tested Mini 3-Axis CNC Router

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Automation in Manufacturing

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R. Radharamanan Mercer University

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Dr. R. Radharamanan is currently working as Professor of Industrial Engineering and Director of Mercer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MCIE) at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. He has forty four years of teaching, research, and consulting experiences. His previous administrative experiences include: President of International Society for Productivity Enhancement (ISPE), Acting Director of Industrial Engineering as well as Director of Advanced Manufacturing Center at Marquette University, and Research Director of CAM and Robotics Center at San Diego State University. His primary research and teaching interests are in the areas of manufacturing systems, additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping, robotics and automation, innovation and entrepreneurship, quality engineering, and product and process development. He has organized and chaired five international conferences, co-chaired two, and organized and chaired three regional conferences. He has received two teaching awards, several research and service awards in the United States and in Brazil. His present and past professional affiliations include ASEE, IIE, ASQ, SME, ASME, and ISPE.

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Computer numerical control is a very broad term that encompasses a variety of types of machines — all with different sizes, shapes, and functions. But the easiest way to think about CNC is to simply understand that it is all about using a computer as a means to control a machine that carves useful objects from solid blocks of material. Traditional CNC machines are expensive, complicated, and typically only found in large manufacturing companies that can afford them. Small hobbyist CNC machines can run anywhere from $7,000 and higher; professional machines can cost millions of dollars! Now, for a fraction of the cost — under $800 one can own a Mini 3-axis CNC machine and cut, drill, mill, and carve objects of one's imagination.

In this paper, a Mini 3-axis CNC router was assembled and tested. Simple shapes of circles and squares were cut on two different materials: plastic and wood. Diameter of the circles and side of squares were measured using a digital caliper. Data were collected for a 2k factorial design experiments considering 2-levels for parameters: spindle speed, feed rate, cut depth, material, and object shape. Statistical analyses using Minitab and/or Microsoft Excel were performed on the collected data. Effects of chosen parameters on the dimensional accuracy of the parts made were analyzed. The results indicated that cut depth, material, and object shape have significant effects on the dimensional accuracy of the parts made. Through this hands-on project, the students were trained in assembling and testing a CNC router, cutting simple to complex shapes using G-Codes, measuring the parts made for dimensional accuracy, collecting data for experimental design, and analyzing the data using Minitab and Microsoft Excel. Some of the difficulties encountered in assembling and testing the CNC router and the learning experience from the student team are also presented and discussed.

Radharamanan, R. (2018, June), Measurement and Analysis of Carved Surfaces Made on a Self-Assembled and Tested Mini 3-Axis CNC Router Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30792

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