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Beginner Escher Locking Lizard Puzzle

  • Machine Type:
    CNC Router
    Bit or Laser Size:
    1/8" stock bit
    Feeds & Speeds:
    150 IPM
    Materials:
    1/4" fanfold foam (used in home construction) or you can use acrylic as shown below
    I did my best to get it a close as possible, but its not easy because if you change one side the receiving end has to change as well and it sets off a chain of changes :)

    First the lizards locked and unlocked in the foam
    26858=10240-2011-02-17 14.49.19_ (Small).jpg

    Lizard laser cut in acrylic

    DSC00663aaa (Small).jpg
    DSC00662aaa (Small).jpg

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  1. Lofton Harris
    Thanks much, Mark. i'm almost ready to go so I guess it's a matter of bravery from here out. I'll post questions when I'm smart enough to know what to ask!
  2. lofton
    Thanks, Mark. I'm waiting on delivery of a spindle (the thought of listening to my Bosch router running for more than a couple of minutes was overwhelming). Your comment about bridges is most helpful...if I can figure out how to create them. I'm coming from the Delta 3D printing world so I'm struggling to get my head around doing things "upside down." Figuring out how to use Fusion360 seems overwhelming but I guess I'll have to man up and prepare to waste some stock. 1/4" Baltic birch might be a better place to start than acrylic, don't you think? Now here's my big question: the lizards are grouped together and I don't know how to "ungroup" them so I can mill each piece individually. Is this a really simple process that I'm being silly about? Finally, do you have users in the Philadelphia area who I might approach for some one-on-one tutoring just to get me past my current state of paralysis? I've been a woodworker for most of my life and appreciate the value and utility of power tools and am a pretty quick study on stuff, except when it's being operated by a stupid PCB. I'd be happy to pay for their time, obviously. And I'd be happy to travel to them. Thanks Mark!
    1. Mark Carew
      1/4" Baltic birch might be a better place to start than acrylic, don't you think? I agree, just practice and you will have it in no time. Just remember shallow (1/16" deep or so) This is the best method.
      Mark Carew, Aug 22, 2017
    2. Mark Carew
      As for the un-group in Sketchup you right click and explode it. Once you have it exploded you can slect just one of them and you can can either work up the tool paths in SketchUp using a plugin called SketchUcam - http://www.openbuilds.com/projectresources/sketchucam.1/ Or you can export it as a DXF using the dxf export plugin - http://www.openbuilds.com/projectresources/convert-sketchup-to-dxf-or-stl-and-make-anything.126/ and then bring it into the cam of your choice like fusion.
      Mark Carew, Aug 22, 2017
    3. Mark Carew
      As for the tutoring in my opinion you have so much help here on the forums and so much information you will do fine. I would say just jump right in and start before you know it you will be a CNC pro!
      Mark Carew, Aug 22, 2017
  3. Lofton Harris
    PS. I plan to use 1/4" acrylic.
    1. Mark Carew
      Hello Lofton,
      Sounds like a great first project! Yes I would cut one at a time. I made this back on my old cnc machine but the process will be exactly the same. I would use a 1/8th bit (I like that size you could go smaller) and make to scale the lizard to fit in the 4.5" MiniMill size. The lines on the lizard are just shallow center line cuts (for looks) Don't forget to add a couple 'bridges' in your tool path to make sure your part stays.
      Mark Carew, Aug 20, 2017
    2. Mark Carew
      All the best with your project please be sure to post your version as a project as well please, can never have too many lizards! and other will learn from your methods. Have fun!
      Mark Carew, Aug 20, 2017
  4. Lofton Harris
    Hiya, Mark! I'm about to embark on my first CNC project with my mini-mill and this looks like a good one. Questions: did you start with one large sheet of material or were the pieces cut individually? The mini mill has limited cut volume so cutting each piece separately seems to make sense. Two: I'll probably use Fusion360 to execute the cutting via a Smoothieboard. Any advice on settings would be helpful.

    Obviously I am a newbie at this and need any guidance you can offer. Thanks!
    Lofton