D&D Puzzle Box

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Brian Stone
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Location: Seattle, WA

D&D Puzzle Box

Post by Brian Stone » Sun Oct 11, 2015 9:17 am

Hey guys, I finally got around to making a video for this thing. This is a D&D themed puzzle box that I built for a friend who DM's a D&D group. We started this project back in April and finished it up around August. Though I didn't keep track of the actual man hours put into it, the time commitment was significant. Even though it took for freaking ever to finish, I guarantee that this won't be the last puzzle box you see from me. I had a ton of fun making it and I have some pretty cool ideas for the next one.

Cheers! :D

Shapeoko 2 #7353
1500x1000mm Shapeoko/X-Carve Hybrid, Nema-23's, Belt-Driven Z-Axis /w ACME Screw, Dewalt 611, Soundproof Enclosure
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WillAdams
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Re: D&D Puzzle Box

Post by WillAdams » Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:22 am

Amazingly cool!

Added to the wiki.

Do you think you could write up/document the underlying design concepts? I’d love for the wiki to have explanations for such. Thus far we have links to:

- http://507movements.com/
- http://www.derekhugger.com/tools.html --- that entire site is well worth a visit.
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/Makita RT0701 Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Elaire precision collets
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Brian Stone
Posts: 295
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:52 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: D&D Puzzle Box

Post by Brian Stone » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:46 pm

Thanks, Will! I can do a writeup for the wiki, no problem. There are a few parts that required two-sided milling and jigs, which are subjects that I think deserve more attention.
Shapeoko 2 #7353
1500x1000mm Shapeoko/X-Carve Hybrid, Nema-23's, Belt-Driven Z-Axis /w ACME Screw, Dewalt 611, Soundproof Enclosure
[Fusion 360 | Illustrator] -> Universal G-Code Sender

marcooostendorp
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Re: D&D Puzzle Box

Post by marcooostendorp » Sun Oct 11, 2015 6:23 pm

Briliant!

AnonymousPerson
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Re: D&D Puzzle Box

Post by AnonymousPerson » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:24 pm

That was definitely interesting (the whole thing). Used to play D&D as a kid.

For the design you were showing at the end, which software tool chain did you use? Any interest in sharing STL's? :D
Shapeoko 3 #516

Brian Stone
Posts: 295
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:52 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: D&D Puzzle Box

Post by Brian Stone » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:38 pm

AnonymousPerson wrote:For the design you were showing at the end, which software tool chain did you use? Any interest in sharing STL's? :D
I've been using Autodesk Fusion 360 for CAD and CAM almost exclusively now for a while, and I used UGS and Chilipepper g-code senders. Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to make the all of the files for the box available because it's so complex. There are over 30 CAD files, some of which are a bit of a mess and would take some time to clean up. But for future projects I'm going to try to keep everything organized while I make it so I can share them right away. I can certainly make some parts available, though, like the snake handle.
Shapeoko 2 #7353
1500x1000mm Shapeoko/X-Carve Hybrid, Nema-23's, Belt-Driven Z-Axis /w ACME Screw, Dewalt 611, Soundproof Enclosure
[Fusion 360 | Illustrator] -> Universal G-Code Sender

AnonymousPerson
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Re: D&D Puzzle Box

Post by AnonymousPerson » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:47 pm

Brian Stone wrote:I've been using Autodesk Fusion 360 for CAD and CAM almost exclusively now for a while, and I used UGS and Chilipepper g-code senders. Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to make the all of the files for the box available because it's so complex. There are over 30 CAD files, some of which are a bit of a mess and would take some time to clean up. But for future projects I'm going to try to keep everything organized while I make it so I can share them right away. I can certainly make some parts available, though, like the snake handle.
No worries at all. :)

Kind of getting over Fusion 360 personally. It's a good tool for a free tool... but I find it so buggy and frustrating sometimes. :( Going to start looking at alternatives soon. ;)
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sjj47
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Re: D&D Puzzle Box

Post by sjj47 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:57 pm

This is very impressive! I've made a few puzzle boxes myself so I'm interested in your construction process. Were all the parts machined on the CNC? Or did you have to do any standard woodworking (beyond sanding)?

Also, I noticed you switched bits during the milling. Have you had any trouble setting the new bit to the correct height? I've only used CarbideMotion so far and while it pauses the job to allow you to switch router bits, it provides no mechanism for setting the new bit to the correct height. :?
--------------------------------
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RobCee
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Re: D&D Puzzle Box

Post by RobCee » Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:22 am

Fantastic project, great work!
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Brian Stone
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Location: Seattle, WA

Re: D&D Puzzle Box

Post by Brian Stone » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:18 am

AnonymousPerson wrote:Kind of getting over Fusion 360 personally. It's a good tool for a free tool... but I find it so buggy and frustrating sometimes. :( Going to start looking at alternatives soon. ;)
It has a long way to go before it's going to be equal to SolidWorks or even Inventor.
sjj47 wrote:This is very impressive! I've made a few puzzle boxes myself so I'm interested in your construction process. Were all the parts machined on the CNC? Or did you have to do any standard woodworking (beyond sanding)?

Also, I noticed you switched bits during the milling. Have you had any trouble setting the new bit to the correct height? I've only used CarbideMotion so far and while it pauses the job to allow you to switch router bits, it provides no mechanism for setting the new bit to the correct height. :?
All of the parts were milled on the S2, and contrary to anything you might have seen or heard, I have no sanding skills whatsoever. Sand paper literally bursts into flames in my hands... it's crazy. To be honest, this project was more about learning CNC than learning woodworking, but I'm sure that I picked up something.

I think if you're asking how to set the Z height correctly, then you probably don't fully understand how to use the Work Coordinate System in concert with the Machine Coordinate System. So, first, it's important to understand that the machine coordinate system's origin is always reset to <0,0,0> when you turn on the controller, or if you home the machine (if you have limit switches). In other words, wherever the spindle is when you power up the machine, or after homing it, that's where the machine's origin is. So you always want to pick a spot that you can return to repeatedly, such as a corner of the machine, so that the machine's origin is always in exactly the same position on every single run. So, that is step #1.

The work coordinate system is relative to the machine's coordinate system, but, unlike the machine's origin which is reset when the machine powers down or homes, the work origin remains saved in memory when you power down the machine or home it. At this point you would jog the spindle to the starting point of your first toolpath over your work piece, and then set the work coordinate system's origin by executing G10 P0 L20 X0 Y0 Z0. That is step #2.

When you're doing a tool change, the best practice is to power down the controller or home the machine (that's assuming you've chosen a home position that is good for tool changes), and then change out your tool. Manually move the spindle to your chosen "home" corner and power the controller back up, or home the machine again if you moved the gantry while changing the tool, and then jog the Z-axis up so that the new tool won't collide with your work. Then move the spindle back to the work coordinate origin on the X and Y axes only by executing G90 G0 X0 Y0. That's step #3.

Finally, jog the Z-axis down to your work surface, and reset the work coordinate system's Z coordinate by executing G10 P0 L20 Z0. And then you're ready to cut with the new tool.


I appologize for the wordiness of all that, so in summary:
Setting up the first pass...
1) Power down the controller and move it to the corner of the machine that you've chosen to be your "home" position, and then power it back up. Or, if your machine has limit switches, home the machine.
2) Carefully jog all three axes of the machine to your desired work origin.
3) Execute: G10 P0 L20 X0 Y0 Z0. This will set your work origin and commit it to on-board memory.
4) Start Cutting!

Setting up the next pass with a tool change...
5) Power down the controller and move the gantry forward by hand.
6) Change out your tool.
7) Make sure your spindle is in the same "home" position that you chose before, then power the controller back up. Or, power the controller up and home the machine.
8) Jog the Z-axis up if necessary so the new tool won't collide with your work.
9) Execute: G90 G0 X0 Y0. This will move the spindle to your work coordinate system's X/Y origin while ignoring the Z coordinate.
10) Carefully jog the new tool on the Z-axis down to your work surface. Do not jog the X or Y axes.
11) Execute: G10 P0 L20 Z0. This will set your work origin's Z coordinate only and commit it to on-board memory. The previously set X and Y coordinates won't change.
12) Start Cutting!

And of course you can repeat those procedures for multiple tool changes. The accuracy of this entirely depends upon the repeatability of your home position. Since my machine doesn't have limit switches, I have to manually set home before I power up every time, and I can usually expect about +-0.1mm error in position between tool changes. With limit switches, that would be much better.

I know that in the video you'll probably see me doing tool changes in the middle of the project, and that's because I'm certifiably insane. I'm doing those tool changes with the controller engaged and the stepper motors on idle torque to prevent the gantry from moving. But I could easily slip up and push a little too hard and move the gantry, which would have made it a pain in the ass to move back to the origin.

(Someone please let me know if there are any mistakes in there, or if you have better ways of doing this. I'd like to know.)
RobCee wrote:Fantastic project, great work!
Thanks much!
Shapeoko 2 #7353
1500x1000mm Shapeoko/X-Carve Hybrid, Nema-23's, Belt-Driven Z-Axis /w ACME Screw, Dewalt 611, Soundproof Enclosure
[Fusion 360 | Illustrator] -> Universal G-Code Sender

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