Adventures in the 4th Dimension/Axis

Adventures in the 4th Dimension/Axis

I finally got my hands on a 4-axis mill. Chaos ensued, as was prophesied.

I started with a fairly simple shape, just to ease in. A square that tapers to a circle, or vice versa.

Rhino mock up

Starting from a dowel, probably poplar, but who really knows?

Raw dowel

And we’re off to the races!


Not bad! You can’t see from this angle, but the hole in the middle came out pretty strangely. According to Rios, that’s been a recurring thing.

Not bad

Now for something more complex: Lord Stanely’s Cup. I started with a 2x2 block of blue foam, as is customary. For the record, I told the Roland I was using sanmodur, which is a little harder than polysterene.

Blue foam

Things I didn’t think about: The Stanley Cup is round. Things I didn’t know: Telling the Roland that I’m using square stock means that it will operate like a 2.5D mill, then flip. The results were passable but weird. Presumably I could have lied and told the machine I was using cylindrical stock, although it would spend a lot of time cutting air.

2.5D milling

Not a bad result! Would be nice if the walls weren’t there. Also, I experimented with adding tabs for easier extraction, but the software insisted on adding a cross tab, which would have ruined the sides. The futility of cutting a round object from flat stock.

Done and floppy

Anyway, this is my new favorite toy.