Subtraction Final Project

I built this project inspired by a segment from a film: A Chinese Odyssey.

In this segment, the faery enters the hero’s heart and finds who he really loved, then she leaves a tear in his heart.

Since this film is being re-shot recently, I strongly want to make something to show my respect to it.

So I decided to make a heart which can contain something like a tear.

Subtraction Assignment 10: 4 Axis 3D Part

At first I found a model of a high-heel shoe online.

Ben taught me how to set everything, but he told me this project is not qualified, since I’m supposed to build the model myself.

So I tried it in Rhino:


There’s a problem that the 4 Axis Mill asks us to use materials with long x-length (and I don’t know why), but then my classmate told me we can fake the data on the software.

Another problem is that it’s hard to carve characters or patterns on the shapes – it will leave very shallow marks, but hard to see it clearly.

Subtraction Midterm

I just wanna make a very simple desk shelf.

Firstly I drew a draft it in AI. (I just planned to try, and if it works I’ll add more designs, but…)

Then I encountered unexpected problems when I imported it into Vectorworks, and then MasterCam.

I realized maybe it’s because of the combination of shapes.

I tried importing the file directly from AI, it’s even worse.

I adjusted the drawing in AI and drew it again, but MasterCam and CNC had problem recognizing my drawing.

CNC told me it needed 17 hours to cut it. RIDICULOUS!

Then Ben told me that’s because when I drew it in Vectorworks, the shapes covered each other altogether, so it got multiple layers, which led to trouble.

Finally I drew the shapes in Vectorworks. And it worked!

Since I spent too much time on re-editing the format of my drawings, my design is awful. This shelf is so shaky and I think I need to add some stakes for it to stand stably.

After fixing it, it can stand by itself stably right now:

Subtraction Assignment 4: JOINERY

Based on the blog Ben showed us during class, I planned to make a simple joinery like this:

So I drew two files:

And I picked the first one to cut.

The biggest mistake I made is cutting that middle line by CNC – it was too wide, more like a rectangle, but I just wanted to cut the square apart.

So I kept the heart shapes and cut the square again. It was exactly the same file, but the heart shape showed differently. And the pockets showed like contours.

Finally my joinery was like this. It almost fit, but it was awful and breaks very easily. I think it’s because of the shape, which should be narrow in the middle and wide at both ends, but the heart shape doesn’t meet the requirement.

It’s a terrible trying and I think I can do better next time.

Subtraction Assignment 3: CAD, CAM, CNC

On Friday, I tried everything the first time. I drew a face through Vecterworks, and found a piece of wood from shop, then cut it.

At that time, the bit I bought hadn’t arrive, so I used the 1/2 straight bit in shop.

Since the wood I found was two small, I realized it was incomplete and dangerous.

So I went to Home Depot on Sunday, and bought a large piece of plywood.

This time I used the 1/4 bit I bought, and drew an emoji in Illustrator. I adjusted its size in Illustrator (which can’t be adjusted in Vectorworks) and imported it into Vectorworks.

After finishing cutting, I polished it.

And that’s it!

Subtraction Assignment 2: Mill

This week I was planning to cut some Chinese characters.

Firstly I chose a classical font called Seal Character, and transformed the format into SVG through PS and AI.

Then I set everything and started to cut.

After the machine finished, I found that the first character showed only the outline, but lost all its details. I realized that it was because of the thickness of my 1/8 Flat End Mill – maybe 1/16 can work better.

But without other mills, I decided to sand it and restart.

This time I chose the regular script with traditional Chinese character.

But on the half way when it was cutting, the wood moved and everything was ruined. I thought myself should be blamed for not stick it tight enough.

Then I picked another wood piece and tried the third time.

This time I picked cursive script from Chinese calligraphy. Because the characters are cursive, the details will not matter that much.

I set everything carefully, and I stayed with the machine. It worked quite well.

But after 20 minutes, the wood started to move again. Because the tape absorbed too much dust, it could not stick the wood as it was able to. At the moment when I saw it moved, I hit the “pause” button.

Then I found the tape was not able to work any more. So I got the wood out from the machine, and stick new tapes on it, then put it back.

But the position may have changed a little bit, so the mill made two holes on my wood. When I noticed that, I got my wood out of the machine, and polished it as well as I could.

I’m still not satisfied, but I could not get more time or more woods… so this is what I finally got: