About a month ago I posted about using a vise on the CNC router. It proved to be so useful I decided to develop one for market.
Three software tools were used: Aspire, Corel and Sketchup. Aspire was the workhorse of the three. I designed the vise using Corel because I needed to make fully dimensioned drawings with title block, border and bill of material. Sketchup was used to verify the relationship of 18 machined parts and almost 50 pieces of hardware.
As I began setting up production it became clear some adjustments were necessary in terms of fit, etc. Because Aspire has very good drawing tools I could use Aspire to modify the actual geometry and redo the toolpath quickly. To complete the flow Aspire allowed me to export that modified geometry back to Corel so I could easily update the drawings to reflect the changes.
All of the machined parts are cut on the CNC with toolpaths created in Aspire. Two of the parts require machining on three sides.
To construct the vise I cut all of the parts to final size before putting them on the CNC. The smallest part measures 1.25 X 1.25 X 3.75. The prototype vise held these parts easily. Typically a part can be dimensioned to final size faster using a table saw, chop saw and flat panel sander/planer than using a CNC router. Cutting on more than one side dictates the use of a vise or some other fixture.
The flexibility of Aspire is amazing. Cutting a three sided piece can be a little mind bending. With Aspire I could easily put the geometry on each side on a separate layer. By turning the layers on/off I could see just the geometry for that particular side. Organization was the key. I have lost count of how many machining operations are involved. An often overlooked feature of Aspire is its ability to provide the organization required for larger projects.
The vise has turned out great! I have machined parts as small as 1 X 1 X 1/4 with it. My "scrap pile" is no longer destined for the fireplace, I can now easily clamp those pieces up and make things out of them. Mortises on the edge of a part are no longer a challenge. Long thin parts? Piece of cake.
As I said at the beginning of this post the vise is now available. Here is my website:http://www.rockrivertools.com
There are a few videos of the vise in use.
This is a picture of the first Mk II being used:
The Sketchup model: