While my initial brainstorming sessions focused on developing gifts for others, I eventually decided to design a gift for myself. Since I gravitated toward ideas related to lighting and video games, I eventually settled on creating a Legend of Zelda themed lamp, which would involve Link’s glowing master sword. However, after experiencing several hardware issues during week 8 of my mechatronics course, I decided that I would be much happier creating something that did not involve circuitry.
After more lateral thinking, I finally generated an idea that really excited me: a sheath for a chef’s knife based on the master sword sheath from Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. My goal for the “master chef scabbard” was to spark joy in my daily life by transforming myself into a hero every time I chopped celery and diced onions. I lasercut a duron model of my vision to finalize sizing and detailing decisions before proceeding with CAD and CAM design.
- ⅜″ x 3″ x 3″ Brass
- ¼” x5.5” x 3’ Walnut board
- 3″ Shell Mill
- ⅛” and ¼” Flat End Mill
- ⅛” Ball End Mill
- ¼” Drill
- Square brass stock using a manual mill
- On Haas CNC, perform facing operation to mill stock to required thickness
- Perform adaptive clearing operation to reveal triangles, down to 0.1″ above model bottom
- Scallop all chamfers
- Perform another adaptive clearing operation, leaving a thin web of 0.005″
- Separate each triangle using band saw and files
- Finish parts using sand paper and polish
- Plane walnut board and saw into two 16″ pieces
- On ShopBot, perform pocket clearing operation for knife slot
- Drill holes for alignment dowels
- Part flip!
- Perform adaptive clearing operation to rough out detailing, down to 0.1″ above model bottom
- Scallop all curves and fillets
- Perform another adaptive clearing operation to remove excess material
- Separate part from tabs using band saw
- Repeat steps 2-8 for other half of the sheath
- Use wood glue and dowels to fasten both halves of the sheath together
- Finish wooden sheath using sand paper and mineral oil
- Attach brass triangles to sheath using epoxy
Although the COVID-19 outbreak restricted our use of the CNC during week 10, I was able to think laterally, refine my CAD models, and dedicate time toward grasping CAM software. Overall, I had a great time learning about machining, tooling, workholding, lateral thinking, and communication.
If I could redo this project, I would explore alternative ways of fastening my wooden and brass parts. I would also redesign the sheath such that only one half had a knife-shaped cut-out while the other half was completely flat. Then, my project would only require a single part flip rather than two part flips, which would reduce my risk of misalignment. On the bright side, since the PRL won’t reopen for another few weeks, I have plenty of time to continue laterally thinking and improving my CAD and CAM files before I actually manufacture this project. Thank you to Craig and Taylore for their guidance throughout this quarter!