In a conversation with Larry Slavik from the Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation, the topic of decorating some new park benches by engraving the Jack Miner logo into the back them using a hand router came up. As an alternative, I suggested that we could showcase the advanced manufacturing capabilities in the Windsor/Essex region by 3D printing plaques with the logo in polycarbonate plastic. The plaques could then be inset into the backs of the benches.
Being both a DIY maker and computer techie, Larry readily agreed to our high tech proposition and sent us the logo in jpg format.
Using the raster-to-vector feature in
Mastercam, the logo was converted to lines and arcs. The geometry was scaled to fit into a 4 ½” square to fit into one of the 2 x 6’s used on the back of the park bench.
At this point, we determined that the lettering at the bottom was too small to reproduce with the desired quality so some minor modifications were made. Can you spot them?
Now it was time to convert the 2D geometry into a 3D solid model. Contours were raised or lowered by .040 to create the 3D model. Solid extrusion operations were used to build the final shape. 1/2” radii were added to the corners so a 1” router bit could be used to carve the inset for the plaque into the back of the bench. Once complete, the solid model was saved in STL format for processing by the 3D printing software.
We are finally ready to make some plaques! The Stratasys 400MC fused deposition modeller at the University of Windsor Advanced Manufacturing and Design Recovery lab was used. .010" diameter polycarbonate plastic was chosen because of its strength and durability. We read the STL file into the Stratasys Insight software for processing, set the appropriate parameters, and pressed the 'big green button'. (figuratively...)
Here are the completed plaques, ready for installation onto the park benches.