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Ramblin’ On

Creative Manufacturing Art and My Personal Philosophy

Best of BothRamblin' Rose

I have one outstanding way of creating wax masters for lost wax casting. I use a high-speed spindle (up to 25,000 RPM) on a Taig Micro Mill. If I can draw it properly, I can machine it in 3D.

The limitation is the 4-axis ability of this machine. That doesn’t sound like much of a limitation to most machinist. 4 axis means X, Y, Z movement with an additional rotary A axis. There is a huge amount of work that can be accomplished with 4 axis milling.

But there are some designs that can benefit from additional movement freedom. No way am I going to do 5 and 6 axis machining. Not in the realm of this hobbyist.

Machining is a subtractive manufacturing process using a solid blank of material and removing material until the desired form remains.

There is another way to achieve greater design freedom and that is by three-dimensional printing. I have ventured there with some success.

Three-dimensional printing is an additive manufacturing process of building a dimensional model by using a computer, virtually slicing very thin horizontal (X/Y) layers of the computer model and stacked in the Z axis direction. Then using a 3D printing machine to create all the layers, one layer at a time “stuck” together.

Start with nothing and add layers of material building the tangible model.

Complex shapes can be created that are impossible with subtractive machining. Areas that a milling tool cannot reach.

As a hobbyist, I have the time to develop alternative creative processes. My hobbies are as much about enjoying the process as admiring the finished product.

My current desire is to explore both the subtractive and the additive process of creating wax masters for the lost wax casting process.

Neither process is perfect. Both together provide more than either alone. Worth my time to explore as I have said, I enjoy the process as much as producing the finished product.

A Bit of Philosophy

Therein lies one of the great comforts of life, for those privileged to reach it. Totally enjoying the work in process as much or more than the rewards at the finish. The product (the score at the end of the game) is the reward. The work (playing the game) is where most of life is experienced and where it is best enjoyed when fully embraced as what we do and who we are.

Life is not perfect. I understand. Not for me, anyway. But I do my best to enjoy the journey when I can choose the route. Additive or subtractive manufacturing? Why not enjoy the best of both!

It’s the reason I chose the moniker “Ramblin’ Dan”. Rambling is moving from one topic to another, enjoying the journey. The destination is perhaps somewhat obscured by those observing.

Rambling may not be an admirable trait. I get upset with others who never seem to come to a point when I want a straight-path yes/no answer. So, it is a kind of soul cleansing confession to admit I enjoy going in many directions in my blogging and hobby activities.

Not an indication of my total lifestyle. Just one of many traits or faults(?). However, an indication of my comfort zone. I enjoy the journey and want it to continue. The end is so final. A sign to start another journey!

Keep on Ramblin’

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