A water-jet cutter maneuvers a focused high- pressure stream of water to cut a material. Cutting can be done using pure water or water with an abrasive additive material like garnet sand. Garnet sand increases the machines ability to efficiently cut through thicker materials and hard materials such as titanium. Water-jets do not generate heat. This reduces the risk of deformation during cutting.
The wire electric discharge machine (EDM) makes cuts using a very thin diameter wire (typically 0.15 to 0.20 mm) charged with extremely high voltage. The taught wire moves between two independently articulated spools as it is drawn through the material being cut. EDM Cutters can cut precise interior corners and can cut on a taper.
A CNC Press Brake is a computer controlled machine used to perform bending operations on sheet material (usually sheet metal). It can be configured to do a sequence of bends at a variety of angles.
A CNC Punch Press is a computer controlled machine that uses pre-formed dies to punch specific shapes out of sheet material (usually sheet metal). These machines can generate single cuts or cuts organized in a designer determined pattern.
A CNC Roller is a computer controlled machine that can create specific curved bends in sheet and stock material. It is comprised of 3-4 rollers. Rollers can be repositions. The diameter and position of the rollers determine the smallest radii possible in the bend.
A CNC Tube Bender is a computer controlled machine that can create a series of complex curved bends in pipe material. This tool is capable of bending pipe in a variety of radii and directions.
Vacuum forming is a method of thermoforming. Sheet material (typically plastic) is placed in frame within the vacuum former and heated until malleable. Once the plastic has a desirable amount of pliability, it is pulled over the mold. Once in position, a vacuum is applied, removing air from between the material and form. This draws the material tightly around the mold, making a copy.
S.P.F. (single point forming) is a process where sheet material is incrementally dented into a desired three dimensional shape, usually by a round-tipped tool. This is the CNC equivalent to hammer formed metal.
Rotomolding, or rotational molding, is a process where raw material (usually in powder form) is injected into a heated, hollow mold. The mold slowly rotates on one or more axes to allow the softened material to disperse and adhere to the interior walls of the mold. The constant rotation helps to maintain an even material thickness and also prevents sagging and other deformation.
Injection molding is a process in which molten material is injected into an interior mold. When the material cools and hardens it takes the formal configuration of the cavity. Rotomolds can make hollow objects. Injection molds make solid objects.
This project would not have been possible without the help and support of the Teaching Learning Enhancement Fund Grant program. SALA offers its sincere thanks and gratitude to the TLEF program, its organizers, and the students of UBC who fund the program. Thank you for your support in our project.
Many people contributed to this document, including Blair Satterfield, Graham Entwistle, Sam Hart, Lisa Kusaka, Derek Mays, Alana Paven, Alex Preiss, Sébastien Roy, Kara Verbeek, and Amy Wu.