CAD files for the case of the Neo will be made available

Michael Shiloh michael at
Tue Jan 15 02:53:57 CET 2008

Shawn Rutledge wrote:
> On Jan 14, 2008 12:52 PM, Michael Shiloh <michael at> wrote:
>> I personally look forward to non-traditional materials. I have an
>> obsession with concrete, which I'm trying to figure out how to apply in
>> this situation.
> A concrete phone?  You can't make it anywhere near as thin as plastic can you?

I didn't say it would be trivial :-)
> I guess you could make a concrete docking station.
>> Anyone have access to useful manufacturing tools? I have friends with
>> CNC mills and lathes, and one with a water jet cutter. I have indirect
>> access to 3D printers. Anything else interesting out there?
> I've got a CNC micro-mill (Sherline based) but it's not very
> reliable... it's kindof worn (I got it used) and the screws tend to
> stick sometimes in some positions, it's slow (more likely to stick if
> I get the step rate up too fast), and it's not easy to do any
> significant metal cutting.  I run it from a DOS machine because
> real-time Linux so far has been more trouble to get going, and
> requires a faster machine to get the same results.  I also have it
> booting from a CF card for reliability, and it can mount Samba shares,
> so it's easy enough to generate files on Linux and then mill them on
> DOS.  I was just hoping to mill PC boards, but I mostly have not been
> able to get acceptable results; it's so hard to find small-enough
> cutters, and the ones that are small enough break too easily.  I got a
> simple pyramid-shaped engraving bit, and it tears the edges of the
> copper too much, so that fine traces tend not to have continuity when
> it's done.  So fine-pitch surface-mount stuff is not an option right
> now (but I did make one good board with a 6-pin SOIC on it).  Plus my
> wife won't let me use it when she's at home because it's so loud.  All
> in all it's much less trouble to just send designs somewhere to be
> made (like Olimex if you're not in a hurry - they are cheap).  And
> what am I going to spend my spare time on anyway?  My software
> projects take a lot of time and aren't getting done fast enough, and I
> don't have time to read as many books as I'd like because I'm always
> hacking on something.
> Also have a decent-sized non-CNC Harbor Freight milling machine.  I
> don't have enough experience yet to be any good with either one.
> Didn't get around to getting a lathe yet.

Nice setup. The Sherline is highly rated, in its category. I expect if 
you ever want to sell it you'll get close to your money back.

> Can you generate CAM paths with Blender?

That I don't know.


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