Our lofty goal was to have a precision blank that could be made on our CNC machine that could then be personalized on the lathe or however the student saw fit. The problem with the blanks available is that they are fairly expensive, not customizable and the precision I was most interested in is the hole placement. Blanks available are not already drilled for holes. We were not aiming for a finished flute, but I wanted a proof of concept that the Slow air chamber and flute parts work, so we designed a working prototype that is actually a finished flute. It would be easier to test a finished product. The first test worked perfectly and the sound quality is superb, but it is royally out of tune and we are working as a class to devise a plan to create a prototype that we can move and individually tune specific holes. With this prototype we will be able to plan each individual note and customize each student’s flute to the desired key and scale desired.
The major obstacle is again a solid way to flip our material while retaining accuracy. There are many ways to do this, but I have found that individual projects create their own individual problems. We decided on making registration bolt holes through the center line and flipping the board the long ways.
Designing the work in solidworks created it’s own challenges for us, but that sorted itself out pretty quickly. We had to do a lofted surface for the outside shape and then surface cut. There are probably easier ways to do this, but it worked and is changeable pretty easy.
Vectric Aspire gave us the most headache as it is not a software that is designed for 2 sided machining. We had to do all of the work on one side and it made for a messy looking screen of gobbled up vectors and models. Luckily with layers in the software and hiding models, it was achievable. We designed the tabs in Aspire as models.
There are 4 toolpaths. a 3D roughing pass with a 0.25inch ball end mill and a finish pass with a 0.125 ball end mill. This is repeated on both sides.
The material blank is 25 inches by 3.5 inches by .5 inches. The measurements should be pretty close, but with the registration in the center, errors in measurement won’t affect the carve.
Here are a couple links to some video