From CAD to Product using the blackTooth Laser Cutter
Here is the complete process (overview) on how to create create a box with using the box joint (finger joint) method. The overview will explain the process of drawing the sides of the box in CAD, applying the machining operations in CAM and finally cutting the parts with the blackTooth laser cutter and engraver.
The box is first designed in AutoCAD as the first step. The video gives a general idea of this using standard techniques of drawing the front, back and the other sides and using the various techniques to make sure the box joints will match correctly.
The next step is to take these CAD primitives and apply machining operations using a CAM program. In this case, we are using CAMBAM. The CAD file is first save in DXF format so CAMBAM will be able to read the information. Then, the polygons (each side of the box) is given the profile operation. In the case of lasing, the tool will follow the line of the polygon, rather than cutting on the inside or outside of the line as would be done with a CNC machine with a tool diameter. There is a cut width (kerf) when lasing the wood, but this will serve as a tiny bit of space to make sure the fingers of the box joint will be able to fit together well, without making it too difficult to put them together.
The sides are then cut using the blackTooth laser cutter and engraver controlled by Mach3. The video shows some of the configuration on how the laser is controlled by the z-axis movement. Finally, the blackTooth laser cuts the 1/8-inch thick wood sheet. It is possible to cut 1/4-inch material in this same fashion, however, the speed of the cutting will be about half.
Here is the video of the CAD to product process, designing a box and cutting the parts using the blackTooth Laser Cutter and Engraver