Make: Design for CNC,,, a short book review
November 12, 2017 01:50PM
I've done a short book review that might be of interest to some of you.

Our own Bill Young has a small part in this, I wish he had had a larger part. That may well have added the final star in my rating.

First, let’s start with who may be interested and who will not be interested in this book.

Is your idea of furniture making with CNC about small augmentation to making colonial or mid-century works? Do you feel a wave of nausea at seeing a dogbone? No judgment but this book is simply not written for you.

Do you like to build with sheet goods? Is a rugged industrial look a positive thing to you? Do you consider a well-done dogbone a feature not a bug? Read on, this book may well be for you.

Written much like a textbook, DfCNC starts out with the simplest of usable designs and progresses as we go through the chapters to ever more complex designs. Aimed at teaching the “student” to think about designing for sheet goods and cnc cutting.

DfCNC tries to remain software agnostic but naturally, the authors go with what they know so Sketchup and Vcarve are used for most examples and a full sized Shopbot is assumed to be your CNC. To an astute reader this won’t matter much, the concepts remain the same with different software and machines

What do they get right? Well, the basic premise of the book. If you want to think clearly about designing with sheet goods you may well find a lot of value in this book.

What do they get wrong? Well, it can get redundant. Often the first few pages of a chapter read almost exactly like the last. The could have saved some trees with more “in chapter 3 we discussed” statements.

A glaring omission, in my opinion, was how quickly they skimmed over fasteners. They use screws throughout and only bearly acknowledge that there are other methods of assembly. I really feel that a chapter should have been dedicated to all the ways there are to reliably hold sheet goods together.

So my overall impression? Well, I think it is a 3 out of 4 stars with the caveat of this book has a narrow focus and won’t appeal to everyone.

I'll have to check that one out. I recently bought Make: Introduction to 3D Carving and got a few chapters into that. Too touchy feely for my tastes (though I'm definitely not their audience)--will have to take a look at this one.
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