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CNC Machined PSU Keychains

This project started out as a side project when I was helping out at the Penn State University Great Valley engineering shop. My goal was to make a small part that would demonstrate a variety of tools, tool paths, and some fixturing techniques. The end product turned out good enough to hand out to students and shop visitors, who were thrilled to a shiny aluminum keychain.

The shop had a waterjet and a Haas Mini Mill, along with some 3d printers, a lathe, laser cutter, drill press, and vacuformer. I used the waterjet to cut out the fixture plate and also a lot of 6mm thick aluminum blanks for the keychains.

The toolpaths and design was programmed in Fusion360 and simulated before being posted to the Haas.

It took a few tries to get the speeds and feeds correct. The mill did not have coolant at the time so the aluminum was quite sticky and ended up claiming an endmill.

In the end, the keychains turned out great and I was able to convince the shop to fill the coolant tanks in the machine and lowered the cycle time in half. This also produced much better surface finishes.

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