The Masterminds Behind the Darth Vader Demo
At the 2016 Morris Madness event in Roselle, IL, a special cutting demo drew crowds, and interest is still growing (watch the video here). Today we interview the masterminds behind this project to learn why they created this demo featuring a Darth Vader part. Many thanks to James DePaepe of Morris Midwest and Dave Miller, Mastercam, for their insights about the process.
And May the Fourth Be With You…Happy Star Wars Day!
What were you trying to accomplish when you decided to create the Darth Vader demo?
We wanted to have a lot of metal removal and also show that we can take it down to the next level, where we can get the finishes so smooth on the machine that we didn’t need to polish. We used 6061-T6 aluminum, the program contains 3.2 million lines of code and the cycle time is 5.5 hours.
So the way the part is shown in the video, that’s how it came off the machine?
Yes, those are actual shots of how the Darth Vader head came off the machine.
How does the MU-5000V vertical machining center get a smooth finish like that?
The technology we used is called Super-NURBS, which is a programming functionality that meets high-accuracy finish requirements. For the show we didn’t even dial it in that much. We pretty much used out-of-the-box settings.
Is there anything else that you’re showing in this demo?
When it’s doing the ribs on top of the head and it’s going back and forth, we have the T.C.P.C. (Tool Center Point Control) working, where it follows the paths on everything and the whole table shifting back and forth from front to back. To be able to follow that is like really impressive.
What other resources or technologies did you use for this project?
Any particular reason you chose Darth Vader for the demo?
Well, Dave’s a Star Wars fan, so we thought this would be fun!
If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check out the video “Darth Vader on Okuma MU-5000V Vertical Machining Center” on Okuma’s YouTube channel. And feel free to comment below and share your reactions to the demo.