CNC Pliers

Here's a pair of pliers made from 1/4" thick aluminum plate. Designed as a CNC project, you could also (patiently) make them on a manual machine. The two pieces are identical and are held together with a short (~.3") piece of 1/4" brass rod that is peened over. The interlocking area is .125" deep.

Before building a successful model, we built several prototypes, including a "wood trace" model (seen in the left side of the photo below).

The print below shows the general layout of the pliers.

General dimensions are seen in the print below.

The toolpath can be seen in the print below. Note that our "origin" (0,0,0) for the program started at the "nose" of the plier. We used a 1/4" diameter center-cutting two-flute end mill. This allowed us to drill the hinge hole with out a tool change. The actual CNC program cuts the outline and the interlock area to a depth of .125" (actually, "Z-.125"). Then the hinge hole is drilled through (to "Z-.3"). Finally, the outer profile is cut a little more than 1/4" (actually "Z-.27") and the piece falls out of the plate (we used 3" X 1/4" plate).

The actual CNC code is seen below. We used our "PowerStation" CNC post-processing software to generate this code from an AutoCAD "dxf" file. Note that the feed rate here is shown as "5" (inches per minute). You might go a bit slower on the first prove-out.

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O1000

N10
G20 G40

N20
S2000 M3

N30
G0 X0 Y0 Z1.

N40
G0 Z1.

N50
X.1804 Y-.2053

N60
G01 Z-.125 F5.

N70
X1.3718

N80
X2.553 Y.3399

N90
X4.8765 Y.4111

N100
Y.411

N110
G3 X5.1265 Y.6688 R.2579

N120
G1 Y.9389

N130
G3 X4.8686 Y1.1968 R.2579

N140
G1 X2.6692

N150
X1.5838 Y1.0181

N160
X1.02

N170
X.6505 Y.6486

N180
Y.4114

N190
G2 X.5755 Y.4324 R-.044

N200
G1 X-.2283 Y.5027

N210
X.1804 Y-.2053

N220
X.8713

N230
Y.1162

N240
X.8039 Y.1836

N250
X.9005 Y.5451

N260
X1.1235 Y.7681

N270
X1.5666

N280
X2.2254 Y.464

N290
X1.3169 Y.0447

N300
X.8713

N310
X.6831 Y.3034

N320
X.755 Y.5158

N330
X1.0734 Y.8091

N340
X1.4433 Y.8294

N350
X2.37 Y.354

N360
X1.433 Y-.0405

N370
X.981 Y-.0709

N380
X.9707 Y.3641

N390
X1.32 Y.6271

N400
X2.0494 Y.3843

N410
X1.433 Y.182

N420
X1.0734 Y.1517

N430
X1.2994 Y.4045

N440
X1.7925 Y.354

N450
X1.4946 Y.3135

N460
X1.2584 Y.3438

N470
X1.25 Y.343

N480
Z-.3

N490
Z.25

N500
X.1804 Y-.2053

N510
G1 Z-.27 F5.

N520
X1.3718

N530
X2.553 Y.3399

N540
X4.8765 Y.4111

N550
Y.411

N560
G3 X5.1265 Y.6688 R.2579

N570
G1 Y.9389

N580
G3 X4.8686 Y1.1968 R.2579

N590
G1 X2.6692

N600
X1.5838 Y1.0181

N610
X1.02

N620
X.6505 Y.6486

N630
Y.4114

N640
G2 X.5755 Y.4324 R-.044

N650
G1 X-.2283 Y.5027

N660
X.1804 Y-.2053

N670
G0 Z1.

N680
X0. Y0.

N690
G0 X0Y0Z1.0

N700
M5

N710
M30

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