First of all, I want to tell you that, as of today we are taking up orders for this Cat Bed. And here is a little story about it.
“I had a dream!” Well, not a dream really, more like an idea. Idea on making a cat bed. The design, what this cat bed should look like, that was already in my head. It was now a matter of bringing it to “life”.
You know all these videos where they show you how you can easily make at home just about anything. Sometimes those are so frustrating. I’m just waiting, one day they are going to publish a video on “Making your own Space Shuttle – DiY” project. In our little cat bad project we used a CNC machine. And we’ve made a short “dramatic” video about it 🙂
Of course, I am all for DiY projects, but let’s face it, not everyone has all that kind of tools, not everyone has a workshop or garage. As a matter of fact, about 90% of DiY projects are just out of reach for majority of population. Lack of tools and lack of appropriate space is the most common reason for that. Then, there is also lack of time. People who have a workshop or garage and all the necessary tools, are usually employed with kids. So, time is a critical issue.
Well, to cut the long story short, we purchased a CNC machine, got the necessary equipment, learned (and are still learning) on how to work with it, because we wanted to design and make cat furniture in small editions and this is extremely expensive if you get it done outside. Actually, it is not just cat furniture that we want to make, but all kinds of stuff. We believe that there is a special dimension to products that are custom made in small editions, we have no illusion that we can compete with Chinese prices, but, as a graphic designer and a cat lover I have these ideas that just cry to be turned into a reality so…. well, there you go. CatMagg furniture workshop was born.
And it started out pretty well. So far I made quite a few products that I am selling on Etsy. As a matter of fact most of it is already sold out so I’ll have to make another batch, but in this particular blog post I wanted to share with you how this little wooden (oak) cat bad came to “life”.
As I previously said, it started with an idea and here is what happens next. (Just a disclaimer, this is our workflow, it is not necessary the only way to do it.)
- This cat bed idea has to be transformed into a vector file in some vector editing software (Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, InkScape, Vectr.Com …)
- Then the vector file with cat bed parts needs to be transformed in a format that CNC machine can understand (kind of a CNC scripting language generated by special software). This sounds easy, but it is really not that easy as usual DiY articles tend to put. For this, we used Vectric Cut2D. This is where you define the size and the shape of the router bits, spin speed, feed speed (how fast will it move across the material), how thick is the material, how deep you want to cut each cutting path … and so on. Many more parameters are defined here. But this is not over yet.
- Now comes the importing the script into the software application communicates with CNC machine, (we are using UCCNC)
- Mounting the material, fitting the appropriate bit, connecting the dust collecting system, getting everything else ready and finally …
- Click “START” in UCCNC and closely monitor the cutting process, because if anything goes wrong, you will need to be able to stop the CNC machine before it’s damaged
- Once all parts are cut, they need to be “made smooth” with sandpaper, then put together, glued, tightened … and if you don’t want your cat bed it in natural oak color, then, of course, we need to paint it.
Well, ok, you do realize that this is a highly simplified description of the process. Each even small mistake especially on the Cut 2D and UCCNC part can cost you:
- Time to do it again (at best)
- Damaged material
- Broken bit (material too hard, feeds and speeds not set correctly)
- Damaged machine (worst case scenario, the only one we did not have – yet)
However, when you see your idea, the one that not so long ago existed in your head and then you see it as a finished product, in this case a cat bed which cats actually enjoy using, well – that’s joy. It’s pure joy.
One good thing of us making our own cat furniture is that we have 8 testers in house already who will submit our cat furniture to the most rigorous cat testing before they approve it. If Poofah, Myratz, Tito, Mister Alfons and Pierre don’t approve it. We’ll, we don’t sell it.
So, I think this is it for this blog post. I hope I managed to shed some ligh on the process of making a cat bed. At least that’s how we do it.
Love you all and see you nexti time!