In this multi-segment post, I wanted to showcase how Keith Dube of Dubes Custom Street Machines (Hudson, NH) is staying on top of his game using VisualCAM to fabricate custom automotive components like the wheel center caps on the 811 Car, a 2016 Callaway SC757 Corvette Z06 promoted by 1-Call Concepts and customized by Paul Jr. Designs. This car is currently touring the US and even has its own Facebook page! (see more images below).
In this first segment, to machine the center cap, Keith uses VisualCAD/CAM’s TURN module (VisualTURN) to machine the outer diameter as well as the back and then the front of the center cap producing the stock blank that will then be used for milling. In the second segment we show you how Keith uses VisualMILL to machine a portion of Paul Jr. Designs logo on the front side of the center cap. Our 3rd and final segment will show the machining of a custom tool to mount/unmount the center caps and the thread milling of the wheels to match the caps.
This is some cool stuff so let’s buckle up and enjoy the ride!
Turning the Center Cap (Back End)
On Keith’s Haas TL-1 lathe, the center cap starts out as 3¼” diameter 6061 aluminum bar stock. In VisualTURN (shown below) you can see the progression of toolpath operations used to machine the outer diameter and back end of the center cap. Turn OD Roughing and OD Finishing are performed on the outer diameter. Turn Deep Drilling is used for an access hole followed with ID Roughing and ID Finishing. The operations are shown in the Machining Job tree on the left. The cut material simulation is also shown with the actual part on the lathe shown inset.
Turning the Center Cap (Front End)
After completing the back end, the center cap is flipped and repositioned on the lathe to machine the rounded dome on the front of the cap. This dome will serve as the stock when the part is moved to Keith’s mill for machining the logo. Here you can see the cut material simulations for the OD Roughing and OD Finishing operations.