So I have a one of those Fancy Next thermostats – I got it from my electricity provider free a few years back, but I was never given a stand for it. It’s been stuck to a little wooden box.

I got thinking wouldn’t it be cool to make one… cue the CNC miller.

I started off with a basic design in fusion 360. Whilst I could have milled the whole unit it seemed wasteful so opted for 3mm thick sheet aluminium.

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When it came to milling I had a few issues – mainly that I set the tool paths too deep and too fast which was causing the aluminium to melt.img_6114

A bit of trial and 4 sheets of aluminium later I had it going, nice small cuts 0.1mm per pass a decent lead in, new cutter and I was cooking.

I ended up with a nice smooth cut all the way around. I did sack off the small holes though.

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Not bad considering this was my 2nd project. I’m sure I could have ramped up the speed but I wanted to be cautious after wasting my first few sheets.

Next came the bending – clamp it in a vice, heat it up then whack it with a hammer.

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Perfect – the next step was to clean up too marks with the orbital sander…img_6128

Now for some primer

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a couple of light sands between coats and we have a baby smooth surface – not due to the design until it has the unit in place it won’t stand up on it’s own as it relies on counter balancing the stand.

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Just a quick test before the paint.

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Now I had some spare MC paint over so decided to use that – I was tempted to leave the primer coat on – it looked rather good.

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Thanks for reading

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