Aluminum Totem Pole Component



New to manufacturing processes and computer aided design, the totem pole project introduced best-practice methods in CAD and use of machine tools.

Given a stock of 6061 aluminum, the objective of this project was to model and manufacture a component of a full totem assembly as shown in the images above. Each component was limited in its length of 2in and had a tolerance-fit requirement to interface the multiple components together. As a result, tight geometric dimensioning and tolerancing was of utmost importance. 

This was a fun project in which I learned about designing and building components of my own. By following best-practice methods for manufacturing with an emphasis on safety guidelines, I can operate a range of general machining tools to prototype my own projects!

Skills used:

  • Solid (CAD) modelling – AutoDesk Inventor
  • GD&T – geometric dimensioning and tolerancing
  • CNC machine code – using ESPIRIT software

Machine tools used:

  • lathe
  • mill
  • drill press
  • CNC machine

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