The original Tektronix Circuit Computer cursor is a floppy sheet of plastic with a hairline printed on it. I’m making the homage version from 0.5 mm PETG sheet with an engraved hairline:
But I don’t foresee enough ahem production volume to justify making a punch-and-die to cut the thing out, so I need a milling fixture to hold the sheet in place while I have my way with it.
Start by squaring up a suitably sized scrap from the Box o’ Plastic Scrap:
It need not be particularly square, but getting rid of the ragged edges seemed like a Good Idea. I think it’s polycarbonate and, yes, it’s just about that green in real life.
Align it square-ish to the tooling plate and drill three #7 holes on 1.16 inch centers to line up with the plate and clear the Sherline’s 10-32 screws:
The two outer holes will clamp the fixture to the table. The third hole may be useful to clamp a stack of cursors to the fixture, should I need more than a few.
Screw it to the tooling plate, mill the outline of the cursor into the fixture, apply a layer of double sticky tape, then cut out the cursor outline so the milling bit won’t accrete a giant whirling ball of adhesive & swarf:
I milled the perimeter 2 mm deep, anticipating a 1 mm cut depth for the cursor, and milled a small step inside the perimeter by compiling the GCMC code with a 2.5 mm cutter diameter instead of the actual 3.175 mm. I tweaked the cursor code for proper offset milling, about which more later.
With the tape in place, it’s not entirely obvious this will work the way I expect, but it wasn’t too difficult.