Author Topic: Down the CNC rabbit hole  (Read 1747 times)

Offline Myrickman

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Down the CNC rabbit hole
« on: September 12, 2018, 12:45:49 AM »
Always wanted to get into CNC and this past fall a friend offered up in trade an Isel three axis gantry...so I bit. The unit had old windows 98 controls and had been in storage for a while. So after watching many YouTube videos I figured out what I needed. It has 600 oz steppers and a Gecko G540 stepper drive. The spindle is a 2 hp water cooled Chinesium unit off eBay. While at last year's Cabin fever, I purchased a Mach4 hobby license and I was off. I made the stand from 1-1/2" square tubing. Communication from the computer to the stepper driver is via a UC100 adapter over a USB cable which is Mach supported. My first trials were using some bit maps converted to SVF and then to gcode using Inkscape. Current hole I'm down is learning Fusion 360. Mach also has a neat engraving wizard I'm playing with to get my feet wet with homing and setups.

Offline Myrickman

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Re: Down the CNC rabbit hole
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2018, 12:52:55 AM »
So after some practice and running an indicator on the spindle mount to get the work surface not shown flat, I was able to make this tag for one of my engines at a depth of 0.004" on the cutter. Needless to say I was pleased with the end result for a rookie.

Offline Dave Otto

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Re: Down the CNC rabbit hole
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2018, 01:00:29 AM »
Looks great Paul, you are going to have a lot of fun with your new toy!

Dave

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Down the CNC rabbit hole
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2018, 01:01:49 AM »
Nice crisp engraving!! Looks great to me too Paul.

Bill

Online Johnmcc69

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Re: Down the CNC rabbit hole
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2018, 01:12:52 AM »
 :ThumbsUp:
 You should be pleased! That's very cool!
 You're going to be having a lot of fun with that.

 John

Offline zeeprogrammer

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Re: Down the CNC rabbit hole
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2018, 01:30:45 AM »
You went from getting the CNC to engraving...like in no time! WOW.  :ThumbsUp:
Carl (aka Zee) Will sometimes respond to 'hey' but never 'hey you'.
"To work. To work."
Zee-Another Thread Trasher.

Offline Myrickman

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Re: Down the CNC rabbit hole
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2018, 07:46:28 PM »
Still figuring out the CAD/CAM software. Fusion 360 is further off with the learning curve. I also am test driving CamBam and so far for one offs and simple stuff, it looks very attractive. I made these test cuts using the drawing package and gcode generator. Practice is done using 1" insulating foam....gives me some leeway when/if things go bad... It literally took me about a hour to figure out the first pocket cut and 10 minutes for the second. Mach4 gave me an initial error in that the gcode was looking for a tool change. Simple deletion in the editor with CamBam and I was off and running.  The foam makes a lot of airborne swarf so a vacuum cleaner is needed. These cuts are about 2"X 4" overall. Practice, practice, practice.....

Offline kvom

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Re: Down the CNC rabbit hole
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2018, 11:52:00 PM »
I've been using CamBam for over 8 years.  Can't go wrong with it for most of the things we make here.  I use SW for drawing the parts but thereafter save views of them as DXFs.

Offline Myrickman

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Re: Down the CNC rabbit hole
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2018, 12:17:32 AM »
More progress... one of the things I want to do is turn pictures into engraving. To this end one can use Inkscape, but itís gcode generator leaves a bit to be desired. So then I got the idea to use Inkscape to turn a bitmap into a SVG format and then save it as a DXF... in CamBam I can open DXF formats and with the engraving tab, easily scale it and generate gcode. So for fun, I grabbed this Otto logo and ran through the conversion. It was a good test of the machine as the code was over 10K lines of code and Mach4 hobby ran it flawlessly.  While I was at it I knocked out a dust curtain adapter for the spindle and two foundry patterns which were admittedly simple, but so cool to have my mechanical man servant make.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Down the CNC rabbit hole
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2018, 07:19:58 AM »
Now donít laugh at this link

http://www.chestnutpens.co.uk/index.html

Look at the bottom left for downloads

He has code generators for bit maps , lithographs etc

Stuart

Caveat emptor
I have not used any of this software
My aim is for a accurate part with a good finish

Online Vixen

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Re: Down the CNC rabbit hole
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2018, 08:07:03 AM »
There is some very useful CNC routines to be found in the Chestnut Pens downloads. I use the Thread milling and parallel/ taper turning software on a regular basis. These G code generating routines are delightfully simple to use and very well documented. However my opinion may be biased as I helped Richard developed some of the software

Mike
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 08:53:46 AM by Vixen »
It is the journey that matters, not the destination