Author Topic: Going over to the dark (CNC) side!  (Read 54010 times)

Offline kvom

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Re: Going over to the dark (CNC) side!
« Reply #375 on: October 15, 2023, 01:08:04 PM »
PathPilot is the obvious solution for Tormach.  I used it on my non-Tormach mill and it was a big improvement over Mach3.

Offline Alex

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Re: Going over to the dark (CNC) side!
« Reply #376 on: October 17, 2023, 12:39:06 AM »
Of course, PathPilot and LinuxCNC are tied at the hip. Tormach helped fund some work on LinuxCNC (trajectory planner?? it's been a while) and of course they have their own GUI and call it PathPilot.  If you go back through the EMC mailing lists on Archive.org, you'll see a guy called Art Fennerty asking if he could use the code and port it to Windows.

Of interest with LinuxCNC is that one can import a jpg, and have it "raster scan" a photo, I've used that to replicate cast letters, worked well, and a lot less work than with Jason's (great, BTW) recent work above. Maybe not quite as smooth as with Jason's example?? Something to try, if you are running LinuxCNC.

Another vote for LinuxCNC here! JohnS.

Offline Hugh Currin

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Re: Going over to the dark (CNC) side!
« Reply #377 on: October 20, 2023, 03:20:07 AM »
I'm still off making pool cues, but I've been wanting to post my new machine tools. I wanted to engrave on a pool cue, a cylinder. This led to a simple fourth axis and a high speed spindle.


The 4th axis is a Sherline spindle connected to a stepper motor thru a 3:1 timing belt drive. I figured with the Gecko micro stepping it would be OK. The spindle is mounted to the milling table on the aluminum "posts" shown. It's lined up with a Sherline bed for tailstock support. The high speed spindle is a lower powered water cooled job from China. Both have worked well so far.

But, wait for CNC content, this led to needing engraving software and 4th axis conversion along with converting pixel (*.jpg) drawings to CNC G-code. I work in Linux and found these readily available.

I found that Inkscape can export *.dxf files. It looks like a powerful piece of software but I've only used it for this conversion. Once it's in *.dxf form it can be imported to CadCam (or Fusion). But for engraving I found another program called F-Engrave from Scorch Works. I believe it will run a tool around the lines of a *.dxf but haven't done this. What I've used is the V-carve function. This uses a conic tool, I've used a 60 deg pointed tool. The program raises and lowers the tool to give different width "lines". It will also calculate the tool path for an end mill to clear the internal islands. Nice program and works well. Finally, I found "G-Code-Ripper", also from Scorch Works, which will wrap G-code around a cylinder. I mapped the Y axis to the A axis. Easy peasy.


Once the cavity is there I filled in using crushed malachite using super glue. Build the fill up over the surface then cut back using the Sherline lathe and high speed spindle with carbide router bit. In the pic below the diameter needs to come down a little to thin some of the gecko. Here the toes are pretty fat.


After finishing the butt of the cue looks like this:

[

I used the same process to engrave (V-Carve) initials into the plastic butt cap. This was filled with blackened epoxy and turned down.


It all came out, to my eye, well. But I thought some of you may be interested in my new tooling and the software used.

Thanks. Glad to answer any questions.





Hugh

Online crueby

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Re: Going over to the dark (CNC) side!
« Reply #378 on: October 20, 2023, 03:47:36 AM »
Wow, Hugh, that works great!   :ThumbsUp:

Online Kim

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Re: Going over to the dark (CNC) side!
« Reply #379 on: October 20, 2023, 05:39:11 AM »
Very cool, Hugh!  :ThumbsUp:  ;D

Kim

Offline Admiral_dk

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Re: Going over to the dark (CNC) side!
« Reply #380 on: October 20, 2023, 08:28:57 AM »
Great result Hugh - love it  :praise2:

Per      :cheers:

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Going over to the dark (CNC) side!
« Reply #381 on: October 20, 2023, 09:20:32 AM »
That came out well

Not tried 4th axis yet though the KX3 has all the drivers ready installed.

High speed spindle will be higher up the list as the single flute type engraving tools can't be fed that fast when limited to my 5000rpm spindle.

Offline Dave Otto

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Re: Going over to the dark (CNC) side!
« Reply #382 on: October 20, 2023, 01:46:27 PM »
Nice work Hugh!

Dave

Offline Hugh Currin

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Re: Going over to the dark (CNC) side!
« Reply #383 on: October 21, 2023, 01:34:42 AM »
Thanks all. I've wanted a high speed spindle and fourth axis for a very long time. Have several designs kicking around in the computer. But this is the first job that really needed both. The fourth axis is under powered and I question it's holding ability. But for this job it worked well.

The spindle is VERY quiet. Its noise is overpowered by the VFD fan. Haven't checked run out nor used it on metal yet, but it should work well with small cutters.

It wouldn't have been possible without Inkscape and the two Scorch Works programs. Recommended.

Thanks again.
Hugh

 

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