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CNC Avenue

Is the Wood CNC operational?
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Quick update: I'm working on a project with Chad Fawcett where we are cutting a bunch of polycarbonate using the CNC router. So far it seems to work very well. Chad took objects in Fusion and created G-code from it using the Linux CNC post processor and did some test cutting that turned out well. This was all done in Fusion, no more running stuff through Inventables.


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This is good, Garret. Perhaps similar instructions can be applied to the CNC Mill, particularly with the G-code changes required.

Of course, as it was mentioned on another post, anyone using the mill would have to be qualified by specific makerspace members to use the machine.

I had taken some notes on the CNC router workshop a few years back. Here they are typed out:


Operation with the computer

  • Instruction sheet is on the control computers desktop.
  • Also on the desktop is the Universal G-Code Sender with a Stylized 'G' logo.
  • Use the computer to start/stop CNC programs and perform carriage movements.
  • Note that the physical stop button on the router doesn't interact with the computer. Its an emergency stop for safety but if you hit it you'll lose your steps on the cut.
  • When moving the router with keyboard input just tap the keys, don't hold them down or a crash could occur due to lag in the system.


General Operational Notes

  • The router works best with a harder wood, make sure you have sharp bits on soft wood so it makes clean cuts.
  • The collet may still be a looser fit and need replacing. Keep an eye out for the bits coming loose.
  • Check your G-code first by running the router with the bit removed and the bed empty to make sure the movement extents are all good first.
  • The router on/off is with a physical switch on the router. This isn't controlled by the computer or G-code.
  • Always turn the router on before starting your process.
  • When stopping use the red shutoff switch button to stop the machine first, then shut off the router so the router isn't accidently rammed into material that it can't cut.
  • Both the stepper motors and the router spindle are limited, so make your passes slow and low.
  • The z-axis has 2-3" total travel, dependent on what is on the table and spacing.
  • Vacuum the guide rails periodically so dust build up doesn't cause issues.


Machine set up

  • Using the computer input manually drive the machine to the limit switches on the x and y axes to ensure that limits are known. Should be able to do some squaring with this.
  • "Lock out" the router by unplugging the router power at the black and white cable when changing bits and anything else that requires you to place your hands in the hazard area.
  • When setting the Z-axis home place a piece of paper between the bit and workpiece.
  • Set your Origin with Z=0 on top of your workpiece.
  • Advanced: Squareness of the carriage can be fixed by utilizing a limit bypass and moving the carriage by hand to the point where the limit switches engage/disengage.



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Oh really? That's great to know, I do a tonne of work in F360 and it's usually my go to.


I downloaded the LinuxCNC post processor for F360 and have been meaning to try it out for this project.


In the past I used F360 to create tooth paths, then ran it through an Easel post processor (attached). I even did a workshop on workshop on it, but it was with the old "Froggy Mill" as it was called. I can't find the final copy of the workshop but if I do will upload it.


It was based on the workshops linked below to which covers Fusion, Easel, and a generic wood CNC. It has everything you need other than the Linux CNC interface.

Evan and Katelyn Fusion 360 and CNC


The crucial note for linux CNC is to use notepad to edit your gcode then:

Remember that you must add a “%” sign as the very first and last line of your file or the machine will not start the project.




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Questions on how to use the forum? Want to learn about 3D Design or 3D printing? Please ask me!

Much appreciated. I use Fusion 360 do design my work, will check out the other software you mentioned.

Cheers,
Rob

Hunter Vogel has used it a number of times for different projects. I haven't seen him active yet on the forums but he may respond.

Grant Fraser has ran a course on it before that I took some notes on, I've only used it once or twice.


The general method most people use is using Easel (by Inventables) to create the tool paths and g-code, then you have to make a few minor changes to the g-code after with a text editor. The computer controls the CNC with Linux CNC.



I have a big project coming up on it, and if I get to it and end up more comfortable could answer some more questions then.

__________________________________________________________________

Questions on how to use the forum? Want to learn about 3D Design or 3D printing? Please ask me!

Who’s the best to speak with about using the wood CNC? I have experience on another wood cnc but have not used this one previously.

Thank you in advance,

Rob
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