CNC Introduction trade?

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
OK, some of you here are aware I recently purchased a Laguna CNC Swift, 4 x 8. I have been learning to use it but it can take alot of material to "try" new things. What I am offering here is for people to bring their CNC ideas or actual parts needed and come to my place to learn to run them. The thought I had was , you make a donation to the site to cover what you feel its worth to you. This allows me to further my expertise and you get a glimpse at whats required and get your parts made. A win/win?. I am located in Lexington on High Rock lake. Thoughts?
 

kserdar

Ken
User
From experience - Buy a couple sheets of 3/4" MDF.
It is fairly cheap and easy to work with.
Yes, without dust collection. It makes a big dust cloud.

Make yourself some wood material hold downs (or other material that won't destroy your router bits).
And learn where to place them without interfering with your machine.

When I built my machine, I knew it was working when I broke my first router bit.
Several months later, a bit came loose, stalled my machine, but the router continued to spin.
Since I wasn't watching it cut (big mistake), I noticed something was wrong when I smelled smoke.
Nothing serious, just another ruined bit, a 1/4" hole in the MDF spoil board with a real nice burn around it.

You are going the right route by offering people the chance to use your machine while you learn.

Just remember you will never stop learning.
 

riggsp

Phil
Corporate Member
You've not truly mastered your CNC machine until you've started a fire with it....
??? If that's what it takes to master it, then I don't want to go there...been running my cnc machine for 7 years now, and no fires.
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
From experience - Buy a couple sheets of 3/4" MDF.
It is fairly cheap and easy to work with.
Yes, without dust collection. It makes a big dust cloud.

Make yourself some wood material hold downs (or other material that won't destroy your router bits).
And learn where to place them without interfering with your machine.

When I built my machine, I knew it was working when I broke my first router bit.
Several months later, a bit came loose, stalled my machine, but the router continued to spin.
Since I wasn't watching it cut (big mistake), I noticed something was wrong when I smelled smoke.
Nothing serious, just another ruined bit, a 1/4" hole in the MDF spoil board with a real nice burn around it.

You are going the right route by offering people the chance to use your machine while you learn.

Just remember you will never stop learning.
Ken,
Yes, I could buy MDF but I really hate the stuff.... heavy and dusty! Ive already made an entire basket of hold downs and spacer blocks etc..... I already know how to model, program and run the machine like I said in another thread here. I have been using CAD/CAM ( 3D surfacing and 5 axis milling in the auto industry as well) professionally for over 30 years. The weakest link for me at this point is probably using Vectric. Vectric has some great power, but I find it to be a little "clunky" at times , hard to define, but thats the best word I can come up with for it.
As for crashes, eventually, everyone has one!. Mine came when I forgot to home the machine when I started it up. I touched off a tool and started the program. The spindle came down and tried to go right through my workpiece. Luckily, it tried to go further in Z than the stock would allow and it just overloaded and retracted before I could E-stop it. And thankfully, it didnt try to move in X or Y at the same time.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
OK, some of you here are aware I recently purchased a Laguna CNC Swift, 4 x 8. I have been learning to use it but it can take alot of material to "try" new things. What I am offering here is for people to bring their CNC ideas or actual parts needed and come to my place to learn to run them. The thought I had was , you make a donation to the site to cover what you feel its worth to you. This allows me to further my expertise and you get a glimpse at whats required and get your parts made. A win/win?. I am located in Lexington on High Rock lake. Thoughts?
I'd take you up on this if you weren't so far from Raleigh.... Great offer though Chris. Thanks.
 

riggsp

Phil
Corporate Member
..... I already know how to model, program and run the machine like I said in another thread here. I have been using CAD/CAM ( 3D surfacing and 5 axis milling in the auto industry as well) professionally for over 30 years. The weakest link for me at this point is probably using Vectric. Vectric has some great power, but I find it to be a little "clunky" at times , hard to define, but thats the best word I can come up with for it.
As for crashes, eventually, everyone has one!. Mine came when I forgot to home the machine when I started it up. I touched off a tool and started the program. The spindle came down and tried to go right through my workpiece. Luckily, it tried to go further in Z than the stock would allow and it just overloaded and retracted before I could E-stop it. And thankfully, it didnt try to move in X or Y at the same time.
Sooner or later everybody crashes their CNC...may be minor or major, but it happens.
I've been using Vectric software for 7 years...first V-Carve now Aspire, watching the free video tutorials and reading articles in the owners forum really helps...questions and answers on the forum are addressed quickly by members with lots of program knowledge, and the Vectric administrators also keep an eye on it.
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
Sooner or later everybody crashes their CNC...may be minor or major, but it happens.
I've been using Vectric software for 7 years...first V-Carve now Aspire, watching the free video tutorials and reading articles in the owners forum really helps...questions and answers on the forum are addressed quickly by members with lots of program knowledge, and the Vectric administrators also keep an eye on it.
Agreed... even CNC machinists running million dollar machining centers can crash them... Its typically happens where there are man and machine interfaces... like loading the wrong tools into the wrong turret positions, that sort of thing. Yes, Ive watched alot of videos and theyre great, but thats where "real world" parts come in with this offer.
 

kserdar

Ken
User
Chris,

I dusted off an old DVD - my first version of Aspire 3.0 - and I still can't do their 3D modeling worth Cr@P.
Don't get me wrong, the software can do amazing 3D projects. I just can't draw them up.
I have done some minor tweaks to 3D drawings from other people. But that took me hours and hours.

Like others have stated- their tutorials are great and people on their forums are just as good.

Over the years I have learned ways around their pitfalls. Only to have them fix it in the next version.

Each and every software package has their strengths and weaknesses. Most do all the basic things, just call it something else.

Just keep cutting and never stop learning.
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
Chris,

I dusted off an old DVD - my first version of Aspire 3.0 - and I still can't do their 3D modeling worth Cr@P.
Don't get me wrong, the software can do amazing 3D projects. I just can't draw them up.
I have done some minor tweaks to 3D drawings from other people. But that took me hours and hours.

Like others have stated- their tutorials are great and people on their forums are just as good.

Over the years I have learned ways around their pitfalls. Only to have them fix it in the next version.

Each and every software package has their strengths and weaknesses. Most do all the basic things, just call it something else.

Just keep cutting and never stop learning.
I do my "real" 3D work (cabinet parts , non "artsy" 3D) in Pro/Engineer and STL it to Vectric. For Artsy type stuff though, Vectric has some great tools for converting bitmaps and greyscale 2D images. It really excels at Vcarve text !!! easy to map text onto 3D surfaces. Pretty powerful stuff.
 

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