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    User MarkDarby's Avatar
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    CNC Routing, Laser Cutting or 3D Printing - Anyone?

    All,
    Just discovered that the university where I work has toys that I can use! Toured their lab on Tuesday and am very impressed with all that I see. I'd love to hear from anyone who uses CNC routers, uses laser cutting tools or uses 3D printers as part of their woodworking life. I'm probably going to buy Rhino for a Windows PC to create the files I need with each.

    Thanks,
    Mark

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    Re: CNC Routing, Laser Cutting or 3D Printing - Anyone?

    I use them all in a school setting. Are you getting an education discount on Rhino? If not you may want to look into Fusion360 from Autodesk. Its free to students and educators and very capable. I used to use Rhino but have moved over to Fusion360 in the past year. Pretty much anything that can export an STL file will be good for the design work, then you'll need to create the appropriate code to drive the machine in question. I'll assume the shop has all that work flow in place and you just have to show up with the STL file. Also, you'll need 2D design software for the laser. Photoshop or equivalent for engraving raster images and a vector program for cutting. Depending on what you're doing that may be a CAD package or something like Adobe Illustrator.

    Sounds like you're getting ready to have some fun! Post photos!

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    Re: CNC Routing, Laser Cutting or 3D Printing - Anyone?

    I have a 3D printer that I'm finding most useful to support my woodworking hobby. I have printed bench dogs and many fixtures to hold tools on a pegboard. Even some small parts bins have come in useful. I think I started a thread called 3D printing for woodworkers or some such a while back.

    Let me see if I can find it. Found it here:

    https://www.ncwoodworker.net/forums/...ad.php?t=59127
    "Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s." - Billy Wilder

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    Re: CNC Routing, Laser Cutting or 3D Printing - Anyone?

    Actually, we have a Special forum for these tools. Would prefer you post this in the proper location.

    CAD/CAM/CNC/Laser - Drafting and Machining






    https://www.ncwoodworker.net/forums/...play.php?f=145



    One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." -Elbert Hubbard

    WWFD

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    Re: CNC Routing, Laser Cutting or 3D Printing - Anyone?

    I have a ShopBot CNC for my woodworking. Full size 4x8 foot bed. What size machines do they have at the University, and which University is it?

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    Re: CNC Routing, Laser Cutting or 3D Printing - Anyone?

    I recently took delivery of a Prusa I3 MK2. I've used it to make some wedges to setup my wedgie sled for segmented turning. I've also printed a bunch of other stuff. Love playing around with Sketchup to create the models.

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    Re: CNC Routing, Laser Cutting or 3D Printing - Anyone?

    Would that be NC State? The Craft Center or other machines? They have training classes in a number of subjects. I looking at taking the CNC course. They have a sliding cost scale for students, staff, and public. Public rates are still pretty reasonable.
    - Not living life till you're part of the Food Chain

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    Re: CNC Routing, Laser Cutting or 3D Printing - Anyone?

    The thing people need to remember about all of these computer controlled machines is they are only as good as your modeling abilities. They will only do as they are told. Inferior modeling softwares and user inability will create lots of bad geometry that these machines cannot replicate. Voids in your models, non tangent conditions and disconnected solids just to name a few will give these machines fits and can cause crashes. My advice to anyone thinking of getting into CNC, get formally trained in your modeling software if you intend to do it seriously, it will save you time and aggravation in the end.

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    Re: CNC Routing, Laser Cutting or 3D Printing - Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by chris_goris View Post
    The thing people need to remember about all of these computer controlled machines is they are only as good as your modeling abilities. They will only do as they are told. Inferior modeling softwares and user inability will create lots of bad geometry that these machines cannot replicate. Voids in your models, non tangent conditions and disconnected solids just to name a few will give these machines fits and can cause crashes. My advice to anyone thinking of getting into CNC, get formally trained in your modeling software if you intend to do it seriously, it will save you time and aggravation in the end.
    And find the good resources online for purchasing models. Creating 3D models is not easy if you want to make a 3D design. And for 2D designs, etsy is your friend Ton of people selling CNC compatible designs on Etsy, and cheap. I bought 50 models I needed for $4, that were ready to import and cut. It would have taken me days to recreate those.

    But yes, learn your software. I didn't take the class on my CNC till I had owned it for 3 years (thanks to last year's raffle ) and after leaving class wish I had taken in 3 years ago! What took me a year to teach myself was covered in the first day.

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    Re: CNC Routing, Laser Cutting or 3D Printing - Anyone?

    I like OpenSCAD (free) for designing 3D objects for printing. It is very easy to pick up if you're programming oriented. You build the model with code to create objects and also create negative space. Additive/Subtractive commands. Meshmixer can be used to fix some models with non-contiguous vertices. Inkscape is a good 2D design software and is Gimp.

    https://www.thingiverse.com/ is a great website for free models, some that can be customized. They have a good collection of woodworking models.
    "Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s." - Billy Wilder

    "May the grain be with you" - Roy Underhill

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  15. #11
    User MarkDarby's Avatar
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    Re: CNC Routing, Laser Cutting or 3D Printing - Anyone?

    Hey -- I work for Duke. They have a ShopBot 2418 -- anxious to start using it. Have a lot to learn.



    Quote Originally Posted by tri4sale View Post
    I have a ShopBot CNC for my woodworking. Full size 4x8 foot bed. What size machines do they have at the University, and which University is it?

  16. #12
    User MarkDarby's Avatar
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    Re: CNC Routing, Laser Cutting or 3D Printing - Anyone?

    Thanks a bunch -- was looking for a class to jump start my work. I will definitely look into NC State.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bear Republic View Post
    Would that be NC State? The Craft Center or other machines? They have training classes in a number of subjects. I looking at taking the CNC course. They have a sliding cost scale for students, staff, and public. Public rates are still pretty reasonable.

  17. #13
    User MarkDarby's Avatar
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    Re: CNC Routing, Laser Cutting or 3D Printing - Anyone?

    My son uses Rhino -- and I'm sold on what it can do. Think I'll go with Rhino. Pretty sure that I can get an educator's discount -- am going to give it a try and see. then the question becomes: Windows or Mac. Thinking Windows.



    Quote Originally Posted by smallboat View Post
    I use them all in a school setting. Are you getting an education discount on Rhino? If not you may want to look into Fusion360 from Autodesk. Its free to students and educators and very capable. I used to use Rhino but have moved over to Fusion360 in the past year. Pretty much anything that can export an STL file will be good for the design work, then you'll need to create the appropriate code to drive the machine in question. I'll assume the shop has all that work flow in place and you just have to show up with the STL file. Also, you'll need 2D design software for the laser. Photoshop or equivalent for engraving raster images and a vector program for cutting. Depending on what you're doing that may be a CAD package or something like Adobe Illustrator.

    Sounds like you're getting ready to have some fun! Post photos!

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    Re: CNC Routing, Laser Cutting or 3D Printing - Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkDarby View Post
    My son uses Rhino -- and I'm sold on what it can do. Think I'll go with Rhino. Pretty sure that I can get an educator's discount -- am going to give it a try and see. then the question becomes: Windows or Mac. Thinking Windows.
    I'd go with Windows, mostly because the ShopBot only runs on windows. ShopBot also has training at their Durham headquarters, real good 2 day class. Most people using ShopBots run Vectric Aspire or V-Carve as thats what comes with it.

    Be sure to check out http://www.talkshopbot.com/ for lots of good info and help. And search for posts from TJ and his online training classes, think they are every 2 weeks. And they are archived on YouTube so you can watch past training.

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    Re: CNC Routing, Laser Cutting or 3D Printing - Anyone?

    The only version of Rhino available to run on MACs is a "WIP" development version. It may not have all of the features you are used to seeing in the Windows version your son probably uses. Use what you can get trained on or have someone to turn to when you have questions. It will save a lot of frustration. Most any CAD program will be able to do what you need.

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