Here is a vid showing some basic initial tests with the new CNC router.
Vector logo created in Corel Draw, then exported as a .dxf and imported into ArtCam Pro where toolpaths were assigned and outputted to G-Code which Mach3 translates and runs the router.
Here comes the Z dimension!
I have a huge learning curve ahead of me, but I have some crazy ideas for some aluminum and acrylic. Once I get settled in and get comfortable I will gladly cut out materials for you guys! Let me know if you have some ideas and what you are looking to accomplish. I'm here to help.
I will post a step by step in a little bit. I have many years experience cutting vinyl with plotters. When you cut vinyl you output to a plotter the same sort of way you output to a printer. Not a huge learning curve there. If you screw things up with a plotter, you might have some junk vinyl to throw away.
The CNC router is completely different. If you screw something up or if your machine just decides to go sideways, it could destroy itself. With plotting vinyl, I could hit 'print' and basically walk away. I don't feel comfortable walking away from the router and the 'emergency kill switch', just in case things go sideways.
Vinyl usually feeds from a roll. With the router, you have to make sure your 'T' locks are tight and keep an eye on everything so it doesn't move. If your piece starts to move you will hear a different sound coming from the router bit as it is 'eating' more than it should. Worst case scenario a busted bit and some of these long fluted bits are a $100 a pop.
I'm cutting 2 inch styrofoam today. I will be testing this baby for at least a month.
is the enire frame of the cnc router metal? I started a wood one a while back. I got most of it built from a DIY guide, but i never purchased the electronics for it. lol I'm guessing they've improved a bit since then.
Also, hows the software? I know when i was looking into it back in the day, the really good stuff was dos based. lol this makes me want to get into Java programming again and see what kind of interfaces I can come up with.
If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
This one is made from mostly aluminum. The gears are all steel. I read a while back that wood has problems with expansion and contraction with temperature. Obviously super tight tolerances of +/- thousands is not necessary for me, but I wanted to eliminate any other issue that might creep up. Most diy cnc routers that I am aware of typically use Mach3. Mine does as well. I am still learning all the features of this software, but as far as control, it does an extremely great job. I have had accuracy as tight as +/- .001 inch. Very happy with that.
Here is the job flow explanation.
This first screen shot is of Corel Draw X5. I created my logo in this program using nodes instead of pixels. Using vector based graphics is required for any type of cnc.
Once created in Corel I exported it out as a .dxf format. This format was made popular by AutoCAD and is pretty standard. I imported the .dxf into ArtCam Pro 8. In this program you define 'toolpaths'. Basically what tool and where and how you want it to move around your image. I was using a 1/4 inch end mill, so I chose the 1/4 inch endmill in the 'profile tool'. By doing so, ArtCam automatically calculates the path around my logo based on the 1/4 inch endmill.
In this screen shot you see the 2D and 3D windows.
I will explain more about Mach3 in the next few days.
lol atleast seeing these pics doesn't make it look as crazy as I thought it may be.
And on the wood frame... For a DIY kit, which i'll hopefully get around to finishing one day... yeah it definitely wouldn't have the precision. I mean it'll flex more and you're right on the heat issue, but i think for something to fool around with it'll likely do anything i want. It sounds lame but now that i've got my own place, i imagine i'd use the cnc to do everything from cutting cool case windows, to making my own decorative trim for cabinets, lol. I love having something that's uniquely my own
I can't wait to see some of the projects you do with this!
If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
beautiful piece of machinery you have there. jealous i am. would you be willing to be small one out orders? all the people i know with that setup will only turn it on for like ten to one hundred runs of the same piece. i typically need a single custom piece. ill pay though if its reasonable ($10-$50 depending lol) i can send you jpgs or measurements, its up to you, i would typically also need you to supply the stock.
if its something you can do great, if not no hard feelings.
the flames you cut are gorgeous.
What's up abusiv3!
Sure, no problem. The only thing you have to realize is that I'm still learning the 'z' axis, so detailed relief cuts are still new to me, but I am making strides. If you have an idea of what you want, just contact me through my 'contact' page on my site. www.absolutextremes.com
If you can send me a vectored file, that would really speed up the work flow. Especially if you could provide a .dxf of the basic dimensions, that way I don't screw anything up. It's pretty easy to make these files in Corel Draw like the screen shot above. What kind of stuff do you need to get cut out?
some custom face plates for various 5.25 bays.
when i stick that evga ecp v2 chip into the bunker, id love to have you cut the plate for me. also i could remove some top panels from some cases and you could potentially cut fan grills directly into them. for the most part though it would be front 5.25 plates. good to talk to you again buddy. ill be checking out you site momentarily =]
Sure, no sweat on the panels. I'm not sure how far away you are from me, but if you need to calculate shipping me anything to have cut my zip is 80219.
As for materials. I can get pretty much get almost anything, from 1" dibond to 1/8th inch acrylic, and everything in between.
that is not only cool , but mighty helpful of you.
if i send you the chip , could you make me a 5.25 flat acrylic panel to fit interior the nzxt bunker sans its backplate?
i live in ct (06516) shipping for lite small stuff will be totally tolerable. most of the time ill just send you what i need worked with as , a) i trust you b) i dont have the requested programs for the scaled drawings =[ i can ship that chip in a week or so if your interested... i actually have the acrylic here in clear, if youd like i can ship it with the chip. id like to mount it on something clear because there are things printed on it that would make it easier to identify the buttons than etching them into the plate.
I'm not exactly sure what you're looking for, but if you give me dimensions of exactly what you want, I can cut it out for you. If you can give me an extra 1 inch of material around what you need cut, it is needed for the T-locks that hold the material down to the table. If there is no super rush, I could probably find the material locally.
Can you post a pic of kinda what you are looking for?
no rush at all, especially being the caliber of product, its worth whatever time frame it requires. ive recently posted both pics in my thread: welcome back mod. the pic of the chip in question is featured there. i would be looking to have it sit flush against a clear acrylic (or aluminum to be honest but i cant get ahold of that) plate.
i can supply the plexiglass, with plenty to clamp onto, but if you could supply a piece of aluminum 1.4 inch thick the size of a cd drive bezel, plus 2 inches horizontally on each end that i could bend as mounting tabs. that would be great.
how finite is the cut? could it etch 8 font type? if i did go with aluminum i would have to scribe some small details into the plate, and if possible some sort of circuit board print would look very cool. just thoughts though i am not trying to make this a million dollar budget =]
i can send the chip to you as soon as you want, and you can see first hand what would need to be done to mount it flush so that only the buttons and display would be exposed.
then as i describe in the other thread, i would like to "remove" the usb/audio back plate from the "nzxt bunker" that was reviewed here on fusion. i think a direct epoxy or weld should suffice depending on what materials are used.