Playing with the cnc router

Most of Saturday morning was spent with trying to get a feel of how to use the cnc router. The operating system is Mach 3 which is totally different then any other system in the shop. A number of items were learned during this operating time. The first thing was the e-stop is wired in wrong and needs to be fixed. The program would not single block, once the program was started it ran until the end. This problem has to be determined and fixed. The most important improvement has to be a better way to hold down material while machining. I am thinking of making a vacuum table to solve this problem. For our test run I design a basic part that involved no surfacing, still having a little trouble with that in Del-cam. This is the drawing in solid works.

router test1sBasically the program that was written to bring the stock to size and radius the corners, ten face it to reduce the thickness and finally cut two pockets one round at a depth of .250 and one square at a depth of .100.

Here is the video of the operation as it was performed.


As a first test run things went well. There is still a lot to learn about Mach 3 as well as fixing some of the glitches we came across.

There was no good way to locate the part in relation to X and Y so the laser edge finder was used.

DSC_5344csThe MDF board has not been mounted yet so temporary clamps were used. Working on that.

DSC_5343csThe final product does not look half bad. Del-Cam does not have a wood setting. The next part we will manually program that in.

DSC_5345csIn the long run this will be a very useful piece of equipment in the shop for making stocks and grips as well as making patterns for metal casting.

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