2012-08-19

First tests of CNC milling


I got it to mill my first test models from the CAD program down to executing the toolpath on my new CNC mill.
I used:
  • the demo version of MACH3 (limited to 500 lines of g-code and a low speed. carving-cnc had a printout of the settings.)
  • Deskproto 30 days eval version. (4 axis version is nearly 1000eur. It's really nice to work with but I won't use this after the 30 days. Just too expensive.)
For MACH3 I found that I had to calibrate the steps/mm (settings tab, lower left corner).
The supplied settings where moving about 150% of the intended travel. So e.g. G1 Y100 moved to 158mm .

Lessons learned so far:
Things that default to imperial units suck.
Ok,.imperial units suck in general.
A spindle is very good at heating up a full bucket of water in no time even at minimum speed.
I need better clamps to fasten things to the work table.

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