- 10 Tips for CNC Router Aluminum Cutting Success
- MIT Students Create Hand-Held CNC Router: You Gotta See This!
- 10 Things Beginning CNC Milling Machine Users Need to Succeed
- 10 Tips for CNC Router Aluminum Cutting Success
- Motion Control Boards Take Mach3 From Hobby Class to Industrial Grade, Part 2
- 10 Tips for CNC Router Aluminum Cutting Success
- CNC’d Art From Old CD’s and DVD’s
- Fixturing with Vacuum Tables, Vacuum Chucks, and Vacuum Clamping Systems
- Motion Control Boards Take Mach3 From Hobby Class to Industrial Grade, Part 1
- CNC Router Cutter Types and How to Use Them
Been working hard on a lot of customer feedback for G-Wizard Editor. It’s time to take a step or two back and decide what major feature to tackle next. We’ll keep going on the small refinements, but we also need to slide a big feature in fairly frequently. This is your chance to help us decide what.
Click Here to Take our GWE Feature Survey
We appreciate your help, please vote for as many as you think you’d use.
If you haven’t tried our G-Code Editor and Simulator, check it out. … Read the rest
Every so often, we like to let you know what our “Greatest Hits” are so you don’t miss out on them. We’re about mid-year, so this is a good time to take stock of what’s been successful over the last 6 months in terms of getting the most views.
To be honest, we never know which articles will turn out to be hits, so we cover a lot of ground and try to pay careful attention to what our readers respond to so we can produce more just like that. There are close to 3000 articles on the site between blog and the rest of the site and we get around 2 million visitors a year. … Read the rest
There are a lot of hobbies that involve customization–custom cars, custom guitars, and custom guns, just to name a few. CNC is an ideal medium for doing such customization, and I’m always on the lookout for something new and interesting. One time I came across some custom fasteners that were really neat. This week I was poking around and came upon these custom CNC engraved trigger shoes for the venerable Colt 1911 pistol:
Pretty nifty, no?… Read the rest
Part of the promise of Desktop Manufacturing is being able to have something unique right now. 3D Printers are particularly good at that (if you call the several hours they take to print a part “Right Now”). I recently came across an article on these neat garden accessories made on Shapeways with 3D printing. First up is this neat cascading set of pot holders:
Pour water into the top planters and it percolates on down through all the others. I’m thinking Kitchen Herb Garden?
Here’s what the planter system looks like up close…
Next is a 3D Printed Spout that turns a cheap and cheerful gallon jug into a watering can for the garden:
The two designs do a nice job of showing off parts well-suited to additive manufacturing (3D Printing) because they have a lot of hollow areas inside.… Read the rest
The latest release of G-Wizard Editor (install page) now includes a post for the Roland series of benchtop CNC mills. I hear from a lot of folks who have these little mills and use them for desktop prototyping or jewelry making.
The Roland MDX-40A and MDX-540 are typical examples:
These little machines use a g-code dialect that’s pretty close to ISO, with a few minor differences. To access the new post, be sure you’ve downloaded the latest posts. There’s a button on the Setup Machine Profile to do that:
Once you’ve downloaded the latest posts, use the Browser button and select the “RolandMill” post.… Read the rest
Big news today as Stratasys, one of the leading players at the high end of 3D printing, announced it has acquired Makerbot, one of the leaders in Desktop 3D Printing for $403 million in stock. Since its founding in 2009, Makerbot has sold 22,000 3D printers, 11,000 of those in the last 9 months. That increasing rate of growth no doubt accounted for this merger. Post-merger, MakerBot will operate as a separate subsidiary of Stratasys, maintaining its own identity, products and go-to-market strategy. The transaction reflects the growing popularity of Desktop Manufacturing and 3D Printing in particular.… Read the rest
One of the fascinating things about 3D printing is its ability to print things with moving parts. That’s something that seems almost magical and nearly impossible (or at least seldom seen) with traditional subtracting machining (you know, turning and milling).
How about a 3D printed phone case that is Kinetic Art with moving gears?
That’s what Designer Chris Cordingly’s phone case is. He modeled it in Autodesk Maya, and printed it at Shapeways. I saw it on MAKE’s web site and had to mention it to the CNCCookbook readership:
Phone case as Kinetic Art…
Here’s a video with more on the project:
Speaking of gears, if you think they’re cool, check out Art Fenerty’s Gearotic Gear Design software and design your own cool Kinetic Art.… Read the rest
Okay, I admit it. I am a sucker for all cool things manufactured via CNC and using cool materials like Titanium or Carbon Fiber. Couldn’t pass up this wild carbon fiber wrist watch:
I’ve written not too long ago about molding parts from carbon fiber, specifically wingtips for a fighter plane turned air-racer. If you have the talents to manufacture something very high quality and beautiful like this watch, then you have the ability to create a business around that talent. You just need to decide what your product will be and how you will connect with the audience that wants that product.… Read the rest
Many of our readers own or work in CNC manufacturing businesses of all sizes and many would like to start such a business, perhaps something similar to this neat Kickstarter project for the latest precision machined Aluminum Sentinel Cache. One thing all manufacturing has in common is the desire to keep the manufacturing cost as low as possible by being as efficient as possible. The best possible place to attack efficiency is in the design process before a single chip is made. That’s certainly the cheapest place to do it.
As part of our CNC Manufacturing Cookbook, we’ve just added an article on Design for Manufacturing (abbreviated DFM). … Read the rest
Need to convert a g-code program from inches to Metric or vice versa? It’s not hard if you know how and especially if you have a tool that knows how to do it automatically like our G-Wizard G-Code Editor. What is hard is expecting G20 and G21 to do it for you–that’s not what those g-codes are for!
To learn more, check out the new chapter in our G-Code Tutorial on G20, G21, and Unit Conversion. Here’s a sneak preview of the GW Editor command that makes unit conversion automatic:
In the article, we explain G20/G21, how to convert a program by hand, how to do it with GW Editor, and how to set up GW Editor’s idea of what the units should be.… Read the rest
Since seeing the emergence of 3D printed guitars and running the article on the Americana Guitar, I’ve been wondering how they really sound. There’s no doubt they look cool and are very unique, but in the end, it’s the sound that matters.
The same designer that did the Americana, Olaf Diegel, has done quite a few 3D printed guitars:
Really snazzy and unconventional look, yet with the classic silhouette. Very cool, no?
Here is Olaf’s video on their sounds:
I’d like to hear a higher quality recording before making any final decisions, but my initial impression is their sound is very promising. … Read the rest
I wanted to call out Lindsay Wilson’s neat video of his CNC Router acting as a pick and place machine in its own post:
He mentioned it in a comment on our 2nd article on using CNC Machines as general purpose motion platforms. Pick and place is commonly used to position components on circuit boards such as Lindsay’s video shows, but there’s no reason it couldn’t be used to position almost anything with the proper manipulator. He’s showing a vacuum style part grabber, which is common for small PC board components.… Read the rest
I’ve been busy on our G-Code Tutorial this week, and just posted a second article on g-code coordinate offsets, scaling, and rotation. This one provides an overview of g-code coordinate transformations and introduces the 5-Step G-Code Coordinate Pipeline as a way to visualize everything that’s going on:
As mentioned, this is the overview. There are (or will be) individual chapters on each step of the pipeline that give the full details of how to use each G-Code. As a teaser, this article talks about how to do some pretty cool stuff such as techniques Renishaw uses to achieve super-accurate machining more efficiently. … Read the rest
I just added a new chapter to our g-code course that covers G04 Dwell, G60 Single Direction Motion, and G61 Exact Stop Mode. These are all special-purpose g-codes that are indispensible when you need them, but that aren’t used terribly often.
Typical uses include:
- Chip breaking with G04
- Avoidance of backlash for more accurate moves with G60
- More accurate cutter trajectories with G61
- Increasing the accuracy of probing operations such as the one shown on the photo.
If you haven’t already seen our G-Code Tutorial, it’s an easy way to learn the g-code one bite-sized article at a time. … Read the rest
Our recent article on using CNC’s as general-purpose motion platforms has gotten a response from Tormach’s blog with even more great examples. They go into some detail about how a Tormach Mill was used to help wind a special component for NASA’s Piper mission:
Creating these intricate arrays of tiny wire filaments was obviously a job that needed some automation, if only to keep the precision high and the manual boredom to a minimum. The gizmo is a polarizing filter for the microwave spectrum. Photographers have all seen these for visible light, but this is what one looks like for the microwave end of the world.… Read the rest