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Found this on a CNC facebook closed group. Thought some folks would like to watch these:

Paul A. Pomeroy‎
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PLEASE PLEASE for anyone new here please watch each and everyone of MARK LINDSAY SERIES ON CNC FOR THE ABSOLUTE BEGINNER. HE NOW AS 25 YOUTUBE VIDEOS.

This and the VECTRIC Tutorials will get you as good, if not better than anyone else in the world of CNC. PERIOD!
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Mark's videos are great, and he has a laid back, easy to follow teaching style that makes it easy to understand how he designs and makes a project.
 
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Thanks Richard. There was no link in the original fb post. You just search YouTube.
 

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Thanks Tom and Richard. I know nothing of CNC routers but watched a few of these videos today and sooo glad you two suggested. I ordered an E4 from Bobs CNC yesterday and no idea how to operate one. Not sure how to spell CNC yet. But I did find the videos very informative and will keep watching!

KC
 

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I ordered an E4 from Bobs CNC yesterday and no idea how to operate one.

KC
I wish you had done a little more research first, I personally would not recommend a Bob’s as a starter machine. The software used in those videos is about the same price as that CNC. While waiting for your machine to arrive, join the Bob’s forum and see what you can learn about the software needed to operate it. They have suggestions for some free software that is not as easy to use, or as capable as the paid one, but is at least free.
 

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I wish you had done a little more research first, I personally would not recommend a Bob’s as a starter machine. The software used in those videos is about the same price as that CNC. While waiting for your machine to arrive, join the Bob’s forum and see what you can learn about the software needed to operate it. They have suggestions for some free software that is not as easy to use, or as capable as the paid one, but is at least free.
You are right... I should have researched more.
I have watched a lot of video from Bobs since the order. Much of it is not straight forward to the entry level/beginner, but I have found some interesting information and downloaded some applications. Again, as you suggested - does not look very user friendly.
I do not know if other applications (such as Mach 4, etc.) are compatible or if CNC's are uniquely platformed as some of the other applications referenced in the videos you and Tom suggested does seem to be easier to follow, or MARK LINDSAY is just "Good" at narrating.
Please - feel free to offer any information you wish, and Thank you.
KC


:unsure:
 

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A Bob’s machine, like many of the lower cost smaller machines, runs GRBL which is a machine control software running an a very inexpensive single board computer called an arduino. Usually the stepper drivers are small daughterboards that plug in to the arduino which limits them to relatively low voltages and current capabilities, so limits the stepper torque, although separate stepper drivers can also be used. These all come from the 3D printing world where they work relatively well, as the print heads are light, and there are no cutting loads. These smaller machines generally also use a cogged belt drive system which is also better suited for the lower loads of a 3D printer (or laser). These parts have enabled the creation of some low cost machines (you can buy a postcard sized cut area 3018 machine for under $200) which can be used for an introduction to CNC machining, but are really impractical for most woodworking projects, which I assume most here are interested in.

The GRBL based machines rely on a computer running a “sender” program like UGS, or picsender. They send the g-code file, line by line, to the arduino to execute. There are other programs, like easel or carbide create, that act as both design/toolpathing software and do the “sending” function. This is were most of the “free” software exists, and is functional, but not as sophisticated as the VCarve Pro software ($700) used in the Mark Lindsay videos. He also uses Aspire ($2000) for some videos, which has even more functionality. This kind of software allows you to create the g-code files that can be used by almost any CNC, including the GRBL based ones.

The trouble comes when you start learning about feeds and speeds which is important to the quality of the actual cuts. Every bit has a “sweet spot” where it leaves the best finish, and good tool life. This sweet spot also depends on the material you are cutting, hard or soft wood, ply, mdf, acrylic will all need different feeds and speeds. If you have ever routed or cut cherry, you may have experienced burning from going too slow. Similarly, with a CNC router, you need to be able to cut at appropriate speeds, with appropriate rpm rate of your spindle. If you move too slow for the spindle rpm, you will get burning (fires are possible). The bits get hot, which leads to shorter bit life (dulling). Many of the GRBL machines, with low powered steppers, are limited in their feed speeds, and often use routers with limited speed ranges. The Bob’s is particularly prone to this, as it uses a fixed speed (30,000 rpm) drywall cutout tool for its spindle, and is fairly limited in feed rates (20 ipm is the recommendation by “Bob”). This of course also makes jobs take much longer. A cut I can do on my machine in 10 minutes might take 2 hours on a Bob’s.
 
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