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Well, you fellows have given me the bug! :surprise:

I am not sure if I will be able to justify $4000 for a CNC ready to run out of the box but I guess time will tell.

In the mean time, I realized that before cutting anything, I would need to figure out how to design and prepare the data for the machine. So, with that in mind, I downloaded the trial version of VCarve Desktop.

And here we go! :grin:

I have been watching video tutorials and they were helpful. After clicking around for awhile, some things are starting to sink in.

Today I created my first project - a license plate for my sweetie. My idea is to make a few for the kids/grandkids etc. That is if I have a machine before Christmas rolls around.

The license plate would have the persons name, year born, state and city they were born in. I think that could be quiet useful, and may sell by the tens!:frown:

I have most of the details worked out except for the smaller letters. Even the 1/8th inch bit can't clear out the material in the letters that are enclosed (a, o, etc). I guess I have two choices - 1) make the letters larger, which I don't want to, or 2) switch to a smaller cutter such as a 1/16th end mill.

With that said, I have a question...How do I make the text look better? I used a 1/8th inch end mill for the tedious work and a 1/4 inch end mill to bore the mounting holes, clear out the pocket trash, and cut out the frame.

Note the text is "raised" because I removed everything around the letters and numbers by 3/64th. Total cutting time is about 20 minutes.

So, there you have it. My first foray into the CNC world, at least on the computer. :surprise:

This might turn out to be fun. Computer stuff is right down my alley!

Here is a screen shot of my project and some real plates I found on the internet.
Mike
 

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Try using a 30 or 60 degree V bit instead of the 1/8" endmill. It will get into tighter spots. Also, don't get too hung up on the software "run" time as it is not real accurate.

Welcome to the world of CNC, it is definitely a contagious disease!

Still getting use to my new Saturn 4x4, but I must say this thing is a beast. Give them a look for sure.

Dave
 

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Mr Stringer, I read your information on your Trial of the Desk Top V Carve. Should you get your machine be sure to up grade to the 8.5 version if it is not already. One other thing, in your bit selection you may like to try a 60 degree bit with a .25 diameter. I have a tendency to cut to deep when doing lettering. I really like using the v bits. I also use a 90 degree bit for lettering. Using a half inch piece of wood, I would try to cut at about .25 or less for letters. I have used the Ball Nos Bit at times. Experiment with the computer and see which you like best. I usually do the cutting on the line and is better than on the inside or the outside for me..

Not sure if this will help. There are some people here who really know their CNC Stuff. I am as you, very new, and having a lot of fun and wasting a lot of wood. But, it makes great scrap wood.

Good luck.
 

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Mike
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Mike as others have said you might want to use a V-bit for the pocket toolpath with an end mill as a large area clearance tool. You will want a 60 degree or smaller angle V-bit (remember the angle of the V-bit is double the angle it actually cuts). Using the V-bit also leaves more material under the small letters for support, small raised lettering can get a little fragile.

Sounds like you will have no problems learning the design portion of CNC and I'm sure you will catch on to the machine operation quickly.
 

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and may sell by the tens!:frown:

Mike
Hahaha!!! Looking forward to your sharing the journey. You're just a little ahead of me in my own journey - I spent a little time in Aspire and found it really not too bad. It sounds like you have some good advice here (esp on the V Bits). LOTS of us appreciate the effort in sharing, and the humor!

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for your suggestions. I will play around with the v bits.

The video tutorials have helped a bunch. I learn several things from each one I have watched. This is more fun than watching the cartoons on Saturday morning! :grin:
 

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The great thing about online videos is that you can always go back and watch them again. Although I consider myself pretty polished at using Aspire I'll admit I hit up those training videos for a refresher every now and then.

4D
Every time they redo the tutorials I watch all of them at least once and like you say I go back now and then just to make sure I know what I am getting into.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I know I have said it before. I work in a one car garage with a lot of stuff in it. All of my tools are either on mobile bases or casters so I can re-position them as needed. The only things that stay in the same place are the table saw and the work table/bench. Even though the miter saw cabinet is mobile, I don't ever move it unless I need to retrieve something that has fallen behind it! :surprise:

With that said, I am having a difficult time figuring out where I can put a CNC. Currently there simply isn't any room available.

But, I have an idea! :smile:

What if I build a frame that will allow my adjustable height dual router table to fit underneath? When needed, I can roll the table out and do my routing, then push it back under the CNC frame.

At it lowest configuration, the router table is 31 inches high. The top is 31 inches wide x 40 inches long.

I have attached some drawings of my proposed frame. It would be made using 2x4's and two pieces of 3/4 inch mdf for the top. Middle supports would also be doubled 2x4's. The legs would be 4x4's. All joints would be half lap, glued and screwed. A lower frame stiffener would be attached on three sides.

As drawn, the top would be 39 x 49 which would be just big enough for the Probotics Asteriod. The specs say it is 35 x 46 inches.

So, what say you? Will this frame support the CNC?

The specs list total machine weight at 125 pounds...and a few more for a Bosch 1617 router. I am thinking it will. My old work bench was built this way and it was solid as a rock.

Note that I would probably rip the rounded edge off of each 2x4 and run it across the jointer to get a straight and flat edge. When the frame is assembled upside down on my work table, the result should be a flat frame ready for the top to be installed.

Attached are a few drawings and a picture of the adjustable height router table.
 

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Mike,

I got my Nebula on a table I made 30 years ago out of 2x4's - not even knowing what a CNC was at the time. I have 3 legs on each side with a couple of cross braces on the top and legs -- all just 2x4's - with a 3/4" plywood top. And my machine is a lot heavier than 125 lbs. You're using 4x4s. All you need is a solid 4 corners for it. Don't even need the table top. 4D can give you more info. In fact, look back in 4D's threads and he's got pics of his 4 posted stand. And storing something under it isn't a problem. Tell Mama you need a bigger piece of property so you can have an insulated (had to Rick) pole barn!!

Move forward my man. Order it!! At least Meteor size.
 
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I'll admit I started with a much more solid/overbuilt table for my meteor than what I now have it on. When I saw that the Meteor's frame was itself stiffer than any 2x4s I might use this idea of mainly just legs to hold it up came to me. The plywood perimeter band keeps the legs plumb/vertical. I've since slid a 3-drawer tool cabinet onto the plywood shelf you can see in this photo. I often take a section or all of my MDF top off to let me clamp large parts under the gantry, so I don't fill up the underside with other tools. But you certainly could leave one end open to roll 24"x48" worth of cabinet(s) under there if you needed to. Large casters on mine usually stay locked, but do allow me to roll this CNC aside when I want to clean underneath it.

4D
 

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Tell him 4D -- at least a Meteor size -- he won't regret it in the near future.

You coming to Vegas in Oct - - school business you know. Will help with new ideas for the students. Tell the dept head it's a must --- plus an introduction to Aspire 9 --- gotta keep your students ahead of the rest!

See, Mike - there's a way to fit it in.
 
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