A little bit of my history with CNC and very first cuts!

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A little bit of my history with CNC and very first cuts!

Postby SIBUD » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:44 am

Let me start out this post by thanking all of you who gave good counsel and enthusiastic advice during the short time I have been here. Without your support, I would still be struggling and perhaps even feel like giving up before I even got started. You answered the dumbest of questions without making me feel like an idiot, gave suggestions on how to start and encouragement when needed. This forum is worth way more than the cost of V Carve Pro!

My father was a machinist, tool and die maker and then a CNC programmer before he retired. He worked at Rockey Flats, CO in a facility that produced plutonium triggers for nuclear warheads during the cold war. He died in May of 2000.

This plaque was given to him by his co-workers upon his retirement. Notice the foil tape. That is what ran the machines.

Image

I wish he were alive today to see the CNC revolution and what capabilities a guy like me could have in a basement shop.

Oh, and to keep this post on topic, here are some bear tracks on a piece of walnut that will be knife scales. The knife maker will mix epoxy with turquoise dust and fill in the carved areas.

Image

I'm also making a medal holder for my daughter-in-law, who is a long distance runner. This is a test cut in foam, because today is the first time I have turned on my CNC machine. (Thanks to Randall Newcomb for that piece of advice, among many others.) The girl will be pink, the letters black. There will be pegs below to hang the medals.

Image


And a request, is there some small utility program, that I could run in Mach 3, the would move the router back to x0, y0 and z0, wherever they happen to be set at that time. Right now I am manually entering G00 X0, G00 Y0 and G00 Z0 every time. This is not a "home" position, as it changes from job to job depending on the size of the material and where I place it on the bed.

Most likely it is very obvious to the experienced Mach 3 user, but it is not to this NOOB. Lots to learn and the old brain sometimes experiences overload. :mrgreen:

As always, thanks in advance for your generous sharing of information.
Bud Meade
Nashville, IL

"Without deadlines, nothing would be done."
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SIBUD
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Re: A little bit of my history with CNC and very first cuts!

Postby Fiftyseven » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:33 pm

A touching post indeed.
I have spent 35 + years in Machine shops.
21 of them with C.N.C. in various parts of the world.
Yes, I have met Mylar tape.
Now I have my own home made C.N.C. Router.
Not sure if this helps but here goes.

In the drop down menu on Mach 3 there is a ' Configure Fixture " Tab.
This enables you to set the work Offset for X & Y, G54 to G59 (Datum shift).

There is also a "Configure Tooltable" Tab.
You can set your Z datum (Height offset).

Ensure that the "Machine Coordinates" are selected for X, Y & Z.
Enter the values into the "Fixture" and "Tooltable " boxes.

Welcome my friend to the wonderful world of C.N.C.
21 + years and still learning.
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Re: A little bit of my history with CNC and very first cuts!

Postby Fiftyseven » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:37 pm

As a second thought.
If you go to the M.D.I. tab.
Type in "GO G90 G54 X0.Y0." tHAT WILL MOVE THE MACHINE TO YOUR datum.

Be careful with Z axis moves.
Best done manually, dont crash it.
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Re: A little bit of my history with CNC and very first cuts!

Postby CarveOne » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:58 pm

On Mach3's Program Run (alt1) screen, under the XYZ Zero boxes is a Goto Zero button. Click that button.

Be sure the cutter is above the material surface. I don't remember if it goes to retract height before moving to where 0.0.0 was previously defined.

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Re: A little bit of my history with CNC and very first cuts!

Postby SIBUD » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:35 pm

Thank you both. :mrgreen:
Bud Meade
Nashville, IL

"Without deadlines, nothing would be done."
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Re: A little bit of my history with CNC and very first cuts!

Postby John Murphy » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:14 pm

My god I feel old now. The first CNC machine I ran used these punched tapes. Seems archaic now.
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Re: A little bit of my history with CNC and very first cuts!

Postby SIBUD » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:18 pm

CarveOne wrote:On Mach3's Program Run (alt1) screen, under the XYZ Zero boxes is a Goto Zero button. Click that button.

Be sure the cutter is above the material surface. I don't remember if it goes to retract height before moving to where 0.0.0 was previously defined.

CarveOne


Carve One,

It was a case of information overload. There is so much going on there, Mach 3's Program Run screen, that I didn't even see the obvious button. :oops:
Bud Meade
Nashville, IL

"Without deadlines, nothing would be done."
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Re: A little bit of my history with CNC and very first cuts!

Postby zeeway » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:21 pm

I enjoyed your trip down memory lane. A fitting place for that plaque given to your father is near your machine. I am sure that plaque will eminate good vibes for your projects.

Over forty years ago, I was the project engineer charged with getting the first NC lathe up and running in a tool shop supporting a metal working factory. So I went to a week of programming school, which was basically done manually point-to-point with a few macros through in for arcs. It was ha-aa-aa-rd...a lot of math. We generated a paper tape, then copied it to a mylar tape - so every time the program changed, you had to change the tape - you get the picture. Fortunately for me, it was not my primary job, but I did back up the real programmer who would come to me if he was stuck. I eventually left that world and got away from direct involvement in NC, and eventually wound up in the sales/marketing for metal manufactured products. But I always had an appreciation of that area, and watched from afar as it went through the CNC/DNC conversion.

When I first saw what could be done with Vectric software, I was blown away by its capabilities. I have been "playing" with it for about three years, and just about every day, I learn something new. And as impressed as I am with the software, Vectric also excels in their customer service. So I feel fortunate to have been led here - it was a recommendation on a CNC machine building site from a member here, Calgrdnr (thanks, again). Enjoy the ride, Bud.

Angie
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Re: A little bit of my history with CNC and very first cuts!

Postby SIBUD » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:46 pm

Thanks Angie. I enjoyed your post.

With years of experience in the shop, Dad would often argue with the engineers about making parts. They had "book" knowledge, he had "real world" knowledge.

He also was reading prints and converting it into code. Because of what they were doing there (it was all classified at the time) he didn't share much about work. I wish I could ask him now.
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