CNC Opinion

Discussion in 'Plans, Designs & Software' started by Duplex Dave, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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    Hey guy's I just read through the other CNC thread about programs, programing, G-Code, ect.
    I found a handmade CNC for $1000 that the guy is running Mach2/3 and it seems like a real solid unit.
    It has 24"x36" of travel and I think 4" up/down. I just want to cut out acoustic bridges, peg head veneers with logo, fingerboard inlays, slot fingerboards, truss rod covers, ect.
    What do you think? Should I buy it? I know I need to go in this direction and it seems like not a huge investment.
    Any opinions or thoughts would be most appreciated.
    Just need to find the right program to convert the images into G-Code.
    Thanks in advance, Dave
     
  2. Luthier-Atlanta

    Luthier-Atlanta New Member

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    Maybe?
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz0hLe9wkHE]CNC XChange GCode Conversion Software - YouTube[/ame]
     
  3. Decibel Guitars

    Decibel Guitars New Member

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    That software doesn't look like the right choice for what you'd need. It seems to just convert existing G-code between different standards.

    I do my CAD work in Rhino, then use MeshCAM for any carving tool paths, and Vectric VCarve Pro for profiling, pockets and inlay tool paths.

    As far as the machine itself, do you have any other specs on it? Servo motors or steppers? Rack-and-pinion drive on the axis motors or is it lead screws or ball screws? What kind of router mount does it come with? Have you seen videos of it in operation?
     
  4. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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  5. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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    Thanks Darren! It has steppers with rubber belts that drive all-thread along tubular bearings. With the Mach2 program he's running he can get 80" per minute with some of the programs. He's got a porter cable laminate trimmer attached to it now which should be fine for what I want to do. I can attach a larger router, plasma cutter, or anything to it.
    The only thing I'm not sure about its the main controller is connected to his computer with a printer cable. The USB technology was barely starting 5 or 6 years ago when he built it.
    He's done some nice carvings on wood from portraits, and the usual name and address carvings. Now he's bored with it and might make a bigger one if he needs another project. Kind of a wacky mad scientist motor head dude.
     
  6. Leo

    Leo Member

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    Do you have access to a set of digital callipers?

    If so I'd recommend starting up the machine and learning basic G-code movement commands to move a bit by an exact amount, say 3", and measure the actual distance moved with the callipers.

    Do this for each axis and it will give you a sense of the accuracy of the machine.
     
  7. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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    Yes, I use calipers every day. (I actually still like the dial unless I have to convert to mm) But, that is a good idea, thanks. The Mach2 program allows you to JOG the cutting head wherever you need to go so it can be zero-ed (zeroed? can that word be spelled correctly?)
    Supposedly it is very accurate, the question is? Should I buy it?
    I will go look at it again this weekend and maybe offer $600.
    If I get it I'll post pictures, it's pretty genious.
     
  8. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    The shop I work part time at has a CNC about this size, and it's invaluable. They use it for everything from acoustic guitar production to repair work, it's paid itself off many times over. If you have the scratch, and the machine is worth a damn, get it.
     
  9. Decibel Guitars

    Decibel Guitars New Member

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    Don't worry too much about the parallel port issue. Lots of CNC controllers still operate that way. Is 80ipm the maximum cutting speed, or the maximum machine speed? That seems quite slow. My steppers will run over 200ipm rapids before stalling out.

    The rubber belts would be a point of concern for me. That strikes me as a place where loose tolerances could be introduced. I'd want to see how precisely it can cut repeated operations. Carving art pieces or a sign is VASTLY different from cutting inlay or fret slots.
     
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  10. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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    Thank you Adam and Darren, more good information.
    I agree about the accuracy. It is however those geared belts, not flat and smooth.
     
  11. otterhound

    otterhound New Member

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    It sounds to me like you need to learn a bit more about CNC as a baseline so that you can make a wise choice when the time comes .
    There is nothing gained by purchasing an unknown quantity that could be problematic or unable to sell if/when you find something better .
    It is a tantalizing apple though .
    I say , do a bit more homework before you make this move .
     

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