Recently we ran a small workshop on using the CNC. Although we really only scratched the surface (LOL) during the workshop, later that evening Max and I were talking about brackets for the new laser, and decided the CNC was the best way to make something with the precise offsets needed to keep the beam level.
I thought I’d do a quick write up, so people can see what’s involved. All up it was probably just over an hour to go from idea to having both parts finished.
We designed up the part, imported it as a DXF file into CAMBAM. told it the tool diameter (3mm), the material thickness (10mm), and what speeds and feeds were acceptable (300mm/min for feed, and 200mm/min for plunging), and that it was only allowed to remove 1.1mm of surface material at a time.
The computer calculated how many passes were needed, and generated the code:
We loaded up the code in MACH3:
Clamped our workpiece down and zeroed the machine:
And started cutting:
Here’s the result after 20 minutes of cutting. The edges were nice and flat:
(We did deburr the bottom surface, though)
And test-mounted on the lasercutter:
I’d forgotten how much of a joy milling acrylic can be. It behaved really nicely, and the noise wasn’t even that loud (the vacuum cleaner used to clean the mess was much louder). I’m certainly going to use it again in the future.