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Author Topic: Welcome this newbie  (Read 117 times)
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« on: November 14, 2017, 12:27:16 PM »

Hi All..
I am totally new here and to the CNC arena. I have experience with 3D printing but that's totally different. I am a graphic designer by profession but love working with my hands and making things.

I recently have finished putting together a CNC machine using what I guess is an older model from an Instructible tutorial. Everything went together pretty well and successfully. I have used the calibration routine within MACH3 and I was somewhat satisfied with the results of that. I ran one of the wizards within MACH3 for a simple circle and that seemed to behave as expected.

I am quite sure that I have something things not set up quite correctly, but we'll see as time goes along.

My initial issue right now is importing GCODE into MACH3. I currently have the free trial of the hobby version that I am running. I have a benefactor (my boss) who is funding some of this, so I will eventually maybe upgrade to a paid version.

I have drawn a simple gear using Adobe Illustrator, which will save as an SVG file. I then took that into inkscape and created the paths and generated the GCODE. When I put the GCODE into MACH3 I don't get the whole gear. I get only a partial part of the over all design. I also tried using MakerCam.com to create a GCODE file. I got even less of my gear to show in MACH3 using that. I looked around and found another online at nraynaud.github.io call the G-Code Q'n'dirty toolpath simulator. When I put my GCODE into that, I got the whole gear as I would expect.

I don't have my GCODE handy to post right now, but I will.

My main question, and pretend I'm a third grader when answering this... what is the best way to create images that can be converted into GCODE and what is the most reliable way to create the GCODE.

My inital goal here to get my feet wet is to create some kind of name cutouts for the austic children that my wife works with. They can paint them and decorate them as they want. Once I have that under my belt, my goal is to build a working clock using gears that I have cut on the CNC machine...

Thanks in advance for patience
David K
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 01:02:22 PM »

you need a CAD/CAM program. Fusion 360 is a capable and free (currently) program.

CNC is historically an engineering discipline where engineering drawings were converted to Gcode toolpaths by hand. CAM programs like Mastercam
automated that but still such programs rely on CAD representation of the part.

There are few programs which accept artwork and turn that into Gcode and even fewer that can do it reliably. May I sugest a two step process, artwork
to CAD drawing, then CAD to CAM to Gcode.


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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 02:39:11 PM »

When I put the GCODE into MACH3 I don't get the whole gear. I get only a partial part of the over all design.

That's because the Mach3 demo limits the number of lines of g-code that Mach3 will run, and consequently, display.


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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2017, 08:27:40 AM »

ok.. updated... I purchased the license, and now all my code shows up. very cool.

I have also figured out that the whole purpose of making a CNC machine on your own is to make new parts to improve your CNC machine...

I'm going to try running it and cutting something simple today/

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