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Noob question.
« on: January 08, 2013, 10:16:09 AM »
Hi there,

This is my first question so please go easy on me.I've searched the forum for some help with what I'm trying to do but I'm not really good with all the terminology.Obviously I'm not as smart as I thought I was  :P

I recently purchased two mills.There's no markings on them so I presume the guy made them himself.I've got Mach 3 installed on both computers connected to the machines.He gave me a few files to get me started but now that I want to make my own designs,I'm totally lost.

Basically what I'm trying  to do is make wooden pistol grips and then put a logo on them.I have a few files that will cut out the grips but that's where it all comes to an end.After that I know I need to make another file with a design to etch onto the grips,but to be honest,looking at all them numbers scares the hell out of me  :o .Is there anyone out there willing to help this poor noob get a headstart.

Cheers Vinny

Offline budman68

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Re: Noob question.
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 01:18:20 PM »
Hi Vinny,

Sounds like you need some CAD and CAM software to get started?

Just because I'm a Global Moderator, don't assume that I know anything !

Dave->    ;)

Offline Hood

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Re: Noob question.
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 01:18:31 PM »
Almost any CAM programme should be able to engrave text but maybe even the write wizard in Mach would do what you want, give it a try out on some pieces of scrap to see.

Offline RICH

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Re: Noob question.
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2013, 05:18:44 PM »
To make a complete pistol grip you will need a cam program to generate the code.
(Good grief I would hate to attempt to write the gcode.)
For my limited work, ( and i will assume that one side is flat)  that would involve defining and drawing the profile and developing the surface to be machined. So 3D CAD with export to a stl file which is imported to a CAM program which generates the code. Now to add text to the grip on a curved developed surface requires addtional manipulation in CAD and machining steps. To machine the checkering is a challenge.

So in my case I am using AutoCad, exporting to Meshcam which generates the code for machining.

Enjoy the learning curve.....it will be a long one if your starting from scratch.

 One could make by hand and then lazer scan or surface probe as options to what was said above.
No I have not done any scanning or probing and will remark that they just add to the learining curve and cost.

There are other ways and different CAM, CAD programs out there that one can use.

Re: Noob question.
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 10:27:16 PM »
Thanks for all the replies.I can cut some grips out using files that the seller gave me,but it's the engraving of logos or designs that I really want to learn.I've been making a few grips over the last few days and they seem to come out OK.A little rough around the edges but sandpaper sorts that out.I know I could just make the grips and then have them laser etched but because I know the mill can do it,I'd rather try to do everything with one machine.I'll do some more searching on the forum and see if there's some guides that'll help me along.


Offline RICH

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Re: Noob question.
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2013, 07:00:41 AM »
See thread below as it will give a way or flavor for engraving. There are a lot of other threads in there on wood working worth looking at.

engraving of logos or designs that I really want to learn
Depends on what you want to do. If it's on a flat surface then conventional milling programs will do.
They all generate code in a similar but differnet way. If it's on an odd shaped surface then more advanced software
and techniques will be required.


Re: Noob question.
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2013, 02:27:21 PM »

This site should be of interest.


Offline BR549

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Re: Noob question.
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2013, 05:48:39 PM »
What type files are you working with at present ? DXF ? Gcode?   Do you have a file for the engraving yet ? A picture? an idea???

IT is REALLY HARD to start in the middle of all things important (;-)

Can you upload one of the Program files that you have so we can see where you are actually at.

Perhaps we can help you get the first one done as an example.

(;-) TP

Re: Noob question.
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 01:55:41 AM »
This is the type of finish I'm trying to achieve.

I've uploaded the gcode as well.It involves firstly cutting out one side,then flipping the piece over to finish the underside.Hope you people can help me.I've done my best over the last few days to try and figure out all this new stuff on my own but's it's a bit too much for my simple mind  ;)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 01:57:42 AM by Vinny1967 »

Offline RICH

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Re: Noob question.
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2013, 06:18:19 AM »
The code you posted provides for cutting out the piece ( step 1 &2 below). Lets step back for a moment.

Here is a "rough" way of doing it manualy which you would mimic doing it with cnc.

1. Shape the outline
2. Shape the contour
3. Mount on scab piece
4. V cut the design
5. Checker

1. Create a 3D of the object, which includes design on the contoured piece and checkering
2. Generate code for / machine  the shapes ....rough and finish cuts, etc
3. Cut the design, note that the piece would need to make use of a 4th axis ( the v cutter should  cut perpendicular to the contoured surface)
4. Cut the checkering ( also cut perpendcular to the contour)

Like I posted before, enjoy the learning curve,