There are a few steps involved in cutting an object using the CNC machine.
- Object design and export
- Conversion to machine instructions (GCode)
- Preparing the material and workspace
- Loading the design to the CNC and preparing the machine
You will want to design your object using a software that can export to a format that is standard for a CNC toolchain. These formats are
Programs that are known to work well:
- Inkscape (DXF)
- OpenSCAD (STL)
Converting intermediate format to gcode instructions go here.
PyCam / PyCad ?
Preparing your workspace
- Load your cutting material on the platform.
- Secure it.
- Make sure you are not obstructed.
- Know the location of the emergency stop button.
- Don eye and ear protection.
Load your design
- Plug a USB stick containing your GCode into the controller machine. Load it with Mach3.
- Power on the motors.
- Zero the machine.
- Make sure everyone is wearing protective gear.
- Turn on the router and the dust collector.
- Make sure you can stop the cut at any time by the emergency stop or using Mach3.
- Begin your cut.
- Turn of the machinery.
- Unload your material.
- Take off your protective gear.
- Clean the work surface.
- Remove your USB drive from the CNC Controller.
- Take photos and and describe your process to the mailing list.