Note: When closed, the clear shower curtain completely surrounds the CNC. This keeps dust out of my home heating and cooling system.
... the first toolpath at a safe Z distance above the work.
...so that the center line is parallel to the path of the cutter.
... in all three planes (X,Y,Z).
Mother of Pearl
: CNC Fretboard Inlays
... the desired toolpath.
... the correct bit with the correct feed and speed.
SET UP THE JOB and DRAW Learning to set up and draw your design in a vector program is essential and relatively easy once explained. Knowing the purpose and procedures for each of the icons on the Drawing toolbar is basic. Each software, however, is different. Demonstration videos from the software vendor should help in this regard.
Below is pictured the Vectric Job Setup form in which one inputs the job type, dimensions and the X, Y, and Z datum positions.
On the Drawing toolbar one selects the tools that are needed to create and edit the vectors (lines, circles, squares, etc; also text and dimensioning tools). These are your drawing tools. One has to learn how and when to use each in order to draw vectors efficiently.
...so that the spoilboard surface is true and lies parallel to the plane of the bit path.
... From the toolpath list, select the correct toolpath for each process.
... Input the job dimensions and select the X,Y, and Z zero positons.
True and parallel fixture surface.
Fretboard Inlays with a CNC rig are about as basic as one can get with programming and maintaining a new CNC machine. A caution, however, is that without diligent preparation and execution, there are many more ways to get it wrong than to get it right.
I've been using a CNC machine in my home shop for only a few years. I like it. Unfortunately, I have only been able to dedicate a few months each year to learning and operating the CNC system. The challenges are unending.
... so that the work will not move during execution of the program.
Prep Steps Explained:(briefly)
NOTE Tutorial Videos are very helpful. I found the book and videos that came with the NextWave HD-4 exceptionally well organized and presented. Video presentation, however, must assume that the viewer already knows some things. The universe is not flat, square and true.
Many newbies find out that learning to program and operate a CNC is more difficult than expected. It takes study and practice to know confidently that the final execution will meet the intent of the original design. There are just alot ofways to screw things up or get them out of sequence.
With 3 whole years of first-time experience, Woody has attempted to provide insight for others who might be thinking about investing in a CNC. It is endlessly challenging... if you like that. Woody certainly does.
This presentation has been brief, but not comprehensive. We have only touched on a few basic things that must be thoughtfully considered when setting up and executing toolpaths via computer numeric control (CNC). If you would like to hear more on this, let me know.
...to the CNC (via flash drive).
Unfortunately, this photo has screen-shot clarity. I hope that you get the idea. One must first draw the project precisely.
...the design in a vector software. Vectric 9.0 came with the machine. (NextWave HD-4)
The Post Processor converts toolpath to machine language. The selection of a Post Processor is specific to the CNC software.