Intro to CNC and CAM class

January 17th, 2013 by otto_pjm

Routing a skateboard mold

Learn how to use a CNC router to cut 2D and 3D objects out of a variety of materials.

The classes will be held on February 2nd and 3rd. CNC Introduction and Check-out on Saturday, and CAM / gcode creation on Sunday. The schedule will be 10am – 4pm both days. Intro to CNC Class Sign up here. It’s $25 per class / day or $40 for both classes.

VERY IMPORTANT! if you want to be able to generate your own gcode (so you can cut out something you want) you will need to take both classes, The CNC introduction class is just to demonstrate safe and proficient use of the machines, and everyone will be cutting a pre-selected file that I have prepared. To cut your own creations you will need to take both classes,

Intro to CNC
, CNC overview and safe use check-out

Attendees will be provided a 2D gcode file, and need to demonstrate proficiency, by safely cutting the part on the machine.

  • Saturday morning: Use and safety training on the machines ( class room, then with the machine(s) )
  • Break for Lunch
  • Saturday afternoon: individual user check-out on the machines

Intro to CAM
, 2D and 3D Computer Aided Machining (CAM)

Attendees will be given an overview on how to use 2D and 3D CAM software to generate the gcode or tools paths that the CNC machines use to cutout parts. Please see the important notice below on how to acquire the software before class so you are ready to go!

  • Sunday morning: gcode creation for 2D, and 3D objects.
  • Break for Lunch
  • Additional instruction, likely classroom and shop.
  • Sunday afternoon: individual help with gcode creation, user check-out for those who couldn’t Sat afternoon and cutting of files for the code creation group.

CNC Lithophane, 1st try

October 5th, 2012 by otto_pjm

I’ve been wanting to try this for sometime, and finally had my setup mostly ready and the right materials. A Lithophane is an image etched into something translucent. In my case I used LinuxCNC, which runs my CNC router, and includes a script called Image-to-gcode, that creates a gcode height map based on the color or light to dark variations in an image. The material I used is 1/2″ Corian.
The original picture is this one of my son at the beach.

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CNC 3D Carving test – Skateboard Mold

January 22nd, 2012 by otto_pjm

Carving a skateboard mold prototype in foam. The mold itself will be made of laminated lumber to support the pressing process. This test was to determine what bit and step over (the overlap of each pass of the bit) would achieve sufficient detail, and not require too much finish sanding. The process and pattern for finishing is like an ink jet printer, but it cuts each pixel in 3D.

It may not be readily apparent in the photos of the carving, but the board has pretty complex compound curves. I’ll include a shot of the model which illustrates this better after the break.This is a shot of the roughing pass being completed. The test chunk is about a 1/3 of the skateboard’s total length, and the foam was a bit undersized so the board is a bit wider than what the foam could capture.

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Got a nice Rack?, Willing to share?

July 16th, 2011 by otto_pjm

As you may know the Hack Factory is expanding, and as such is in need of some storage racking, and key shop tools. The intention is to shop auctions for the best values on these items.

We hope to fund these items from donations as the organizations funds are committed to covering expansion related costs. So here’s where you come in. If you have any of the items Twin Cities Maker needs, and are willing to donate them that’s fantastic. please see the list of needs, at the details link, and fill in the form outlining what you have, and the logistics help needed to deliver or pickup the items.

If you are willing and able to donate funds to support purchasing these items please use the donation form in the details link

This expansion equipment drive is a targeted event to collect infrastructural equipment to support the expansion, it is not intended to equip the Hack Factory with a full set of tools but rather to pave the way for a variety of tools and activities. Think of this as the roads, gas and electrical infrastructure of a town, you need these first so that people can setup shop and get to work.

Adopt a tool details and donation page

Rewinding a transformer, and how not to.

July 4th, 2011 by otto_pjm

I am swapping out the driver boards on my CNC Router, and my existing power supply of 42 VDC is too high for the new drivers which include voltage regulators with a maximum voltage of 36 Volts. I rather liked my supply, just a big transformer, a bridge and a capacitor with bleed resistor, so I decided to try and keep it.

I started by seeing which of the windings I could get at easily, turned out none, was the answer. The Transformer is built with hundreds of “E” shaped plates that are fit together from opposite directions to form the transformers core, so with a bit a trepidation I removed the bolts and began to remove the “E” plates in search of a winding I could easily access.

After quite a bit of plate removal I was able to access the input (120V) windings, and after an poorly thought out whiteboard session I decided that was what I needed, reduce the input windings to bring the final voltage down.







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