I’ve had some questions on how to set the parameters in ImagetoGcode, an application built into LinuxCNC, the control software used for some (soon to be all ) CNC routers at the Hack Factory. There are lots of ways you can do this, and your material, application, and bit size all play a role in getting the settings correct. I’ve been cutting a series of lithophanes on my router over the last month or so, so I’ll be going over how I determine what settings to use for them.
For these lithophanes I have a set finish size in mind which is 5″ tall max, and a format of ethier 5″ x 5″ or 5″ x 7″. I know from experience that in Corian, I want to have about an 1/8″ or a little less of depth variation for the images, and I want to use a pixel size of about .005, which is the same size as my bit.
Here’s the ImagetoGcode screen with the settings for one of the planet lithophanes I’ve created.
The CNC Interest Group meet-up will happen again this Sunday 6/21/2015 2:00 PM at the Hack Factory. It is open to everyone, but machine use requires membership. If you have been wanting to get a project cut on a CNC or get checked out on the CNC machines, this is where you want to be to get the process started. Hope to see a good group of folks Sunday.
We will be having the first, of what I hope will be many, CNC Interest Group meet-ups this Sunday 6/7/2015 2:00 PM at the Hack Factory. It is open to everyone, but machine use requires membership. The agenda is rather loose, but will likely include, updates on the CNC area, the status of the 4 CNC routers at the Hack Factory. Information on how you can get checked out to use the CNC Routers.
We’ll also be plodding through some of the lovely features of Autodesk Fusion 360s CAM module, and have some cutting demos.
If you have been wanting to get a project cut on a CNC or get checked out on the CNC machines, this is where you want to be to get the process started. Hope to see a good group of folks Sunday.
Thanks to the folks who helped put our Shapeoko CNC together. Last Saturday evening, Mark and Pete helped me assemble the hardware. Then on Wednesday, Bill put the belts on, and Jim and Adam ran the wiring and hooked up the electronics. We ran the “Hello World” test with a pencil jury-rigged in place of the rotary tool. Success!
Now it’s time to dial it in and start getting some experience on it. CNC people, let me know if you want to play with it. Not a CNC person? Hang tight while the Shapeoko gets calibrated, then we’ll start turning other loose on it.
If you haven’t heard yet, the kind folks at Inventables have donated a Shapeoko desktop CNC kit to Twin Cities Maker. The kit arrived Thursday afternoon — time to put it together!
We’ll be starting out at 5pm tomorrow, Saturday 6/21. If you’re interested in helping out, please come on by. There will be something for everyone to do. Of course if you just want to hang out, that’s cool too. The more the merrier!
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) programs are powerful sets of tools for designing anything from toys to furniture to mechanical devices. CAD can speed up your work immensely and help you make sure parts are aligned and properly fitted. But these awesome features are often hidden behind unfamiliar terminology and confusing user interfaces. To help you wade through all this and make stuff faster, Graham will be running a CAD class at the Hack Factory this Sunday, June 15th! The course will cover:
Different CAD programs and their capabilities (which program do I need?)
Twin Cities Maker has three CNC machines at the Hack Factory. For those who don’t know, a CNC machine is a computer-controlled router which you can use to carve out all sorts of 2D and 3D items. They take a bit of training to be able to use, so Matt is running a class this Sunday!
The course covers the fundamentals of using the large CNC Router:
Materials you can and can’t use.
Powering up and shutting down.
Basic use of the Vectric’s Cut2D software which makes cut paths.
Basic use of Mach3 software which controls the router.
Following the most recent CNC Class, which I think was a great success on many levels, I was inspired to make a project that has been on the back burner for awhile. I want to use a CNC to make some furniture. I’ve been inspired by the work of Gregg Fleishman, and as a starting point I cutout a scale model of one of his designs.
Learn how to use a CNC router to cut 2D and 3D objects out of a variety of materials. TC Maker has 3 CNC routers available at the Hack Factory, come and learn how to use them and start making your own awesome stuff!
The class will have two parts (Machine Check-out, and CAM gcode creation) with the machine introduction and check-out scheduled for 1pm – 5pm Saturday and the CAM workshop from 10am – 2pm on Sunday.
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.
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. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
We’ve been making progress on the Global Hacker Space Challenge components. There are lots of activities going on, on different aspects of the project, and we are exploring multiple methods to create many of the parts. This is an image of a test cut for the positives of some 10xed 3mm LEDs.
The video is of a cut that went not so well of a 10x ATMega chip. I had neglected to restore my backlash compensation settings after making some updates, and the Z-axis lost height through out the cut making a sloped chip, and turning chunks of my spoil board into fine powder.
Twin Cities Maker (TC Maker) is a community group based in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Our mission is to make, share, and learn.
We have opened a maker space/hackerspace for members to build projects using various media and technologies, from wood and metal working to electronics to fabrics and beyond. We call our space the Hack Factory.
Open house Wed: 7-9pm
The Hack Factory
3119 East 26th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406