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 Post subject: New CNC area - making CNC user-friendly.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:30 am
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Location: Fridley, MN
After a brief stay at Casa del Pedro for a makeover and some personal projects, my lil' black CNC router (Wiki link) is back in town. In the process of putting it back into the Wood/CNC area, I noticed that the other machines may look a little intimidating to anyone but their owners.

As both an olive branch to the rest of the Makers and as a way to encourage new users, I'd like to take some of my free time over the next few weeks/months to adopt and clean up the CNC area. With the permission of the device owners, I'd also like to clean around/on/in the devices themselves. They seem to be surrounded by a wall of interesting-but-unknown devices, with some random debris scattered around for camouflage purposes as well. ;) I've already spoken to the person who brought in the computer parts that are under the southern-most CNC table. I'll be disassembling those and disposing of anything that isn't of use.

Working machines:
  • My CNC router
  • Pete's CNC router (it seems to have collected some cruft around it, though)

Works in progress:
  • John's machine is still incomplete, and I'd like to help with that, if possible.
  • The southern-most machine has a working x/y/z motion, so I've been told, but has no tool head. Who owns this?
  • The monster machine made from what looks like a tape robot. Who owns this?

Ideas, thoughts and comments, please? Anyone else want to help?

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 Post subject: Re: New CNC area - making CNC user-friendly.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:04 pm 
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the pick and place machine was donated to us, and the huge black cabinet is a robot project so some sort, I don't believe that there are cnc plans with it.


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 Post subject: Re: New CNC area - making CNC user-friendly.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:08 pm 
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I'm interested in helping as time permits. Is there interest in a cnc class?


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 Post subject: Re: New CNC area - making CNC user-friendly.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 3:46 pm
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Location: South Minneapolis
Luno,

As the Department Manager for the room that includes the CNC machines, I'll start with a hearty and unqualified thank you for your willingness to take a lead role in any kind of clean up effort. Please let me know if you need any assistance from me on that. That would include anything from an extra pair of hands to move something, all the way up to more power and light.

Right now I am working to get the Shopsmith and the spare radial arm saw moved further east in the room, and the juggling some of the existing equipment around. Eventually the wood storage area next to the scary bathroom door will be finished, but that will get some stuff off the floor from all over the shop. Jude was gonna finish it soon, but with his broken foot, it may take a little longer. There is also a plan to build more storage racks about where the tape storage robot is now, but we need the space clear and also some stick lumber to get it done.

Of the four CNC machines in development, I know that one is Pete's (you), one is Pete's and one is John's. I'm sorry, I'm not certain who belongs to the fourth machine. As to the tape storage robot, the team of Steve and Adam are working on that, and my subjective, personal observation is that they work as often and as diligently on it than any other project I've seen come in and out of the shop in my somewhat limited experience. They have do not have a set plan for the robot when it's working the way they want it, but both of them have indulged my curiosity with an explanation of where they're at with it, and some of the possible uses; the most intriguing of those to me was to create a CNC-like machine that may have interchangeable heads for cutting, scanning, assembling or 3D printing.

Yeah, it's huge, and when they're working on it, it takes up an acre of floor space, but they are pretty good about packing it up as small as it can get when they're done for the day. There are a number of spare and duplicate parts for that project that I would like to see stored elsewhere, but in the Chinese puzzle that is the Hack Factory, I don't yet have a good suggestion at this time.

I'll close with a reiteration of my sincere offer to help you with the clean up in any way I can.

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 Post subject: Re: New CNC area - making CNC user-friendly.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:18 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:13 pm
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
The white-framed, partially plexiglass-enclosed CNC device is the Cyberoptics machine, and I don't know what the plan is for it anymore. We've gotten it moving reliably and accurately in all three axises, but I'm not really a CNC guy so that's as far as I was able to go with it. It is somewhat limited by only having approximately 2" of Z-axis travel. Some ideas that were put forth include milling PCBs with a Dremel, building a laser cutter, and making a large-scale Makerbot-type 3d printer.

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 Post subject: Re: New CNC area - making CNC user-friendly.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:30 am
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Location: Fridley, MN
I'm certainly glad to hear offers of help. I'll probably designate a weekend day as "CNC Cleanup & Strategy Session" day. How does October 1st sound?

As for CNC classes, I was thinking that would be a natural extension of CAD Night. Bill is hosting an excellent sort of class/demo/discussion time on Tuesday nights. I mentioned it to him during this week's CAD Night session he seemed open to the idea of a natural progression from CAD to CAM to CNC. I've got a bit of CNC experience (from having built two of them) and he knows quite a bit about the topic as he's made a career of it. If he's cool with that idea (I don't want to co-opt his classes), then I think we could be on track to eventually guide a novice from idea to finished item.

Edit to add: I think the idea of making the southern-most machine (we've got to name these things!) into a laser cutter/engraver would be awesome. I'm certainly willing to help make that happen. We have plenty of spindle-based machines but no laser! We can talk about it on CNC Day.

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 Post subject: Re: New CNC area - making CNC user-friendly.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:14 am
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Location: downtown Saint Paul
laser cutter.. yes please!

If I may help in any way in any of these plans, let me know.

Luno, I have some stuff I'd like to cut on your machine. Is there a chance we could find eachother on either a wed. or sat. and walk through what your "checkout process / make sure riley's build file doesn't trash your machine" thing is like?

Let me know.

Riley

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 Post subject: New CNC area - making CNC user-friendly.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:34 am 
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 3:46 pm
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Location: South Minneapolis
I think I'm available on October 1 to help out for a couple hours. What's the proposed time window, morning or afternoon?


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 Post subject: Re: New CNC area - making CNC user-friendly.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:46 pm 
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I think I can swing some time then too. Let me know when I need to get a plan for the day going.
I have a large debris field around my machine as I started to bring in stuff for the Garage Sale, which has now been postponed. It can move. I may have a shelf I'm bringing in to to help get my clutter off the floor.

Speaking of which, do we have a plan for the floor plan of the CNC area?
If we go laser on the CyberOptic it will need venting. I'm thinking laser or extruder are the best options, we had JBs extruder sitting with it, but I saw Metis making off with it a week or so ago.....

I'd love to help with classes, I've got a few documented and ready to roll, but have no time until into October at least.

Pete


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 Post subject: Re: New CNC area - making CNC user-friendly.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:56 am 
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Luno,

You got a time? I'm thinking morning on the 1st. Let me know.

Pete


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