This router was added to the shop in March of 2011. It's owned by Peter Gamache (Luno in the forums) and is on loan to the Hack Factory for the foreseeable future. It may briefly depart for craft fairs where it's used to create works on-site, however it will live at the Hack Factory so long as it's treated well!
Since it is a belt drive CNC unit, it can make VERY fast rapids - over 20 inches per second. Like many devices in the Hack Factory, it can cause catastrophic damage and/or serious injuries if not operated with due care, skill and attention.
As usual with EMC2, you can press F1 on the PC's keyboard to send an emergency stop signal to the program, or press the red button on the control box. This will halt machine motion of the X, Y and Z axis stepper motors and also turn off the power to the Flood, Mist and Spindle outlets on the control box. Please contact Peter as soon as possible if something goes wrong or breaks.
If you see any dimensions surrounded by a bright red box in EMC2's 3D toolpath viewer, then your G-code is trying to transit the mill outside its measured dimensions. You'll have to edit your G-code to adjust the movement to stay within the bounds of the CNC's range of motion.
Always do a dry run with the spindle motor off and no tool mounted. Zero/home all the axes, then mount your workpiece. Go down just a bit from the top of the Z travel, and click the “touch-off” button to tell EMC2 that you're at 0.0 over the workpiece (you should actually be far above it).
With the spindle motor still off and no tool mounted, run your G-code. Feel free to override the movement speed as fast as you like, since no cutting is taking place. As you watch the CNC execute your code, make sure the X/Y movement won't run into any clamps or off the edge of the workpiece once a tool is loaded in the spindle.
Take shallow cuts. Hardwoods will burn easily in the corners of profiles as the machine slows down its movement to avoid losing accuracy. It's easier to make multiple passes than to start over with a new workpiece. To adjust cut depth using the false zero method, perform a touch-off procedure and tell EMC2 that the tool is at a negative Z distance from the workpiece instead of at 0.0. For example, if my G-code is set to cut 0.300 deep, I can tell EMC2 that I've touched off at -0.200, then at -0.100, then at 0.0. This will let me make three passes with the same code, cutting to full depth in thirds.
You DID remember to mount a sacrificial scrap piece under your work, right? This is called the spoilboard. If you need a larger/different piece of spoilboard, ask Peter. He'll be happy to drill another piece of MDF, plywood, etc. to match the holes in the work surface.
The mill is intended for use by all properly trained members, however personal permission is required to verify your skills prior to letting you run your own jobs on the mill. Please ask Peter (Luno) if you wish to use the system. He'll look over your shoulder while you run your first job and if everything's kosher, he'll create an account for you on the control PC so you can run your own jobs in the future without supervision. The control PC runs EMC2 on Ubuntu 10.04.
If you're not confident/comfortable operating the CNC mill yourself, please ask for help. Peter or one of the other experienced CNC hackers can take your G-code, review it and if it's safe, execute it on this mill.
The mill is made with a HDPE frame and a Baltic birch plywood work surface with threaded inserts for hold-downs. It is suitable for machining wood, plastics and circuit boards. It can also do *LIGHT* engraving of soft metals (aluminum, brass and copper). ALWAYS use a sacrificial surface (spoilboard) under whatever you're milling. There should be several pieces of scrap wood on the cart, including some MDF that has pre-drilled holes matching the hold-down inserts in the deck surface.
DO NOT MACHINE ANY TYPE OF METAL ON THIS MILL. It is not rigid enough to reliably mill metals and won't produce results you'll be happy with. Worse, it may strain the machine enough to stress the linear motion parts or even break something.
- X = 16 inches nominal (0.0 to 15.75 programmed limits)
- Y = 12 inches nominal (0.0 to 11.75 programmed limits)
- Z = 4 inches actual (-4.0 to 0.0 programmed limits)
Washers, shims and hold-down screws threaded for the inserts in the work surface are in the plastic tray kept on the cart. The mill has enough lateral force on the X and Y axes to easily shove around improperly secured workpices, so take care to clamp yours down thoroughly.
As previously mentioned, always use a spoilboard between your workpiece and the router's plywood surface. On the cart should be one or more pieces of MDF or plywood that are pre-drilled with holes that match the hold-down points on the work table. Please use one of these - it protects the expensive Baltic birch tabletop and also ensures you'll get a clean, non-splintered edge on your work.
1/4-inch and 1/8 inch collets and a handful of various bits are in the same plastic tray. If you break or dull a bit, please replace it. If you don't know where to purchase high-quality replacement bits, please contact Peter (Luno) and he'll get replacements. You are welcome to bring any of your own 1/4” or 1/8” bits to use in this mill - most Dremel bits work great in soft woods and most plastics.
NOTE: SCP/SFTP/FTP not working yet. The HF network has no dhcp/dns correlation, preventing the use of system names. You can try using the IP of the machine, but no guarantees. Sorry!
SCP or SFTP are the preferred methods of file transfer. Once Peter has created an account for you on the system, you may transfer files to your home directory (/home/yourname) by using your favorite command line or GUI SCP or SFTP client. On MacOS and Unix/Linux machines, this is usually just
scp filename peter-cnc: from a command line. On Windows, try using WinSCP. To access files uploaded with this method, you must be logged in using your own user ID on the control PC.
Transfer files to the system with anonymous FTP (ftp://peter-cnc/incoming ). When opening files on the system, navigate to /srv/ftp/incoming. You may do so while logged in as any account with CNC privileges.
Plug in your USB Flash Drive to one of the system's USB ports. A file browser will open shortly after you plug your drive in.