Only Guides For CNC Wood Router Machine
CNC routers have become increasingly popular over the past few decades for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is the low design and manufacturing cost. Not so long ago, CNC routers belonged only to large companies. It's becoming more and more common these days to see weekend woodworking enthusiasts building a small CNC router in their garage.
Another benefit that has led to their growing popularity is that the software required to operate them has become easier to learn. In the past, CNC operators required extensive training. This training only concerns the operation of the machine. It does not include the training and expertise needed to create the required computer files that tell the router what to cut. In the article below, I will give cover how a CNC router works, what you can do with one, and how you can go about acquiring one !
The first step we need to begin to understand CNC routers is to understand some basic machine terms that are often used. The first term we should cover is CNC. It is the acronym for Computer Numerical Control. It's a fancy term that basically means that a computer is used to tell a machine (in our case, a saw, drill or router) to cut a predetermined shape, design or hole. Once the operator has finished setting up the machine, the computer takes over and performs all the pre-programmed cuts.
The computer programming and design required to create the files sent to the CNC machine is often referred to as CAD software. CAD stands for Computer Aided Drafting. Until the last 20 or so years, CAD design was reserved for those who could afford expensive software. Also, the best training is at a local technical school or community college that offers an associate's degree in CAD design.
How Does A CNC Work ?
As you've probably already gathered, operating a CNC machine requires the user to be experienced with operating computers. Below is a general outline of how a CNC router works and the steps required to create something using one.
The first step in cutting with the CNC is to create a 3D object of the element you want to cut. Your first reaction to this statement might be "This doesn't apply to me, as I'm only interested in cutting 2D symbols." It's true. However, the material you are cutting is three-dimensional. A 3D object is anything that occupies space in three directions. A flat sheet of paper occupies space in 3 directions. It goes left to right, front to back, and (although small) top to bottom.
If you can find the CAD file community we mentioned above, you may not need to create your work from scratch in the software. It can save a lot of time. Using a CAD program for the first time requires patience. It takes time to get used to seeing and moving objects on 3 surface planes. If you are new to CAD software, grabbing a few files from the community can be a good place to start, as it allows you to manipulate parts using the various tools available in the program.
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