New to the forum and cnc,HELP PLEASE!!
New to the forum(and cnc machining/programming) and so far it looks good.
Do any of you guys have any tips,advice and good tutorial references(in laymans terms)regarding high speed milling machines and software for the purpose of 3d and 2d dies for the printing industry?
Thank you in advance
just go on line and look there is a lot of info for you
I've been programing by hand for the most part for three or four years and I love it .I learn something new everyday and think I picked it up pretty fast but I did manual work for about ten years.I think that realy helps when getting into cnc.I don't no how much exprience you have but my advice is read everything you can about machining also welcome to cnc.Let the fun begin.
To fill you in on my situation,
I am a hand engraver by trade and the company i work for is going cnc and have asked me to be a part of it.
I am not an engineer and have never operated a machine and i am relativly new to computers!!!!
So it all seems a bit daunting
The other problem is that to get information on cnc from competitors is like getting blood from a stone and i am glad that i came across this great site, so please be patient if i ask some stupid questions from time to time!!
What i do know is that it looks very likely that we will be using Artcam for our 3d programming although regarding 2d work for fluted and flat dies we are undecided??Machine wise i know that we need high speed milling machines and Bridgeport and Cinncinatti are names that crop up frequently.The dies we produce are for the printing industry, ie,multi-level embossing and flat and fluted dies cut in brass.
Again any info would be greatly appreciated.
blue bear I have very little experience with printing dies. I do have limited experience with rotary cutting and embossing dies and a little bit of flat dies similar to steel rule or "B-11" type dies. I need more info about your product to be able to be of any help. We're willing to help if possible.
Originally Posted by RICHARD ZASTROW
Hi Richard, regrding the dies we produce, by hand just now,are engraved on 1/4" brass and magnesium.The purpose of the dies are to emboss the image on card,ie greetings cards,packaging etc.to give a 3d effect.
The flat and fluted dies is similar in that it is also used for those purposes but instead of embossing,leaves a foil impression on the card.All dies are currently engraved by hand using chisels and drills and etching.
As we are moving over to the cnc application from hand work i need help and advice in what i should be looking at in terms of machinery and programs, and as i am a complete novice,simple terms!!
Looking at this forum is fascinating but very confusing regarding terminology but hopefully i'll start to pick it up and contribute when i can.
What embossing work do you do?
blue bear I believe your best opportunity for success is skip the old processes and learn the newer methods/software. These are available on other forums within this site. My experience was similar to yuors, manual flat programming of (2) and (3) axis. Later, we went into (4) axis by wrapping "Y" around "A" to produce rotary dies.
Since then (late 70's early 80's) digitizing probes and software have been developed to allow you to probe samples on your machine, most often an inexpensive vertical mill with a 3-4 axis control, then create and edit a program to produce a duplicate or modification of the sample.
I'd be willing to bet that at least one of the software developers on the CNC control or programming suppliers forums have just what you need.
Last edited by RICHARD ZASTROW; 04-06-2006 at 04:00 PM.
Reason: mispelled word
I teach/instruct CNC technology and CAM programming have 20+ years in the industry and if I can be of assistance please let me know.
My picks are Haas machining centers (light wieght parts no heavy machining that youve mentioned ) and FeatureCam programming software (Full 3D capability and ease of use) this combination would in my opinion have you up and running quickly, accuratly and at reasonable cost.
For engraving, I'd say that you want dead a$$ accuracy or else you'll lose preciseness of detail.
Thus, ground ball screws should be considered MANDATORY. Bearing accuracy of ABEC 7 (ISO P4)is also a mandatory GIVEN.
Low speed motion linear motion with HEAVY preloads on all bearings will give you best accuracies. For jewel like finish, you're looking at high spindle speeds with ABEC 7 or 9 accuracies.
We mill cam masters on our VMC's (Haas). We do roughing masters on our Bridgeports. The VMC's easily hold accuracies of tenths or less, the BPT's will tenths but we struggle a bit more. However, we took nearly new ball screw and bearings and improved from there.....
Once we got rid of the machine slop (forget gibbs, use preloaded balls with box'd ways), the machines tend to do what the software tells it to do. Cheapness and/or slop is your enemy. Eliminate it at all cost
Cheap bearings won't work for ball screws used for engraving. You'll see dwell issues at direction changes which can't be eliminated via software compensation. Heavy ball screw preloads are cricical for accuracy. Ditto that for spindle bearings. After you install great bearings, grind the spindle tool mount ID's AFTER reassembly.
Buy the BEST you almot can't afford (the prior statement wasn't an error, think about it), you won't be disappointed, especially when it comes to repetitive work.
Don't skimp - you'll pay for it in time or scrap or quality later on. Once you see what GOOD equipment can and will do, time after time, you'll be spoiled.
Strive for perfection. You'll be amazed at what you'll get. People rise to the performance expectations given to them. Expect jewelry and they'll make it. Tolerate average and you'll get it, if you're luckly.
In our case, it takes just as much time and effort to make a "street"cam as it does to make a NASCAR grade gem, once you learn how. The former can be bought any place for about $150. The NASCAR cam is easily priced at several multiples of the "street" piece as is the quality expectation. The mass produced stuff is NOT NASCAR quality, trust me.
Which would you rather sell/make/get paid for and have the satisfaction of making??? Jewelry or mass produced trinkets???
Yes it does seem daunting. When I taught myself G code programming starting in 1999 I already had almost forty years experience as a machinist and did have computer programming experience and it was still daunting.
Originally Posted by blue bear
A couple of posts have mentioned Haas; I am biased because that is all I have in my shop but I also recommend these machines. They will have the accuracy and precision you require, they are reasonable priced and have a very user friendly control.
For the applications you mention you have no choice but to learn the CAD/CAM software because the detail required is impossible to program by hand. However, I strongly urge you to develop hand programming skills and the ability to write a program right at the machine. The Haas machines are particularly good for this as they have a very good built in editor with copy and paste functions that saves a lot repetitive tasks.
Hi blue bear.... don't be so "blu" im a UK resident...i have been programming cnc for 20 years now, on bridgeport's mainly....the last eight years using CAM... i run my own prototyping business and if you need a hand getting up to speed drop me a line and we can catch up.. 3D is a sinch..
If your company has decided to purchase Artcam, I think that is a Delcam product. To date, the service and support from those people in the states has been exceptional. Very responsive. I am pretty sure they have a demo program that you can download and work through their tutorials. Just take your time and pay attention. If you want to do good work, you will