View Full Version : software questions general engraving q's

12-09-2012, 09:39 PM
hi, my name is adam, and i am new to all of this, i have a few questions that i hope will lead me in the right directions of learning..

i want to learn cnc softwares etc, programming etc, but i need a few questions awnsered first so i know which i need to learn etc, for what i am trying to do..

any and all help is appreciated!

thanks in advance.. with that being said, here i go!

what i am wanting to do is learn how to program a cnc mill/router/engraver, which i don't know.. thats question one...

what i am trying to do is engrave zinc plates, thickness is at .153..

im not looking to get into the 3d areas as of yet, mainly just 2d stuff, flat, either cut or not cut stuff...

the attached photo shows what i am talking about, white = not cut, where as black = cut... all cuts would be exact same depth, approx .090 deep, and once i am done, i thought about making one swipe across the non cut areas of .005 to ensure exact flatness....

i guess what i am asking is what machine would be best suited for stuff like this?, and what types of bit's would be nessacary?... i want to do the programming myself, just like i did these below for acid etchings...

once i learn the 2d stuff, i might get into the 3d game.... but thats something for own down the road.

thanks for all your help everyone, i look forward to learning!

also i want to say that this stuff has to be precise, very fine details etc, like accuracy to .001 if possible... again, any help is ppreciated!


heres the photo of what i am talking about, again white = not cut, and black = cut to .090 depth.


12-10-2012, 05:59 PM
Did you already buy a CNC engraving machine, or are you just considering it? If the etching process you're already using for doing these zinc plates is working for you, why do you want to try doing it with a CNC machine?

The sort of work you're talking about is best done with photo-engraving techniques, not with a rotary tool. Etching would be quicker and work better. Zinc isn't a metal that's normally machined, and thin sheets of it are hard to hold onto. With a rotary tool, you'd have a hard time getting sharp interior corners. And holding .001 accuracy would take an expensive precision machine, not the sort you can cobble together easily at home. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it would be a costly undertaking. I'd say hold off on the CNC until you've got a project that would justify it. This isn't it.

Andrew Werby