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View Full Version : New Here Suggestions/Advice Please!



EtienneK
01-20-2016, 04:18 AM
Hello S.A peeps!

My name is Etienne and I'm from JHB, South Africa. I have quite a few questions to ask and as I dont know many people in the industry i figured this might be a good place to start :)

My father recently bought a CNC 3-axis Router as an investment and hobby for his retirement, he got someone that helped him set up the machine and also designed some plates that he will be cutting for now. The problem is no one in the family has any experience with CNC milling, so to create new designs will be challenging unless we get better educated. I would love to learn more about it as I realise the potential the machine has, I just dont know where the best place would be to begin.

Ultimately what i'd like to achieve is a workflow that can maybe go from a CAD drawing to G-Code for the Router? I've watched some tutorial videos on that and I'm still not 100% sure what the best workflow would be. I have some SketchUp experience, enough to design simple things, but that's unfortunately where my skill stops.

So my questions ultimately are:
Where would you guys suggest I start as a complete noob with a CNC Router at my disposal?
Would a part-time course be worth it? (if so, where is a good place in JHB/Online?)
Should I study G-Code and CAD in depth before attempting anything else?
Is CAD to G-Code a good workflow to pursue? Which software packages should I be looking into?

Thanks for reading and sorry for all the noob questions, any help/advice/feedback will be appreciated!

cnccraft
01-31-2016, 02:53 PM
I am in Cape Town and I run a number of cnc machines and laser cutters.. Mail me on adrian_hill@mweb.co.za. We can chat more via email.

pietste
02-26-2016, 12:46 PM
Hi Ettien,
I went the same route as your father. I have most of the stuff under the knee now, still far from a expert. I live in Pretoria, and willing to help your Father. My email is boshoffp@hotmail.com



Hello S.A peeps!

My name is Etienne and I'm from JHB, South Africa. I have quite a few questions to ask and as I dont know many people in the industry i figured this might be a good place to start :)

My father recently bought a CNC 3-axis Router as an investment and hobby for his retirement, he got someone that helped him set up the machine and also designed some plates that he will be cutting for now. The problem is no one in the family has any experience with CNC milling, so to create new designs will be challenging unless we get better educated. I would love to learn more about it as I realise the potential the machine has, I just dont know where the best place would be to begin.

Ultimately what i'd like to achieve is a workflow that can maybe go from a CAD drawing to G-Code for the Router? I've watched some tutorial videos on that and I'm still not 100% sure what the best workflow would be. I have some SketchUp experience, enough to design simple things, but that's unfortunately where my skill stops.

So my questions ultimately are:
Where would you guys suggest I start as a complete noob with a CNC Router at my disposal?
Would a part-time course be worth it? (if so, where is a good place in JHB/Online?)
Should I study G-Code and CAD in depth before attempting anything else?
Is CAD to G-Code a good workflow to pursue? Which software packages should I be looking into?

Thanks for reading and sorry for all the noob questions, any help/advice/feedback will be appreciated!

jonnoCT
03-29-2016, 04:50 AM
Hi Etienne

Glad to hear you are getting into the world of CNC machining, its loads of fun!

So how have you come along since your first post?

Have you tried Fusion 360? Its a CAD and CAM package by Autodesk that's free to hobbyists and startup businesses. It's really easy to get to grips with and there's loads of YouTube videos that can help you get going.
Basically you can draw your design in 2d or as a 3d model and in the same program generate the gcode, if you make any changes to the design then the gcode is automatically updated which makes things super easy.


Where would you guys suggest I start as a complete noob with a CNC Router at my disposal?
You've probably achieved this step already


Would a part-time course be worth it? (if so, where is a good place in JHB/Online?)
There's so much information available on the internet.. youtube, cnczone, etc. In my opinion its not worth it, rather just get stuck in and start practising, practise is the best teacher


Should I study G-Code and CAD in depth before attempting anything else?
No, learn as you go, start with a simple design, draw it and generate the gcode


Is CAD to G-Code a good workflow to pursue? Which software packages should I be looking into?
Yes that's way to go, as mentioned above try out Fusion, for a free software package, its extremely good

I hope this is helpful to you, I really believe this is the best way to get started, I'm sure that other people will have different views (this is the internet of course!)
One more thing... you are going to break a tool or two, we all do, it happens all the time, even to the most experienced machinists, so don't hold back... get stuck in and make some chips!

Let me know if you have any questions, I'll be more than happy to help where I can.

Jonathan