View Full Version : Need help (software)

10-05-2004, 05:23 PM
Hello new at this I a into wood working and looking into CNC ,a couple of questions about CNC
1 how big of a computer do i need to run the software
2 what type of sofware can i use to make it look like a wood carving on a plaque or flat piece of wood

3 Gantry style or !!!!!
4 building good plans work area would be 30'' x 48''
5 router and dremel tool atachements

Thanks for now

10-06-2004, 12:00 AM
1) You need very little (by today's standards) computing power to run a machine. An old 486 will work fine. I picked up a $5 IBM ThinkPad laptop for my project.

2) The software you will run, for example TurboCNC (Shareware with a low registration cost), will simply run program code that you provide it. These instructions are called G-code, and can be generated by CAM software, or extensions in certain CAD packages.

3) Gantry style is one of several styles possible. On one, the cutter head is on a gantry, moving above a stationary piece of wood. This is called a moving gantry machine. Another possibility is to keep the cutter head bridge still, and move the wood beneath it. This is a moving table design. There are, of course, real-world strengths and tradeoffs for each design.

4) I'm not sure what you're asking. Perhaps you're asking which set of plans is good? Well, take a look around this site and notice which ones keep inspiring us. We tend to take the best ideas from each set, and make our own changes. The best way to start, is to figure out how one of these machines actually works, and then look at the plans.

5) Attachment of the spindle is fairly straightforward, depending on which one you choose. There are a plethora of design examples on this site, but the most common two are: Build a platform and bolt the router's base to it. Build a set of ring shaped "clamps" and clamp the router to the vertical slide.

Hope this gives you a good start...

-- Chuck Knight

10-06-2004, 06:44 PM
hey thanksfor the advice i think the gantry style being able to take a large piece o board to do the engraving wood be good ,and i also want this to be versatile, i also want to make and machine alluminum parts out of flat sheet metal , i woulb be instaling a pan and small pump to flood the actual cuttin area for cooling and recerculate the fluide once filterd I am looking at making this all out of 1/2'' alluminum with thomson linear bearings for accuracy and strengh , i do a lot of metal work and wood work i think my bigest chalenge is the controlers and finding the right stepers to do the job.
Again thanks and looking foward to talking to other members also about this and ther thoughts OK

10-06-2004, 11:18 PM
Fluid? You're talking about metalworking, and that changes things a bit. You need to build it BEEFY!

I'd suggest only a fixed-gantry moving table design, because they can be more properly triangulated. The cutting forces involved with metalworking are significantly higher, and tax most homebuilt machines to their limits.

BalsaMan built a machine of the style I would recommend. Let me see if I can find a picture for you.


This style takes up a little more space, but it's MUCH more rigid, and should allow better results with metals.

-- Chuck Knight

10-07-2004, 09:55 PM
hey thanks again need to figure out the proper steppers for this type of aplication i want a litle over kill but not to much can you help me with this