Welcome to my CNC Workshop on the web. I think my slogan says it all - "CNC is not just my passion - it's my addiction." This is just going to be a "just for the fun of it" website, where people can see what I've been building - and I'm always building something.... Hopefully other CNC addicts will join me here, and we'll share ideas and experiences, and learn from each other.
I've been working on adding a rotary 4th axis to Annie (my CNC Milling Machine). Here's where I'm at on it now...
This is being constructed out of a 5C Spin Index Fixture, for a low cost project.
First, a design must be developed using a CAD (Computer Aided Design) package. I use a variety of CAD packages:
For two-dimensional work, I prefer to work in AutoCAD or IntelliCAD - just because they are simpler and faster at producing the work and filetypes that are needed. For 3-dimensional work, I use CATIA and AutoDesk's Inventor. I prefer to work in CATIA, though. CATIA is a very high-end CAD program, capable of designing the most complex three-dimensional surfaces. CATIA is used widely throughout the automotive and aerospace industry.
After the design work is done, the next step is to take this design - and develop a way of manufacturing this. This is called Computer Aided Machining - or the acronymn CAM. I machine my work on either a cnc controlled milling machine, router, or lathe. I use a variety of CAM software, depending on what the project requires.
For two-dimensional (ie "flat" work, like sign engraving, cutting out the silhouette of various objects, etc.) I prefer to use VCarve these days, I've also used DeskCNC. For complex designs, I use either: Cut3D, MeshCAM, or BobCAD.
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