The art of CNC machining is a great hobby that allows many people to make very special and articulately cut and crafted items. However, despite some people’s thoughts that just want to jump right into it, we’re going to offer a word to the wise – it’s not always cake and butter. You can’t just press the magic buttons and voila, the job is done. It actually takes a little bit of knowledge in CAD, design, learning, and more than anything, a lot of trial and error. In this guide, we’re going to give you some tips that may help you when it comes to machining excellently crafted products.
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Learn Some 3D Modeling
By learning how to look at an intricately designed 3D model before you actually start milling your first piece, you can get a general idea of what the item is supposed to look like. There are numerous software programs you can use, and even some that are free, such as Blender. Once you have the model made, you can actually use that to help export the object into an additional machining software that creates the actual code for your CNC router or machine.
Proper Set Up Matters
CNC routers and mills are a lot different than just the regular old router you’re controlling. Remember, these are “automatically controlled” by their computer application. This is when the trial and error can come into play. You want to set up your machine or the piece you’re milling to make sure that there will be no excess movement that might cause problems with the project you’re working on. At the same time, you also want to have plenty of test runs, so you should never use your final material as the material you’re testing the design with. This way, you can actually save the final and possibly more material (as well as any excess material you can save) in the long run for future projects.
Don’t Think that Your Software is Perfect
Every piece of material, every CNC mill bit, as well as computer software you use for the final product are all different. Not only that, but they each take their own custom settings in order to actually get the job done right. Also, you want to realize that literally every design and item is different, so even though you may have a vector graphic that will be properly machined into a piece of wood, this doesn’t mean that a photograph or 3D logo will have the exact same effect.
No matter what you try to achieve, the main thing to remember is that practice makes perfect, as it does with just about anything in life. Once you get the hang of these three primary tips, it will help you set yourself and your CNC machine up for more success rather than failure. Don’t ever let errors get in the way of your success either, and you’ll end out on top because you will have learned something new when it comes to using a CNC machine.