CNC RELATED WEBSITES
Bob's Metal Casting - Bob is a metal caster who has built a CNC machine to machine patterns from foam for lost foam casting.· Most of his site is dedicated to casting but has a nice area on his CNC with some video.· Bob has also been a great help to me and I am gracious for it.· Visit Bob's website if you have a chance.
Control of stepping motors - A tutorial by Douglas Jones. (This is by far one of the best articles I have read on stepper motors on the Internet. You will find it referenced all over the place. If you do not understand steppers and how they operate and are only willing to read one document. Make sure it is this one!)
CNC Zone - This is a discussion group dedicated to about every aspect of CNC you could think of. The folks here are willing to help you work through problems and celebrate your victories. You will find vast amounts of information on software, hardware, motors, controller, and much more. I recommend that you join of you are serious about one of these projects.
Joe's CNC - This is the website of Joe, the creator of the JGRO CNC Router.· If you are interested in more CNC designs I encourage you to check Joe's website out.· He has plans and Kits for sale.· He has done a top notch job too!
miBot - This is the website of Jason Harris, and has en excellent page on fabricating a case for his HobbCNC controller and electronics. I think I am going to take a page from his book and make one myself. He mentions using QCAD to draw up the components to get the spacing and that is a great idea. You may have noticed that I did not include QCAD in the software links below. That is because LibreCAD is a replacement for QCAD and is based on QCADs sourcecode. Thanks Jason for such a great tidbit of information.
CNC RELATED BOOKS
Build Your Own CNC Machine - Build Your Own CNC Machine is a groundbreaking book targeted at the growing number of hobbyists wanting to fabricate wood and metal parts of their own design in their home workshops. Lead author Patrick Hood-Daniel is creator of buildyourcnc.com and is well-known for his affordable, easy-to-build designs for home CNC machines. His videos on CNC machines are watched by tens of thousands of hobbyists. Each one of those viewers, and each of his website visitors represents a potential sale of this book.
The interest in hobbyist-level CNC machines is real and growing. In addition to the author’s own site, a Google search on "cnc for the home" will turn up many other sites dedicated to this new market, including solsylva.com, homecnc.info, cnczone.com, hobbycnc.com, ktmarketing.com/CNC.html, and more. Articles about CNC for them home can be found on Make Magazine’s website (makezine.com), and at Engadget.com. CNC technology is becoming affordable for the average person, and the many creative people who like to design and build things are taking notice and jumping onto the CNC bandwagon. (Description taken from amazon.com)
CNC Programming Handbook - Over its first two editions, this best-selling book has become the de facto standard for training and reference material at all levels of CNC programming. Used in hundreds of educational institutions around the world as the primary text for CNC courses, and used daily by many in-field CNC programmers and machine operators, this book literally defines CNC programming. Written with careful attention to detail, there are no compromises. Many of the changes in this new Third Edition are the direct result of comments and suggestions received from many CNC professionals in the field. This extraordinarily comprehensive work continues to be packed with over one thousand illustrations, tables, formulas, tips, shortcuts, and practical examples.
The enclosed CD-ROM now contains a fully functional 15-day shareware version of CNC tool path editor/simulator, NCPlot™. This powerful, easy-to-learn software includes an amazing array of features, many not found in competitive products. NCPlot offers an unmatched combination of simplicity of use and richness of features. Support for many advanced control options is standard, including a macro interpreter that simulates Fanuc and similar macro programs.
The CD-ROM also offers many training exercises based on individual chapters, along with solutions and detailed explanations. Special programming and machining examples are provided as well, in form of complete machine files, useful as actual programming resources. Virtually all files use Adobe PDF format and are set to high resolution printing. (Description taken from amazon.com)
Printing in Plastic - Printing in Plastic: Build Your Own 3D Printer is your gateway into the exciting world of personal fabrication. The “printer” that you’ll build from this book is a personal fabricator capable of creating small parts and other objects from drops of molten plastic. Design a part using a modeling tool such as Google SketchUp. Then, watch while the fabricator head·sweeps back and forth and upwards, depositing·plastic in all the right places.·You can build anything from a replacement tab to hold a bookshelf in place, to a small art project, to a bashguard for your bicycle. If you can conceive it and design it, you can build it, and you’ll have fun doing it!·
Printing in Plastic is aimed at creative people comfortable using power tools such as a table saw, circular saw, and drill press. Authors James Kelly and Patrick Hood-Daniel lead you through building a personal fabrication machine based upon a set of blueprints downloaded from their website.·Example projects get you started in designing and fabricating your own parts. Bring your handyman skills, and·apply patience during the build process. You too can be the proud owner of a personal fabricator—a three-dimensional printer.
The CNC Cookbook -CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control, and is a collection of technologies that enable precise computerized control of a variety of machines. If you are a hobbyist or DIY enthusiast interested in building and operating a computer controlled device like a router table or foam cutting machine, or converting and running a benchtop CNC mill or lathe, then The CNC Cookbook will provide the help you need to get started. Concepts of design, construction, and successful operation are covered in a practical, straightforward way. Topics include: Types of CNC hardware (motors, drive systems, linear slides, etc), Electronics (motor drives, power supplies, and more), Software (CAD, CAM, and controller programs), Conversion of existing machines and design of new CNC machines, The basics of G-code and how to operate a CNC machine successfully and Tips to avoid expensive mistakes. (Description from Amazon.com)
CNC PARTS & PIECES SUPPLIERS
Build Your CNC - This website is really a great resource.· It has loads of videos showing a CNC build.· It has information on tooling and other things as well.· But I listed the site here because they have Stepper Motors, Electronics, lead screws, bearings and just about anything else you could hope for to get started building your own CNC.· They have even produced a couple of books.· I encourage you to check this website out.
Hobby CNC This site sells driver boards, stepper motors, couplers and other items for use in making your own CNC machine.· They also sell plans for CNC Machines.
Home Shop CNC - This site has Servos, Stepper Motors, Spindles, Couplings, Linear Slides, Ball Screws and much, much more.· (From their website) Whether you are a or OEM, homeshopcnc offers high-end CNC components for the machine builder on a budget.
Linux CNC - This website has software called EMC and EMC2 for controlling a CNC Machine.· EMC stands for Enhanced Machine Control.· You can download a live CD that you can either install or run to see what you think of the software.· The EMC(2) software is built on the Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) releases helping guarantee that the Operating System is supported for a long period of time.· This is the software that I moved to from DAK Engineering's Turbo CNC.
Auto Edit NC - Auto Edit NC is a program that will allow you to create and edit G-Code programs.· The program will also backplot your program to see what it is doing.· This sowftare could be used to help teach yourself to wite G-Code.· You can also find a tutorial for using this software at http://tutorial-programming-nc.blogspot.com/2009/01/autoedit-nc-software-tutorial.html
CamBam - CamBam is an application to create CAM files (gcode) from CAD source files or its own internal geometry editor. CamBam has many users worldwide, from CNC hobbyists to professional machinists and engineers. At this posting CamBam Plus costs $150.00 for the Plus version.· You can however run CamBam for a trial basis to see if you like it.· The trial allows you to run the program for something like 40 times before it quits.· Otherwise it is fully functional
CNCSimulator - This software allows you to run G-Code and let you see what the cuts would look like.· They are currently working on a Pro version, but I think the current one is still free.
CutViewer - CutViewer allows you to see how your G-Code would look if it were being cut on a machine.· This software simulated the code being run and displays the operations on the machine.· The site gives you a free 30 day trial.
DAK Engineering - CNC control from DAK Engineering. Home of TurboCNC. TurboCNC can be tried before you buy with no functionality of the software removed after your trial time. This software requires DOS to run. For those of you wanting to run an old outcast machine you can get FreeDOS from the Internet to run this software.
DeskEngrave - DeskEngrave is a basic True Type Font to Vector Converter that allows saving of G-Code or DXF files. It will convert a single line of text into the required toolpaths for engraving. It can create toolpaths aligned along an arc or straight line. It includes a TTF 'Stick Style' font - Stick40.· This is free software from DesKAM
FreeDOS - FreeDOS is a free DOS-compatible operating system for IBM-PC compatible systems. FreeDOS is made of up many different, separate programs that act as "packages" to the overall FreeDOS Project. If you have an old PC and would like to dedicate it to a CNC running TurboCNC then you will want an Operating System to do it.
Mach3 - Mach3 CNC control software.· Mach3 is the flagship of the ArtSoft products. It is released in two versions: a Lockdown version, and a Development version. The Lockdown is a stable, static release recommended for new users, or people trialing the software. The Development version contains developing features and is released quite often so people can obtain new (but untested) features and capabilities. Both releases are limited to 500 lines of Gcode until licensed. Mach3 has a limit of 10,000,000 lines of Gcode when licensed. (Description taken from Mach Support Website.
Sandboxie - If your a computer geek or a new CNC builder, you will find yourself installing lots of different software from many different sources on the Internet.· The problem with this is that software experimentation seems to take a toll on your poor old computer.· The Registry gets bloated, files are left on the system after you uninstall that trial software and more.· Sandboxie is a solution to that problem.· Sandboxie runs your programs in an isolated space which prevents them from making permanent changes to other programs and data in your computer.· Install your test application to a sandbox and when your done evaluating it, just delete the sandbox.· All traces of the program are gone, just like it was never installed.· Sandboxie also allows you to run already installed programs in a sandbox.· For example, IE or Firefox, thus preventing you from picking up malware and viruses.· Check it out.
Vectric - The Vectric company has a load of different software for CNC so I decided to lump them all under the company name.· The Vectric comapny has the following software: Aspire, VCarve Pro, Cut 3D, Cut 2D and Photo VCarve.· I encourage you to check them out.· The software can be a bit pricey, but it looks like it does the job.
FreeCAD - FreeCAD is a general purpose Open Source 3D CAD/MCAD/CAx/CAE/PLM modeler, aimed directly at mechanical engineering and product design but also fits a wider range of uses in engineering, such as architecture or other engineering specialties. It is a feature-based parametric modeler with a modular software architecture which makes it easy to provide additional functionality without modifying the core system.
LibreCAD - LibreCAD is a comprehensive, 2D CAD application that you can download and install for free. There is a large base of satisfied LibreCAD users worldwide, and it is available in more than 20 languages and for all major operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, Suse, ...).