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CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques
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  1. Daytonatim's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    I know I have not been on this site very long, but in that short amount of time I have seen a few people who are interested in CNC stuff. So I thought I would start a thread that would be one place we could go to share our ideas and experiences.

    I am not a modeler like you guys are. I came to this point of modeling from the other side of CNC work. I have been doing 3D computer modeling for about 20 years now. For all that time it has frustrated me that I could never hold my work in my hand when the day is done. So about a year ago I started researching "hobby CNC" stuff and finally decided to take the plung in the spring of 2007 and I have been learning ever since.

    My 20 years experiance in computer modeling has taught me a lot of different things. I know that the computer side of CNC world can be rather intimidating to someone that is more grounded in dremel CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques tools, sandpaper, and exacto knives. On the other hand I am a complete noob when it comes to finishing a model. I am completely blown away by what I see you guys accomplish on your models and would really like to try and climb my way up the learning curve a little.

    So I hope maybe I can get some of your knowlege of modeling through this thick skull of mine and maybe I can help others take the same leap I did about a year ago and get their CNC stuff up and running.

    I am using the following hardware and software for my operation

    1) Modeling software: (Pro/Engineer, 3DStudio Max)
    2) CNC code (G code) generation software: (MeshCam)
    3) CNC controler software: (Mach3 Mill)
    4) CNC mill is a modified Rockcliff machine. My working envelope is about 18x24x7 inches
    5) My CNC motors and controler is a kit made by Xylotex http://xylotex.com/
    6) I machine all my parts out or corian countertop material.......I get it free from a shop

    Here are some pics of my machine
    Attached Images Attached Images CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques-mill_1-jpg  CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques-mill_2-jpg  CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques-mill_3-jpg  CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques-mill_4-jpg  CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques-mill_5-jpg 
    QUOTE QUOTE #1

  2. Don Garrett's Avatar Asst. Administrator
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    Many thanks Tim, if there's anything we can do to help you with the modeling end of your pursuit, just ask it's yours.
    Grandpa McGurk.....Steppin' Large and Livin' easy.
    TDRinnovations.com
    QUOTE QUOTE #2

  3. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Wow, I've never seen anything like that before. Do you have any pictures of the machine in action? I'd love to see how it works.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    QUOTE QUOTE #3

  4. Daytonatim's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Quote Originally Posted by hot ford coupe View Post
    Wow, I've never seen anything like that before. Do you have any pictures of the machine in action? I'd love to see how it works.

    I don't have any movies of my rig in action but here is one on youtube.com that might be interesting to you

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=jw0JRWZF5TA

    Here are some still shots of my machine cutting out a rearend I designed for the Quad Al. It is based on a Mark Williams top fuel dragster rearend.
    Attached Images Attached Images CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques-100_0541-jpg  CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques-100_0543-jpg  CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques-100_0545-jpg  CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques-100_0546-jpg  CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques-100_0547-jpg  CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques-100_0548-jpg  CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques-100_0549-jpg  CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques-100_0550-jpg 
    QUOTE QUOTE #4

  5. Don Garrett's Avatar Asst. Administrator
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    Wicked.......can see lots of potential here for large scale builders. Thanks again Tim.
    Grandpa McGurk.....Steppin' Large and Livin' easy.
    TDRinnovations.com
    QUOTE QUOTE #5

  6. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    So that's how it works. You better believe there's a lot of potentail for this. From a production standpoint, it speeds the process up an incredible amount. Looking great. Thanks Tim.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    QUOTE QUOTE #6

  7. Rick's Avatar Member
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    You're onto something Tim. I don't know if you're set up to carve billet, but if not you could be makeing parts out of plastic or resin CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques . There's a market for what you are doing, especially in 8th. If you were to start carving Mark Williams center sections, for example, I'd be your first customer.
    QUOTE QUOTE #7

  8. mrhenley's Avatar Active Member
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    Hi Tim,
    First of all, welcome! I have been on this forum for about 5 months, now, so I'm somewhat of a noob myself.
    I think this could be the beginning of something great!
    I am the idiot who got this latest round of CNC, etc talk started! :) I was thrilled to see your posts. I think we might all be able to work together on these ideas, come up with a ton of neat stuff, and have a ball doing it.
    There's a lot I want to talk about, so bear with me, if this is too long.

    I have been building models for over 50 years, and consider myself an artist. Several years ago, I started working toward learning 3d modeling on a computer. My main goal at the time was to do fine arts style renderings of automotive subjects. I started out with some basic cad programs, and learned a little bit. I have gradually aquired more and better software. I now have TurboCad Pro v11, and Autocad r14. The problem is, as my old brain ages, it gets harder and harder to learn new stuff! :) So, while I can struggle through making 2d drawings, I haven't had much luck in 3d. I am still trying to learn, and hope to incorporate these powerful tools into my skill set.

    As you know, I, Mario, Daniel, and a bunch of the rest of us, have been kicking around ways of incorporating
    CAD/CAM into our hobby. We all have pet projects and ideas that could benefit from using these tools.
    The main problem is that, until you found us, we haven't had a real expert to help us out. And, for most of us, the cost of getting into the advanced stuff is beyond our means for now. I know that's the biggest obstacle for me. So, we have been trying to figure out ways to get it going, on our very limited budgets. We have several schemes going to eventually build up assets and get into the CNC more. I am even trying to auction off some of my prized models on eBay!

    We all know that CNC, etc. has the potential of opening up a marvelous world of possibilities.

    As you are already aware, there is a tremendous talent pool on this forum. (except for me! :) Seriously, we all have our strong points, and together, form an awesome team. One of the best parts of belonging to this particular forum, is the members' willingness to share knowledge, skill and techniques. Even though I have been building models since the Stone Age, I learn something new every time I sign on.

    You hit the nail on the head when you said computer technology can be intimidating. While a lot of us are interested, most of us feel it is way beyond our capabilities. That's why having someone like you join is going to be so good for us.

    And, on the other hand, someone like you, who hasn't any or much experience building models, can be overwhelmed by the idea of creating scale models. This is where what I said above, comes in. Even if you didn't think you could help us much with the CNC, etc. we would still be willing to help you with learning to build models.

    So, I know we can all help each other here. While our eventual goal is for us to benefit from the newer technologies, we will also be more than willing to help you learn as much as you want about building models.

    While we are all learning, we can already reap some major benefits. Until you are comfortable trying it out on your own, we can even do some model building work for you. This will get you some items to get your hands on, and at the same time, will be helping you learn how to do it. Like a lot uf us here, cars are not my only model building interest. I like building models of houses, and various other buildings. I'd be more than happy to build some from your drawings.

    Maybe, you, in turn, could help us get some CNC models and parts made, while we learn more from you. I'd love to have any help I can get, transforming my pet project into a real model. It would be awesome to get some accurate 3d plans, and get parts made with CNC. Eventually, I hope I will be able to do my own stuff.

    The eventual outcome could be awesome. I think we might all gain alot by an interchange of talents and work.

    So, to start things off, what would be involved in getting a 3d model of a small car body made (1/24th scale. About 6 inches long) and using that to produce a duplicate in 1/8th scale (about 19 inches long)?
    I know I could have it done outright, commercially, but there's no way I can afford that right now.

    Once again, welcome to our little band of boys with glue on our fingers, instead of our models!!! :)

    ps: I know I will be asking you tons of questions, as will a lot of others. Please feel free to ask us ANYTHING.
    Last edited by mrhenley; 03-02-08 at 01:45 AM. Reason: What else from me? I found another of my own typos!
    The MInd is a Tool of Epic Proportions,
    Unless you have "Tie a Yellow Ribbon"
    Stuck in Your Head!
    QUOTE QUOTE #8

  9. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    It looks like the dream we've had from the beginning is starting to be realized. Everyone brings something to the table that adds more and more to what this site can offer to the hobby. I almost want to call the site the University of SMC. We have a basic modeling department, a superdetailing department, a scratchbuilding department, a resin CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques department and now a CNC department. If you need modeling education, come to the University of SMC and have a blast.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    QUOTE QUOTE #9

  10. mrhenley's Avatar Active Member
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    While it would be a pretty big hassle to actually rename the site, there's no reason we can't just call it the USMC right now, among ourselves. (Wait a minute. Did I just volunteer to become a LeatherNeck?) LOL
    I am fascinated with the mental aspects of model building, so my first official act is to name myself Professor of Applied Plastic and Glue Psychology. Since I tend to cut myself too often with my Xacto knives, maybe I should minor in something medical!

    Seriously though, you make a great point. With guys like Tim and Daniel joining us, we are forming a HUGE talent pool. And this cannot fail to help everyone. Many of us already do tutorials, and once our new friends get comfy with us, they can do them too. They have already taught me a lot. And, as they get more and more into it, they will come up with all kinds of things no one else has even thought about.

    And, let's face it, with all the big companies merging, outsourcing, cutting back and slowing down, and tragedies like Walmart dropping their model sections, we need a new, powerful approach. We could be on the verge of creating what might be called a "Super-Aftermarket." If the big guys can't or won't keep the hobby alive and growing, maybe groups like us can. I am not saying we should all aim for making our livings from what we love to do. But, as we learn new technologies, and discover new ways of doing things, we might actually have a big impact on the marketplace in general. When we combine these new technologies with proven, time-honored modeling techniques, we will really have something. How else is Rick ever going to get his 1/8th SOHC, or me, my 1/8th Cobra? When you stop and think about it, for every active forum member, there are probably hundreds, if not thousands of other modelers out there who would like some of the neat stuff we can come up with. So, at least some of us might want to start thinking about how to get all those people their goodies too.

    As an example of what I am talking about, this might be the long-sought answer to the tough ones. I can see a near future setup where we can use machines to do some of the really tough jobs. How about new, treaded tires? It is very difficult and time consuming to make a casting CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques master for a treaded tire. But, I'll bet once our new friends get to understanding the handmade side, and we learn more about the CNC side, it will be fairly quick and easy to have a machine whip out tires of any size, sidewall design, and tread pattern.

    Funny I should pick that exact example. Just yesterday, I had an idea about making treads on tires. While a lathe, etc. would help, I think I figured out a way to do it with simple hand tools. It would require making a few new tools, and some jigs and fixtures. But, if it works, it could get us started, while the automated stuff is being developed. And, I am sure there will be some of us who want to go ahead and do it by hand, just to see if we can! I have only done some mental imagery of it so far, but I am going to do some drawings, and then some tests, to see if it will really work. I don't want to get any hopes up and then have it flop, but if it does work, I'll do a tutorial on it.

    See, there's room for everything. For instance, Mario and I are pushing ahead on the manual 3d pantograph. I can still see some things that could be done more easily, using it. At least for now.

    Wow, I have been pretty anxious to get some stuff going over the last several months. Now, I am about to wet my pants with glee, over what is happening! (Well, at least get a big goofy grin on my face! :)


    Quote Originally Posted by hot ford coupe View Post
    It looks like the dream we've had from the beginning is starting to be realized. Everyone brings something to the table that adds more and more to what this site can offer to the hobby. I almost want to call the site the University of SMC. We have a basic modeling department, a superdetailing department, a scratchbuilding department, a resin CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques department and now a CNC department. If you need modeling education, come to the University of SMC and have a blast.
    The MInd is a Tool of Epic Proportions,
    Unless you have "Tie a Yellow Ribbon"
    Stuck in Your Head!
    QUOTE QUOTE #10

  11. Don Garrett's Avatar Asst. Administrator
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    Mike....check my Weekend Warrior post (All Other 1/8th Cars).....I'm experimenting with some wheels and tires now using hand tools.
    Last edited by Don Garrett; 03-02-08 at 05:34 AM.
    Grandpa McGurk.....Steppin' Large and Livin' easy.
    TDRinnovations.com
    QUOTE QUOTE #11

  12. Daytonatim's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrhenley View Post
    You hit the nail on the head when you said computer technology can be intimidating. While a lot of us are interested, most of us feel it is way beyond our capabilities. That's why having someone like you join is going to be so good for us.

    And, on the other hand, someone like you, who hasn't any or much experience building models, can be overwhelmed by the idea of creating scale models.
    You too "hit the nail on the head" I really like doing 3D computer models. It is relaxing, I can do it while watching college football with my wife, it does not make dust our house (I don't have a room to do my modeling in.....I do it in the living room on our coffee table). So the Silicone molding, resin casting, and the finishing out of the parts is not as appealing to me as the computer modeling/CNC stuff is.

    So..... if there is someone out there willing to mold/cast the parts I make, I would be willing to model/machine out the masters.

    Any takers?

    If you guys can put your heads together and come up with something that is pretty simple, quick, and needed by many we can start to work on it see what comes of it.

    I can custom model a part or....Take a look at TurboSquid.com there are a lot of free/cheap items there, most of which I can process and get to my mill. If someone is thinking of buying something though, check with me first so I can look at it and makesure I can work with it. There is a lot of crappy models on TurboSquid.

    If we do try and do something, it should be a part that is as "independent" as possible. Making sure the computer model mates up to an existing real model part adds a level of complexity we don't need at this time, but is certainly doable in the future. Maybe a good wrinkle wall slick or a wheel, or a gear shifter with a skull for a shift knob........ What ever it is lets give it a try and see what happens.

    Here is my complete portfolio on Turbosquid
    http://www.turbosquid.com/Search/Ind...=26&Submit.y=5
    QUOTE QUOTE #12

  13. Daniel's Avatar Established Member
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    Tim, Great CNC setup, I like the way you have incorporated everything into the unit including dust extraction. It is good to see you have posted a working CNC machine on this site. It lets the members here see its potential. I don’t have a CNC machine built, but have looked into automating a milling machine I have. I use AutoCAD for work all the time, but mainly 2D. I am starting to explore Maya 2008, for 3D work, I think I will be exploring it for a while till I can do anything useful in it! I see from the Xylotex site you can get 3 motors and a driver for $400. This is a lot cheaper than what I have told people because I based my costs on local suppliers based in Australia. Thanks for the link to the Xylotex site because I found they ship their kits to Australia for a total price a lot cheaper than I can source locally. From the pictures you posted you obviously have some wood-working skills, so you already have the basics to become a good modeler. What sort of models are you thinking to build?
    Just saw your new post with the link to your turbosquid stuff, that is some excellent 3d modeling. The motors and car bodies you have done are very professional.
    QUOTE QUOTE #13

  14. Daniel's Avatar Established Member
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    Mike, I like your lateral thinking. To make tires on a CNC machine you will need a 4 axis machine. That is a complex CNC machine that has both a milling table and a lathe component. One thing I think that should be pointed out is that CNC machines are more suited to creating one off CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques parts and masters for casting CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques . Your tire example is best done on a lathe, as is cutting the tire tread. However the CNC machine would ideally be suited to creating one off CNC Talk Tips Tricks and Techniques car bodies or car body masters.
    QUOTE QUOTE #14

  15. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Hey Mike, so you like the university idea. That would make me Professor of Plastic Surgery. And I don't have to use any anesthetic. The parts don't feel it when you cut them.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    QUOTE QUOTE #15

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