CNC Milling

Overview

The CNC router can be used for cutting 2D part files as well as 3D surfacing. As we have a 3-Axis, it is unable to make undercuts or bevel cuts. Before your part can be milled, you need to review your file with the technician. The technician will quickly preview your file for errors and correct settings. All CNC Milling requires There is a 3 day lead time for the CNC router.

Equipment

Techno LC Series 4896 3-Axis CNC Router. This mill has a 4’x8’ bed with a 4” gantry clearance (Z height).

Pricing

The cost to use the CNC router is $30 per hour, with a minimum charge of one hour. There is a $6 file set up fee which includes the review of your file and the set up on the CNC bed.

Ensure that there is a 1” margin no cut zone around the perimeter of all your material stock in order for us to secure the material down to the mill bed.

Materials

Wood, including plywood and hardwood Rigid Insulation Foam Plastics, such as acrylic and polyethylene (LDPE / HDPE)

Keep in mind that the quality of the material you use will affect the final result. Low quality plywood (chipboard, luan, warped sheets etc.) will yield low quality results.

If your material stock is glued up, be sure that it has had at least 24 hours to dry. Use liberal amounts of glue spread evenly across the material to ensure complete adhesion when laminating materials. Please ensure the material is cut square and true. Also please note your actual material thickness, as this may effect your VisualCAM settings. Use calipers to get the exact thickness of your material. For example, if using ¾” plywood, it is likely the actual thickness is .6875”. This information is important when designing your file.

Preparing your files

2D cutting can be set up using 2D vector files made with AutoCad or Adobe Illustrator. Be sure your file is made up of closed vectors; all lines meet exactly at endpoints and there are no duplicate or overlapping lines. Indicate any pockets by using highlights and text notes. Save your file as a DWG or Ai file.

Keep in mind that the smallest cutter we work with is 1/8” and so the cut paths will be 1/8” wide.

3D surfacing uses a surface or solid model as a starting point. These files should be at actual scale of the part you are making. We will use VisualCAM to generate the tool-paths to machine cut your part. Save your file as a STL.

Cutter Information

We have some cutters available to students. If you are working on a particularly large project, or if you require a specific finish, you may be asked to provide your own cutter. To determine the best type of cutter for your project, speak to the technician.