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Author Topic: Looking for CNC woodworker  (Read 344 times)

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Justin

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Looking for CNC woodworker
« on: January 16, 2023, 01:22:38 pm »
Does anyone know of a service that provides CNC woodworking for a simple control panel? 

The ones I found mentioned across several posts here seem to be long gone or no longer performing custom CNC services.

I'm in Ohio.
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lilshawn

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Re: Looking for CNC woodworker
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2023, 02:19:24 pm »
google maps is your friend.

there are tons of woodworking/cabinetry places that do CNC, mainly because its faster and more accurate to have a CNC do it opposed to a guy using templates or jiggs.

your main issue is going to be finding someone who wants to take on side work.

we have a woodwork guy in a bay 4 down from us at my work who does CNC stuff, but does not want to take on side work since they already have a ton of stuff they do constantly already, so we take our stuff across town. as convenient as a CNC guy is to us, it just isn't in the cards for us.

also check around for "makerspaces" ... you might be able to "rent" time on a CNC this way.

protip: do all your CNC layout if you have the ability and be ready to give your guy a ready to go DXF.

if you have a ready to go file and they can just load your material in and hit start, you are more likely to find someone who will just do this for you opposed to having to go find someone who will not only MAKE your item in CAD, but also cut it. most of your time will be spent in CAD making the thing. if your guy knows he just needs to supply a half hour or hour of CNC time and maybe a new bit, he will be more likely to say yes than having to take a guy and pay him to CAD it up too.

Justin

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Re: Looking for CNC woodworker
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2023, 03:42:37 pm »
Thanks a lot. 

Yes I have the DXF ready to go!  I do CAD work for a living.   I'll see if I can find someone locally!
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RobodocX

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Re: Looking for CNC woodworker
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2023, 11:15:57 pm »
A few basic comments. Having a DXF is a great start but converting that to a cut capable file depends on some toolpathing for traditional CNC. This isn't a big deal if the file is relatively straightforward for your CNC provider to do. You will need to provide whoever is going to do this with the DXF and the material or material specs to allow toolpathing.

Where roughly are you located regionally?
Richard

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Justin

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Re: Looking for CNC woodworker
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2023, 12:32:29 am »
Im in the Cincinnati area.

There is an incredible place I found called the Manufactory and they have a high end CNC. I can get trained for $90 and then $35 for a full day.   I will be learning and doing this myself.
Software is Mach3.
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Gilrock

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Re: Looking for CNC woodworker
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2023, 10:10:32 am »
Like Robo was saying you can't just feed a DXF into Mach3.  Mach3 runs the CNC and wants a file that is G-code.  Normally you would import the DXF into another program (I use Aspire 8.0) and create your toolpaths and then generate your output file (g-code).  The toolpaths define which bit you plan to use for each cut and its associated plunge rates and feed rates.  Just imagine an 1/8" bit would need to follow a different path than a 1/4" bit to cut the same size object.

Mike A

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Re: Looking for CNC woodworker
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2023, 10:13:14 am »
Or you could just cut the control panel with basic power tools.

RobodocX

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Re: Looking for CNC woodworker
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2023, 11:48:05 am »
Justin - following up on your comment above. I agree with what Gilrock was saying.

Mach3 is just the software that controls the CNC router. It's rather an older (and somewhat more hobbiest oriented) system but works just fine. It takes G-code and converts it into movements on the CNC. To toolpath you will need to bring your DXF into another software package (like Vcarve, Aspire or similar) and provide information about the material and thickness. Every CNC machine has its own capabilities which are a function of spindle power, size, presence or absence of an automatic tool changer, etc. I'm sure if you are taking the training they will cover this although 90 min seems a bit quick. You need a postprocessor for Vcarve/Aspire that is specific to your machine and some understanding of tooling and holddown issues. You can easily crash the machine, break bits, or screw up your workpiece if you don't understand certain aspects of toolpathing. So there is a bit to it but it's certainly fun work. Solidworks certainly also has add on manufacturing modules that will allow toolpathing as well directly from your model but I have no experience doing that with solidworks (which seems more focused on CNC milling, etc).

Most of the work in this case will be in the planning and setup stages. Cutting out something like this on a decent CNC will take you < 10 min. You may want to consider how you are hinging things. If you are going to use Euro-style hinges (or anything really) you may want to have the CNC mortise out the cups and drill holes, etc. Or you can go easy and just do all that manually afterward.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2023, 11:53:14 am by RobodocX »
Richard

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Mike A

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Re: Looking for CNC woodworker
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2023, 11:56:01 am »
That Manufactory has a lot of equipment.


RobodocX

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Re: Looking for CNC woodworker
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2023, 12:03:16 pm »
They do seem well stocked. These makerspaces are great but the business model has been challenging for some so we've lost a lot of them during the pandemic. $35 seems like an amazing deal if that actually lets you use all their equipment, software, CNC for a whole day.

I note that they also have several lasers. It can be advantageous to use your DXF to cut out cover sheets of acrylic for control panels - something to think about. I did that with my last panel and it was nice - easy to sandwich graphics, easy to clean, easy to make, etc.
Richard

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Traditional, digital design, CNC and laser techniques. Always happy to help if I can.

lilshawn

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Re: Looking for CNC woodworker
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2023, 11:32:26 pm »
my guy personally wants just DXF. that way he can use his own program to generate the gcode using his own toolpath pre-settings according to his machines capabilities. this not only optimizes his time on the machine, but prevent damaging bits.