FORGOT YOUR DETAILS?

20/11/2019 PROJECT DATE 20/11/2019 PROJECT DATE 20/11/2019 PROJECT DATE 20/11/2019 PROJECT DATE 27/11/2019 PROJECT DATE 27/11/2019 PROJECT DATE 22/02/2015 PROJECT DATE 22/02/2015 PROJECT DATE 23/03/2015 PROJECT DATE

1. CNC BASICS

NAMES
CNC ESSENTIALS

LOCATION
CNC LAB

DATE
TBC

DURATION ONLINE
20 min

DURATION PRACTICAL
10 min

MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS
KNOW THE CNC LAB
KNOW THE CNC ROUTERS
RHINO BASICS

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS
RHINOCEROS 7
RHINOCAM

LEARNING OUTCOMES
TBC

CHALLENGE
BALSA CHALLENGE

HAZARDS
COLLISION
FIRE
HARMFUL INHALATION

REMEMBER
ALWAYS WATCH THE MACHINE
WAIT BEFORE OPENING THE COVER
IN DOUBT, ASK FOR HELP

A Spindle is a very fast spinning motor that holds an end mill. The end mill spins at a specific speed and the machine that the spindle is attached to feeds it through the material to cut away the material in its path. This is what is known as the tool path. The machine that the spindle is attached to is either a mill or a router. The machine is controlled by a computer, hence Computer Numerical Code - CNC. The computer code is generated out of your Rhino CAD file by using a CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) plugin call RhinoCAM.

WHAT THEY DO:

At a very basic level the End Mill can cut 2 dimensional shapes by using two axis - the X and the Y - it can also create what is called a "pocket" by cutting away a set region, part of the way through the material. However, it can also use it’s 3rd axis - the Z axis- to cut simultaneously with the X and Y. This enables complex surfaces to be machined. Here in the Fabrication Lab we can cut low and high density foams as well as sheet material such as plywood, MDF and hard plastics like acrylic and also sectional timber.

WHAT THEY DON'T DO:

The end mill cannot cut pockets or internal parts smaller than its diameter. The machines are known as 3 axis machines. They can move on the X and Y and up and down on the Z. However, they cannot access undercuts (see the diagram below), this requires a 5 Axis CNC machine. They cannot cut deeper than the specific end mill will allow. Most* of our end mills are designed to cut through 50mm (our thickest stock material).

*There are exceptions, Peter and Bernard will not cut deeper than 40 mm using a 6mm end mill and the 3mm end mill cuts to 10mm in depth.

For any questions or queries please email office@fabricationlab.london

MATERIALS:

This is dependent on the machine and its extraction. The mini mills (Peter, Bernard and Rem and Bjarke) have less power so cannot cut denser materials, they also have no extraction which means they can only cut soft materials like balsa and foam. The routers (Renzo and Norman) have a lot more power and extraction so they can cut MDF, Ply, harder plastics and foam.

Inside the template file there is a list (in the layers) of all the materials each machine can cut.

HAZARDS + CONTROLS:

There are three main hazards you need to beware of as a user of the CNC machines in the Lab:

• COLLISION - As the mini mills are enclosed the risk of collision with yourself and the machine is not possible. This is not the case with Norman and Renzo.

CONTROL: Pause the machine first. Never interfere with the machine while in operation.

• FIRE - As the spindles rotate at an extremely high speed friction is created. If the End Mill is blunt then this friction can be much greater causing the material to ignite. Fire is a very real possibility on the routers.

CONTROL: Never leave the machine unattended! To control the risk of fire when using Norman or Renzo, we insist that you observe from outside of the machine room, and you must never lose sight of the End Mill.

• HARMFUL INHALATION - The end mills remove material as fine chips this can be a fine inhalable particulate. The mini mills are enclosed and the Routers have high power extraction systems however the particulate can still be made airborne when the material is moved.

CONTROL: Check extraction and always vaccum! Due to the risk of toxic fumes you can only use our material, NOT your own. Always check the extraction is on and working. When you have finished cutting be sure to vacuum as much as possible before moving the stock material.

TOP