CNC Router Operation

The VWC has recently acquired a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Router for use in the shop by previously trained and certified operators.  The first certified operator training will start in June 2018.  These students have been handpicked by the CNC Committee.  Training for the general membership will start with the fall 2018 Education Department classes.  Enrollment will initially be limited.  The first classes will prepare students to use the fundamental features of the design software, important considerations in the design process, ending with production of a wood plaque.  Once designed the students will be able to have their design milled by a certified operator.  The certified operator will review the design and point out any issues that might affect the safe operation and intended use of the mill.  Students will be allowed to be present and, if asked, assist the operator during production.  Once sufficient class training (TBD) has been completed by a student he/she may request to complete certification training.  Every effort will be made to move through as many members as possible, yet assuring we have trained/experienced operators running the machine.

The operation of the CNC Router is divided into four distinct operations:

GENERATE THE TOOLPATH

This involves creating a "model" of your project in a software package, called V-CARVE PRO from Vectric Company that results in the Tool Path the router will use in actually carving your project.  The club owns a three-station license for this software.  Members are encouraged to download the free V-CARVE PRO software, to train at home and to use during classes.

To download the free Vcarve Pro software go to Vectric.com click on Download Software or Try​ then select Vcarve and finally select Vcarve Pro. Follow the installation instructions

Members can download this software, generate designs, and save the work to a thumb drive.  That file can then be given to a certified operator to review and schedule a time to run the project.

GENERATE THE JOB SHEET

This is one of the outputs of the V-Carve software and shows the size and orientation configuration of your project.  Also, the names of each tool used in the project.  Each tool requires a separate tool path file and set-up of the machine.  Tool paths can only be done on a licensed version of the software, and will be completed by a certified operator after review of the project.

CNC ROUTER SETUP

This is a series of operations which configure the router based on the Job Sheet, including the project’s zero position and selection of the router bits prior to turning on the router and actually performing the carving operation.

CNC ROUTER OPERATION

This step includes the physical operation of the router, including such steps as setting the zero-point and ensuring that the router and associated software is ready for operation.

TUTORIAL VIDEOS

The tutorial videos can be access from this website by selecting this link: https://vwcorg.blob.core.windows.net/cnc/Index.html.

YOU TUBE VIDEOS

There are also a wealth of videos on the operation of CNC Routers as well as generating the ToolPaths for CNC Routers.  We have included a sampling of these videos on a separate page: