The news from the Woodworking Technology Department is the replacement of the RA CNC. We have purchased a slightly used Nextwave Shark HD510 from a couple needing to get out of woodworking due to medical reasons and we have sold our first CNC machine, the China 6040, to a deserving, talented, VWC member.
The HD510 has only a 24"x24" bed, slightly larger than the China 6040 (15x22). But Nextwave offers an upgrade kit that will increase the Shark to a 24"x48" bed. We will pursue that if the interest deems it to be appropriate.
The machine has some upgrades. It has a 2HP water cooled spindle vs. using a hand held router. It can be operated from a pendant or from a PC. If operated from a PC there are additional capabilities. The BW Maverick is still the more powerful and versatile machine, but there is one feature the Shark can do that the Maverick cannot. It is called Virtual Zeroing Unlimited. Let me explain by an example. You have a chair with a curved upper backrest rail. You would like to carve something on the curved board. The Shark allows you to take numerous readings (unlimited) to plot the geometry of the curved board, and then use that data to carve on that surface as if it were flat. With the Maverick you would need to create a model that represented the curved surface and then carve on the board as if it were the model. (more complicated)
The purchase of the Shark included a copy of Vectric Aspire, a $2,000 high end modeling software package. It can be transferred only once. VWC is that "only once" and Hans is in the process of completing the transfer.
Additionally, how we certify operators will change. No longer will you be required to certify on the RA CNC (a stepping stone to the Maverick) before requesting certification on the BW CNC. The two machines are both CNCs but operate differently. I hope the user group concept of each E511 class will continue, but now training and practicing together to learn both the RA machine and the BW machine, and then the classmates seeking certification on either or both machines.
The Laser is reported to be back to full capability, but it seems a shipment of plywood has been manufactured with materials that make it difficult/impossible to cut with our laser compared to previous lots of plywood.
Additionally, we are back in the soup with Corel. Registration of our 130 copies of CorelDraw have disappeared from Corel's registry. We are very disappointed with the support we are currently receiving from Corel. A sudden change that started last fall.