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Ron Sommers
09-20-2018, 01:11 PM
Hi all,

This is my first post, so I guess it's an introduction of sorts? ;)


Just found the ShopBot forum. It's a really cool forum.

I'm interested in learning about CNC. Perusing the threads I haven't seen a 'Start here' or 'Beginners' forum.

I searched 'program' thinking I might find a place to start learning about programming a computer to run a CNC.

Is there a "beginner's" thread?

Sounds like you all are really experienced, but where did you begin?

The local library has a "Maker" department. It's kind of like a 'learning pod' for patrons to program and run the machines. They're meeting a need in the community. They have 3D printers, laser printer/cutters AND a ShopBot Model DT2418 for use by the general public. They're only cutting wood and plastics (no metal) on the DT2418.

I'd like to program a simple cutout, a square, a circle stuff like that to get the hang of thinking x,y,z. That seems to be the logical thing to start out on.

To use their equipment one has to be 'badged', or approved. They're way behind - almost 2 mos out! I figured I'd get a jump on learning so I can hit the ground running when they 'fit me in'...

What do you recommend?


Thank you,

Ron

srwtlc
09-20-2018, 04:18 PM
Welcome Ron,

In brief, start here (https://support.shopbottools.com/training/tutorials?_ga=2.40676132.762124601.1537474555-428540797.1537474555) and here (https://support.vectric.com/training-material). Much more to be said, but this will get you started.

Why start with a circle or rectangle when you can just as easily do something simple like a name in a circle/oval or rectangle. ;)

pro70z28
09-20-2018, 05:10 PM
Type ShopBot in the search box on youtube. There's all kinds of tutorials there.

steve_g
09-20-2018, 07:16 PM
Ron…

Do you have design software available to you? It’s a whole lot easier to design in Vectric V-Carve Pro or something like that than to “program” line by line … BUT, if that’s what you want to learn how to do, we’ll be directing you other directions!

SG

Oh, and welcome to the forum!

scottp55
09-20-2018, 09:33 PM
Welcome Ron:)

That's the Desktop model I have and I'd never CNC'd before either.
I used the time before it came to download the Demo version of Vectric's VCarvePro which the machine comes with(make sure that they use that and it's available), and watched the first tutorials once,
BUT worked ALONG with the tutorials the second and third times swapping/stopping screens. THAT was very important! Wish I'd had double monitors!
TJ's Shopbot tutorials are great! IF you can manage to watch one of his Live online classes, it's even better!
A lot of them are cut on the Desktop, and it's good to see a start to finish project.

The Desktop has a 24X by18"Y working area, but you'll have to hold down the workpiece...so maybe make you're first file with material size the size of the board you'll have, and then make a design in the center of it leaving a 1" margin on all sides for cutout.

Like Scott said...Why make JUST a simple shape:)

Without this Forum to help....I'D still be making circles:)
VERY helpful folks here, AND on the Vectric forum!

I THINK I already asked all the "dumb" questions on here when I started, but if after a Google search "let's talk shopbot ****search your subject***" and you don't see what you want.
Feel free to ask us anytime, but most questions are already answered.

Again,
Welcome Ron:)
scott

Ron Sommers
09-20-2018, 11:06 PM
Thanks for all the replies!

I was just picking something simple: circle and square. Don't want to crash the head! :-o

I'll check out the videos online and the links you all supplied.


Is there a trial version of the Vcarve pro software?

I don't have to 'program' as much as learn how to use the cnc.

If there's an easier method (I'm knew here ;-) I'm all for it!!

The wife works in the education field so if there's an 'ed' discount...

srwtlc
09-20-2018, 11:24 PM
Is there a trial version of the Vcarve pro software?

Yup. right here (http://Is there a trial version of the Vcarve pro software?).

scottp55
09-21-2018, 06:07 AM
You may want to download the Shopbot control software as well;
http://www.shopbottools.com/mSupport/controlsoftware.htm
as it will get you familiar with the Shopbot control panel(recommend you get used to the "Full"mode).
It won't be hooked to a machine, BUT it may help you understand the threads and Shopbot tutorials better.
I found VCarvePro relatively intuitive seeing as I'd never used a CAD/CAM program before(except a "94 Autocad class I took and almost flunked) once I had got the basics from the VCP tutorials.

Wait till you see what you can do! :)
scott

Ron Sommers
09-22-2018, 01:12 AM
I too took an autocad 10 class around the same time in 94. I did ok, but it wasn't enough to get a job doing autocad.

That's the extent of my knowledge.

Thanks for the links.

What about Rhino? I've seen that surfing the web.

curtiss
09-22-2018, 12:11 PM
Ron,

Perhaps make a visit to Donek snowboards up the road a ways, quite a bit of Shopbot equipment up there I believe ...

https://www.donek.com/

Ron Sommers
09-22-2018, 11:37 PM
Ron,

Perhaps make a visit to Donek snowboards up the road a ways, quite a bit of Shopbot equipment up there I believe ...

https://www.donek.com/

That would be interesting. It's an hour and a half to the north from me.

Know anything closer to Colorado Springs? ;)

scottp55
09-23-2018, 09:20 AM
Ron,
Contact Shopbot Sales...There's a Demo program with people who have agreed to Demo their machines for people. Maybe somebody Demos closer to you?
Wish I had done it before starting from scratch...would have saved a LOT of anxiety and time!
scott

Jerry Carney
09-23-2018, 09:57 AM
Ron,
Contact Shopbot Sales...There's a Demo program with people who have agreed to Demo their machines for people. Maybe somebody Demos closer to you?
Wish I had done it before starting from scratch...would have saved a LOT of anxiety and time!
scott






Hey, Scott very interesting info, Thanks Jerry

scottp55
09-23-2018, 10:08 AM
It's not totally altruistic Jerry:)
IF your Demo results in a Shopbot sale(buyer HAS to mention the person who Demo'd), then you get a decent sized check from Shopbot depending on what machine they bought:)
I've Demo'd 6 times, and only got one check, BUT it was always a fun experience and info usually went both ways!
You HAVE to call Sales to put your name on the Demo list to get referrals to contact you though.
I HOPE the program is still in effect! Been 2 years since an official referral(but 4 people visited anyways:)
scott

Ron Sommers
09-24-2018, 01:27 PM
I perused the VCarvePro videos.

Seems like these are cookie cutter designs. Must be a site that hosts all kinds of premade designs out there?

Do any of them have archtop guitar plates?

What is that you ask? Well, I'm interested in making an archtop guitar.


I've made one by hand already and it's a lot of work drilling to thickness, gouging, and scraping. The idea is to let the cnc hog out everything that doesn't look like a guitar top and then do the final touches by hand.



Here is a video of someone doing it with a cnc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WatC-mihuoA

JimDav
09-24-2018, 05:33 PM
I doubt you will find very many CNC people using much pre-designed stuff. We all use the Bot in our own ways. Yes, the tutorials may seem to start with a premade design to show various tasks rather than taking the time to create one (since the audience will usually be beyond that first step).

When I bought my used machine and set it up, I could not figure out how to create a simple circle (and I have a computer programming background.) Per our purchase agreement , the cabinet maker from which I bought it sat down with me for an hour to make a circle and gave me a few tips. He came by only twice. Great guy. Knows so much but I haven't needed to call him since. I was off and running. There is MUCH I don't know but know what I need (usually.) You learn the basics - circles, squares, arcs, nodes, etc. and extrapolate all that to create the shapes that you want. It used to take me several hours to create what I needed - even a simple one - and more trials at cutting than I care to think about. Now I can do it fairly quickly and, usually, with only one or two test runs to tweak it. VCarve is rather easy to use and, within its limits, can do just about anything you can image. More complex stuff such as carvings my require Aspire (which I do not have.)

If you found a design online, I suspect it would be just a DXF file or something similar with the various line drawings required. You would need to take that and create the required tool paths It would NOT be here's a file, download it and execute like on a PC/Mac software.

A CNC machine is only a tool like a table saw, screw driver, or band saw. Got to start with the basics and grow. I suspect doing something like an arched top guitar is probably not the best project for your first attempt, or second, or third.

Good luck. Once you get over the initial hump it is fun. Not saying there won't be frustrating times.

Tom Bachman
09-24-2018, 08:20 PM
Ron, Iím about 3 hours from CS in SW Kansas. I donít have a new Shopbot, but a PRT machine 9648 that is about 17 years old, but you are more than welcome to come to my shop and see what it is all about.

bleeth
09-25-2018, 07:35 AM
On the specific subject of guitars, I don't know of "ready to go" designs but with Aspire or Artcam Pro you can design or develop your own.
It's a fun job. Several years back there was a guy who did an Aspire "how to" video series on the body but he never finished the neck part as far as I know.

Jerry Carney
09-25-2018, 09:56 AM
It's not totally altruistic Jerry:)
IF your Demo results in a Shopbot sale(buyer HAS to mention the person who Demo'd), then you get a decent sized check from Shopbot depending on what machine they bought:)
I've Demo'd 6 times, and only got one check, BUT it was always a fun experience and info usually went both ways!
You HAVE to call Sales to put your name on the Demo list to get referrals to contact you though.
I HOPE the program is still in effect! Been 2 years since an official referral(but 4 people visited anyways:)
scott


I think all Shopbot owners are proud of what they know, even if you are a newbie like me, and would be willing to show their machine. :)

Ron Sommers
09-26-2018, 12:11 AM
Tom,
Thanks for the invite. I'll keep it in mind.

Ron Sommers
09-26-2018, 12:12 AM
I'm so new at this and learning, so please excuse any misunderstanding on my part in this thread.

I appreciate all the comments!

Also the willingness to help out! That is really cool.

bking1836
09-26-2018, 10:55 AM
I second the notion that progressing with VCarve Pro is the KEY to getting started with a ShopBot. It's a powerful piece of software, but it's relatively accessible too. Except for 3D machining, or designing things that really need to be "seen" in 3 dimensions while you are designing where Fusion 360 or SketchUp would be better, it's really all you need for many tasks.