CNC Files

CNC Router Topics

Here are a few different things that are going on with CNC Routers.

RFQ: Help me finish my cnc router in Colorado Springs
I’m looking for help with some aluminum/metal parts to help me complete my cnc router project. I have the rails for all the axis. I’m planning to build a box out of 8020 material for the x surface. Here’s what I need help with:

Large Format cnc router
Working area :1300*2500mm, Foundry lathe bed.

Step 30: Router Mount Part 1
cnc router Complete Video Tutorial Series. Learn how the router mount is made. Ranked 3.43 / 5 | 206 views | No comments. Click here to watch the video Submitted By: phooddaniel Tags: cnc router Machine homebuilt diy mount.

Posted by Ivan Irons - November 17, 2011 at 8:04 am

Categories: CNC Files, CNC Links, CNC Router, Machining   Tags: Site Explanation

From time to time I will get an email from an expert telling me this or that is not perfectly, technically correct.  Usually I agree with them.  What I have tried to present is how I learned CNC and how I made this stuff work in my mind.  Think of it as a Layman’s Guide to CNC vs. a PHD Doctoral Thesis with years of Data Collection and Analysis on the topic.  My point is always to teach, not gain recognition in scholarly journals.

Posted by Ivan Irons - October 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Categories: Auto CAD, CAD, CAD Files, CAD Jobs, CAD Software, CAD-CAM, CAM, CAM Software, CNC Control Software, CNC Controller, CNC DIY, CNC Files, CNC Foam Cutter, CNC Forums, CNC Jobs, CNC Kits and Plans, CNC Lasers, CNC Lathe, CNC Links, CNC Mill, CNC Mini Machines, CNC Parts, CNC Plasma, CNC Programming, CNC Router, CNC Safety, CNC Sears, CNC Tooling, CNC Water Jet, CNC Woodworking, Computer Aided Design, Computer Aided Manufacturing, Engraving, G-Code, Lathe, Learn CAD, Learn CNC, Mach CNC Software, Machining, Mill, Motion Control, Rapid Prototyping, Sign Making   Tags:

CNC Glossary

CAD (Computer-aided design)
Geometry authoring tool that involves software and sometimes special-purpose hardware. Current packages range from 2D vector based drafting systems to 3D solid and surface modellers.

CAM (Computer-aided manufacturing)
Considered as an NC programming tool wherein 3D models of components generated in CAD software are used to generate CNC code to drive numerical controlled machine tools

CNC (computer numerical control)
Refers specifically to a computer "controller" that reads G-code instructions and drives the machine tool.

CAD/CAM part programming
The computer calculation and creation of a toolpath based on part geometry information created in CAD.

Canned cycle
A predetermined machining sequence used to simplify programming.

Information processed as the basis for calculations.

Computer storage that holds data and is searchable

Detail Drawing
A drawing of a part giving a complete and exact description of its form, dimensions, and construction

The desired measurement of a part

A CAD process in which a part design is converted to a computer file or hard copy for reference and storage purposes.

Drawing Exchange Format
DXF. A standard storage format for personal computer-based CAD/CAM platforms

That portion of the electronic package that receives the stepping sequence from the translator and provides the switching of the windings in the stepper motor.

Common name for the programming language that controls NC and cnc machine tools

Geometric Modeling
A modeling process in which a designer creates lines and text that represents the shape of a desired part. Geometric modeling is the first step in CAD.

The measurement, properties, and relationships of the lines and points of an object that make up its shape

M Code
A code used to signal an action from a miscellaneous group of commands. M codes change cutting tools, turn on or turn off the coolant, spindle, or work piece clamps, etc.

Machine Control Data
Manufacturing instructions defined in CAM and enacted on a cnc machine.

Machine Control Unit
A small, powerful computer that controls and operates a cnc machine

Machine Tool
Powered mechanical device, typically used to fabricate metal components of machines by machining

The selective removal of metal or material

Numerical Control
The use of computers and special program instructions to execute the sequence of machining operations to make a part.

Part Program
A series of numerical instructions used by a cnc machine to perform the necessary sequence of operations to machine a specific work piece.

Personal Computer
PC. A computer designed for an individual user and commercial software. Desktops, laptops, and notebook computers are PCs.

A large printer used to print blueprints. These output devices support vector graphics, unlike dot matrix and laser printers.

Post Processor
A software link in the CAD/CAM chain that communicates instructions from CAM to a cnc machine

Preliminary Blueprint
A design representing the rough dimensions of a specific part

Primitives or Primitive
Basic shapes such as cubes, spheres, cylinders, blocks, and cones that are combined in solid modeling to create a model of a part.

The original test model of a part

Raster Image
A form of graphics in which closely spaced rows of dots form an image on a computer screen. Also known as bit-mapped graphics.

The process of controlling the pulse frequency to accelerate or decelerate a stepper motor. Ramping increases the ability to drive larger loads at greater speeds by slowing the first series of pulses allowing the motor to overcome inertial loads and reduces overshooting by slowing the motor down more gradually than an unramped motor.

A computer device that converts hard copy drawings into digital form

The coded instructions, formulas, and operations that structure the actions of a computer

Solid Modeling
A type of geometric modeling based on solids in which all visible surfaces of a part are shown. In addition, solid modeling describes interior volume, mass, and weight.

Acting as a part programming shortcut, a part program sequence that is called on as needed. Also called a subroutine.

Surface Modeling
A type of geometric modeling based on geometry only, in which all visible surfaces of a part are shown regardless of volume definition.

Step Angle
The angular increment the motor shaft will turn each time the windings (coils) are energized. The angle is specified in degrees. For a 200 step per revolution motor the step angle will be 1.8 degrees.

Step per revolution
The total number of steps to rotate the motor shaft 360 degrees. For CNC, 200 or 400 steps per revolution are usually used.

Stepper motor
A device that translates electrical pulses into precise mechanical movement. The output shaft may deliver rotary or linear motion.

Title Block
A portion of a blueprint that contains information such as the company name, part name, part number, designer, scale, and material.

A blueprint specification indicating an unwanted but acceptable deviation from a given dimension

The series of coordinate positions that determine the movement of a tool during a machining operation.

An electronic device that converts pulses into the correct switching sequence, which will operate the motor one step for each pulse received.

A bifilar wound motor. The current flows only in one direction through each winding. Normally there are two winding per bobbin and eight bobbins per motor. Usually is a 5, 6 or eight wire motor. One or more common leads are used per winding. Has less torque than a bipolar stepper motor but is simpler to drive. Bipolar stepper motor- just two windings. The electronic controls reverse the current alternately between the coils. This motor has more torque but requires more electronic controls.

Vector Graphics
A form of graphics that uses geometric formulas to represent images. Vector graphic images are more easily manipulated than raster graphics when dealing with CNC.

Wire Frame Modeling
A type of geometric modeling in which the edges of a part are represented by solid lines

Working Drawing
A drawing of a part providing data for manufacturing

An axis that is left or right. All movement left of a zero point is minus (-X), all movement right of the zero point is plus (+X).

An axis that is at right angles to the X-axis and intersect the zero point of the X-axis. All movement further away from the zero point is plus (+Y). All movement closer than the zero point is minus (-Y).

An axis that is vertically perpendicular to the X-Y zero point. All movement above the zero point is positive (+Z) while all movement below the zero point is (-Z).

Posted by Ivan Irons - October 14, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Categories: Auto CAD, CAD, CAD Files, CAD Jobs, CAD Software, CAD-CAM, CAM, CAM Software, CNC Control Software, CNC Controller, CNC DIY, CNC Files, CNC Foam Cutter, CNC Forums, CNC Jobs, CNC Kits and Plans, CNC Lasers, CNC Lathe, CNC Links, CNC Mill, CNC Mini Machines, CNC Parts, CNC Plasma, CNC Programming, CNC Router, CNC Safety, CNC Sears, CNC Tooling, CNC Water Jet, CNC Woodworking, Computer Aided Design, Computer Aided Manufacturing, Engraving, G-Code, Lathe, Learn CAD, Learn CNC, Mach CNC Software, Machining, Mill, Motion Control, Rapid Prototyping, Sign Making   Tags:

VERICUT CNC machine simulation

CGTech to Show New Version of VERICUT at EMO 2007
MCADCafe (press release), CA - 3 hours ago
CGTech will exhibit the latest version of VERICUT CNC machine simulation and optimization software at EMO 2007 in Hannover on Stand L18 in Hall 6.


Posted by Ivan Irons - July 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Categories: CAD-CAM, CAM, CAM Software, CNC Files, CNC Links, CNC Programming, G-Code, Learn CNC, Machining, Motion Control   Tags:

CNC Stomp Pad Video 2 – Illustrator Design – CNC Plasma Cutting

CNC Stomp Pad Video 2 – Illustrator Design

In this next video we go over the design of the CNC Stomp Pad.  We use Adobe Illustrator to sketch it out.  We prepare something that a cnc plasma Cutter could follow.

Posted by Ivan Irons - July 12, 2011 at 10:41 am

Categories: CAD, CAD Files, CNC DIY, CNC Files, CNC Links, CNC Plasma, G-Code, Learn CAD, Learn CNC   Tags:

CNC, CAD, CAM and Machining in the News

Orthopedic Manufacturing – Medical Manufacturing Miracles on a Daily – One specialized orthopedic manufacturer is Tracer Tool & Machine Co., Inc. in Oakland, NJ. This company is a modern hi A considerable advancement has been made in Computerized Numerical Control, (CNC) machining capability by their purchase of a

Worldwide Industrial Marketplace Offers New Machinery Buying Guide and – buyers, as well as companies involved in manufacturing, heavy construction, machining processing, molding, slotting, labeling, slitting, converting, stamping, CNC the new directory also includes a comprehensive selection of new and used machine

Making space more affordable
Engineer Live – satellites are built as one-offs, so mechanical components are normally machined from solid using CNC (computer numerically controlled) machine For the intricate, tightly toleranced machining that is required, SSTL is fortunate in that its location in

Featured PRFirm
PRWeb – With their state-of-the-art equipment and experienced staff, DGP is also an industry leader in the grinding and cnc machining of tungsten for any number of applications. DGP offers unmatched quality and capability at the lowest prices. DGP provides

More Related Stories
Digital CAD – Said Todd Branch, CNC Programmer; “We were already having problems with the Machine cycle time also dramatically improved by as much as 15% – almost a day per to be cut this way, which shaved a further 2% off of material waste and machining time

Business Capsules
Business Ledger – PARK RIDGE—Tooling & Manufacturing Association, a Chicago area association of 1,300 tool & die, mold, machining, special machine TMA members are looking for skilled help in all areas of manufacturing, but especially for CNC programmers and

Featured PRFirm
PRWeb – Quickparts’ manufacturing processes include rapid prototyping, cnc machining, sheet metal parts, metal castings, and injection molding. – 2005-10-12 Louisiana SPCA in Desperate Need of Support To continue rescuing pets and reuniting them with their

Collective engineering and computer skills earn MHS students national
Mexico Ledger – It’s controlled by a computer, so basically you can draw anything you want in three dimensions, and this machine can make G-code is computer code used to instruct cnc machining devices about required motions for creation of the product. Utilizing

American Industrial Plastics
BioPortfolio – American Industrial Plastics, AIP, is a full service CNC plastics machining center. AIP creates variety of high-performance plastic materials matched with the individual machining techniques required, separates us from the conventional machine

Posted by Ivan Irons - June 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Categories: CAD, CAD-CAM, CAM, CNC Files, CNC Links, CNC Mill, CNC Programming, Computer Aided Manufacturing, Learn CAD, Learn CNC, Machining, Motion Control, Rapid Prototyping   Tags:

CNC Stomp Pad Video 5 – Mach 3 Tutorial – Learn CNC Plasma Cutting

CNC Stomp Pad Video 5 – Mach 3 Tutorial

In this tutorial video we are going to send our g-code through Mach 3.  We are going to be checking for any errors in the program and to make sure our cutting order is correct.  After we verify the code we will be off to the cnc plasma Cutter.



Posted by Ivan Irons - January 23, 2011 at 12:57 am

Categories: CNC Control Software, CNC Controller, CNC Files, CNC Videos, Computer Aided Manufacturing, G-Code, Learn CNC, Mach CNC Software   Tags:

Learn CNC Secrets Book – Table of Contents

Here is the table of contents to the book I recently wrote about CNC Basics.  The book’s title is "Learn CNC Secrets."

Learn CNC Secrets Table of Contents

CNC Safety. 9

A few ideas to keep you safe in the shop: 10

Foreword. 11

CNC Knowledge Levels    11

One last note before we get going: 12

CNC Intro. 13

Questions, Questions and a few more Questions. 13

My CNC Story    13

My Initial Thoughts on CNC        14

Little Did I know             15

Other things I had to learn along the way: 15

So, where am I at today?    16

CNC Machines I own today:  16

CNC Hobby Growth Story    17

Why do people get into CNC?    17

Production CNC – Professional CNC – Manufacturing CNC. 18

Here are a few jobs on the professional side of the house: 18

Hobby CNC     18

Here are a few elements that have brought people into the CNC Fold:  19

What personal attributes will help you with CNC?. 20

CNC Process Overview: 22

Quick Explanation of the Process. 22

There are basically five elements to a CNC Project that you need to know:  22

Design    23

Here are some important elements of design that need to be answered:  23

CAD     25

3-D Design    25

Here are some examples of 3-D drafting/design software: 25

2-D Design    25

Here are some examples of 2-D drafting/design software: 26

CAM      26

Here are some examples of CAM software: 26

Using CAM Software    27

Here is an example of some G-Code: 27

Control  27

Here is a brief description of the two types of motors generally used in CNC:  28

Machine Controllers    29

Machining    30

Here is a list of common tooling: 31

CNC Process Conclusion    32

The five things to master with CNC are: 32

Design. 33

Introduction to Design    33

Where do good design ideas come from?. 33

Know what you want before you build it 34

What are the limits?    34

Part vs. Art   35

Designing on Paper   35

Designing with a Computer   35

My Design Computer Setup    36

Design Software. 37

What I used to do                     37

Why use Design Software?    37

Here are some advantages of using Design Software: 37

Here are some disadvantages of using Design Software: 37

My Definition of Design Software  38

Here are some examples of work for “Creative” Design 38

Commonly used Creative Design Software. 40

What is your Vector, Victor?    40

Vector Images:  41

Raster Images:  41

Raster to Vector Software    42

File Types You Will Deal With    42

Examples of Different File Types  43

What do I really need to know?    44

CAD. 45

What is CAD?    45

Print Reading and Drafting    46

How do I translate my design into the computer?. 48

Different Design Views    48

The main print or design views are: 48

Here are some photo examples of the different design views: 49

Tools in CAD     51

How do I choose the right CAD program for me?. 53

Types of CAD     53

2D CAD     53

2.5D CAD     54

3D CAD     54

2D, 2.5D and 3D Photo Examples  54

CAD Design Process    56

Designing Parts    56

Designing Sub Assemblies    57

Designing Groups    57

Designing the Machine    57

FMEA Analysis?  What?    58

CAD Software Price Points    59

Hobby CAD Software    59

Professional CAD Software    59

Examples of Commercial CAD Software Programs. 59

What is CAD/CAM?    60

CAD/CAM Article    60

CAM.. 64

What is CAM?    64

How do I pick a CAM program?    65

The different types of CAM Software. 65

Here are the most common types of CAM Software. 66

What are tool paths and how do you create them?. 66

Process of CAM      67

Here are the CAM Steps:  67

Define Material  68

Define Stock Size    68

Define Coordinates    69

Define Tool  70

Define Feeds and Speeds    70

Simulate Machining    72

Tool Paths    73

Post Process    75

So what does CAM Software cost?. 76

Hobby CAM Software    76

Professional CAM Software    76

CAM Software Photos:  77

CAM Programs    78

Art CAM Programs    78

Art CAM Program Examples    79

Machining Simulators    79

CNC Simulator Examples:  79

G-Code. 80

What is G-Code?    80

You will see many variations of the G-Code name like: 80

Are there other “Codes?”    80

Here are some examples of G-Codes. 81

Why does G-Code Change?    81

What is an M-Code?    82

G-Code Example    82

2” Square G-Code    84

Do I need to be a G-Code Expert?. 84

Post Processing??? – Now you have me worried.  With all the variations in G-Codes and M-Codes, how will I ever keep it straight?… 85

Here are some screen shots of lists of post processors that you can select in your CAM Program       86

Controlling. 88

Definition    88

Control Computer   88

How is the Control Computer used?. 89

CNC Control Software    89

Quick List of control software    90

Machine Controllers    91

Here are some example controller prices. 92

Prices    92

Buying a completed cnc machine. 93

Here are some examples of some Machine Controllers. 94

Internal Machine Controller Parts. 97

Control Pendants    98

Photos of Pendants    99

Machining. 101

Machining Overview      101

Machining    101

Here are a few of them:  101

Different types of machining    103

Here are a few examples:  103

Chips?    105

Different Sources of Tooling:  106

Photos of Different Types of CNC Machines: 107

Keeping your shop clean    115

Here are some examples:  115

Tool Offset   116

Zeroing the machine out   117

The final “Part”    117

CNC Mainstream.. 120

How do you know we hit the mainstream?. 120

End Results of CNC. 121

CNC Glossary. 126


Posted by Ivan Irons - December 15, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Categories: Auto CAD, CAD, CAD Files, CAD Jobs, CAD Software, CAD-CAM, CAM, CAM Software, CNC Control Software, CNC Controller, CNC DIY, CNC Files, CNC Foam Cutter, CNC Forums, CNC Jobs, CNC Kits and Plans, CNC Lasers, CNC Lathe, CNC Links, CNC Mill, CNC Mini Machines, CNC Parts, CNC Plasma, CNC Programming, CNC Router, CNC Safety, CNC Sears, CNC Tooling, CNC Water Jet, CNC Woodworking, Computer Aided Design, Computer Aided Manufacturing, Engraving, G-Code, Lathe, Learn CAD, Learn CNC, Mach CNC Software, Machining, Mill, Motion Control, Rapid Prototyping, Sign Making   Tags:

CAD Software offers seamless DWG compatibility

ZWCAD Version 2008 Released

DWG-based 2D/3D CAD tool offers advanced technology at an affordable price

New York, January 22, 2008 – ZWSOFT, developers of advanced CAD tools, today announced the release of its latest signature 2D/3D package, ZWCAD 2008. The new version provides updated features for improved flexibility and efficiency, greatly enhanced speed, as well as seamless DWG compatibility.

This comprehensive CAD system represents a perfect low-cost alternative to AutoCAD®. Users can open, edit and save DWG/DXF files created in AutoCAD (2.5-2008), without the need for manual import or export operations. Likewise, this automation also enables users of AutoCAD to open files created in ZWCAD.

The 2008 version delivers a host of improved functionality. What’s new includes:

Make a great promotion in performance, especially opening or saving a drawing, creating a hatch with complex boundaries, editing in layout with multiple viewports or selecting a huge number of objects, which will make your work more efficient.

o Speed of Open function has been increased about 30%.
o Speed of Save function has been increased about 70%.
o Speed of Select function has been increased about 10 times.
o Performance of Multiple Viewports in layout has been increased about 10 times.

Brand-new Algorithm for Efficient Hatch Boundary Search
A newly develop algorithm in ZWCAD 2008 means less calculation and faster response even over a wide range of objects, increasing search speed by about 15 times. Furthermore, it can also unclose boundaries in some corrupted drawings automatically. Now hatch processes work more conveniently than ever.

Design Center
Improved Design Center offers you a convenient way to manage the issues of your drawing, such as dimension style, blocks, text style, line types and layers. Just drag and drop, and apply them from any source drawing to your current drawing. Source drawings can be on your computer or on your local network. In addition, you can also search drawings according to drawing name or drawing size. With the Design Center, you can use the information of other drawings in your current drawing instantly.

Quick Calculator
The QuickCalc includes basic features similar to most standard mathematical calculators. In addition, QuickCalc has features specific to ZWCAD, such as geometric functions, scientific functions, and features to handle variables, units conversions, and text calculations.

Other major enhancements in the new version include Merge Print (mprint), Attribute Extraction, Block Extraction, and Dimension Replace.

Designers, engineers, and architects can discover the improved power and function of ZWCAD 2008 by downloading a free trial of the application at

ZWCAD 2008 runs on Windows 2008, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. ZWCAD costs only a fraction of AutoCAD, while offering similar functionality and full DWG compatibility. Today, more than 60,000 customers around in 60 countries choose ZWCAD to reduce their CAD budget and increase their design productivity. ZWCAD customers include many Fortune 500 companies such as Honda, Alcatel-Lucent, CIMS, GP, THORN, GE , among others.

For more information about ZWCAD 2008, please visit,


ZWSOFT ZWCAD Software Co., Ltd is committed to providing the most reliable and outstanding CAD solutions for users. The products meet the needs of broad-based target groups of 2D/3D design industry, including architecture, engineering, construction (AEC), mechanics, manufacture, electronics etc. and anyone who creates or uses CAD drawings.

ZWSOFT has advanced technology collaborations with many worldwide well-known organizations. It is a commercial and board member of the ITC (IntelliCAD Technology Consortium) and the founding member of ODA (Open Design Alliance). Furthermore, it partners with Microsoft, Intel, Spatial and some other university research institutes to provide the customer with the best products- easy to use, affordable and productive.

Founded in 1998, ZWSOFT is located in Guangzhou, China. Today, it employs more than 250 staff and closely supported by a highly skilled network of strategic partners, distributors and resellers. The product ZWCAD is a reliable DWG compatible CAD for 2D/3D design which enables our customers to maximize the returns on the investment in CAD software. With its quality product and excellent service, ZWCAD fast became the leading brand in China CAD industry and now compete successfully in over 60 countries, with 60 000 users throughout the world. It is not only welcomed among SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) and the individuals, but also get a high reputation in a large number of the world famous corporations including Honda, Alcatel-Lucent, CIMS, GP, THORN, and GE.

Lauren Koziel
Strategic Reach PR
Tel: (303) 487-7406


Public Relations:
Strategic Reach PR
Lauren Koziel
Phone: 303-487-7406
Send email  E-mail this person

Company Information:
Name: ZwCAD, Inc.
Address: Rm.508, No. 886, Tianhe North Rd.
City: Guangzhou
ZIP: 510635
Country: China
Phone: 86-20–38259726
FAX: 86-20–38288676

Posted by Ivan Irons - December 11, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Categories: CAD, CAD Files, CAD Software, CAD-CAM, CNC Files   Tags:

CNC Stomp Pad Video 4 – SheetCam – Learn CNC Plasma Cutting

CNC Stomp Pad Video 4 – SheetCam Tutorial

This video we send the project into SheetCam.  We check out the plasma cut order and starting and stoping points.  Finally we post-process a g-code file that we will use to cut out our design on the cnc plasma Cutter.

Posted by Ivan Irons - November 16, 2007 at 4:48 pm

Categories: CAD-CAM, CAM, CAM Software, CNC DIY, CNC Files, CNC Programming, CNC Videos, Computer Aided Manufacturing, G-Code, Learn CNC   Tags:

CNC Stomp Pad Video 3 – Rhino 3D – CNC Plasma Cutting

CNC Stomp Pad Video 3 – Rhino 3D

In this CNC Video we take the design into Rhino 3D.  We scale it to the size we want and then convert it into a DXF File.  That prepares it for the next stage which is CAM.

Posted by Ivan Irons - November 16, 2007 at 4:28 pm

Categories: Auto CAD, CAD, CAD Files, CAD Software, CNC DIY, CNC Files, CNC Links, CNC Plasma, Computer Aided Design, G-Code, Learn CAD, Learn CNC   Tags:

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