While looking at the cluster of rounded rectangles below, you might ask what you are looking at? This is a new method we tried for conducting CNC tech support. In the foreground we have our Laguna Swift CNC Router and in the upper right quadrant of this picture is my son Rob’s iPad. We are trying to optimize the “G” code from the HSMWorks CAM program to operate with this CNC router that we have. Some tweaks must be made so that it will perform the job that it is programmed to do.
What is important to know here is that Mr. Albert Whatmough is a reseller for the HSMWorks CAM program that we want to use with our router. He is on the other end of the iPad connection, and even though he is in California and we are in Las Vegas, he can see instantly what is happening via the iPad that is looking at what his programming is doing in real time. The iPad is working wirelessly and flawlessly here, sending signals back and forth while teleconferencing back to the computer lab back in the house.
One would have to wonder if a link like this could be used with our missions to other planets or possibly to the moon?
Here you see it working and we have plenty of examples of this already in medicine, manufacturing, hazardous locations like highly radioactive areas and more. I am not sure if anyone has ever used this method to troubleshoot a post processor code but Mr. Whatmough did a great job here.
The iPad is up and running as is the CNC router, and Rob is performing as an extension of Mr. Whatmough’s hands to tweak the “G” code. Nice job, Mr. Whatmough!
Elsewhere in the shop, we set up a table so that I could work on this wooden pendulum clock. Its gears and axles must be placed exactly in the right positions. Since there are different choices of materials to choose from, I am experimenting to find the cheapest items that will work like I want them to.
Cardboard gears can only do so much and now it will be necessary to produce the gears in a good quality plywood. Then things will go much faster as I will then have actual part sizes to use in the assembly. The idea here is to use easily obtainable materials and not specially ordered ones that are non-standardized items.
Clock building is a precise science and patience is a good thing to have when doing it.
Good materials are needed for accuracy in the creation of the parts, along with a complete understanding and knowledge of the assembly of the clock. As always, my final adjustment tool, which is a heavy rubber mallet, is close by.
In the picture down below there are two cardboard gears that are exactly the same and pushed together, which will almost duplicate the thickness of the real gears I will cut out of 3/8 inch plywood. Just as soon as I can get that wood I will start the assembly. The CNC machines we have will make them for us as easily as the Laser Machine cut out the cardboard ones you see here. Accuracies are in the thousandths of an inch, which is close enough for me, because I normally work within the nearest foot.
Our new “man cave” is 17 feet wide and 30 feet long. The electrical service pipes are in the far corner of the room, coming up from the cement floor. We extended all of the electrical work and networking back to the house. We can network wirelessly but we installed four individual network CAT 5E cables just in case. It all works great with our computers and both CNC machines.
As we go along, we learn something new every day.
This Laguna Swift CNC Router can take a full sheet of 4 foot x 8 foot material. It has a working Z axis of about 5.5 inches but that also depends upon the length of the router bits we use for the jobs we do. Here we cut out the pieces we needed and what is left is like Swiss cheese. We use the small pieces for other jobs.
Here we finally got the 3,000 lbs of machine into the final position that we want and we just put the sacrificial board on top of the table. It is ¾ inch Melamine board. (Better to cut that up then the metal table underneath.) We tried different positions and it was turned 180 degrees from this position previously, but we like the position it is in now.
Here we have a job going with our 120 watt Laser CNC machine. Lexie, our supervising parrot, gives her approval for the position of the glassware Rob is engraving. (We had to set up another cage in our “man cave” just to the right of this picture, so she could go to work with us in the back yard. She loves it.)
Here is another view of the shop. Because I was an electrician for 40 years, I wanted to do all the electrical work. Even the electrical inspectors said “Wow!” when they came at different times during the electrical installation to inspect the progress. Everything is exposed like I wanted it to be. I also wanted plenty of good lighting for my dimming eyesight.
Hey, if you are going to do something like this, you might just as well do it right, right?
Hope you enjoyed this first look into our high tech CNC workshop. We have it fully networked, with security systems, TV and stereo music as well as our own refrigerator installed. We have a full vacuuming system for the machines and this portable roll-around one for those touch ups we do to keep everything spotless.
There will be more to come from Corporal Willy and his son Rob when we make things. Bye for now.