CNC – Update 1: Cutting heart shapes

So, I was playing with my CNC machine and its control software and started to cut some shapes and designs. I make no excuses, as i’m starting to learn how to use the machine and software. Here is a very amateur video (sorry about the quality) of the CNC machine cutting a heart shape into some primed MDF. The tool is a 1/8″ spiral upcut so consequently the shape outline is quite thick.

As you may be able to see, one of the screens of the USB CNC Controller software shows the G-code (on the left side) and a real-time graphic of the cutter position (x-axis in green, y-axis in red and z-axis in blue) and the heart-shaped path it is taking.

I’ve set up the machine properly so that step size is now accurate in X, Y and Z axis and have been playing with different g-code designs. As an example, here’s a heart within a heart (just for Lili).

CNC Hearts

CNC Hearts

Hearts cut from 3/16" MDF

Hearts cut from 3/16″ MDF

Using a 1mm bit, the inner heart was cut to a depth of about 4mm and the second to nearly 8mm. This outer path was actually created by scaling the first by 200%; a feature of the software.

I guess I’ve just passed my first test – I broke my first 1/32″ milling bit (sob). [Note to self: remember to turn the spindle on before starting the cut!].

I also cut two hearts from 3/16″ MDF using the 1/8″ (3mm) end mill cutter. I used the multi-pass feature to make 7 passes, each pass lowering the mill by 1mm. The results were very impressive, yielding parts with clean features and sharp edges.

Onwards and upwards (or is that side-to-side?)

Cool huh?

One thought on “CNC – Update 1: Cutting heart shapes

  1. micro

    ” I broke my first 1/32″ milling bit (sob). [Note to self: remember to turn the spindle on before starting the cut!].”

    I can fully sympathize. I did that once. Very frustrating indeed.

    Reply

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