Lesson 1 Drop Trays

Finally got my SO4 assembled and chased down the EMI disconnect gremlins (I hope!).

I’ve been laser-cutting for years so many concepts are applicable to CNC. Decided to work through the “First Five” lessons online as a way to test my setup without risking a “real” project.

All-in-all, it went well with zero EMI disconnects. However, as you’ll see below, I need to address a PEBCAK error…

The tiny tray to the right was the result of mis-inputting material dimensions, which became painfully obvious when the pocketing operation began. Decided to let the job finish to see how small details in the vcarve turned out.

Made the needed mods to the file (resizing and rotating the entire design & deepening the pocket by 5mm) and reran it at a more reasonable size. Lightly sanded the edges and applied some homemade board balm to the Gummy Cherry trays. Turned out well IMO.

Lessons learned:

  1. Measure twice, check your figures THRICE.
  2. Amazingly, the CNC retained zeros after my laptop decided to spontaneously reboot, requiring a reinitialization in CM afterward.
  3. Don’t Panic! If a job doesn’t turn out exactly as desired, don’t touch anything until you have a plan for correcting it.

One outstanding issue - if you look at the pocket in the large tray, you can see a line along the left wall left by the 1/8" end mill during the final cleanup pass. It’s only along that wall - the others are smooth as an android’s bottom.

Any ideas?


Wise advice. I usually bring up cc before cutting and double check everything. Then I save c2d file and start cm.

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