So I got my Nomad! I have been so excited. So I purchased a butterfly that I wanted to mill in copper. It is small about 2" x 1" I used a piece of 14 gauge copper. I don’t know what I am doing but I do have some computer skills, and also am good at mechanics of things (usually)…it took me a while to unpack it, setup things. I installed Carbide Motion and Meshcam, things are working pretty good. I did alot of fooling around. I defined the stock material in mm and my piece of metal was 1.6mm thick, I saved it, opened it in Meshcam and zeroed the machine, put in the endmill it asked for a 102 (too big I believe now) and started the job. The endmill hovered over my metal and would not cut it, it ran around like it was doing business and it did nothing. It was an hour job, I kept looking at it and trying to figure out why this was happening, I tried like 5 times. It was always the same, I let it run like 15% of the job then quit it, no point in it doing nothing. So I decided to make my piece of metal thinner, like 1mm and this time when it started out it bombed out the cutter, it stopped in its tracks, stuck…so I changed this again to 1.2 an this time it would hover a while and act like it was going to cut, but it didn’t cut anything, until it hit like 20% then it started cutting it. The item was not fully cut, and the cut was really wide and it didn’t go all the way though. It was pretty disappointing…I am so tired, I worked for hours and hours…if I can figure out this one piece I know I will be able to do more and many things that I need to do. But it seems so complicated and it is just being difficult. I have watched many videos and many are more complicated than my flat butterfly which has openings in it…I took video and fotos…but not sure how to upload them here…my item is pretty simple https://www.etsystudio.com/listing/599626527/20-insect-stl-files-format-butterflys it is the #2 one, like a monarch butterfly, I would like to eventually be able to cut this with a backing added, and for it to be approx 2mm thick or so. I will be doing copper now but plan on doing fine silver. Any help is appreciated…Thank you, Laura
When I say I thinned out my metal I mean in the program since the endmill wasn’t reaching it. Like I said, I don’t know what I am doing. It was either that or looking for a thicker piece of metal.
Usually the difficulty you describe is caused by a mismatch between where the origin is set to in the file and how you set the zero relative to the stock.
What software are you using? With what settings?
Please post a pair of files (source and generated G-Code) and a step-by-step description of how you set the zero.
Here’s a basic tutorial which should cover everything:
Thanks! I am using Carbide Motion and Meshcam, I can’t wrap my mind around any other programs yet, so I am sticking to what comes with the system. I will try and do the files (not sure how to post them yet, new here) thanks for the advice!
Have you done the tutorials?
butterfly.nc (95.3 KB)
the meshcam and the original file is too large to upload here. Hope this is ok?
Are you using MeshCAM v6 or v7?
Please post the settings from CAM | Define Stock
The G-Code you posted seems to have the origin set to the surface of the stock with a safety/retract height of 0.1 inches (2.54mm) — in some places it cuts a bit more deeply than ~0.044 inches (1.127mm) — does that match what you’d expect?
Would like to find help to save me some frustration
No, it was not what I expected, as I had wanted the butterfly the this is what I expected. I will try and see if I can post what you asked for! Thank you!
Hi Mike, I did do a couple of tutorials and was successful.
Okay, that problem is most likely caused by trying to cut details which are too small with endmills which are too large to admit them.
Your .nc file indicates a 1/8" endmill, which judging from the photo is about right. And checking your .tps file, it only uses a #102 — for small work such as this I’d suggest using a #112, and if thin enough stock or with suitable geometry, a #122.
Alternately, use Carbide Create and cut as a V carve using a V endmill — a V carve will get a lot more detail and isn’t size limited as a square endmill is.
Using Meshcam v7 Thanks
Thank you so much Will Adams for the advice. This is what I thought, I don’t have a V endmill yet, but I do have fine ones. I just need to figure out how to do this. Ideally I would like to be able to do the butterfly (as an example) with a solid base under it, with the openings not going all the way through as I am planning on enameling these with glass eventually if I can figure this out. I help young women here in Mexico (where I am) learn trades to make a living, so this is a new thing and your help has been very helpful and will help me understand better what I am doing wrong.
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