Newbie - Just Ordered, A few question

Hmm, maybe this doesn’t work in Carbide Motion?

Try a different communication / control program?

Or, contact and someone who actually understands this stuff will respond.

No problem. I added the HAZARDOUS to Lead and fixed the typos you mentioned earlier (they’re in the original Carbide 3D sheet also).

Lead in any amount is bad for you if ingested or absorbed internally. How about lead from 360 Brass?

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The lead from 360 brass is pretty tightly bound up in the alloy, and isn’t much (2.5–3.7%) — so long as it doesn’t get melted so as to release elemental lead into fumes from being melted or ground up incredibly finely, AIUI, exposure risk should be negligible.

I grew up w/ folks who would melt wheel weights on the kitchen stove for casting bullets, and remember watching in fascination a traveling tradesman melt down and re-cast lead dead-blow mallets in a garage parking lot — an occasional instance of exposure is probably not going to cause health problems — the problem is the bio-accumulation, so we should all exercise every caution reasonable.

Which one do you recommend trying?

Try Universal G-Code Sender, bCNC, or Chilipeppr — those seem to be the top three. I think UGS is the easiest to install if you have a machine which will run Java apps well.

If you’re using Windows, GrbGru is awesome.

So I emailed but haven’t heard back. I’ll give UGC a shot today.

Another good program is CNC by Cheton

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I’ve used that one. It’s nice. Though it doesn’t have some of the g-code interpretation features of CM (so M6 doesn’t work on a Nomad because Grbl doesn’t understand it, CM just simulates it via a combo of other gcode and UI: click here when ready to continue).

I was thinking at some point I’d hack in the M6 stuff. Another idea was to make a plugin for OctoPrint. I did one for Sailfish (and old MakerBot) 3D printers and I think the new plugin architecture is flexible enough to do everything we’d need to do to both the comms and the UX to make it work for CNC.

Most of the 8-bit 3D printer controllers are running firmwares that are based on Grbl. Though one of the main ones “Marlin” broke the call-response assumption of the Grbl protocol which makes the host software way more complicated than it needs to be (deal with out of order responses from the firmware).

So a friend of mine asked me to make him an LED accessory light for his aquarium. I have a stock heat sink here but I’d like to make a custom one, very simple. I made a design in fusion, two 1" x 6" x 1/8" pockets on a piece of 3/16" 6061 aluminum.

The issue I’m running into is it’s trying to cut the entire depth at once and it’s getting hung up. I figure I need to do the pockets in several sweeps versus one.

The end mill I’m using is a 1/8" 2 flute carbide.

Any suggestions?

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Fusion 360 puts the stepdown in a few different places to make sure to confuse us. Just kidding. I think they do it because they name it different things when it us finishing vs. roughing etc.

You probably want to look for “Multiple Depths” checkbox.

What operation are you using in CAM? Then I can be more specific.

I’ve been using the 2D adaptive clearing but I’m open to suggestions as this is still new to me.

there is a YouTube video done by NYC CNC. he is really good at explaining how to use both the modeling side as well as the CAM side of Fusion 360

also this is a link to Autodesk’s learning area


That fourth tab over is “Passes”, check the “Multiple Depths” box and put in the desired stepdown (here I have 0.25mm which is a little less than 0.01" which is what I use on 6061 aluminum).


Got it! That worked, thank you. Couple more questions.

  1. How do you set the depth for the 2D facing option. I did one pass and it took half the stock off. I just want to remove enough to clean up the aluminum, like .5mm or so.

  2. Any thoughts on how to get a very nice painted finish on aluminum?

I haven’t tried painting, though I’ve been meaning to try just some acrylic to fill engraving. I’ve heard people like to use epoxy for that. I have done some anodizing that turned out fairly well. Though it’s a bit of a messy pain.

For facing you could do a pocket at the depth you need. You don’t want to take more than 0.254mm at a time though and probably less if you aren’t sure you’re zeroed off of the highest spot.

Lacquer stick?

I can only make 2D facing work if I have a 3D model to define the stock off of. It seems like it should work by just defining a fixed size stock box, but I couldn’t make it do anything predictable. But if I have a 3D model, and define the stock to be the same size, the facing will go to the depth of the model top (by default), so if I define the stock top offset as 0.1mm that’s how much it’ll take.

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Thanks Mark!

In regards to finishing, I looked at anodizing and powder coating. Powder coating seems easier and safer. The idea of having containers of battery acid laying around doesn’t seem like the best of ideas.

For now I’m going to look into painting using etching epoxy primers and paints.

Any end mill kit suggestions? I’d like to pick up more universal mills to have on hand and in curious if anyone has any suggestions.

If you’re interested in doing small / detailed stuff w/ a 1/8" collet:

five 2-flute 1/8" straight endmills (such as the #102 endmills from Carbide 3D [8]
two 2-flute 1/8" ball end endmills (such as the #101 .125" Ball Cutters from Carbide 3D)
two smaller straight endmills (say 2 mm or so) (such as the #112 0.625" endmills from Carbide 3D)
a stub 1 mm or 0.8 mm straight endmill
possibly a small stub ball end too
V-carving bits (say 30 and 60 degrees)