Patriarch (in Xns98365B76C2E53gmadsencomcastnet@220.127.116.11) said:
| Morris, as I understand it, one of the beauties of the CNC is that,
| after the process starts, the operator can think about/do other
| things, while the CNC does its cutting. At least while the machine
| has material.
True for large 3D jobs; but most of the stuff I do is 2D or 2-1/2D
like the photos I posted. These jobs run for such a short time that
there's barely time to pour a cup of coffee before they've finished.
On the other hand, it /does/ take time to produce the command file
that controls the machine. This can either be done via a CAD drawing
file or, as is most usual in my operation, hand code the file. I've
found that I can generally produce better toolpath optimizations and
very much smaller part programs (by three or four orders of magnitude)
than the automatic conversions. Again there's that downside that the
programs don't run long enough for me to do much other work between
start and finish.
| In other words, it multiplies operator time by some positive
| factor, after the setup.
It does that; but seldom by facilitating multi-tasking. The
multiplication is by doing the work very much faster - and by getting
the job done right _every_ time.
| I'm a hobby guy, and I enjoy the work, but I dread repetitive
| machine operations. They bore me, and threaten to bite body parts
| without major operator attention. But this CNC stuff interests me
| a lot.
It's good technology - and it's neither as complex nor as difficult to
deal with as you'd imagine. Basically, it's a matter of telling the
machine to move the center of the end of the cutting tool to location
(x,y,z) - over and over and over again. It's really just a 3D plotting
DeSoto, Iowa USA