Sears CompuCarve - Amazing

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    SNIP     --Is this sloppy tolerance a function of software or funky hardware; i.e. might one tighten up the cheap machine by swapping in some ballscrews?
--
"Steamboat Ed" Haas : Proud to be the
Hacking the Trailing Edge! : family crackpot!
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steamer (in 4533b7cd$0$34514$ snipped-for-privacy@news.sonic.net) said:
|| Not really. If I read the carveright.com FAQ correctly, cutter || positioning is accurate in 0.006" increments. For quality joinery, || I found the ShopBot's 0.001" accuracy inadequate - and built my own | SNIP | --Is this sloppy tolerance a function of software or funky hardware; | i.e. might one tighten up the cheap machine by swapping in some | ballscrews?
Probably not software and probably not sloppy/funky hardware - much more likely a choice involving costs of the linear motion components: steppers, driving electronics, lead screws, etc.
Software is glitzy but weak. I'd expect any CNC machine to be able to handle the industry-standard g-code (or equivalent) part programs. This is probably the Carveright's greatest weakness because it prevents use of generally available CAD/CAM packages.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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Morris Dovey wrote:

The faq says that they'll be upgrading the software to handle g-code (import and export) later. If they actually do that then I'm ok with it. My biggest concern is that I don't want to have to learn something like autocad in order to use this. But at the same time, it would be nice to have other sources for data. I'm a software developer so I'm no stranger to complicated software. I just don't want to spend all my free time fighting with the software. To use image file software as an analogy, it clearly needs to be better than paint, but I don't want to have to learn photoshop.
brian
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brianlanning (in snipped-for-privacy@i3g2000cwc.googlegroups.com) said:
| Morris Dovey wrote: || Software is glitzy but weak. I'd expect any CNC machine to be able || to handle the industry-standard g-code (or equivalent) part || programs. This is probably the Carveright's greatest weakness || because it prevents use of generally available CAD/CAM packages. | | The faq says that they'll be upgrading the software to handle g-code | (import and export) later. If they actually do that then I'm ok | with it. My biggest concern is that I don't want to have to learn | something like autocad in order to use this. But at the same time, | it would be nice to have other sources for data. I'm a software | developer so I'm no stranger to complicated software. I just don't | want to spend all my free time fighting with the software. To use | image file software as an analogy, it clearly needs to be better | than paint, but I don't want to have to learn photoshop.
I hear you; but my experience has been that as you develop a sense of what's possible, you tend more and more toward wanting/buying/writing the tools that realize the possibilities.
I just posted some (lousy) photos to the abpw biscuit joinery thread that I think would be difficult/impossible to do without a programming capability of some kind.
The program used, BTW, takes board width and thickness, tennon width, height, and thickness, and tenon angle as parameters. It does all the trig and cuts the resultant tenon joint. It'll work with thin stock as shown - and equally well with two-by lumber. There's just no way to do that kind of thing from a graphic.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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    (SNIP)     --Speaking of thickness I get the impression, from the video, that although the machine might have a capacity of several inches of height, the routing head looks like it couldn't do and great variation in depth; i.e. how deep a hole could you plunge in a part before the chuck got in the way of the surrounding wood? If there's clearance then the thing would be damn handy for patternmaking.
--
"Steamboat Ed" Haas : Proud to be the
Hacking the Trailing Edge! : family crackpot!
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steamer wrote:

The faq on the site says 1 inch max. I'd want more than that, but under the circumstances, it's fine. On the website, they show some examples of pattern making also. And in the forums, someone uploaded a file that cuts out knobs for jigs. Cool stuff.
If you wanted more than one inch, you could do the relief cut in two passes, the first being a through cut. Then you'd get 2 inches of depth. You'd have to nail the design to make things line up though.
brian
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wrote:

Hey Morris,
You've made the case before about your particular need for extrordinary tolerances in your product, but .006" is pretty outstanding for a 3d set-and-forget carving machine under $2k. While I'm sure they could have made it measure tenths, there's not much need for that when it comes to a guy making a set of cabriole legs or some rope molding. :)
I'd rather see it at the price and tolerance rating its at than see it at the quality level of a Mazak, but far more than ten years' income for me! For a couple of grand, I might get one at some point in the future (or perhaps not- it seems it might take a bit of the fun out of carving)
Would be nice if it did handle standard G-codes, on that I definately agree. Doesn't make much sense for them not to have done that- just more work for them to make a slightly inferior product.
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Tue, Oct 17, 2006, 3:57am (EDT-1) snipped-for-privacy@business.org (Prometheus) doth posteth: <snip> there's not much need for that when it comes to a guy making a set of cabriole legs or some rope molding. :) <snip>
True. But there's a rumor that he's thinking about producing pukey ducks, so he'd need it then.
JOAT It's not hard, if you get your mind right. - Granny Weatherwax
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On Tue, 17 Oct 2006 15:49:13 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Well, hell- that changes things a bit. I know I try to keep my pukey ducks to within .05 microns of the plan. Didn't think of that one!
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Wed, Oct 18, 2006, 3:32am (EDT-1) snipped-for-privacy@business.org (Prometheus) doth sayeth: Well, hell- that changes things a bit. I know I try to keep my pukey ducks to within .05 microns of the plan. Didn't think of that one!
Exactly. You can mess around and do sloppy work on furniture and get away with it, but pukey ducks call for quality work.
JOAT It's not hard, if you get your mind right. - Granny Weatherwax
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Morris, they did say the G-Code software was on its way.
Troy
Morris Dovey wrote:

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Troy (in eh28bd$72a$ snipped-for-privacy@news.netins.net) said:
| Morris, they did say the G-Code software was on its way.
Yup. They've been saying so for long enough that I've become a bit skeptical that it'll happen in the (product) lifetime for current purchasers.
There's a CNC control program with a g-code interpreter available for download on the web. Registered users ($60) can download full source. If these guys don't already know how to implement what they've been promising, they could have looked to see how someone else did it and followed in their footsteps.
When I purchased my ShopBot, they said (right in one of the downloadable manuals) that they'd make their source code available to purchasers - which was a major component of my decision to purchase my 'Bot. I have a really strong preference to run the machine under Linux (I've never been comfortable entrusting Microsoft with control of a robot capable of inflicting serious injury). After a couple of years, I've given up hope of seeing code to port.
I like for parts that I make to fit together without needing to do a lot of screwing around with hand work to correct for machine inaccuracies. My experience has been that +/-0.001 is marginal (perhaps slightly submarginal) for achieving a high quality result. Too often the choice is between needing to hammer the parts together or spackle over the joint to hide the gaps.
Having said all that, I should admit that while this product is actually a pretty nifty 2.5D graphics rendering device - which is how they present it on their web site. It's just not terrific as a 3D CNC device for woodworkers.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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Morris Dovey wrote:

0.006 is better than 1/128. I wouldn't be using this for joinery anyway. Even though it says you can use it for that. I'm mainly interested in artistic carving. I especially like the carve-through stuff. My only complaint is that the maximum depth of cut is only 1". I can't complain though. I guess you could make a 2" thick carve-through relief carving by running it through one side, then flipping it over and running the other side through. Lining things up might be tough.
brian
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"Theoritically" lining it up should be a now brainer, as its supposed to "know" the board size and positioning, so it would just be mirroring the other side per se' You should be able to get it to within .012 i would think.
Troy
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