Noob and need some directions

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Noob and need some directions

Post by reprobubbles on Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:27 pm

Vacuuming forming is my hobby and I would like to make it full time. Currently I reproduce plastic blisters or inserts to vintage toys. I am working on a line of clamshells to protect vintage toys. I also reproduce boxes the toys came in and cut these all by hand. Your drag knife should make it where I could actually do a large production.

I understand if this isn't the place for all these questions. I have been doing a ton of reading and I think this has confused me more than anything. Like everyone else, I am on a tight budget and would appreciate your advice.

My friend has created most the boxes and saved them as a jpeg. I have some experience with photoshop but I don't think this helps here. What program should I create my 2d box drawings in? Then could you give me an outline of what programs I will need to finally get it to gcode to cut.

I have to save money to buy the CNC and have decided to build my own machine. I need a cutting area of 36 inches by 24. I think I am going to go with the Shapeoko kit. I will have to modify to make larger. I am a teacher, so fortunately I have a few people who can help me. I would appreciate all the direction you can give, so I can start saving and purchasing what I need. While I save, I figure I could get all my boxes created and ready to cut when I get the machine made.

Thanks

Patrick

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Re: Noob and need some directions

Post by DonekTools on Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:48 pm

Draftsight is my favorite 2D CAD program and it's free. It is probably one of the best free tools to generate 2D drawings for boxes. If you're more artistic, you might look at a free illustration program like inkscape. The most cost effective and most powerful drag knife tool path software is SheetCAM. It can also be used for generating router tool paths.

I am not familiar with the shapeoko, but understand it is based on maker slide and/or the new v-slot extrusions. I have built and used a CNC-Mogul with a fair degree of success and believe the two may be similar. In either case you also need to purchase Mach3 to control the machine. It sounds to me like you are heading in a reasonable direction.
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