CAMBefore working with any machine it’s very important to understand how it works and what are the safety procedures to follow. In the lab we have ShoBot CNC machine and I could find all the needed information in ShopBot User guide. Our instructor Babken was with me and helped with tips as well.
Here are the safety rules to follow, which I took from the user manual.
- READ. Read this manual well to acquaint yourself with how to handle the tool safely and effectively before use. Read related manuals for the router and/or spindle that will be mounted on your ShopBot.
- PRACTICE. Practice operating your ShopBot tool with your computer and the ShopBot Control Software BEFORE activating the router or spindle.
- PROTECT. Turn OFF your router or other power tool before loading or positioning a workpiece or adjusting the position of the tool. Do not change router bits or other cutters without first unplugging the power tool or having a positive system to make sure the power tool is not accidentally activated. It is your responsibility to use it safely.
- HOLD-DOWN. Never attempt to cut wood or other material without first ensuring that the work is firmly secured to the work surface. Power cutting tools always carry the risk that work material or broken cutters will be sent flying towards the operator or others in the area. A tool like ShopBot allows you to work with the workpiece secured and thus greatly reduces this risk. It also allows the operator to be away from the cutting and protected. However, YOU must take the steps to secure the workpiece and protect the operator. Note that not only must the full starting piece be secured, but you need to attend to the attachment and security of any pieces that will become cutouts or cutoffs during the cutting or machining process. Stand clear of the tool when it is in operation and protected from debris, parts, or broken cutters that might fly out during operation. Never attempt to push material by hand through a moving bit or to interact with the tool while it is running.
- AWAKE. Never operate the tool when you are fatigued.
- EYES & EARS. Always protect your eyes and ears when operating your ShopBot.
- ATTEND. NEVER leave the tool unattended while it is running. A cutting error or workpiece slippage that the tool cannot detect might occur. Some person unknowledgeable about tool operation might approach and start the tool. Or some other unexpected event might occur.
- GUARD. Always position the dust skirt correctly to guard against flying particles.
- TO STOP. During a cutting or motion process, the SPACEBAR on the computer keyboard is a Panic/Stop/Halt button. Hitting the bar will stop the tool’s movement. Your ShopBot PRSalpha also has a remote STOP Button that interrupts power to the stepper motors and the spindle or router after it is pushed. You should locate the STOP Button convenient to your tool and workstation. Note: For PRS systems the power tool is operated independently of your ShopBot, it must be turned off separately.
- POSITION. The safest location for you during the operation of the tool is within easy reach of the computer keyboard or STOP Button and well away from the path of the tool. Because bits can break and fly loose during cutting — stand behind a protective screen.
- BE SMART. Most importantly, never place yourself at risk during a cutting or machining process by placing any part of you near the cutting path or by attempting to move or adjust the workpiece or active tool. SHOPBOT IS A ROBOT, BUT YOU ACTIVATE ITS MOVEMENT AND YOU TURN ON AND OFF ITS POWERED CUTTING-TOOL.
I did milling following the steps below
- First of all I have inserted the endmill.
- Then I opened the ShopBot software and set zero for X and Y. For that open theKeyPad in the app and move left/right forward/backwards and bring the tool to the desired position for the zero. Then press Zero axes.
- For setting up the zero for the Z axis, move the tool somewhere in the on the table and press setup Z zero. The machine has a special tool for that. You attach a special pin to the end mill holder and a flat metallic tool under the tool on the table and press OK. The machine will set up zero for the Z automatically.
- Then press Cut Part, choose the generated post process file. I have run a half of the process in the air, to be sure that machine goes to the right directions and then set up actual zero for Z and started milling.
- The machine has a key and a place for that. If the key is not there, the spindle will not rotate.
- Start the process and always be near the machine, to stop it when it’s needed. Don’t forget to protect eyes and ears.
When the milling was done, Ashot and Babken helped me with finishing and assembling.
The joints were done perfectly and I didn’t need any glue to assemble it. Here is the result.