More CNC goodness

I’ve been using the M3 CNC machine quite effectively to produce machined cabinets for one of my ham radio kits.  In a couple of hours the other day I was able to greatly improve the machine control programs for producing three of the parts, making the machining process faster and less hassle.  I’ve even posted a couple of Youtube videos of the machine doing its thing.

I’ve got two new kits that will have optional, custom modified cabinets.  For these I am hoping to do a little more complicated work.  In addition to various round, square and/or rectangular holes in end panels, I’m going to try some engraving to label the connector locations and maybe put a logo on them.  That will take a little more development work, including making a jig to hold the parts in a rigid, repeatable location.

The machine has been a real life saver in modifying some existing cabinets.  The manual process using a file was very time consuming, very difficult, and produced imperfect results.  Using the CNC mill gives me perfect results in about half the time of doing it manually…  and I can be doing other things while the job runs, coming back only to swap out parts when the program is finished.  I may eventually be investing in a new Gecko G540 driver, which should make the machine smoother, quieter and much faster.  For now, though, the cheap ($65 or so, including shipping) Chinese driver board is doing the job.