Exploring Technology

I managed to convince Carbatec (thanks Tony, and Carbatec Melbourne!) to lend me one of their (older) CNC machines, for my first hands-on experience of computer controlled woodworking.

CNC Shark Pro

CNC Shark Pro

I have no idea what the latest manuals (etc) are like, but the instructions on the Next Wave website (the manufacturer) are pretty agricultural – very 90s/early 00s.  However, as I have a good grounding in IT, I had no problems getting the software downloaded and installed.  I had to dust off an old(er) Windows laptop to make use of it – no such thing as Mac compatibility here.

It was a bit of suck and see really – got to the point that the actual machine needed plugging in and everything seemed to work.  Took it for a bit of a jog (as in along its three axis) just to prove I had control over it.

It can be a bit overwhelming, the possibilities of a CNC machine, and I can understand that some people once excited by the idea of getting a CNC machine could easily find it sitting idle once the reality sets in.  Like very idea they originally had about what they were going to do with one that drove them to finally buy one, goes out the window when it is a reality.

Given I only have the machine for a couple of weeks, motivation to jump right in isn’t a problem – finding the time to do so is a bit, but I’ll work around that!

You can design a pattern directly in the VCarve Pro software, or import a file from Illustrator or similar program.  You can also take in a graphic and use VCarve to vectorise (is that a word?!) the image.

I can see the future, and it involves a bit of experimentation, and sawdust!


One Response

  1. My new CNC will be ready for delivery next week or so… I, for one, have great plans for it…it will not be sitting around idle…I am also forking out the extra 2 grand for Aspire 3D software from Vectric…

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