Given we are still here, guess that yet another “End of Days” has quietly slipped on past. However, the Mayan calendar (or is it Aztec?) is still one of the challenging images that are sent to CNC machines all over!
I’ve been playing with this one today:
It is quite a challenge for a CNC machine – results in around 1/2 a million lines of G Code to produce all the required cuts. I started off cutting it into pine, but the initial size chosen (200x200mm), the depth of cut and the crapiata used, the results were not worth pursuing, so I cancelled it after about 45 minutes (so at least I could get a good idea how it could look).
Given how packed the garage is waiting for the new shed, working on a CNC machine is almost the only way I can actually manage any woodworking at all! Note the precarious location for the laptop, so it is somewhat out of dust range from the router.
I then decided to find something more suitable, and this laminated electrical board was eminently suitable, given the lower layer is a significantly contrasting colour, so the pattern shows up exceptionally well. Again, this was only a test cut on the underside – this was scaled to 300×300, and would have taken 4 hours to complete. I stopped it after an hour, again as it was only a test, and a couple of settings I chose were causing some issues.
The other side of the board is a shiny surface, and should look pretty spectacular. However, I plan to make it near the limit of size of the machine (a 580×580 calendar). I didn’t start it today as I wanted to get a better idea of the settings before getting it underway. It will also take 14 hours(!!), so I need to get some noise control in place before trying it on. I might drop it back to 500×500, which will probably be closer to a 12 hour machining.
The CNC Shark range can be sourced from Carbatec, and seen in operation on Stu’s Shed😉