3rd Annual CNC Workshop

Just a quick summer and some photos from the 3rd Annual CNC Workshop 2007.

My first impression of the workshop was that it was pretty disorganized. On reflection, it more fair to say it was just very informal and run by only a handful of people. Everything was pretty flexable. There were open classrooms for folks who wanted to hang out of pitch some last minute topic. It was all come and go as you please.

My goal was to meet people and put faces with names I'd seen on various lists. In that it was a smashing success. Having already built three different CNC driver boxes I wasn't looking for that sort of education. But there was plenty of it just the same and I learned a few things in spite of myself. I even gave a little unscheduled introduction to Rhino 3D myself. And got some Rhino pointers from someone else. Good times.

I'm not sure how many people attended. They said there was like 160 people "interested" but there was not telling how many might show up. If I had to guess I'd say there were 70ish people there. The swap meet and the vendors were kinda sparse but some money and things did change hands.

The big "secret" (well it was a secret to me) was that in one classroom folks spent most of their time actually building and wiring driver boxes. I gather Geckos, power supplies, wirers and metal cases were available for sale.

If I have a complaint it's that the workshop was touted as being "June 11th - 17th." Well the 11th was more like vendor setup day and Friday night the 15th they said, "Bye and see you next year." A few folks showed up Saturday but most folks who could (that didn't fly in) left early and that was that. As a result it seemed to me that there were three basic catagories of attendees: vendors, twentysomething EMC2 developers and retired folks looking to set up equipment. I suspect they'd get a lot more milage and and a different mix of people if they made it a Thursday through Sunday event. More folks can seel with a long weekend than a full week off.

IMG_0257.jpg Then venue: Cardinal Engineering. The converted schoolhouse with it's toolrooms and classrooms on the left. The "barn" full of big machinery on the right. Parking in the back and lots of stuff for sale by the pound lining the driveway.

IMG_0252.jpg Inside the "barn" while everyone has lunch.

IMG_0253.jpg The rest of the barn, where the EMC2 guys hung out.

IMG_0268.jpg Some of the EMC2 guys at work.

IMG_0250.jpg The rest of the EMC2 workspace...

IMG_0249.jpg The big machine the EMC2 guys were working on. In addition to several smaller machines.

IMG_0251.jpg What that monster looks like with it's original CNC console.

IMG_0266.jpg In the foreground another EMC2 set up. Dead center of the picture is a Grizzle G4003 12 X 36 lathe half crated. the sign says, "New: $2300" More subtle is the fact that it's sitting on the table of huge mill. That's it's spindle hovering over the lathe.

IMG_0247.jpg Some of Carmen's wax patters. Note the green "core" pattern that's used to create the real pattern in blue. The green one is made from water soluable wax and is disolved after the blue wax is formed around it. First I ever heard ofr water soluable wax. Always something new to learn!

IMG_0248.jpg Lots and lots of parts for Carmen's miniature replical firearms. Very nice work.

IMG_0254.jpg The ongoing building of power supplies, driver boxes, cabling, etc.

IMG_0261.jpg Rick doing a pour of aluminum into "lost foam" patterns.

IMG_0264.jpg Casting results hot off the press.

IMG_0272.jpg More resutls.

IMG_0269.jpg Quite the puzzle. Dovetails at right angles on all 4 sides. If you give up here's the answer.

IMG_0273.jpg A linear stepper. I'd never heard of such a thing but it's pretty cool. And illistrates well how steppers are really constructed. Notatable, that though we often draw stepper diagrams as coils stepping between adjacent magnets, they're really offset because the coils are bigger than the magnets.

IMG_0276.jpg The magent(s).

IMG_0278.jpg The coils.


Content and imges copyright 2007 by Jeff Jones