At the Cabin Fever show this past January, Ron Ginger put on a popular demonstration in which he went through the process of setting up and getting a small CNC mill running. Afterwards, he approached me to see if we could do something similar at the CNC Workshop in June. What we finally came up with is a little different than what was offered at Cabin Fever, but I think it will prove to be a popular class.
Our plan is to offer a class to ten people on how to convert an X2 style mini-mill to CNC. The participant will open the crates on the first day and start in on the conversion. By the end of the event, they will have a fully operational CNC to haul home.
There is obviously some cost associated with a class like this, but through the quantity purchase of items and the generosity of our suppliers, we have managed to put together a package that will cost the participant hundreds less than if they assembled it themselves. Also, the price will include the class and access to all the other seminars offered at the Workshop.
Iíll be getting more details together in the coming days, but here are the basics:
The mills will be LittleMachineShop.com HiTorque mini-mills. We will be using the ball screw kit from CNC Fusion for this build. Many of the electronics, including the power supply, stepper motors, smoothstepper, and a Gecko 540 driver will be coming from Keling Inc. The controller software will be Mach3 and Ron is promising to gather all the other bits and pieces to make this work.
Classes will be held each of the four days, with a two hour session in the morning. You will have time to work on the mill during the rest of the day and may attend other seminars if you wish.
What to Bring
You must bring, or purchase for shipment to the workshop, a suitable computer. A laptop is okay. It must run windows XP or Win 7. See the Mach site for more details on a suitable computer.
It will be useful if you have your own set of hand tools, screwdrivers, allen wrenches, wire cutters, pilers, etc. We wonít need a huge kit, just a few common items. A 30-40 watt electronic soldering iron would be great. We may have access to some tools through the School, but if you have your own it will be simpler.
You must make your own arrangements for getting the mill home. If you drive to the seminar it will be easy to load into any car. If you are flying, you must save your crate and re-pack the machine and make all arrangements for its shipping. Remember, you will own the machine when you get to the class; itís your responsibility to get it home. The school has been very helpful with shipping in the past and we may be able to leave the mill for a few weeks after the show while you arrange for shipment.
So, thatís about it. As I mentioned, Iíll fill out some of the details in the coming days. If anyone is interested, they should contact me directly. The best way for initial contact is through email. I can be reached at gbulliss(at)villagepress(dot)com.
Remember, this class is limited to ten people, with no exceptions. Make sure to move fast on it if you are interested.