Big CNC availbility

I would love to utilize the big CNC machine at the Hive to cut some 1/2in plywood, however a few weeks ago I checked and was told that it wasn’t operational.

Maybe somebody that is apart of the build team can help me out and answer a few questions below.

1 - Is the Big CNC operational ?
2 - Are members allowed to use the Big CNC machine ?
3 - Although I am proficient with using my personal CNC would I be required to go though some type of training to be certified ?
4 - Is the cutting area still 9’ X 5’ ?
5 - Which post processor name is being used to create the gcode for the Big CNC in vectric software


  1. technically yes it works.
  2. no only a select few are
  3. they say there is a required certifying process (that has not been developed or offered)
  4. I believe so
  5. that I don’t know


Thanks for the prompt reply

Do you know when will other members outside this selected group be allowed to use the BIG CNC


  1. Yes. Limit switches and emergency stops are not in place, hence our caution about calling the machine available for general use. But it moves and cuts reliably.

  2. It will be best to work with Coy, Lorin, Mike, Elly, or one of the other folks with some experience with the machine, rather than trying a cold start. There is not a formal class as yet, but if you are already familiar with Vectric and possibly Mach3, there will not be much in the way of new material for you.

  3. As with most machines at the Hive, the name of the game is just going to be demonstrating that you can operate the machine comfortably without damaging it. Amusingly, I’m not there myself with the big CNC yet. That’s mostly been for lack of a project. I now find myself with a new apartment to furnish, so I’m suddenly motivated to address that problem. I’ll document machine operation as I go along, and try to offer some more organized training once I have a process.

  4. It’s probably a little larger than 9’x5’, but those could be considered reasonable maximum material dimensions. The idea was to be able to fit full sheets of both Standard and Metric plywood.

  5. Lorin has had some success modeling parts and generating gcode with AutoCad360. Coy has used Vectric to good effect. We also have some CamBam licenses available. Ah, the wonderful thing about standards… there are so many to choose from.

In all cases, we are using Mach3 to drive the machine.

  • Ry

Ryan thanks for explaining.