endmills have arrived for todays CNC class

Hi All,
Tim and Andrew, I have an endmill for you! I’m sorry they didn’t arrive before the class (and sorry a stomach bug kept me from coming back to the end of the class). I look forward to eliciting feedback on the class and seeing what you designed and made!

Mike said he might be up for working at the hive next weekend for a few hours if those of you who took the class want to come and run the CNC on your own. Message me off list and we can set up a time if that wont work.

John, let me know when you are available to teach it again! Someone suggested that we hold one during a weekday evening. Are you available in the evenings? Perhaps the Monday or Tuesday of Thanksgiving week (I know the holiday season is pretty crazy for everyone, so no worries)? Also, get with jim@hive13.org in regards to how much we owe you for today’s class. Coy, we used a sheet of your 1/2" plywood for the class. You will also want to get ahold of Jim to get reimbursed.


Where the start up proceedure John was using for the class? Seems like an excellent thing to have on the Wiki, but I’m not seeing it there.

Quick Check list:
Be sure your Rapid Z Gaps and Home Z are above the top of your material.
Use the Mach2/3 Arcs (inch) (*.txt) postprocessor. Record spindle speed for each tool path.
Mark your X,Y Datum corner & Z Zero (on the top or bottom of your material).
Mark your safe nail/screw locations.

Use your eye and ear protection.

Power up: PC; Square D box; white switch: press RUN when “u000.0” blinks on the display Check that all 3 sensors are lit.
Boot Mach3; select “BigCNC”; click OK
Zero X & Y for gantry: Click Reset to green. Click REF ALL HOME.
Click Reset to red. Click Reset to green. Click Zero X and Zero Y to set both values to 0.
Raise the Z axis 2” (Page Up). Move the spindle +6” on X and on Y axes (Cursor keys).

Click Reset to blinking red/green.
Install collet: finger tighten collet nut.
Install mill: Loosen nut; Press mill into collet (flutes clear of collet); Finger tighten.
Hold the wrenches as close to the nut as possible & tighten the collet nut < 1/4 turn.
Put the wrenches back on the hooks, don’t leave them on the spoil board!
Do Not Overtighten - this will destroy the threads and render the $600 $pindle u$ele$$!
Connect Z Zero probe. Click Reset to green.
Zero Z: Click Auto Zero Tool; Remove probe.

Place your material on the spoil board; secure it square to the machine rails.
Move mill to the X,Y Datum corner; Click Zero X. Click Zero Y.

Place dust collector collar. Close D.C. drum gate. Other gates closed.Turn Dust collector on!
(—>) Page Up to put mill 2” above your material.
Move the mill for zeroing the in the Z axis.
Connect the Z Zero probe.
If Z zero set to base of material, place probe on spoil board. If set to top of material, place Z probe on material.
Click Auto Zero Tool. Remove probe.*
Click Load GCode in Mach3; Check GCode for tool path name & installed mill. Click Rewind.
Set Spindle Speed to tool path speed;
Click Spindle Speed input box; type in tool path speed; press ENTER
Press F5.
(->>) Be sure the mill is spinning! (Pressing F5 again will stop the spindle.)
Click Cycle Start; be ready to click Stop or Reset, or pull the Emergency Stop cable!
If you have to Stop the machine before the tool path is complete: raise the mill above your material; correct the problem; reset the E stop cable (2 places); click Rewind . Go to(->>).
When tool path is completed, move the mill away from the material. Click Close GCode.
Click Reset to blinking red/gn. Change mill. Click Reset to green. Go to (—>).

When project is complete, chop the tabs (mallet & chisel); remove your project.
Remove your material. Remove all hold-downs. Clean up chips on the table and the floor!
Return the collet to the tray.
Power down the router and the dust collector. Quit Mach3. (alt f, shift x)
*To test a toolpath with an “air cut”, set a block of scrap greater in thickness than your material on top of your material. Zero mill to top of block. Set block aside and run toolpath. Re-zero the mill to your toolpath Z Zero.

Thanks again to John for writing it up and taking all the time to prepare and hold the class!!

Thanks, added this an the V-Carve License ID to the wiki.

i dont think its a good idea to put the license id on the wiki.

That ID will only allow projects built using it work with the machines at our Hive. According to John there is no problem with sharing it far and wide.

That’s sort if correct. Iirc Ian the cto said we have like 30 licenses that get installed on users computers that then work on hive13 computer to generate gcode. At least that’s what I recall him saying. Ian - maybe you can chime in here? I could be wrong, but that is why he wasn’t just posting the code on the wiki. It also encourages members to take the class, which ensures members using the cnc are properly trained.

That doesn’t appear to be what Vectric is saying on their web site. There’s a limit to the on-site PCs, but nothing about member PCs.


Andrew is correct. There isn’t a limit to the times the software can be installed on member machines. The only limit is the number of installs on machines that can make the gcode which I believe is 5.

i will reply via direct email.


As the license in presented during the class, I don’t think there is a need to post it to the Wiki.

And, this slight restriction in access might also provide some protection by restricting the CNC router to users who have taken the class.


So we probably need to get something written down on how to do this.

I’m thinking we have the VCarve pro license, not sure if it is the makerspace edition.

I purchased the Mach3 and the GWizard earlier. I think Coy/Ryan got the VCarve Pro license a while ago. Maybe we can look at it tonight or Tuesday.

It looks like we (Hive13) generate a Makerspace ID and that can be posted for members to put into the trial version of VcarvePro at home. They can then test some tool paths and play with the software but not generate Gcode. This saves people from tying up the CNC computer while they figure out what they want to do (great idea). Then the person brings in the file to the CNC computer and the file is opened by the full version and “opened” up for full use. I’m not sure if the file can then be modified at home or not.

Yes that’s correct Brad. We know how to do it. I can show you tonight or tomorrow night if you’d like. It’s fairly easy to do.

Not everyone who is or will be certified to use the machine will take a “class”. I am a certified user, but I was taught one-on-one. As long as a few people have access to that number who could give it to certified users regardless of if they take a class, I think that is a reasonable way to handle it. Just IMHO

I’m fine with the license not being on the web. I don’t see a downside to posting it, but I’ve got my copy, and it appears the prevailing opinion is to leave it off.

I think we should post the Makerspace ID thingy, there is a procedure to generate it. As I understand it, there is no problem with people using it at home, they just can’t generate Gcode.

Andrew: Do you have the Makerspace ID or the “real” license. We need to be careful to not install improper copies around. Almost all the software that is paid for calls the mothership now and then, if our Hive license starts chirping from multiple stations there could be a problem.

Let’s talk about it tonight.

he has the makerspace ID

Sweet. Then we should post that ID on the CNC part of the wiki along with links to VCarve and instructions on how to enable the ID.

I’m all for opening this up for more people to use it.

That’s what I did, seems the rest of the hive is a bit more worried about it, since it’s a license. And now the conversation has come full circle. :wink:

Ha, I would rather they be cautious.
I think when people heard “license” they just got nervous.