Coy, I hear you, and the same thoughts were restraining me from doing an intro.
Everyone, Saturday is offered as “meet the CNC”, not “master the CNC”. 2 hours is not long enough to cover much, but I feel that everyone would like to know more about how CAM, CNC, etc works. I won’t be teaching software or “certifying”. So I want to stress that there is no commitment to any work flow or software from me. I just want to demystify this thing a bit.
So here are the outcomes of the intro:
SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY
What CNC is
What CAM and GCode do
What Mach3 is and isn’t
About our machines
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
For the record: this will not make anyone new to this able to suddenly use the CNC solo! We are going to do really simple shapes, make a drawer for a cabinet, and demystify things. You will need to hit the books, watch videos, and most importantly, reach out to get one on one help with other members to be capable and confident with this.
I like Vectrix and autodesk equally. I think Vectrix may be the way to go, but I will encourage fusion or vectrix at this point ONLY for people to simulate their CAM. I will also encourage them to do the CAM and then send the simulation to me, John, Coy, Mike, or anyone who can verify that it’s unlikely to shatter bits, etc.
If I were to weigh in at this point, I’d say let’s start with the concepts and the safety. Without Julien around the CNC area is in danger of becoming the white whale of the Hive. Everyone sees the beautiful machines and respects their power enough to know not to use them if unfamiliar. However, if only 5% of folks use it, then it will lead to resentment. As a long time director of lab spaces at Universities, I am all too familiar with this.
More people will hurt themselves, break things, have bad experiences, steal things, etc if cool spaces if we don’t do some introductions so folks understand the concepts.
It is akin to shooting guns. One starts by learning the parts, rules (don’t point it at people), cleaning, and posture. This progresses to study, supervised range practice, then certification. I spent a LOT of time with an unloaded .22 before I ever shot a target, and it was just as cool. The majority of gun injuries happen because of a lack of understanding, not poor marksmanship.
My plan is not to teach or promote software. My aim is to help people uncover the concepts and understanding of this process.
I think the path to learning all this is in steps. Concepts on Saturday, self study with practice on a computer, using Shapeoko to do less scary practice, practice with the wardens and CNC specialists, and then, after time, being a specialist!
No commitment, simply demystification.