CNC mill is up!

After quite a bit of fiddling, the CNC mill is finally running. It’s a ShapeOko3 fitted with an AMB milling motor (1050 Watt FME-P, ER16 cone, 5000 to 25000 rpm). Reachable work area is about 400 x 400 x 80 mm; fixture area about 580 x 580 mm. To get started, there’s a simple wasteboard with threaded inserts, holes for dowel pins and a removable low-profile vise installed.

If you want to see what you can use this thing for, Winston Moy has some nice videos, including a pretty accessible introduction to CNC machining:

The manufacturer also has a active community site, where there’s people advice on producing anything between silver jewelry, croissant machines and engine intakes for 1000-hp racing cars.

Julien from that same community has also written a nice introduction gitbook:

I’ve sponsored the machine and some basic accessories since I will use it quite a bit, but it is of course intended to be available for anyone who needs it. Now that said, this beast is a lot less of a user-friendly appliance than the laser cutter or the Shaper Origin, so if your problem fits one of those you’ll probably be finished much sooner.

If you’re interested in using it, let me know and we’ll organize an introduction course, not least for safety reasons. @jonasjohansson, @elch, @MariaEuler, @Ollxor, @Simon, @hugi, @dsandber, @hampus, @sero please ping anyone else I forgot. Obviously, if you want to help out improving the setup (chip collection, air blast, extra emergency switch, work-holding, raspi running cncjs, etc.) your contribution is most welcome!


Pinging myself for the intro course

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I’m interested!

Really wonderful news @spargeltarzan!

I’m really looking forward to learning how to use it. Thanks for making it a reality!

Could you arrange for creating a Doodle to decide dates for the first introduction course?

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Awesome! I’m in :slight_smile:

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Me too !

Great, 5 people interested, let’s run an intro course:

Let me know if none of the time slots work for you.

There’s a lot that we could talk about; but to get started, I think we should focus on safety, basic workflow, operating the thing and perhaps a bit on tools and materials. Hopefully we’d manage to CAM & carve some simple example part as well. Please let me know if you have ideas, suggestions or want to contribute to the course, that would be most appreciated.

I’m away next week until Mar 4th, so can’t make it.

Great! Would love to learn :slight_smile:

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Alright, since the doodle is tied, we’ll run the first introduction course with @NinaLindberg, @bobspeakman, @annielocke and @hampus on Thursday 27 February, and the next one tentatively about two weeks later. Hope that could work for you @Ollxor, @dsandber and @darkturo.

Let’s meet in the beta conference room at 18.00. If you want to prepare, the ebook is a good place to start.


Would also love to learn how to use a CNC! :slight_smile:

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Sure! Join us this Thursday at 18.00 if you can make it; otherwise, I’ll ping you when the next course is planned.


Thanks a lot.
I can make on Thursday, but can also wait of you think the group is a good size already. :slight_smile:

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Hi, sorry, both Bob and I have accidentally booked in things on Thursday and we can’t change it. So sorry but we are not coming :pray:


Oh well, I don’t think you need to worry about too many participants…: :wink: You’re most welcome to join on Thursday!

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I’m still coming on Thursday, there was some confusion between me and Nina.

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Uhm, so the machine demo at the end of the course didn’t go so well, so here’s some debugging info that may be useful for your projects.


The first problem we had was the tool moving suddenly very slowly; looked like it got stuck. This was because the NC program at this point contained an awful amount of very, very small path segments. The machine controller simply couldn’t keep up with processing all those commands with any reasonable speed.

This was really my mistake rushing the program out too quickly. There is a CAM option to cleanup the toolpath in the Passes tab; switch this on and the problem is gone.


ncviewer is a nice browser-based viewer that can be used to find this kind of problem.

Controller hang-up

Later, the controller got stuck completely and stopped to respond. Looks like the USB communication between laptop and machine were interrupted, probably because the laptop was on battery and it’s ground potential (on the USB pins) therefore isolated from the grid. So:

Always connect the USB host computer to power when using the mill.


These things fixed, the teapot sieve adapter looks came out alright:


How about a intro workshop next week? Have a little project that will need cnc milling coming up :slight_smile: Monday, tuesday or thursday would be best for me! If possible <3

Sure, let’s do that. Arturo joined last week. @dsandber, @NinaLindberg, would Thursday evening work for you?