CNC milling ideas?

Hi, I just found out that there’s a CNC milling machine in our department ( I knew the guys did auto mods, but I didn’t know they had the machine.) One guy said he’d let me make some stuff sometime whenever things get a little less busy. I’m thinking of having him mill me a few top panels for joysticks and possibly a case for a stick that will look like the Mac Pro computer… anyway, I was wondering if people had some ideas for other things to try out?

at work i use CATIA v5, what file type do you need for the models to prgram your machine

I’m not sure; I work in orthotics so I’m not very familiar w/ how it all works yet… I’ll make sure I ask on tuesday though…

So I just talked to the guy… he said they use some autocad, but they mainly MasterCAD. I don’t know if that helps any… they said they just load a disc into the mill and it carves it. Anyway, did you have anything you wanted to try out in mind? They said they mainly do things in 2D… I was thinking of carving a couple of top panels for custom sticks.

hrmmm, it somewhat helps. i was wondering if they knew a file type they use to program the mill. ask about “.igs” and “.stp” and see what they say

Hi… I asked and they said they use .DWG or .DWX… I forgot to ask about the other extensions…

It pretty much depends on your CAD skills. You could easily make a top cover for an arcade stick. The only thing you’ll have to worry about is tolerances to make sure holes are the right size for the buttons.

File type isn’t really a problem since most CAD programs, like solid work, inventor, and pro e can export to different ones.

What other CNC machines do they have?

My suggestion: How about carving out some shurikens :bgrin:

we aint cuttin metal for missiles, im sure the tolerances are just fine for plastic buttons.

.dwg .dwx were what i was looking for, basically, they use 2d geometry instead of 3d for their mills. ill think of something and post it up, although im not very creative.

Shaft Agent is going to appear in this thread in a puff of smoke. Just watch. :tup:

POOF, BITCH! :mad:

but seriously, i’m using a different process than average CNC guys, because i’m cheap and i’m a noob to CNC. i have to draw STL files instead of DXF/DWG files. one thing i’ve found if you’re milling button holes:

  1. make them bigger than they say probably .5mm or higher than the button holes say.
  2. 30mm Seimitsu buttons are bigger than 30mm Sanwas. doesn’t make sense, but they are.


So I found out that the the CNC mill is a Haas TM-1 if that means anything to anyone… The thing is, I don’t want to push my luck too much in making many different projects, so I want to make something worthwhile… I could probably just cut shurikens on the bandsaw if I wanted to do that lol… (although CNC would make quick work of stainless steel.)… Anyway, I’m pretty sure the machine is accurate b/c they use it to make custom control panels for wheelchair and car mods… I’ll keep the button hole suggestion in mind = )…

the CNC machine can be accurate, but the cutting bits aren’t sometimes. what maybe a .25" cutter maybe actually be something like .24". that’s not bad for a woodworker using his hands, but it’s hell for a guy that keeps having to change his CAD drawing because the stuff ends up being just a few millimeters off and nothing fits in right. just to be safe, do something like this :d:,

then see if the button fits in that hole. if it does, you’re good to go :tup:

LOL I just checked in here to see if my prophecy had come true. It did! :tup:

cool, thanks for the tip; I think I’ll do that… I’m starting to put a few things down on paper… it’s a LOT harder than I thought it’d be since I want to make something “different” instead of just a box… I wonder if there’re any cheaper materials that I could use instead of using a block of aluminum… I don’t know if plastics will hold up for the long run.

I’m giving up on using aluminum for now since it’d be a bit pricey… does anyone know if a shell milled out of Delrin would hold up, or would wood be a better choice?