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Thread: Taking my first baby steps into the world of CNC

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Lebanon, TN
    Posts
    843

    Taking my first baby steps into the world of CNC

    I've mulled about getting a CNC machine for several months.

    Well I took a small plunge and ordered a Shaper Origin yesterday.

    Yes, many will tell me this really isn't a substitute for a gantry still CNC, but I think for the small type of hobbyist/prototype stuff, I'd use a CNC for, this will hopefully fulfill my needs.

    My biggest obstacle appears to be getting over the learning curve of Fusion 360.

    So before this new toy arrives, I've got to spend some serious practicing actually trying to create my project files. It all seems easy watching YouTube videos, but I tend to hit a bit of a brick wall when trying to put it in practice.

  2. #2
    Lars Christensen is really good to watch. So is NYC CNC.

    David
    David
    CurlyWoodShop on Etsy, David Falkner on YouTube, difalkner on Instagram

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    780
    Fusion 360 has a fairly steep learning curve. VCarve Pro may be a better choice to get up and running quickly - particularly with wood routing/machining. You can download the free trial version here:https://www.vectric.com/free-trial/vcarve-pro
    David

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Lawrence, KS
    Posts
    501
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA Edwards View Post
    I've mulled about getting a CNC machine for several months.

    Well I took a small plunge and ordered a Shaper Origin yesterday.

    Yes, many will tell me this really isn't a substitute for a gantry still CNC, but I think for the small type of hobbyist/prototype stuff, I'd use a CNC for, this will hopefully fulfill my needs.

    My biggest obstacle appears to be getting over the learning curve of Fusion 360.

    So before this new toy arrives, I've got to spend some serious practicing actually trying to create my project files. It all seems easy watching YouTube videos, but I tend to hit a bit of a brick wall when trying to put it in practice.
    When you get the machine and set up your account with Shaper, be sure to check out their forums. Lots and lots of good advice there. Keep in mind that some things you see complained about have been remedied in software updates so always look at the posting date and the last few posts in a chain before freaking out over something.

    There are also a couple of good Facebook groups for the Shaper.

    Fusion 360 as it relates to the Origin isn't difficult to use. You aren't (picking number seemingly at random) using but maybe 25% of its capability so not many options to master. Alternatives to Fusion360 would be Adobe Illustrator ($$$), Affinity Designer ($) or Inkscape (free) since the Shaper is fed by SVG files and you provide the Z.

    Combining Fusion360 with the abilities of Affinity Designer or Inkscape is probably your best bet. I've found Inkscape to be very useful especially when dealing with fonts.

    The Shaper is not a substitute for a gantry style CNC, but they do have some overlap in capabilities. Depending on ones needs, it can be (has been for me) the better alternative.

    You will get a real kick out of using it.
    Last edited by Rob Young; 05-06-2020 at 10:25 AM. Reason: to add
    Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Lebanon, TN
    Posts
    843
    Thank you, appreciate the information.

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