Woodworking Techniques and Advice
My previous two articles covered the two major sub-assemblies of a CNC machine: stepper and servo motors, and linear drive systems. Our tour is almost complete with a description of the linear constraint systems. This term is used to describe the structure or frame of the machine and the linear guide system, which is attached to the frame and allows movement of the machine’s axes.
Moving the router or spindle over the table is the primary function of a CNC router’s software, hardware and motors. To get this motion means changing the rotary motion of the motors into linear motion to move the router’s cutter along the X, Y and Z axes and constraining that motion in a straight line in the case of a three-axis CNC router.
What’s the matter with kids these days?
I recently returned from an information- and inspiration-filled four-day conference of the Professional Refinishers Group and I feel obliged to share a bit of my sense of the value of this unparalleled assemblage of mind and skill.
When woodworkers take a rough plank or a 4’ x 8’ sheet of plywood and turn them into useful items, we do so through a process of subtraction. Like a stone sculpture, we start with a block and remove stock until we have the part we need. A machine shop does much the same. This is generally referred to as subtractive manufacturing. Conversely, 3-D printing is additive manufacturing, the process of building up a part from raw materials and not adding the unwanted bits.
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