Just pushed some big updates to Github, where I’m tracking the process of getting a Chinese 6040 mill up and running. Check it out and participate if you’re interested.
The kitchen sink at Signal Culture was missing a faucet handle so I made them a new one. I love sneaking plain, functional objects into public environments where they become useful and invisible. Unlike more precious art objects, these items are designed to be handled and forgotten (even as they give me a semi-permanent presence in a space).
One of the great things about the Signal Culture residency is that they understand tool making as a creative practice. I brought along my 6040, an aluminum mill that I bought from China via eBay. Though I did not fabricate this mill myself (like we did with DIYLILCNC), the 6040 came with no instructions, so I’m applying all my DIY know-how to getting it up and running. I’ll use both this blog and github to document the process.
These are working notes – stay tuned for a more complete tutorial.
- Set the digital model in negative Z territory. This means you’ll be zeroing the relative position of the machine Z to the top of your stock to be cut.
- Load the tool library instead of defining tools from scratch.
- When you’re ready to post, make sure that the Laguna post-processor is selected.
- The .nc file must be renamed to .prg. Don’t bother trying to do this while posting, as RhinoCAM will just add .prg after .nc. Instead, rename the file by right clicking it from the finder. Keep the file name small and descriptive.
- Transfer this file to an empty USB drive.
- Plug the USB drive into the Laguna controller.
- Navigate to the TBA screen and press access USB . Press up and down to find your file, then press copy .
- Remove the USB drive and press access CF card . Navigate to your file.
- Load the first tool you’ll use in the cut. If you’re turning on the machine for the first time of the day, there should be no tool in the spindle. You should see 0 listed under the current tool in the Run screen.
- Enter the MIDI command TXM06 (where X is the number of the tool you want) and pres execute .
- Jog this tool to the stock surface and teach tool length and set tool data . Repeat steps two and three for every tool you plan to use.
- Jog any tool to the spot you want set as the X/Y origin.
- Navigate to the Coordinate screen. Press reset relative then teach zpos .
- Navigate to the Run screen. You should see all zeros on the position display.