When I lent my services to a collegue who was working on a film about 12 years ago, I was introduced to the world of cnc. I remember watching this huge machining centre milling out a slab of mdf and turning it into a fantastic set of gears. I knew that it would have taken me hours to achieve the same thing with traditional power tools. I decided then that I would invest in a cnc router for my own business Oxenham Design. At that time I could turn on a computer, but even to check email seemed like a crazy set of operations. I persevered and learned every piece of relevant software I could get my hands on. I am now fortunate enough to be using Vectric's ASPIRE software, and Techno cnc routers, which has helped us to create some amazing projects, both in part, or in full. I thought that this blog would be a great place to share "behind the scenes" adventures with the software, materials and equipment we use, as well as the projects we build.
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
When it all just works (warning-nerdy content!)
To move slightly off course for a moment, I wanted to post a little bit about the things that work right. We all have been through it, we buy a computer upgrade part that when we get it home, it needs something else. Remember when printers were making the switch between parallel port to usb? Or you wanted to move to Win 7 and your pc (which seemed fine with XP) couldn't handle it. As I am also a closet computer nerd, these things would pop up from time to time, and drive me batty. I remember my old cnc routers. When I got my first one, it was running win 95! As I was running win XP, I really wanted to upgrade the router. I could do an upgrade, but it was gonna cost me $5000.00 for new electronics and I would be stuck with the old mechanics of the machine. Fast-forward to now. I purchased my Techno cnc 2 years ago, used. I would guess the machine to be between made between 1999-2005. I recently picked up the ART hand held pendant from Techno. This is a fantastic piece of technology. It basically provides complete control of all machine functions via a small touchscreen monitor.It also allows me to move around the machine and do all my set-ups where they need to be done, instead of commuting back and forth from the PC to the machine. So this is where I am going with this. I was able to download the drivers from the Techno cnc website, plug in the ART pendant and it all just works. Period. No expensive upgrades, new components or computer changeover. It just works. A new piece of technology-working in tandem with my older machine. I think the developers over at Techno need a round of applause, or at least from me, because this is the way it always should be.