Frequently Asked Questions
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- 1 Computer Numerical Control (CNC)
- 2 Electronics
- 3 Software
Computer Numerical Control (CNC)
What is a CNC machine?
A CNC machine is basically a computer controlled high precision tool that is able to make intricate movements accurately and repeatedly. Our machines use common routers and spindles to mill, cut, engrave and shape materials in automated machining operations.
How do CNC machines work?
A CNC machine takes codes from a computer and converts the code using software into electrical signals. The signals from the computer are then used to control motors. Since the motors can turn very small amounts the machine is able to move in highly precise movements over and over again.
What can CNC machines do?
There is virtually no limit to what a CNC can do. CNC machines are responsible for almost all modern day machining operations in manufacturing industries. They normally costs tens of thousands of dollars, or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Our machines can be used to engrave plaques, cut wood for kits, mill aluminum parts, and inject plastic components. All it requires is willing to learn and understand how to use the machines to accomplish what you want to do.
What is the interface between the router and computer?
Our CNC electronics require a parallel port, commonly referred to a Printer port. It is usually the larger port on the back of a computer and purple in color. If you do not have a parallel port, there are USB to Parallel adapters available.
What is the power output of the electronic controller?
We use a 24 - 40 volt power supplies running at 7 - 10 amps. The motor controller takes that input and the motors receive 1 - 3 amps each. We recommend using as large of a power supply as your controller will allow to run the stepper motors at their peak performance.
Will the electronics work in my country?
We are based in the United States where power is based on 110V 60Hz. Many other countries operate at 220v 50Hz. Our power supply is able to be converted over to work in your country. This will be a modification that will be the responsibility of the purchaser. We will have details on how to make the change, but please consult a professional electrician.
What software is used to control the CNC machine?
There are several different methods to control the CNC machine from your computer. Two very popular software packages are EMC2 (Free) for Linux and Mach3 ($175) for Windows. We highly recommend Mach3 and fully support using it along with our machines. We will provide you with a configuration profile that will allow you to use your A Quick CNC right away using Mach3.
How is the actual machine code generated?
There are many software packages available that will allow you to create the machine code (G-Code) that tells your machine how to run. These programs usually are the hardest to part to understand and get your machine working properly. We highly recommend the CAM software created by Vectric Software. We recommend Cut2D or Cut3D to start out with. It mainly depends on what type of parts you wish to manufacture. We use Cut2D for all of our CNC parts!