If you’ve never used a CNC machine before, we recommend learning the basics on the X-Carve machine before using the 4×8.
Once you’ve made a simple project with it and learned the basics of CAD/CAM software, speeds and feeds, end mills, and toolpathing, follow the steps outlined in the training section below to get access to the 4×8 machine.
If you are new to CNC, we HIGHLY recommend you learn on the Shapeoko or X-Carve first.
To get signed off on the 4×8, attend a 1-on-1 training session with an authorized trainer. When you arrive at the training session, you will need to bring a project with a CAM design already prepared. The CAM file must have been created by you and not a third-party or downloaded file. You must be able to modify the file on site (bring a laptop, or if using VCarve Pro, you may use one of the CNC computers with VCarve Pro installed. To schedule a 1-on-1 session with a trainer, post a request on the CNC Slack channel or email [email protected] The certification form must be signed by you and the trainer for you to be signed off on the machine.
If you are not running a program but operating the CNC manually (e.g. surfacing a board), you do not need a CAM design to get signed off to operate the machine. In this case, you will only be allowed to operate machine manually.
|Make and model||Sequoyatec 1325|
|Work envelope||4' x 8' x 0.66’ (1300 x 2500 x 200mm)|
|Spindle power||3KW, water-cooled|
|Transmission||Rack and pinion for X and Y, ball screw for Z|
The CAM setup in Fusion 360 does not default to the same coordinate directions as the Sequoyatec. You will have to edit the manufacturing coordinate system in Fusion 360 to match the machine. In manufacture mode, right click on your setup definition and select
You have a few options in here. Whether you want your origin to be the material top, bottom, or something else, make sure what you select here matches how you intend to set it up on the machine.
An unexpected setting for your model origin will at best cause the machine to mill through air, at worst plunge your tool through your workpiece and into the machine bed!
The most important setting is the Post Configuration. Use the following settings:
Defaults for the right-hand pane all work.
In more complex parts, it may be worth having multiple programs for a single complex part. This could be useful for example if you are concerned about crashing into your workpiece clamps. You could have one program that only cuts in a certain area, then another program that cuts elsewhere, switching clamp positions in between programs. In that case, you can select only the toolpaths you wish to post process for a given file.
NOTE: you should hear the machine make a noticeable “ka-chunk” noise when both the E-stop and power switch are engaged. This is just the transformer in the control box turning on.
The spindle is water cooled. To protect the spindle from overheating, coolant must be flowing while the spindle is in operation. To ensure coolant is flowing, check the flow indicator attached to the spindle. Do not start cutting material if coolant is not flowing.
The X,Y,Z coordinates of the cutting bit in relation to your work zero position. The work zero position should have been defined in CAM and must be set in CNC12 before running you program. If work zero is not set in CNC12, the controller will not know where your stock material is located, and a crash may occur.
The X,Y,Z coordinates of the spindle in relation to the Home Position of the machine. These coordinates do not depend on the location of your stock material and can only be set by homing the machine (Reset Home).
Spindle Control allows you to manually set the spindle speed. Normally, you do not need to use this panel because the program should control the spindle automatically.
The Jog Panel is used to manually move the spindle. There are several circumstances in which you may need to jog the spindle:
Cycle Start begins the execution of the currently loaded GCode commands. The GCode commands to be executed may be
Cycle Stop stop the execution of the GCode commands being executed.
When you home the machine (“Reset Home” button), it finds its home position by gradually jogging towards the limit switches until each homing switch is triggered.
Keyboard jogging is highly recommended because it seems more reliable and less likely to cause a crash due to buggy control execution.
You can close the cheat sheet while leaving keyboard jogging active by closing the window. Keyboard jogging remains active as long as Keyboard Jogging Active is displayed.
The spindle uses a collet to hold the bit securely while the bit is cutting. The collet diameter must match the shank diameter of the bit exactly.
The Sequoyatec comes with the following collet sizes:
Make sure you are using the correct size collet for your shank or the bit will come lose while cutting, destroying the bit and the collet.
Follow these steps to install the bit:
Setting the Z zero position can be done using the touch probe, or it can be done manually.
Before setting Z Zero with the touch probe, check to make sure that the controller detects contact between the bit and the touch probe.
Press Alt-I on the keyboard to display inputs.
Touch and release the touch probe from the bit several times. Verify that Input 7 (touch-probe input) is toggling. This verifies that the touch probe is correctly sensing contact with the bit.
Press Alt-I again to exit out of the Input Display.
Setting Z Zero can be done before or after starting your program. Whenever there is a tool change in your program, including when you first run a program, the controller will prompt you to complete the Z zero touch-off sequence. You can skip the Z zero touch-off sequence in-program if you have already set Z zero out-of-program. In any case, follow the sequence below to touch off the bit to the Z plane.
TODO: Add images
If you prefer not to set the X,Y Zero positions manually, there are two fixed X,Y zero positions you can use that are based on the machine coordinates. These X,Y zero positions can be set using the M56 command for the first zero position or the M57 command for the second zero position.
The first X,Y zero position (M56) is located at the bottom left corner of a hypothetical rectangular piece of stock abutted against 0.5“ dowel pins pressed inside pre-drilled holes in the spoilboard (see photo). To use this zero position:
The second X,Y zero position (M57) is located at the bottom left corner of the spoilboard (see photo). To use this zero position, simply:
Note about accuracy The fixed zero locations are set relative to machine coordinates. Since machine coordinates are reset every time the machine is homed, the machine coordinates (and therefore the fixed zero locations) can deviate from session to session, depending on the repeatability of the homing switches. In addition, since the fixed zero positions are machined into the spoilboard, the positions can shift if the spoilboard shifts. For these reasons, you are not going to get as accurate a zero position using M56 or M57 as you can by setting the X,Y zero positions manually.
There are a couple of sets of steel clamps you can use to secure your stock to the spoilboard. A minimum of 2 clamps are required to hold down a single piece of stock. Note that steel is a hard material, so you should always check your toolpaths to ensure the clamps are not struck by the bit, spindle, or dust shoe. When in doubt, it is safer to use double-sided tape.
After you load a tool, CNC12 will prompt you to begin the procedure of setting Z zero. If you have already set Z zero, you can skip this step by entering 0 (“Continue without resetting Z0”).
Turn on the dust collection as explained in Activating the dust collection system After Z zero is set, when you click Cycle Start, the program will begin. Note: At this point, be prepared to shut down the program (Cycle Stop) in case you made a mistake in CAM or in setup that would result in a crash.
Consider doing an air cut prior to actually cutting material. To perform an air cut, set Z zero to be above your actual Z zero, so the bit will hover above the stock without actually cutting anything. When you have verified the program with the air cut, restart the program with the correct Z zero.
With the shoe cover installed, the dust shoe can also be used to vacuum up the table.
When the CNC machine first arrived, it came with a controller board and software that was a bit limiting and confusing. Robert Payne volunteered his time to replace this board and software using the Centroid Acorn platform, a process which he documented thoroughly here: https://centroidcncforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=5012
Use this diagram to understand the relationships between each component to help with troubleshooting. See the components section below for detailed pinouts for each component.
Connects the wires from the 240VAC plug to the components inside the cabinet.
Turns off all power when there is too much current (>30mA) running through the cabinet itself.
Turns off all power when the 240VAC wires get too hot.
Turns off all power when more than 32A of current is detected in the 240VAC lines.
|Make/model or part no.||RT28N-32X|
|Manual and/or datasheet||Datasheet|
Splits the protected 240VAC lines to power other subsystems.
Helps protect the VFD by filtering out noise in the 240VAC lines.
Safely controls the speed of the spindle using command signals sent from the Acorn board.
|Make/model or part no.||Best FC300-3.0G-3S-B4CF|
|Manual and/or datasheet||Manual|
Converts 240VAC to 70VAC for the stepper motors.
Controls the movement of the stepper motors based on low-voltage signals supplied by the Acorn controller board.
|Make/model or part no.||Leadshine DMA860H|
|Manual and/or datasheet||Datasheet|
Interprets G-code from the PC and produces electrical signals to control various parts of the machine.
Converts 240VAC into both 24VDC and 5VDC to power the Acorn board and 5V logic of the stepper drivers.
|Make/model or part no.||Mean Well RD-35B|
|Manual and/or datasheet||Datasheet|
Allows control of ??? through the Acorn board using G-code commands.
Connects all of the various sub-systems to the giant cable that goes to the machine.
|Make/model or part no.||N/A|
|Manual and/or datasheet||N/A|