1/30/2010 - Milling, at last!
After hours and hours of coding, I had a program that would carve a brief message into a block of wood. There are still some programming issues.
I now understand that the software has two ways of interpreting an arc command. For example, "G2 X3 Y3 I0 J1 could be interpreted as "move clockwise to location (3,3) (x=3 y=3) with the center of the circle at coordinates (0,1)" OR it could mean "move clockwise to location (3,3) with a center that at (3-0,3-1)=(3,2)." The center, of course, can make a big difference!
Right now, I'm using the mill to cut a 25mm diameter hole in 3/8" PVC. This is part of a bracket that is needed to better-hold the carving tool. With only one bracket, the tool is held too loosely and moves a bit when it is cutting.
Here is a movie of the mill and the software doing their job. This is taking a while, because I don't want to put much stress on the single bracket. The tool is moving at a rate of 10mm/min. One trip around the 25mm circle takes about 25*pi/10 = 8 minutes.