Where do beginners new to CNC go to on this forum?

Just got the machine is there any help on this forum for beginners new to CNC?

Congratulations on getting your machine!

I would check out the Guides and Resources section. There are quite a few posts by @mollysaynavong that are links to videos that Sienci made.

There is also a lot of info here about the LongMill here if you haven’t found it yet.

If you have specific questions, myself and others will try to answer them.

Hi, depending on what help you need , just post your questions. We have moderators they will move your question to the appropriate area.

Thanks are you AI or real person?

Maybe we are all AI :slight_smile: but as far as I know myself and @Andy1 are real people.

Lol I am good at Woodworking but not good with Computers, do not know what I have got myself into after just buying CNC machine for first time Ha.

Thanks were is best place to type questions? I got 100 questions Ha.

I have read alot of forums but never written on one before so people on here will need the patience of a saint with me ha.

I came to CNC the other way, always liked computers but only had some light carpentry experience when I started but I’m getting better.

I would say that Ask about CNC is a good place to ask questions and if the moderators think there is a better place they will move it.

Excuse me if I do not respond straight away, of to put kettle on.

Do you work for Scienci?, which machine do you have?, Do you think its a good machine?. I allready would like to modify it mechanically a little bit to improve its functionality, some aspects appear to like a sweet spot between too much slop and not enough slop and its a neat trick find that sweet spot and how long before these settings slip and need adjusting is my concern.

Specificly I have read some people have trouble with the wheels, myself I have no problem with the wheels. My concern is bearing slop, the tensioning on the lead screws and the single grub screws on the couplings.

I don’t work for Sienci but I’m pretty sure @Andy1 does. I have a 30x30 LongMill V4b which was the last batch of machines before they came out with the MK2. I think the LongMill is a very good machine at it’s price point.

The wheels and the anti-backlash blocks do require adjustment periodically. I don’t really know the interval though. I try to remember to check bolts for tightness and check the axis for slop on a regular basis but sometimes I use my machine a lot and other times it might sit for a week without using it.

It’s pretty easy to check for slop by grabbing a gantry plate and moving it back and forth, you will hear and feel the play. If there is play check the tension on the lead screw first to make sure the whole lead screw isn’t moving then move on to the wheels and then the anti-backlash blocks. The wheels are the only finicky part for me, sometimes it takes two or three times to get the right tension. The anti-backlash blocks are easy to adjust just screw in a little bit and check for play, stop when the play is gone.

As far as the single grub screw is concerned it does need to be tight, I had mine slip on the X axis once and ruin a job because the X was not moving. I’ve had my machine for over a year and that has only happened once. Now I check them and motor mounts etc every month or so.

I do not work for Sienci either just one of the early buyers. I have had my MK1 since 2020. Not had any major issues what so ever. Maintenance as per Michael. I neglected to tightened the pulley drives at the top of Z , but that was an easy fix.

I chose to add a laser to my machine about 8 months ago, I use that machine to brand my work.

Thanks guys for the info and good meeting you both. Would you be ok if I reached out to you occasionally, got to go now and do family stuff, have a good weekend Lads.

Absolutely, I check this forum regularly and will answer any questions that I can.

P.S. I like your avatar, always liked TreeBeard since I read the books when I was a kid.

i know the feeling mine is set up cant figure what or how to do next

im in same boat with tree beard "LOST"ready to download a finished design and try to cut it out my problem is where can I get an existing design how do i get it into v carve and cut it out on my wood

I posted some websites here that I’ve gotten free vector designs from. Some of them make it harder to download than others (adds that say download etc) but I’ve been able to download from these sites.

I’ve found this one since posting that.

Then when you have some design open VCarve and start a new project. You will be brought to material setup where you enter the dimensions of your wood. When done with that hit the “OK” button. You can then go to the main menu File->Import->Import Vectors and you can bring in your vector file as long as it’s in a supported format. Usually when I download something I get dxf or svg, either is fine.

At this point you have some vectors and can select and move them around using the tools in the left “pop out sidebar” (not sure what Vectric calls it). All the tools to make tool paths are in the right pop out. You can pin these pop outs to stay open if you like.

After making a tool path you can visualize what the results will look like using the Preview Toolpaths button in the right pop out. Vectrics documentation is good and I recommend you use it to understand what the different kinds of tool paths do and what the parameters for the tool paths do.

When you get your tool path(s) made you will need to save them using the appropriate post processor, you can set that up in the Save Toolpaths section. I am going to assume that you have a LongMill like @TreeBeard so you want to choose Grbl mm or Grbl inch for your post processor depending on your preferred unit of measurement.

After you save your tool path(s) you will use a G-code sender to load the file and send them to the machine for cutting. Sienci makes an excellent G-code sender called gSender that you can download from here.

That’s a pretty high level overview of what you need to do and should get you started on the path to your first carve. Sienci has a resources page for the LongMill MK2, that you may have used for assembly, with lots of useful information. Under software they introduce the software stack needed for CNC at a high level.

Sorry for the wall of text but as you probably have figured out the topic is vast and I’m sure that I’ve glossed over or plain missed something but like I said this should point you in the right direction and feel free to ask questions on this forum if you get stuck.

Congratulations on getting and setting up your machine! Be safe and have fun!

@BKwoodcrafts Here is a link to a guy in the US who gives one on one lessons. He seems to get rave reviews on Facebook