CNC Basics Class

The CNC router can be produce amazing work. But, it can also be an intimidating tool because of the software component of using the machine. And, if you hate computers, then this is probably not the class or tool for you. There is no getting around the fact that you must use a computer to control this Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine.

In this class you will learn how to control the CNC router, how to create files for it and how to send those files to the machine. This is a basic class, but it is recommended that the student read about how CNC machines work, or watch a few videos. Resources will be listed below. This is a tool that requires study and practice. If you are not willing to put in the work, you will not see the results you want.

Class Date and Time

Class will be at Morristown Makers from 10a to Noon on Saturday, January 6.

Things You Will Learn

  • Using Easel to design cut files and how to control the CNC
  • Discussion about other software that may be used
  • Work holding options

Before Class

Like using a laser or 3D printer, the CNC router will require a good amount of practice, patience and learning to get right. It is recommended that you plan to practice on small jobs before tackling an important project.

Cost: $25

If you are a member coming to the class, please send us a text or email to let us know. Otherwise use the PayPal form below to register for class. You must choose how many people you are buying a ticket for before you click the Pay Now button.

CNC Router Class25.00 USDJanuary 6: 10a to Noon
Your eTicket will be emailed after payment to your PayPal email address.

Setting Up the X Carve CNC in Easel

This is for setting up the X Carve machine at the shop in your own Easel account. Even if you use a shop computer, the machine configuration is done in your personal account.

First, you need to create an Easel account at Inventables. Once you have created your Easel account and you get to the screen where you can set up a new project, you need to click the Machine menu item and click the Set up new machine button.

The next screen will ask you which CNC version you have. Choose X-Carve (pre-November 2021).

Choose these options on the Enter your machine details page:

  • Motion Controller: X-Controller
  • Rail size: 1000mm x 1000mm
  • Z Axis: Belt Drive w/ ACME threaded rod
  • Spindle: DeWalt 611
  • Belts: 2GT 6mm
  • Dust shoe: Yes

You will either need to already be connected to the CNC via USB when you click the Confirm settings button, or it will prompt you to connect.

The next screen is asking you to confirm that everything is moving the right direction. Click each one of the large blue arrows with the +/- signs in them. Watch the machine to see that everything moves the correct direction. If so, then click the 3 Yes boxes under the question, Working correctly?. Then click the Continue button.

The next screen is asking if you have homing switches. The answer is yes. Click that button and go to the next screen which will actually home the machine when you click the Start homing sequence button. Be prepared to hit the large red button on top of the control box if something seems to be wrong when the homing starts.

The machine will move the router to the top of the Z axis. Then it will move to the left of the X axis. Finally it will move to the front of the Y axis.

The next screen asks if you have a Z probe. The answer is Yes.

The probe is a brass disk that has a wire connected to a spring clamp. You can see it in the picture above. You should be able to find it in one of the accessory boxes on or near the machine.

The next screen asks you to plug the Z probe leads into the carriage. This is the red and black wires with the barrel connector. It will plug into the right side of the Z axis carriage.

Plug the barrel connector into the jack and clip the spring clamp to the collet.

The spring clamp is the clip it is telling you to connect to the collet. Click the blue Clip is attached button.

Touch probe to bit.

The next section is asking you to touch the plate to the collet (or you can touch it to the bit). Once you make contact with the bit or collet, you can hit the final Continue button

The machine is almost set up in your Easel account and ready to start using.

One More Thing

There is one other step you need to do to complete the machine configuration.

Got to the Machine menu and click the Edit you machine box. It will bring up a dialog box. What you need to change is in the image below.

By default the Spindle Controlled by will say Manual. You need to change that to say Hardware. Then save the configuration with the Save button.

Now the machine is configured in your account and you are ready to get started.