I took the Techshop Tormach CNC mill class the other day. The machine is very capable and for the class project, we made this bottle opener for each student. The class focused on safety and setup of the work in the vice so the students can safely start using the equipment on their own afterwards. What fun!
The part file was created by Techshop in Autocad and then the G code that tells the computerized mill what to do was made in Vetric. After machining, a student that had already taken the sand blasting class finished up the parts.
When I started with my home shop 15 years ago with a small Maxnc 10 mill, I really had no support or training at all. It was very difficult to learn on my own. Techshop is a great resource because while there is still a very large learning curve to learn CAD/CAM programs and work holding, at least you have Techshop's Dream Consultants and classes to help with whatever you want to do.
So, take a class. Sign up at http://www.techshop.ws/ and start on that project.
And if you don't have a Techshop near you, send them an email and tell them you want one. I'm sure it was a coincidence, but shortly after I sent an email begging them to open a Techshop in Chandler Arizona, they announced they were going to. Pure coincidence or fate? lol. At least I was one more voice asking.
Techshop Chandler has been open a few weeks now and there are people making all kinds of really cool projects, starting businesses and having fun. People are already making medical devices to wedding props. Amazing.
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