Introduction: Post Process

Now that you're sure that your simulation is correct, it's time to post process to convert your CAM file into G-code. G-code is the computer language that CNC machines use to execute a program. Each line is a a different instruction for the machine.

Note: If you're using a Mac, your screenshots will look different. As long as you choose Generic Posts, shopbot iso.cps, your G-code will be identical.

1) Right click 2D Pocket1.

You will post process each toolpath separately, because you must manually change tools on the Shopbot.

For the Shopbot in general, create a different program for every tool (or every time a tool change is required).

2) Choose Post Process.

3) In the window, click Setup in the top right corner.

4) Select Generic Posts.

5) Under Post Configuration, choose Shopbot.cps--Shopbot Open SBP.

6) Insert a USB drive into your computer.

7) Click the three dots to the right of Output folder to map the output to another location.

8) Navigate to your USB drive, and click Open.

9) Under program name or number, type 1001--it must be four digits, and only digits.

Because you will have multiple programs, organize them such that Tool 1 goes with program 1001, Tool 2 with 1002, and Tool 3 with 1003. This will keep you organized.

10) Under program comment, write something useful like "Tool 1 pushstick pocket."

11) Click Post.

12) Click Save to save to USB.

Overwrite if necessary--it's not important to save g-code programs. Even if I use the same Fusion file multiple times, I always post just before I'm going to machine.

The G-code will appear in the editor.

13) Repeat these steps to post process the Drilling Toolpath, and save as program 1002.

14) Repeat these steps to post process the Contour Toolpath, and save as program 1003.

Congratulations! You've successfully worked through the CAM for a simple 2D part for the Shopbot. You're ready to start machining, so go to your local makerspace and get trained on a ShopBot, or other 3-axis CNC mill, near you!