Taught by Randy Johnson of Shopbot, this five-day course offers woodworkers, builders and fabbers at all levels an in-depth introduction to the programming and operations of a three-axis CNC (digital) router.
“Although not a replacement for all woodworking tools and techniques, CNC has become a complementary tool for many woodworkers. Considering the popularity of handheld routers and the ever-present template, the CNC adds a new level of control and repeatability. This is largely due to its ability to cut shaped parts without the need for a template, guide or fence. When using a CNC, there is little penalty for design complexity. However, as with all making, the craftsmanship/artistry (choice of tools and materials, and execution of techniques), the aesthetics, and the utility of a piece are all determined by the head and the hands of the maker. Choices not tools determine the final quality.
In practical terms the advantages of using a CNC may simply be ones of getting the job done quicker and at a saleable price point - whether is roughing out a set of Windsor chair seats, or router chip carving 100 jewelry box lids. Beyond its practicality, the CNC also provides a exciting opportunity to explore new ways of making things. Many are difficult to create any other way. The wavy stepped scarf joint for boat-building or panel connections is a perfect example. It’s extraordinarily useful for aligning and joining to panels, yet complex but easily cut with a CNC router.” RJ
This class is for those new to CNC or those at a beginning or intermediate level. Through a series of structured lessons and small projects, students will explore several core CNC design and machining techniques, including CAD, cutting file creation, tool operation, and material holding techniques. As part of the process, students will create their own designs for these projects and use the CNC to cut them. No prior CNC experience is required. For those with some experience, there will be the opportunity to explore more advanced designs and cut them (as time allows). There will be three Desktop CNC machines available for student use.
Topics covered will include:
- CNC design software and techniques
- CNC Set up and calibration
- Programing CNC tool paths
- Designing and machining 2D shapes
- 2D textures techniques
- Laying out and machining a two-sided design
- Jigging and hold down techniques
Router bit selection
CNC Project ideas
And as time allows
- Basic 3D modeling
- How to create 3D textures
- Aluminum and plastic cutting
Students are required to bring
* VERY IMPORTANT*
- PC laptop computer loaded with Windows 7 or 8
- OR a Mac laptop running Parallels with Windows 7 or 8
- OR a Mac laptop running Boot Camp with Windows 7 or 8
- The computer should be preloaded with Vectric’s trial version of VCarve Pro
- The computer should be preloaded with ShopBot’s SB3 machine control software.
Tools provided by the school
- Hearing and eye protection
- Full version of Vectric design software
- CNC routers (ShopBot Desktop)
- Router bits required for class projects
This course is open to woodworkers, builders and makers at all levels and interests. Wood will be the primary material cut during the class, but the design and machining techniques covered in the class can also be applied to other materials such as plastic, aluminum and foam.
Class Information and Registration
Class starts at 9:00am on the first day.
This class takes place in Building 304 at Fort Worden - not the School Building. Map
Please read our What to Expect page for general information about the School.
Please also read our Registration Policy.
Class size: 10
Cost: $ 800
Materials Charge: $ 50
Register By: June 27, 2016
When you click on the Register link you will be able to register for the class or, if the class is full, sign up for the wait list.