Friday, July 10, 2015


Logged on to the Tormach CNC mill today.

On the plus side, I figured out how to use the software "wizards" to face a piece of stock on the Tormach itself (these are tiny sub-programs made available in many CNC tool drivers that allow semi-automated, semi-manual operations to be performed).

On the minus, my G-Code was bad. The code I'd sent from Fusion 360 wasn't useable. And the code from Cut3D -- well, despite being within the recommended tolerances, the moment I made my first machine pass it ramped down steeply and snapped my good end mill clean off.

Oh, yes. And the setscrew was completely stripped on the quick-collet when I got the machine (fortunately -- maybe fortunately -- I knew how to install a regular collet), and someone had left a stop secured to the vice...and it took fifteen minutes of searching the shop to find the right allen key to remove it.

This is the problem with a rental tool facility. The Tormach has the problems above. One of the two lathes is still out. Three of the 3d printers are dead. And the reservation calendar is starting to stretch for two weeks in advance.

I'm getting a real case of buyer's remorse here. I chose to pick up a year's membership at once because it was much cheaper. But that was a lump sum I really can't afford this month. I'm down to too little to pay bills. And nothing lined up to cover next month's rent.

Which is another reason to seriously rethink the Raygun prop. I think I need to turn to projects I know will earn money (I'm basically doing the Raygun at a loss) and come up with the cash to have the body printed at Shapeways instead of trying to machine it out.

(And, yes -- I could print it at TechShop, but it would take a week's worth of reservations and the tolerances wouldn't be as good. I've rather rethought the usefulness of being able to print there, as well. Printing is just too time consuming, and the lack of available machines and the short reservation period makes that a big problem.)

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