Pick your desired material by considering the various types of wood. In this project, hardwoods such as cherry, walnut, maple and purple heart were machined using with the same feeds and speeds with great success and repeatability.
When determining material size, it's good to consider the CNC machines spoil board. It's good practice to cut your stock down so it's slightly smaller than the maximum build volume.
- Workable Build: 139mm x 114mm
- Stock Size: 126mm x 101mm x 13mm
- 3x4 Keycap Holding Fixture: 120mm x 91mm x 10mm
Measure the thickness of your stock to determine how much material will need to be removed. If the stock is not even, it's good practice to surface both sides of the stock.
Consider using a Face operation to get your stock to the desired thickness. A facing operation removes all material from the top of stock to top of model. This produces a quick part facing to prepare raw stock for machining.
Sketch & Model Stock
In the design workspace, create a sketch and use the 2-point rectangle to draw out a shape. While drawing, enter the height and width values to specify the size of the rectangle. Use the tab key to switch between the two dimension text inputs. Click finish sketch when finished.
Click on the rectangle to highlight the profile and use Extrude (hotkey E) then enter the thickness of the stock.
In the manufacturing workspace, Press the S hotkey to summon the shortcuts menu. Type "Face" and press return to select.
Under the Tool section, click on the Select button and choose your desired tool. Here we're using a 1/8in flat end mill.
Under Feed & Speed, reference the surface speed, cutting feed rate, and plunge feed rate values.
Select the Heights icon in the tabs menu and reference the Bottom Height values.
Select the Passes icon in the tabs menu and click the checkbox to enable Multiple Depths. Reference the values under the Maximum Stepdown.
Click OK to append and save settings.
Use the shortcuts menu (hotkey "S") and type "simulate" then press return to select. Click the "Play" icon to run the simulation. The tool will animate and go through the operation. If it looks good to you, click the "Close" button.
Right-click on the Face operation in the Browser panel and select Post Process. Under the Post section, click the dropdown and choose Bantam Tools. Under the Name/number section, type a desired file name for the Gcode file (i.e 1-8-facing). Click on the folder icon under the Output Folder section and navigate to a desired folder for saving the GCode file. Click the POST button to save and close the window.