About the CNC
Computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) machine tools are the workhorses of CNC manufacturing technology, and are responsible for assisting in the manufacture of virtually everything we purchase or use today – from the swoopy-shaped toothbrush you used this morning to the soles of your running shoes. CNC has been applied to 2-axis tools such as lathes, cut-off tools and slitting operations, but perhaps the most significant applications are found in 3-axis, 4-axis and 5-axis tools such as milling machines, stone cutting equipment, grinders, router tables, robotic welders, material handlers and an astonishing variety of other tools. These tools require sophisticated CAD/CAM software to translate three-dimensional models into simple text files that directly control tool motion through combinations of linear and rotational motion, such as .TAP and .CNC file formats.
CNC machine tools are deeply embedded in industrial processes where they have been in use for over three decades, and they are having a growing and visible effect in building technology. We have two gantry style CNC milling machines in the CSU Fab Lab: one 3 Axis K2 brand machine and one Forest Scientific Milling Machine this capable of 4th axis operations.
(credit to the Harvard University GSD Fabrication Lab for this description of CNC processes)
3-Axis CNC Router Details
The K2 KG9850 is a large format CNC router table capable of milling complex 3-dimensional shapes in a variety of materials including, Foam, Plastics, Wood, Graphite, Plaster and many others.
- X-axis travel 100”
- Y-axis travel 50”
- Z-axis travel 12”
Table size: 48″ x 96″ X 0.75″
Drive motors: DC Servo motor with encoder
Drive type (Z Axis): Ballscrew
Drive Type (X & Y): Rack and Pinion
Spindle: Porter Cable 890 Router
Control: G-code achieved with visualCAM & Mach3
Location: The K2 KG9850 is located in the CSU Fab Lab, room J102 in the visual Art building.
Students must provide their own material.
The K2 KG9850 allows accurate and repeatable cutting and carving in a variety of materials. 2D and 3D shapes created in digital environments can be made physical after being processed by our CAM software. The machine is widely used within the school by professors and students working in a variety of research modes and disciplines.