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CNC Machine for cutting MDF

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CNC Machine for cutting MDF

Postby Hellfire » Aug 14th, 2011, 11:12 am

Hey...

I've got a few projects that I need a CNC cutting machine for. (Kids bunk beds, DIY speakers and sub-woofer, small table, etc.) Anyone know a shop or hobbyist in the Okanagan that has one and would be willing to sell me some time on it?

Or better yet, anyone have one that they can cut out some parts on so I can build my own?
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Re: CNC Machine for cutting MDF

Postby RR24K » Aug 14th, 2011, 11:57 am

Hellfire wrote:Hey...

I've got a few projects that I need a CNC cutting machine for. (Kids bunk beds, DIY speakers and sub-woofer, small table, etc.) Anyone know a shop or hobbyist in the Okanagan that has one and would be willing to sell me some time on it?

Or better yet, anyone have one that they can cut out some parts on so I can build my own?


The one place that comes to mind is this place they make plugs for molds out of MDF http://www.formashape.com/

Unless you know someone that works at this shop its going to cost you $$$.

They are located in Lake Country just off Beaver Lake Rd, 9505 Haldane Rd.
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Re: CNC Machine for cutting MDF

Postby ILBT uh-huh » Aug 14th, 2011, 4:20 pm

There is a place in Westbank. Used to be in Summerland. Can't remember the name. Had a shop up by Ken Browns machine shop. This is what the guy does for a living.
Ooooh, what is the name of his company?

Aaah! Look up or 411 Geometrics in Westbank.

Problem solved.
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Re: CNC Machine for cutting MDF

Postby Hellfire » Aug 16th, 2011, 7:32 am

Thanks for the replies! I work only a few blocks from Formashape. After looking over the web site their machine is way overkill for what I'm looking for and I assume I'd never be able to afford it. Pretty cool stuff that they do though!

I've also been unsuccessful at locating Geometrics in Westbank. All my searching turns up is hairdressers. Can you provide any more information that would help locate them?
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Re: CNC Machine for cutting MDF

Postby ILBT uh-huh » Aug 16th, 2011, 12:56 pm

Sorry, no. If you have already tried 411 then I don't know what else to suggest.
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Re: CNC Machine for cutting MDF

Postby wthwyt » Aug 16th, 2011, 2:47 pm

Hellfire wrote:Hey...

I've got a few projects that I need a CNC cutting machine for. (Kids bunk beds, DIY speakers and sub-woofer, small table, etc.) Anyone know a shop or hobbyist in the Okanagan that has one and would be willing to sell me some time on it?

Or better yet, anyone have one that they can cut out some parts on so I can build my own?


Most of CNC machine that are in Kelowna happen to be at machine shop/metal fabricators. So than likely not set-up to deal with wood/MDF. Could check some wood manufacturing (furniture etc) shops in and around Kelowna..... Good-luck.
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Re: CNC Machine for cutting MDF

Postby Hellfire » Aug 16th, 2011, 3:12 pm

WTHWYT wrote:Most of CNC machine that are in Kelowna happen to be at machine shop/metal fabricators.


Yes, I have actually found quite a surprising number of them. At this point I'm hoping that I'll find a hobbyist who has a home built machine in his garage that could sell me some time.
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Re: CNC Machine for cutting MDF

Postby wthwyt » Aug 16th, 2011, 3:20 pm

Hellfire wrote:
WTHWYT wrote:Most of CNC machine that are in Kelowna happen to be at machine shop/metal fabricators.


Yes, I have actually found quite a surprising number of them. At this point I'm hoping that I'll find a hobbyist who has a home built machine in his garage that could sell me some time.



They are not cheap, again good-luck.
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Re: CNC Machine for cutting MDF

Postby nazerine » Aug 16th, 2011, 5:03 pm

What you're asking to produce on a cnc machine is not worth the programmers time, or your money. The idea behind CNC routing is for either rapid prototyping of parts, or repeatable manufacturing.

Speaker boxes, bed frames, tables, furniture in general is not going to be cost effective. You would be much better off with a table saw and a jigsaw to accomplish any of those (you could purchase both for less than 2 hours on a cnc machine). They're just too basic to be worth cutting on a cnc router table.

I've built my own machine from a "kit", designed for the DIY'er. Also recommended it to several of my customers and they've had great success with their builds.

http://www.finelineautomation.com/store/show/FLA100-00

You can check out some of the build logs, and other diy open source cnc router designs here. Cnczone is a GREAT resource.

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/open_sour ... e_designs/

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Re: CNC Machine for cutting MDF

Postby ILBT uh-huh » Aug 16th, 2011, 11:56 pm

I have to disagree. Geometrics does lots of custom and one offs.
Somebody was confusing wood and metal CNCs. Different animals completely. Torches and routers. Get a grip.
Sorry for being blunt. The OP knew what he was looking for.
Another poster suggested a jigsaw and router. Very cost effective if your are skilled.
If all else fails, PM me and I will see what I can do for you. I can fabricate damn near anything.
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Re: CNC Machine for cutting MDF

Postby Hellfire » Aug 18th, 2011, 6:50 am

Thanks again for the great replies! Nazerine, you certainly gave me something to chew on. I have been hanging out on CNCZone.com for a couple years now and drooling over the DIY router tables and kits. However, I have never taken a design all the way through to G-Code, let alone actually cut one out.

For the past 15 years I have worked as a software developer but as the son of a carpenter, I spent many years building houses, apartments, kitchens and furniture. That's why I wonder...

If I showed up somewhere with a stack of MDF and the G-Code could they not just run it and send me home with my pieces? I'd do whatever I could to minimize the inconvenience on their end, including man-handling the sheets and vacuuming up the mess. I don't want to be a pain. I just want to get a lot of cuts done with more precision than I can achieve on my own, especially since I don't own a big panel saw or a router table.

ILBT, do you know roughly where in Westbank Geometrics is located? I'm thinking that even if I can't find them online I could just take a drive over there one afternoon.
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Re: CNC Machine for cutting MDF

Postby ILBT uh-huh » Aug 18th, 2011, 10:45 am

No I don't. They were in Summerland, then I just saw somewhere a while back that they were in Westbank. I used to know the guy when I was building furniture for a living. That was some time ago. Trying to remember his name.
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Re: CNC Machine for cutting MDF

Postby nazerine » Aug 18th, 2011, 11:46 am

Hellfire wrote:Thanks again for the great replies! Nazerine, you certainly gave me something to chew on.

If I showed up somewhere with a stack of MDF and the G-Code could they not just run it and send me home with my pieces? I'd do whatever I could to minimize the inconvenience on their end, including man-handling the sheets and vacuuming up the mess. I don't want to be a pain. I just want to get a lot of cuts done with more precision than I can achieve on my own, especially since I don't own a big panel saw or a router table.


G-Code is universal, but not all machines are as universal. Usually the g-code needs to be ran through a "post processor" from the design program you're using (ie; vectric vcarve (great for woodworking), mastercam, autocad, etc). The post processor is specific to the machine, and the design software. The project file also needs to be setup relative to how the machine is operated (ie; start location, tooling type, tool numbering for auto changers, etc).

You could show up with a DXF file, or similar vector file but dxf is king. The operator would have to design the tool pathing, which can be time consuming depending on the machine and project. Tool pathing is calculating the tool geometry versus how the lines will be cut, ie inside, outside, on the line. Also to be considered will all cuts be through the board, drill holes, and pocket cuts. If you design interlocking pieces with sharp inside corners, the operator has to program "dog bones" which enlarges the inside corner to fit nicely.

Anyhow, there is a lot to cnc cutting. Like I said before, I don't think it will be cost effective for you when it comes to one off pieces for around your home. Most shops charge anywhere from $200-500/hour for their machines + operator. Where's carpenter dad with all his tools?
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Re: CNC Machine for cutting MDF

Postby Hellfire » Aug 18th, 2011, 1:44 pm

nazerine wrote:Where's carpenter dad with all his tools?


*sigh* In Three Hills, Alberta. Believe me, I long for some uninterrupted time in his shop, not to mention his expertise.
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Re: CNC Machine for cutting MDF

Postby Boda » Aug 18th, 2011, 1:59 pm

Geometric moved to Stevens Road in West Kelowna. Right across fron Westlake Paving. Vladamir is the fellas name.
There's another guy over on Sexsmith. I think it's called Roberts kitchens, last I spoke to him he was talking about moving so not sure if he's still there.
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