The 4 Machines that I was lucky enough to use at RMIT’s workshop ranged from 2.5 -4 axis CNC machines of varying sizes. These included 2 Roland Machines, a Haas and an ART Router.
The ART Router or the big yellow CNC machine as i called it, was a large 2.5 axis machine that was relatively quick but at the expense of detail. Used to cut out the big sides of the 3d Model, the job took approximately 7 hours and wasnt without error and many tense moments. It had troubles cutting sharp gradients and sharp small corners as the step size between the tool paths were quite big meaning more sanding for myself afterwards. I was more happy just to see my model take shape! The files for this machine were IGES prepared through Rhino and toolpaths were run through RHINOCAM before being sent to the machine.
The Haas Machine was a 5 axis CNC Machine converted to 3 axis which we made good use of. This machines bed size was alot smaller than that of the ART at about 300 by 300mm, but was a quick cutting machine with a very good finish requiring minimal sanding. This machine was great for the smaller more detailed areas of my model where drill bit size and length was an issue. Due to the speed of this machine almost 50% of the parts were cut out here as the post CNC work was minimal. Unfortunately this machine was alot more complicated than the others to run with tool paths needing a qualified technician to program. The program used for this was SurfCam.