Computer Numeric Control:

A machine — such as a 3D printer, mill, or lathe — is motorized and computer-controlled. The machine can perform precise, repeatable actions. CNC is the basis of most robotics, including additive and subtractive manufacturing, pick-and-place, object sorting, 2D printing, and many similar devices.


Probotix CNC router gantry and DeWalt router Using the router to find the exact location of the origin (X=0, Y=0) Custom 3D-printed fixturing used to line up workpieces with (X=0, Y=0) Boards for a candle factory, drilled on two faces and pocketed on the bottom Finished boards on the conveyor

Pasadena Coherent has a Probotix Meteor CNC machine with a generous 36x50x5" work envelope. At this scale, it's possible to mill relatively large objects, or many small objects at the same time.

Important to know:

  • Toolpaths must be exported to G-code compatible with LinuxCNC (emc2). Your CAD package may have a plugin for this. For simple projects, toolpaths can be set up in-house.
  • Rapids should not exceed 20 feet/minute.
  • When considering the work envelope, it's important to understand that while it has five inches of Z travel, some of this will necessarily be consumed by the router bit. For example, if the router bit extends two inches below the bottom of the router, there will be less than three inches of Z available.
  • The machine has custom 3D-printed fixturing that will zero workpieces to (X=0, Y=0), accurate to within about 1/16th of an inch.
  • Additional fixturing will be necessary to hold down the rest of the workpiece(s). This can be done in-house.
  • There is no touch probe. Wood feedstock should be planed.

When arranging for delivery of feedstock and pick-up of finished pieces, please keep the following in mind:

  • For large amounts of feedstock, you will need to arrange for a truck with lift-gate service.
  • If the feedstock is on a pallet, the driver will need to bring a pallet jack.
  • Please ensure that the delivery truck does not exceed the city's gross vehicle weight or length restrictions.

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