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Question #: 7962

Question: Can you convert a 3D print file to a file that can be ran on my cnc rounter and how would it have to be converted ?

Current Solution

Converting a 3D file to be used with a CNC machine will depend on the capability of the software you are using for developing machine operations (CAM software). For instance, if you use CAMBAM and the operation will consider a typical 3 axis CNC machine without a 4th axis, you would simply load the 3D file (.3ds or .stl) and apply a 3D profile machining operation on the 3D object. No conversion is necessary.

Check the capabilities of the CAM software you are using. You may just be able to load up the 3D file and start using it.

If you don't have your 3D file in the specified format (i.e. .3ds or .stl) then you will need to find a converter to convert the file into the file format that is compatible with your CAM software which should be relatively easy to find on the internet for free.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • Do you have a laser kit that can be fitted onto another brand CNC router?

    We don't have a laser kit to retrofit another CNC router other than ours, but we can create one. Some things that may help:

    - You are located close to use so we can work closely with you to implement to retrofit,
    - or you can provide very detailed drawings or measurements so we can use them to create the necessary parts for the kit.

    Other things that you need to understand:

    - A laser has a number of parts that will bulk up the head of the CNC router causing a bit more inertia which may require lowering the acceleration for smooth ramping up and down of the velocity

    - The bulk of the parts required for the laser may restrict the travel of the x and/or y axes.

    - The nozzle of the laser will be offset from the end mill of the spindle.

    Can you tell me the brand of the CNC router that you would like to stick a laser on? (you can answer by submitting additional information.

    Click the link to respond:
    Do you have a laser kit that can be fitted onto another brand CNC router?

  • On the blackFoot 4'x8' CNC machine do you have the instructions under one file that I can download, I want to print them out and make notes as I am building the machine.

    WE don't have an actual file that contains the instructions for the machines as they are a part of a larger database file that is queried during the product page's rendering in the browser. The best option would be to print the webpage on a printer and use that as notes.

    I know this will not provide larger images, but you could use the paper version to write your notes while assembling the machine using the larger images on the website.

    Click the link to respond:
    On the blackFoot 4'x8' CNC machine do you have the instructions under one file that I can download, I want to print them out and make notes as I am building the machine.

  • I HAVE YOUR MACH3 USB BOB, DO YOU GUYS SELL A TORCH CONTROL RELAY CAN WIRE UP TO TURN MY PLASMA ON AND OFF HOW WOULD WIFE THAT TOO THIS BOB?
  • I am converting a 12x36 lathe over to CNC, I am interested in a 2 axis kit. I would love one stepper motor to be no smaller than 1200oz. , and another at 6000z. Is this something that you could offer? I have two other cnc machines but this is my first converstion on my own.

    We may be able to source those motors. Curious, the 6000 oz-in motor is pretty big. Do you mind explaining the application of the CNC machine and the structure that would require the large motor?

    Additional Information:
    The largest motors we can offer is 3900 oz-in without any mechanical help. 6000 oz-in can be resolved by mechanical means as an alternative.

    Click the link to respond:
    I am converting a 12x36 lathe over to CNC, I am interested in a 2 axis kit. I would love one stepper motor to be no smaller than 1200oz. , and another at 6000z. Is this something that you could offer? I have two other cnc machines but this is my first converstion on my own.

  • How can I convert from Xylotex to yours, four axis with limit switches. Have parallel PC and steppers on machine.

    Sure, the USB interface has a place for 4 axes of limit switches.

    Each axis can have two limit switches: one for the ++ (positive) end and one for the -- (negative) end. The positive end would be the limit switch at the end of the machine that, say the machine has a 4'x8' area, reaches a bit after the 8 foot mark. The negative end would be the limit switch behind the 0 foot location behind the origin. If the origin is in the middle, the negative would be at a little more than the -4 foot end and the positive would be at a bit more than the +4 foot end. Note that you can have more than one switch on each pin where the NC is connected in serial fashion and the NO is connected in parallel fashion (this can be seen on the diagram in the multiple limits switch section). The software configurations for the limits switches are under File -> Settings -> Limit.

    A typical limit switch has three connections on it. These connections consist of COM (common), NC (normally closed) and NO (normally open). The COM would generally go to GND and the NC or the NO would go to the pin. If the NC is used, then the the switch is constantly connected until the switch is pushed (engaged) then the connection from the pin to gnd is broken (open). Use the settings in software to set whether in NC or NO configuration.

    Let me know if this information was helpful (or not) by adding information to this question. Thanks.

    User response:
    Thank you very much for this helpful information. I'm still a little fuzzy on how the 6 limit switches physically connect to each other and to the USB breakout board. You've stated one switch (home) goes to positive and another switch (limit) goes to negative. Are all the GND prongs from all 6 switches connected to each other and going to GND on the breakout board, or no? And the NC prongs, how exactly are they connected to each other? And to the board? There has to be a diagram somewhere shows this visually, no? I don't know how to wire the switches in series or in parallel. I have already physically installed all the switches on the machine and ran the wires to where the board is. Now I just need to know where to plug these wires into the board. Also, taking into consideration that I'm using the Planet CNC software, the only settings I have pertaining to limit switches is "Enable/Disable" for each axis, and the actual limit for each axis. Nothing about NC or NO. Is that only in Mach3?
    Thank you.

    buildyourcnc response:
    On the USB interface, the COM on the switch connects to GND and the NC or NO connects to the input pin (i.e. x++, y--, etc.)

    Limit switch configuration is rather difficult to understand, especially with series and parallel. You can think of series as a single wire going from GND to the axis letter input terminal (i.e. X++ or X--). If the wire is broken, then the circuit is open (or the switch is engaged in a normally closed scenario). Normally closed is like an actual wire, and when engaged, the switch "opens" (breaks the wire). This is why we recommend in some systems that you can put many switches in series on a single pin. When one of the switches is engaged (breaking the connection) then the entire circuit of switches is broken and the machine stops.

    In a parallel scenario, the state of the circuit is always broken until the one of the switches is engaged and the circuit is then closed or connected. The topology looks like a ladder. All the switches connect to both sides of the ladder and the switches are like the runs of the ladder (the horizontal bars that the feet are placed while climbing). Imagine all of the switches broken in this scenario (normally open). It would be like the ladder could be split in two, but if one of the ladder runs (switches) is closed by engaging it, then that run would connect both sides of the ladder and the two sides of the ladder would have a connection.

    There is a diagram on the USB page of the various limit switch configurations. If you need more information (visual and/or otherwise), please let us know and we will immediately add that information to benefit everyone.

    Click the link to respond:
    How can I convert from Xylotex to yours, four axis with limit switches. Have parallel PC and steppers on machine.

  • how can I convert the whiteAnt from the 3D printer mode to the CNC milling mode?

    To convert the whiteAnt to a CNC machine, you will want to lower the upper structure to the lowest position to create the most rigidity overall. You will see that there are many holes below the sides of the upper structure that are evenly spaced. This is so you can adjust this lower. You will also want to fasten the lower sides to a substrate (piece of wood, or something) with l-brackets or something that has a bit of adjustment capability. This will keep the sides more rigid as well. Use a Dremel for the spindle. If you want to use a another spindle, let me know and we can product a mount for that spindle since the Dremel has poor runout (TIR). This is important if you are wanting really precise milling.

    Click the link to respond:
    how can I convert the whiteAnt from the 3D printer mode to the CNC milling mode?

  • I have your mach3 USB BoB, do you guys sell a torch control relay I can wire up to turn my plasma torch on and off and how I would wife that too this BoB?
  • Can you supply a "KIT" to convert my 4060Z CNC to a Laser Cutter? What is the difference capabilities between the 40Watt and 80Watt?

    We can supply all of the laser components, but you will need to determine how to mount the components.

    Additional Information:
    Alternatively, you can purchase our greenBull machine that has the laser/spindle combo head. You can see the laser/spindle head here: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/cnc-machine-laser-spindle-combo-head

    Click the link to respond:
    Can you supply a "KIT" to convert my 4060Z CNC to a Laser Cutter? What is the difference capabilities between the 40Watt and 80Watt?

  • Can you supply a "KIT" to convert my 4060Z CNC to a Laser Cutter? What is the difference capabilities between the 40Watt and 80Watt?

    We can supply all of the laser components, but you will need to determine how to mount the components.

    Additional Information:
    Alternatively, you can purchase our greenBull machine that has the laser/spindle combo head. You can see the laser/spindle head here: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/cnc-machine-laser-spindle-combo-head

    Click the link to respond:
    Can you supply a "KIT" to convert my 4060Z CNC to a Laser Cutter? What is the difference capabilities between the 40Watt and 80Watt?

  • Would your CNC machines be able to have an optic camera to pick up registrations marks from a printer?

    You can modify our machines to have a camera to view your process and pick up registrations.
    Here you can see a one of our customers adding a webcam to his machine! (https://www.buildyourcnc.com/tutorials/Example-customer-blacktoe-clintW)

    Click the link to respond:
    Would your CNC machines be able to have an optic camera to pick up registrations marks from a printer?

  • What would be needed to convert my blackfoot 4x8 into a 3d printer ?

    To convert our CNC machine into a 3D printer, an extruder would need to be attached to the z-axis. The extruder could be added next to the spindle, or the spindle can be removed and the extruder replace the spindle.

    The former would be an interesting combination where you would be able to extrude plastic and then run the spindle afterwards to do some finishing passes; however, the weight of the spindle would reduce the performance. Without the spindle, the z-axis will move with reduced inertia.

    The electronics would be mostly the same with the addition of an extruder controller and a main controller board to control the existing drivers.

    You can find all of the 3D printer parts here:
    https://buildyourcnc.com/3DPrinterComponents.aspx

    If you need help with fashioning a mount for the FDM extruder, please let us know.



    User response:
    Yes what type of mount would I need for the FDM extruder ? Thanks Gary

    User response:
    Could you be a little more specific on what type of main board I'll need to purchase the board I'm using now for my router is a serial port interface purchased from you. Thanks Gary

    BYCNC response:

    The 3d printing board we sell works with an Arduino Mega 2560. We sell the Arduino here:

    https://buildyourcnc.com/Item/3D-Printer-Component-electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-arduino-mega-2560-FDMElectronics

    and the board here:

    https://buildyourcnc.com/Item/3D-Printer-Component-electronicsAndMotors-3d-printer-mainboard-FDMElectronics-3dprintermainboard

    We sell the extruder itself here:

    https://buildyourcnc.com/item/3D-Printer-Component-extruder

    You can manufacture the mount yourself using the BlackFoot, or you can contact us directly with your requirements and we would be happy to prepare a custom quote.

    Click the link to respond:
    What would be needed to convert my blackfoot 4x8 into a 3d printer ?

  • HAVE PORTER CABLE 7518 ROUTER ON MY CNC AND WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF YOUR ER20 COLLET NUT, FOR THE CABLE, WILL FIT ROUTER.

    Yes, our porter cable collets and nuts will fit the porter cable 7518.

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to respond:
    HAVE PORTER CABLE 7518 ROUTER ON MY CNC AND WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF YOUR ER20 COLLET NUT, FOR THE CABLE, WILL FIT ROUTER.

  • What engraver do you have to put a logo on anodized aluminum and that is a desktop that can be transported to events?

    We have two relatively small machines that can be transported to events.

    One is a laser engraving and cutting machine called the blackTooth. You can find this machine here: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/cnc-machine-blacktooth-laser-cutter-engraver-40w
    The blackTooth can engrave into enodized aluminum very well. The engraved (lased) portion of the anodized aluminum will turn white.

    The other is a CNC machine canned the blueChick. The blueChick CNC Router can be found here: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/blueChickVersion42CNCMachineKit.aspx
    The CNC router can engrave with a special engraving bit and can cut/engrave into most metals (anodized or not).

    Hope this helps.

    Click the link to respond:
    What engraver do you have to put a logo on anodized aluminum and that is a desktop that can be transported to events?

  • Can you preset an origin point on this cnc? How long does it take to jog over? (If I have the case that I using the same thickness of maple wood, and same jig everytime)?

    Yes, you can preset an origin by zeroing the machine at the desired location before beginning your work. You can return to that exact point at any time, or you can specify an offset from that point to be the beginning point for the next machine operation (for instance when cutting several parts from one sheet of wood.) Jogging time varies by machine and application but would generally be a rapid move -- our default rapid setting is 400 inches per minute.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can you preset an origin point on this cnc? How long does it take to jog over? (If I have the case that I using the same thickness of maple wood, and same jig everytime)?

  • can you please clarify exactly what I receive w/ 5' x 10' CNC machine kit and what additional items I would need to have a fully operational machine?

    PC with parallel port and USB port
    20awg stranded wires for the motors - http://www.buildyourcnc.com/electronicscombo.aspx
    18awg stranded wires for power supply to drivers
    24awg stranded wires for breakout board to drivers
    (location and spacing of components varies from one person to another, so we do not provide cables/wires)
    - General purpose extension cord (cut the female end off) to provide power to power supply
    - USB cable to power breakout board
    - Parallel cable to communicate to breakout board
    - Router
    - (optional - instead of router) Spindle with power inverter http://www.buildyourcnc.com/SpindlesAndAccessories.aspx
    - (if purchasing spindle with inverter) General purpose extension cord (240v) (cut the female end off) to provide power to power inverter
    - End Mill(s) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/ProductsEndMills.aspx
    - CAD, and/or CAD-CAM software (to produce geometry, machine operations, and g-code) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/CNCsoftware.aspx
    - CNC control software (to read g-code and control machine) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/CNCsoftware.aspx
    - If the machine does not have the table included, then a table will need to be built. The rails, chain and chain mounts are included that are used on this table.

    Click the link to respond:
    can you please clarify exactly what I receive w/ 5' x 10' CNC machine kit and what additional items I would need to have a fully operational machine?

  • I have registered version of planetcnc software that I purchased with a Chinese controller I want to use 3 better drivers with a separate USB controller can you recommend a controller and how to link my existing software. Regards Lloyd from Australia

    You can only use the planet-cnc interfaces with the PlanetCNC software. If you like the software and want to remain with that software, the hardware interfaces will need to be purchased from the planet-cnc folks.

    I would recommend using the Pokeys57CNC interface which is compatible with Mach3 and Mach4. You can also consider the Mach3 USB interface if the Pokeys57CNc interface is out of your price range.

    Pokeys57CNC product page:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach4-mach3-USB-ethernet-Board

    Mach3 USB product page:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    Click the link to respond:
    I have registered version of planetcnc software that I purchased with a Chinese controller I want to use 3 better drivers with a separate USB controller can you recommend a controller and how to link my existing software. Regards Lloyd from Australia

  • what parts would i need from you to convert my cnc plasma table into a laser cutter? price?

    First, you would need a laser tube, laser power supply, laser controller and a lens holder. You may need mirrors and mirror holders if you plan on orienting the laser tube in a direction other than directly towards the work surface.

    You can find these items and prices here: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/LaserComponents.aspx

    You will need to mount the laser tube and power supply. We recommend mounting the tube and power supply to the gantry, or directly to the axis that moves across the gantry for reduced power loss and to eliminate slight drift from mirror alignment error.

    The controller will need to be connected to your existing motor drivers. If you wish to still use your plasma table for plasma cutting work, you will need to have a switch and transistor circuit to switch which controller has precedence to control the drivers (having both controllers connected to the drivers, but having a TTL circuit using buffer/gates chips that is controlled by a single switch. We can assembly this circuit for you for a fee.

    If this is a machine that we did not manufacture, you will need to create the mounts for the laser tube. We can provide guidance for a fee if needed.

    Additional Information:
    Will my existing controller not work for controlling both? What would I need to make the laser cut when the table moves. The table has a thc and enable disable circuit. Also when will the mirror mounting head assembly be in stock again?

    Additional Information:
    I'm not familiar with the controller that you use for plasma cutting. The principle is probably the same. There is two main axes for movement and a trigger signal to start the plasma cutting. Not sure if your plasma table contains a z-axis that follows closely to the work surface to get the most efficient arcing. That function could be helpful, but not necessary for the laser.

    If your controller has a standard digital level trigger control, then that would be fine.

    Laser controller have the ability to create raster style engraving. If you don't need this functionality, then a laser controller may not be needed.

    Click the link to respond:
    what parts would i need from you to convert my cnc plasma table into a laser cutter? price?

  • How do I get started I would like to build a cnc router. Making the machine I can do, but I am weak on cad,cam and mach3. I am thinking about a 4’x4’. Do you have plans I can buy?

    We are developing plans for our machine, but they are not completed yet. Please let me know if you would like to be added to our list of customers wanting plans. Thanks,

    Additional Information:
    If you have specific questions regarding CAD, CAM and Control, please add another question to the customer service and I will answer them in detail.

    Click the link to respond:
    How do I get started I would like to build a cnc router. Making the machine I can do, but I am weak on cad,cam and mach3. I am thinking about a 4’x4’. Do you have plans I can buy?

  • Would you sell a kit that has all of the hardware and electronics with CNC plans for the table and gantry? Some of have access to a CNC temporarily (TechShop) but want one of our own.

    We currently do not sell any plan's for any of our machines, only for our scratch and build kit.

    Click the link to respond:
    Would you sell a kit that has all of the hardware and electronics with CNC plans for the table and gantry? Some of have access to a CNC temporarily (TechShop) but want one of our own.