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IndustryArena Forum > Community Club House > Mentors & Apprentice Locator > Hobbyist looking for mentor with small CNC to cut CDs
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  1. #1

    Cool Hobbyist looking for mentor with small CNC to cut CDs

    Hi, I'm looking for a mentor. I want to be able to cut CDs like this guy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OQM...ature=emb_logo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86V0...ature=emb_logo

    I have a mini-CNC machine (https://abra-electronics.com/3d-prin...chine-kit.html), and have had success using the painter's tape method by cutting halfway through the CD, and finishing the job with an xacto knife. However, this technique is quite tedious to setup, produces waste, and is quite difficult.

    The videos referenced above seem very promising to work more efficiently. I have a 3D printer and started experimenting with jigs... but I am an artist/hobbyist and want help from someone who has more expertise. I have a small budget and am willing to pay a little bit, but since I am a hobbyist and not a professional, I'm hoping to find someone interested in fun projects. And I am in the Montreal area if meeting in person is possible/necessary.

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    Apr 2004
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    5052

    Re: Hobbyist looking for mentor with small CNC to cut CDs

    It doesn't seem too difficult a project; your mill should be capable of doing it. Why are you just cutting half-way through? Why not cut all the way through, like in the video?
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  3. #3

    Re: Hobbyist looking for mentor with small CNC to cut CDs

    Because with the painters tape method, when the bit cuts through the CD it rubs against the tape, mucking up and dulling the bit. Or it would cut into the scrap wood beneath. If I can get more precise, cutting 90% of the way through would probably be nice because the leftover is so thin I can just peel it off. But I think an issue I was having is that the bed isn't perfectly level, making it hard to get precise to the 0.1mm all over the CD. (And it still wouldn't eliminate the setup time and materials needed/waste produced).

    In the video, he made a jig to raise the CD and clamp it at its edges. PRO: quick/easy setup and process. CON: can't cut to the edges.

    I could also use some feedback/guidance on my bit choice and speeds, also on a concern about how the CD flexes when plunging.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    183

    Re: Hobbyist looking for mentor with small CNC to cut CDs

    Hello.

    If possible post some pictures that show what you do.

    I do cnc conversion professionally and I´m currently developing a version of my software that might probably be used here.

    From the posted pictures I´d think a rotary table and a drill will do the job. It would be possible to use different bits to do different circular shapes and sizes.

    If even more complex figures need to be made that rotary table can be put on top of an X-Y table. That is what a 4 axis CNC machine is.

    My software currently is what is known as being 2 1/2 axes. That is, you have synchronous control over two axes but the third is not synchronized to anything. For your application a 4th axis will have to be added but I don´t see an immediate problem to do that.

    Regarding the needed equipment, other than the motors and drives and a PC with a LPT port, the interface or breakout board if you will is very simple. Take a look at the pictures.

    The first one shows the control console/cabinet as used on a chain quilter and the second shows the interface card. If you look carefully at the first picture you will see that interface card hanging there.

    Regards.

  5. #5
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    Re: Hobbyist looking for mentor with small CNC to cut CDs

    Are you using tape to hold the disk down, or to keep the tool from raising a bur on the edges? It seems that a vacuum pod would work better for holding your disks down. You don't need to worry about cutting up the scrap wood underneath the disk. That's why it's called a "spoilboard" - you're expected to spoil it.. In your video, there's no apparent tape but it seems to work okay.
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  6. #6

    Re: Hobbyist looking for mentor with small CNC to cut CDs

    Quote Originally Posted by awerby View Post
    Are you using tape to hold the disk down, or to keep the tool from raising a bur on the edges? It seems that a vacuum pod would work better for holding your disks down. You don't need to worry about cutting up the scrap wood underneath the disk. That's why it's called a "spoilboard" - you're expected to spoil it.. In your video, there's no apparent tape but it seems to work okay.
    My process has been using the tape to hold the CD down. A vacuum pod would be great to eliminate the tape, but I'm worried it will be too expensive to buy new equipment like that.

    The video isn't me, it's someone I found who is also cutting CDs. He built a jig to raise the CD and clamp it at its centre and edges. It seems great because it's easy to prep the CD for cutting, and he cuts the desired shapes out completely. I'm just not sure if my little machine can handle plunging like that and cutting the full 1.2mm in one go, and of course, which bit and speeds to use. I measured at one point at my spindle reaches only about 8000RPM

  7. #7
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    Re: Hobbyist looking for mentor with small CNC to cut CDs

    If the vacuum pod seems like too much, then sure - build a jig like the one in the video. I don't think that the whole 1.2mm is too much to cut at once, but you could always do it in two passes if you want. If your CAM software supports it, ramping into a cut is usually better than plunging straight in. 8000 rpm should be plenty fast enough for this.
    Andrew Werby
    Website

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