WORK IN PROGRESS!!!
Here are some comments on a workflow to get a cutting file for the MicroProto mill. I am happy for this tool to be on essentially permanent loan to the space. Like several other tools in the space it could damage you. Make use of it but make sure you know what you are doing, take the time to think through the process before you start, and get help if you need to!
Here are some comments on a workflow to get a cutting file for the MicroProto mill. I am happy for this tool to be on essentially permanent loan to the space.
The mill itself is a MicroProtoSystems DSLS3000. http://www.microproto.com/MMDSLS.htm It can accommodate pieces with X = 12“, Y = 5.5”, Z = 6“ and they claim a “Position increment resolution” of 0.000125 in with a mechanical repeatability of 0.0005 in.
The original documentation is in the green binder. There is a lot of good information in there.
I am not really up to speed with Fusion 360, and I am very rusty with the whole CAD/CAM process. But now the mill is running again I want to get back uup to speed with it. As Fusion 360 is what several people are working with I thought I'd try to figure out a workflow starting from there.
Most of the problems I have had getting files ready for the mill usually seem to end up connected with some sort of scale issue.
Fusion 360 does have an option to write a Mach3 cutting file. When I have tried this I get a file that has cut limits in Mach3 that are ridiculous (a 2” x 2“ piece may show a cut boundary of 10,000”). Steve has figured out which lines in the G Code seem responsible for this, but I think hand-editing a G code file is a risky habit to get into. And there are lots of other ways to “get from here to there.”
So, in Fusion 360, make sure your part is sized in inches. There are probably several ways to do this, but my few tests resulted in a part being created in mm. If you mouse over the units block it will give you an edit icon and allow you to change to inches. It seems even if you create in mm it will handle changing the units for a finished model. I think it's worth checking a few measurements to make sure everything looks good.
Zak clued me in to writing a .stl from Fusion. This option is in the “make” tab. Probably more than one way to do this, but I box selected the whole object and then picked 3D print from the make tab.
It seems that you need to pick something in the refinement dropdown (even if it is the same option) to get fusion to build and display a mesh. Uncheck the send to 3D print utility box and when you click OK it will prompt you for a .stl filename.