Autodesk's Fusion 360 now supports Shapeoko!

Autodesk's deep catalog of CAD and CAM software is well known for being easy to use and highly powerful for creating pretty much everything. A new feature you may not be aware of is that Fusion 360 and CAM 360 now support exporting gcode for Shapeoko.

Youtube user jgilbert20 breaks it all down and shows you how to take a 3D design to finished pieces:

Autodesk's Fusion 360 and CAM 360 are available to try for free from Autodesk's website for 30 days, and are free for students and enthusiasts. Thanks Autodesk!

What actually goes on in the Inventables office? Secrets revealed!

Last week we were visited by Bob from I Like To Make Stuff, who just happened to be in town on unrelated awesomeness. He brought his camera and we gave him a tour of our office, warehouse and workshop. Here's that glimpse into the workings of our machine, captured for posterity:

Thanks Bob! And check out his website I Like To Make Stuff.

Quiet Cut Spindle for Shapeoko CNC Router with ER11 Collets & Mounting Options

Here is a short tutorial to show the Quiet Cut Spindle from Inventables and to answer a few basic questions.

Shapeoko CNC router shown with Quiet Cut Spindle

#1 Question - How quiet is is? 

Very quiet. Please watch the video below to compare it to the standard rotary tool.

#2 How do I mount it?

Because the Quiet Cut Spindle is much shorter than a rotary tool you might find that you have to mount it lower. There are two good ways to do this. Option two is the preferred method because it gives you the maximum clearance under the gantry.

Option One - lower the MakerSlide
  1. Loosen the 4 screws securing the MakerSlide to the Z-axis
  2. Lower the MakerSlide so the cutting bit can reach the waste board
  3. Re-square the MakerSlide with the waste board
  4. Tighten the mounting screws
Option One, Step One - Loosen two screws at top of plate.
Option One, Step One - Loosen two screws at bottom of plate.
Option One, Step Three & Four - Lower MakerSlide, square it and tighten screws.

Option Two - swap the mounting block with the Delrin nut
  1. Remove the hardware holding the upper mounting block
  2. Remove the two screws holding the Delrin nut
  3. Lower the Z-axis plate below the end of the MakerSlide
  4. Attach the mounting block to the lower holes, where the Delrin nut was
  5. Manually turn the Z-axis screw so the Delrin nut raises up about an inch (25mm)
  6. Slide plate back onto MakeSlide and raise it till the holes line up for the Delrin nut
  7. Attach plate to Delrin nut with the same screws you removed
Option Two - swap Delrin nut position, shown by yellow pointer, with upper mounting block.
Option Two, Step One - remove upper mounting block.
Option Two, Step Two - remove screws holding Delrin nut.
Option Two, Step Three & Four - lower plate and reattach mounting block to lower holes.
Option Two, Step Six & Seven - raise plate and reattach Delrin nut with screws through upper holes.
Option Two is the preferred method. Notice it allows the maximum clearance under the gantry.

#3) How do I control the speed?

You can do this via a speed controller manually with a potentiometer (included) or with a CNC controller. For detailed instructions please refer to these blog posts gShield or TinyG.

#4 What is an ER11 collet and why do I want one?

An ER11-A collet is a standardized way to secure a cutting bit. There are two main components. The collet which grips the cutting bit and the collet nut which tightens the bit once installed in the machine and tightened down. It is very similar to the way the rotary tool works but the main difference is that this is larger and also an industry standard. That makes it much easier to know what is compatible. For example you can use a 1/4" diameter cutting tool with the Quiet Cut Spindle and the only thing you need to buy is the 1/4" collet. The same collet nut will work that comes with the Quiet Cut Spindle.

ER11-A 1/8" collet & collet nut are included with the Quiet Cut Spindle.
Cutting bits and 1/4" collet (shown above) are extra.

Use wrenches to tighten collet. Make it very snug but don't over-tighten.
If you have any other questions please refer to previous blog posts or send an email to help@inventables.com.