Venturing into CNC milling

About a year ago, we purchased a CNC mill (SainSmart Genmitsu PROVerXL 4030) from the local Makerspace, who had received it as a donation. It sat in the garage for most of last year as we had a lot of other things going on.

Now I’m finally getting around to checking it out, learning about how they work, and how to use them.

So far, I’ve gathered that the basic workflow goes something like this:

  1. Use some kind of design software, such as Easel, Carveco, Inkscape or some other CAD software, to create the object to mill.
  2. Convert it to something called G-Code.
  3. Preview it using something like Candle.
  4. Send the G-Code to the CNC controller (using Candle or the off-line controller).
  5. ???
  6. Profit!

I’ve turned the 4030 on, and managed to send it to a home position. It’s a bit on the loud side. The 4030 appears to be pretty much fully assembled and seems to be working. There was only one bit that came with the machine, so I’ll need to get a set of end mill bits. Whoever originally owned it also upgraded the 4030 with the aluminum T-slot spoilboard, so I’ll need to get a set of clamps that fit the T-slots. Fortunately I’ve also got the original MDF spoilboard that I can put back on in a pinch.