please can you advise me as what might be a good starting point for a newbie to learn to operate an old Bridgeport series 1 cnc with boss control
the machine has been used with the rs232 output to a PC using ez-cam by a toolmakers .i own and run pennine Subaru we specialize in up grading Subaru`s ,engine building being a big part of our business i want this machine to allow us to cut a grove in the deck of the cylinder blocks to use a `string gasket`to do away with head gaskets , i know this machine is a dinosaur but we have to start somewhere any suggestions would be warmly received
EZ-Cam is a great starter program.
That should do exactly what you want.
Buy a book or two on cnc programming and have a go at it.
If yo have a base with machine tools, or using AutoCad it will help.
Best of luck,
To add a comment to what Doug suggested, do you have someone who will draw up the head for you, so you know where to run the groove? I'm imagining a few twists and turns around various holes, and maybe some round grooves for simple O-rings.
So, if you have to do some CAD work, then you'll want a CAD capable program. If someone sends you solid models of the head, you'll need some software that can view the solid model, extract edges from it, and so forth.
The Gcode would be quite simple. I'd use Bobcad, like an old version like 17.0 or something, but that is just because I already know how to use it, and its dirt cheap if you ask around for it. The old simple interface of Bobcad will show you how gcode is made, one line at a time. And you can coax a 3d move out of it if you need to.
Now if you cannot find Bobcad for next to $0, Sheetcam might even do something as simple as contours for a groove, since they could be drawn as tool centered paths. You might have to plunge to depth though, and that might not make a very sexy groove....or maybe a small wart where the tool began is sexy? That is why I was thinking of Bobcad, because you can draw a ramp to enter the cut and continue on from there.
The way to ramp in with BobCad, into a circle, is to draw a point, move the origin to the center of the circle.
Copy, and paste mutiple copies with rotation in the Z axis, and displacment in the Z axis.
This will give you a series of points in a helical pattern. Draw/Line/Connect on the points.
This will give you an interpolated approach path.
Ramp out can be generated in the same way.