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  1. #21
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    Books are nice to get some background and theory.

    Machine manuals can be great...depending on machine. Haas has theirs online and very good...even if you don't run Haas.

    For me, I sort of got it when reading. But hands on it came to light...I understood a lot and many questions came to light.

    Saying become familiar with material and spend a few minutes on machine with some supervision.

  2. #22
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    Here is a machine for hands on experience. This is how I got into CNC machine work. I would like to sell this machine if someone is interested.


  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmatero View Post
    Have a new employee that is sharp and motivated and wants to learn g-code and basic CNC functions (beyond speeds/feeds and basic manual machining practices) on his own at home. No real way to get him OJT right now otherwise I would. But he's motivated which is great so I'll buy him some training materials.

    He won't be programming right away, just starting off running a 3-axis CNC router which is pretty simple. But I want him to know the basics so he can do the fundamentals without having code needed to be written for him each time.

    Ideas for books or online programs he can use to learn the language at home? Prefer something that isn't too formal like enrolling in a class, etc. Even better if it's something that will be fun and well presented so I don't scare him off. And prefer something inexpensive of course.

    Figured I wasn't the only one that has had this idea and some of you sharp shop owners would be able to give me some advice.

    I've got a Siemens control, and I found this book useful.

    CNC 50 Hour Programming Course.

    CNCwebschool.com

    I'd like to find a similar book for the mill.

  4. #24
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    Default Fusion 360 as a learning tool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revelstone View Post
    I would have him learn basic machine shop practice before programming. How can you program if you don't know what sequence to machine a part!!
    I have been learning Fusion 360 (free) and it comes with a tool path generator. I have been running old files through it and then reading the G-code and watching the simulation. I have found this useful. The cut path tutorial is also interesting because of the various tools and sequences.

    This will not give you a full understanding but I have found it very helpful. You can try out your knowledge on a virtual machine. The program knows the sequence. You just set tools and compare the out-comes.

    I am a retired IT person returning to classes in January for machining. Looking up at the learning curve myself.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Caruk View Post
    ...my daughter understood the concept around age 2 1/2 and was running a CNC lathe by herself at age 6. And she does know what the code means...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pw-Pj8H0evg
    That was very rewarding to watch. Children go through a brief period when they are very young--long before kindergarten or preschool--where they will respond amazingly if a committed adult can catch them at a receptive moment. It rarely happens because unfortunately most dads can't be around to follow through. Good for you, and good for her. Congratulate her for me, but please tell her also I have a whole shop full of grownup ladies doing just what she's doing but they don't let their hair dangle into the machine...

  6. #26
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    Give him a part-print, a list of G-codes, a calculator, a #2 pencil, and a yellow note pad.

    No fair using one of them new-fangled "scientific" calculators either so he'll need some trig tables too.

    Then tell him to get busy 'cause the parts are due today.

    How I learned ...

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  8. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6061Mike View Post
    Well.... try reading a complex 3d surfacing path and see if you "understand" it. LoL. I do alot of surfacing and the code flies by sooo fast, hard to grasp what any one line is doing. There will literally be pages and pages of code with only tenth increments in between one line and the next
    ...
    I'd have to agree. We use VMCs to engrave the part number in a lot of our parts. The lines pour through that control like water. No way you can predict from the code as to what's going on unless you have the machine in single block.
    Good to see the kid making parts though. Gotta start somewhere, and she is ahead of lots of so called operators I know. Go for it , kiddo!

  9. #28
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    I'm all for the OP helping a self motivated individual to learn G-code. Books can help, depending on the individual. I personally learn faster and learn more by actually doing the job, but there are individuals that can read how to do something and soak every drop of it up. Most are somewhere in between.
    Give him a print, and whatever calculator he's gonna use on the job, tell him to write code. Review his output, correct it. tell him to try again.If he has it in him, he'll get there, eventually. Otherwise, you're gonna need some OJT. Read the code as it flows. Make edits. But establish ground rules for proving those edits. Judicious use of the single block and option stop. And don't go far yourself. It's slow, but it's how I taught myself. Start with very simple parts, gradually increase the complication level. Gotta keep his interest, without smothering him under way too much, way too fast.Gradually introduce him to canned cycles, sub-routines, Macros. Probably in about that order.
    IN the last 11 years, I've started more than my share of entry level newbs. Some panned out. Most didn't. At about a 1 in 5 ratio, they wash out. But somebody who gets it will usually get it pretty quick. It's not a horse that takes forever to get on. You either have it, or you don't. Really have never seen somebody not show any hope at the get go, but pick it up later. So your effort should show pay back fairly quick, if it is going to pay off at all.

  10. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rstewart View Post
    Peter Smid's cnc programming manual is Thee Best

    Agree with this, lot's of good info in "CNC Programing Techniques by Peter Smid."

    The book is full of programing samples, formulas and trig, very easy to follow and understand.

    Anyone who has an interests in programing will soon start to see how it all works by following this book from the beginning.

    Plus you can jump in just flicking through the pages and find easy to following interesting information.

    Would be an interesting book to have for reference and have a few copies lying around in the workshop.

  11. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rstewart View Post
    Peter Smid's cnc programming manual is Thee Best
    Agreed, even comes with NC simulator so he can check his codes with drawn out tool paths. Think u only get 15 day trial of disk tho.

  12. #31
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    Some of the inexpensive hobbiest CNC routers like these run g-code. They aren't stout enough to route much other than wood and require light cuts, but might be a way for him to learn g-code while making some little trinkets.

  13. #32
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    So several years went by since the OP started this thread, I wonder if he might chime in and tell us what happened?

  14. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomizer View Post
    So several years went by since the OP started this thread, I wonder if he might chime in and tell us what happened?
    He's still active on the forum, but not a prolific poster. You may want to pm him to get his attention if he doesn't see this thread.

  15. #34
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    PM sent, thanks


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