Once you assemble your CNC the next step is learning the software. After about 3 weeks, I can say that learning the software and how to convert files to SVG has had its difficulties but for someone who isn’t currently using these programs for my employment its fairly straight forward. First off, SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics and for most of us our picture files show up as JPEG. SVG files are 2-dimension files which allow for carving and cutting. Like many of you who are currently considering buying a CNC machine the learning curve on the software weighed heavily on my mind.
My approach from the beginning of this journey with my CNC has been simple, learn it in stages, get better each day. I of course got giddy when I realized I could carve my own logo, which I happened to already have the SVG file for. So, the first thing I did out of the box was launch Carbide Create, input my logo, set the tool path and feel like a complete failure when nothing looked remotely like the Ginger Wood Works logo we all know and most of us love.
At this point I stepped back, reevaluated my skill set, and reminded myself of my plan to learn on each project. I took a look at the sign that was mangled and realized it was way to small, and my bit was too large. More on Bits in a future blog. Next I decided that I was going to design some local themed signs that maybe my friends and family would be interested in supporting this new hobby. I found a Buffalo silhouette and went to town creating some unique Buffalo NY designs.
My theory was correct, make some local signs, offer them up to friends and family and test the market. I did this while learning how to design, upload, convert and carve each of these different designs. Here I was learning the software, while showing myself that there is surely a large market just with your aunts, uncles and High School friends.
Stay tuned, because in the next couple blogs I’m going to speak to carving bits, new ideas I have coming, and how I am going about making this machine pay for itself, a topic I know many of you out there want to hear about!