Hobbyists get into CNC for many different reasons. It really has a lot to offer as a hobby. There are many challenges to it and that is what draws in many people. This is not something you do just ...
Hobbyists get into CNC for many different reasons. It really has a lot to offer as a hobby. There are many challenges to it and that is what draws in many people. This is not something you do just to pass the time. There is a result in mind.
Some people make it to Hobby CNC through a side door. They come from areas like Combat Robot and RC Modeling. There are many small, precise parts in these hobbies, which CNC is perfect for. There are also many enthusiasts that like to customize things so they need a way to make unique parts that they can’t get anywhere else.
Here are a few elements that have brought people into the CNC Fold:Electronics – There are many electronic components you can build yourself. Do you like to solder together power supplies, cooling fans, drivers and processors? CNC would appeal to you.
Design – Do you like to think about things in your mind? Then conceptualize them into a computer. Do you have a little inventor inside of you trying to get out? CNC would appeal to you.
Manufacture – Do you like to make things in a process fashion? Step by step, process by process. Do you like to optimize and test and make processes more efficient? CNC would appeal to you.
End Design – Do you have a result or end design in mind? This is what happened to me. I knew where I was. I knew where I wanted to go. I then used CNC as a bridge to get there. If you have an end design in mind that is repetitive, then CNC would appeal to you.Money – Do you like money? Boy is that a question. Many hobbyists get into CNC to make some extra money or start their own business. Yes, you can make parts and sell them. Guess what, after you design the part, you never have to do that again. You can just call up the program and make some more. Months and years later…forever. CNC appeals to people who want to make money.
Challenge of Building a Machine – Some people just get bored and want a project to work on. Building a machine that does something appeals to them. Think of the Model Builders, Woodworkers, Metal Workers and any other type of builder you know. CNC appeals to the builders of the world.The Entire CNC process – I fall strongly into this category. I started into CNC because of a problem, but stayed because I love the whole process of it. I like to design things. I like to build things. I like to make money. I like the challenge. I like the whole enchilada. That is what I want to share with you.
What personal attributes will help you with CNC?I get this question a lot. How do I know if CNC is right for me? Guess what, I have seen it all. Many types of people show up in CNC. Here are some common skills I see often in the field.
Computers – Do you like working with computers? If you said yes then that will help you out. CNC is really computer intensive work on the front end of the process.
Software – Can you learn multiple software packages? If you said yes you probably have a flexible software mind. That will come in handy.Shop Skills – If you have skills in the shop, you will be ok. It doesn’t really matter if it is metalworking, woodworking or anything else. Being comfortable getting your hands dirty will help.
Engineering Mind – I usually think of this as a problem-solving mind. Trying to isolate things and pin them down. If a problem come up, you test different ways around it. Keeping track of things will help.
Artistic Mind – Can you imagine things? Think of the products you create. Guess what, creating is very important. Using you mind and thinking of unique possibilities will help.
Crafty Mind – I don’t mean in a devious way, more in a building way. Can you take things apart and put them together in your head? Can you see a finished product, and then back track the processes to make it? You will be well served if you can play with things in your mind.
“Wait, wait, wait,” you might say. “I don’t possess all these skills.” You don’t have to. Having some of these skills will only help you on your quest to learn CNC. Again, I have seen all types of people get into and succeed in this field. Your desire to learn and get out there and do it will be the deciding factor.
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