ShopSabre Pro 408

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Revision as of 05:39, 17 February 2021 by Pkarnia (talk | contribs)
ShopSabre 4896 in the Idea Shop Prototyping Lab

About ShopSabre

The Shop Sabre is a 3-Axis CNC Router and is the machine of choice for cutting large parts quickly and accurately.

You must make a reservation to use the Shop Sabre. To make a reservation, your file must be tool pathed and checked by a qualified Idea Shop staff member. See the below calendar for toolpathing help availability.

General Stats:
Material : MDF, Plywood, OSB, Wood, Foam.
Maximum Part Size : 121 cm x 243 cm x 20 cm (48in x 96in x 8in)

  • Create large parts quickly and cheaply
  • Cuts a wide variety of materials
  • Can cut 3D shapes
  • Cannot cut sharp interior corners (limited to bit diameter)
  • Toolpathing has a sharp learning curve and must be checked by a qualified staff member.


Main Article : RhinoCAM
ToolPath Simulation Running in RhinoCam

RhinoCam is the software used to create toolpaths for the ShopSabre, and is available on every computer in the IdeaShop. If you do not have much experience using Rhinoceros or RhinoCam, have a staff member help walk you through the process, since it can be tedious. Before creating a toolpath, feel free to use AutoCad to create the 2D geometry you wish to cut out since DWG files from AutoCad can be opened and used to create toolpaths in Rhinoceros. After creating and opening a file in Rhinoceros, double check the geometry and delete any duplicate lines or points. Join the remaining lines to create one solid geometry. Once you have your final geometry, you can begin creating your toolpath. If you are familiar with this process, go ahead and create the toolpath. If you are new to this process, have a staff member come and assist you. If you create the toolpath without a staff member, before you generate the G-Code, have a staff member double check all the settings and parameters you set for your toolpath.

Prepping the ShopSabre

Before the ShopSabre is ready to run, there are a few steps that must be taken in order to safely operate it to the best of its abilities. Make sure the compressor is on in order to supply air to the machine. It requires at least 100 psi to run, which can be checked by the gauge on the airline next to the machine.

  1. Initial Setup: Ensure the compressor is on. Open the valve on the airline to the machine. Once the machine has enough air pressure, turn on power to the machine. Un-park the machine by removing the wooden block that sits behind the cutter head.
  2. Homing the machine: On the dedicated Shop Sabre desktop, open up WinCNC. Home the machine by pressing the HOME button. You can now use the computer to manually move the spindle to home in the X, Y, and Z directions.
  3. Securing your material: Move the gantry out of the way and secure your stock to the spoil board. Line up the your material on the SW (SW being relative, but NE in terms of cardinal directions) corner of the spoil board, to get as close to the machine home as possible.
  4. Setting X, Y, and Z zero: Once your material is secured, establish the X and Y zero points. Be sure to set the Z zero to match your file. In instances where the Z zero is at the bottom of your stock box, you may have to set the Z zero before securing your material to the spoil board.
  5. Measure tools: For jobs with tool changes, make sure to load tools in their appropriate spots, and pre-measure each tool using WinCNC.
  6. Warm Up: Once your material is secured, you may now turn on power to the spindle. With power now supplied to the spindle, select the warmup button on the computer. The spindle will move to the middle of the table and begin to spin.
  7. Running a job: After warming up, the machine is ready to run the generated G-Code. Download the posted file onto the desktop. DO NOT RUN FILES OFF OF THE Z DRIVE, AS NETWORK INTERRUPTIONS MAY CAUSE THE JOB TO FAIL. Have a qualified staff member double check that all of these steps have been done correctly before beginning to run the machine.

Running a Job

Once a staff member has confirmed the ShopSabre is ready to run, you may begin the job. You must be present at all times while the job is running to ensure the machine runs smoothly and without error. The user must be attentive and ready to abort the job if problems arise.

Once a job is complete, you may remove your material and parts from the spoil board, and clean up the work area.

Tool Pathing Availability

Machine Proficiency

In order for an individual to advance in machine proficiency they must demonstrate ability to perform certain actions or tasks. All levels include abilities and concepts from lower levels.

This section is primarily for student workers.

Level 0

Individual has demonstrated they are capable of:

  • Turning on the appropriate switches and valves to be able to move the machine.
  • Setting XYZ zero according to appointment description.
  • Properly fixing material to spoil boards.

Individual understands the concepts:

  • The limit switches on the machine.
  • How the machine is powered and how it moves.

Level 1

Individual has demonstrated they are capable of:

  • Safely parking the machine.
  • Attaching a tool using appropriate collet.
  • Posting a created tool path for the appropriate machine.
  • Creating the tool path for a 2-½ axis job with profiling, slotting, pocketing or drilling features.

Individual understands the concepts:

  • Differences between Climb and Conventional milling.
  • What tool to use and when to use it.
  • Understanding how different materials react when cut
  • Basics of G-Code.
  • Basic RhinoCAM knowledge.

Level 2

Individual has demonstrated they are capable of:

  • Picking appropriate feeds and speeds based on tool and material.
  • Creating a 3-axis toolpath including roughing and finishing.

Individual understands the concepts:

  • Understand the math behind determining feed rates and speeds.
  • Balance between Speed vs Surface Finish, and when to apply them.
  • Excellent RhinoCAM knowledge.

Level 3

Individual has demonstrated they are capable of:

  • Creating a toolpath for a double sided job.

Individual understands the concepts:

  • Spatial awareness between RhinoCAM, the machine, material, and fastening the material.
  • Maintaining accuracy when moving the material.