Ground Control and Running Gcode

In this step we are going to take the part you designed in the previous step and cut it out using Ground Control and your CNC router.

Begin by launching the Ground Control program. It should look roughly like this depending on what operating system you are using.

 

Your previously opened project will open automatically. If this is your first time opening the program no file will open. To open the gcode we generated in the previous step click "File" -> "Open G-Code" and then navigate to the file you saved from before. When the file opens, you should see something like this:

 

 

Now it's time to put in the end mill. I will be using a 1/8th inch end mill with straight flutes, but yours may look a little different.

 

 

Put the end mill in to the chuck of your rotary tool and tighten it down.

 

 

Next the wood being cut needs to be attached to the bed of the machine.

To prevent the the machine from cutting into itself when it finishes cutting through the wood, a second piece of material called a "waste board" is placed under the first piece. In this case I'm going to be using a piece of cardboard.

 

 

I'm going to attach the wood using some small clamps.

 

 

Most hardware stores will have this type of clamp for just a few dollars.

 

 

Now we need to move the tool to where we want it to start. Keep in mind that the the part we are going to be cutting will be to the right and above where the tool starts so there needs to be sufficient space in that direction for the cutting to take place.

 

 

Now we need to set the correct height of the tool above the wood. We want the tip of the end mill to hover just above the surface of the plywood.

 

 

This will become our "zero" location. Clicking the "Home" button will bring the machine back to here. You can click the "Re-Zero" button in ground control at any time to declare a new home position, however clicking the "Run" button re-zeros the machine automatically.

Once the end mill is where you want it to be, turn on your rotary tool and click the "Run" button.

Now there's not a lot to do except wait and vacuum up the dust while it cuts.

Tada!

 

 

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The finished phone holder requires two of this piece, so repeat this process again on a different section of wood to make a second one.

 

 

Next we will be repeating this process again to make the base of the machine. This time it should go much more quickly because you have already done it once.

Click here to make the base of your phone holder.