Software that is used to control the 3D Printer and CNC Router at Synhak

Today, I arrived at synhak and interviewed Andy about the various pieces of software that are used to control our MakerGear 3D printer.

SYNHAK MakerGear 3D Printer
SYNHAK MakerGear 3D Printer

I learned that the main piece of software used to control our 3D printer is Repetier-Host

Other than Repetier-Host, we have other pieces of software on the system as well. Here’s a list of the few I was able to document here so I can reference them later:

Andy also shared the fact that a donor donated two more 3D printers called Rapman 3.2 which actually have dual extenders on it! Thank you anonymous donor!

SYNHAK Rapman 3D Printer
SYNHAK Rapman 3D Printer

After hearing Andy’s thoughts, I did realize that the most essential skill to be adept at 3D printing technology is the ability to be able to model something in three dimensions using paper-pencil or using a computer. This would allow you to send your design to the 3D printer(s) and build the actual object. Tools like Sketchup, Blender etc allow one to get experienced in designing on the computer. And of course if you’re an artist, you’d already excel at paper-pencil.

Later, I asked Devin what would be an example of what a CNC router is able to produce. Devin showed me one of the first projects he completed on the CNC router for Something New Entertainment:

Devin CNC routes SNE logo
Devin CNC routes SNE logo

Something New Entertainment also blogged about their experiences at Synhak making routing their logo here.

Here’s what the finished signage looks like (primarily cross posting it for inspiration, the art work looks AMAZING!):

SNE Sign
SNE Sign

I learned from Devin that the main software used for this purpose is called Cut2D. The piece of software that interacts with the hardware is called Mach4.

The intriguing part of the CNC router for me personally was the language the CNC router understands is a language called G-code, which describes what the tool is supposed to do.

I learned from Devin that there are a lot of types of G-code’s that are used in production, and that for our space, we use the output of a SVG image that is converted into points. The points then translate into G-code and the CNC router goes from there following the codes to a tee.

SYNHAK CNC Router
SYNHAK CNC Router

Devin also cautioned wanna-be CNC router-ists that you have to take into consideration the clamps you secure your material with. Basically the rule is:

Do not allow the CNC router’s drill bit to collide with the clamps!

That rounds up the software side of things. I hope it allows you to prepare to use the 3D printer and CNC router Synhak hosts for your projects. I for one am looking forward to them!

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