New member Cam Designs in USA


Frank Corcoran
Hello all, I am Frank Corcoran in Oregon State , USA.

I own a small Sign shop which also does fabrication and woodworking.

I have a lifelong love of all things CNC starting in mid 80's when the best one could do was surplus industrial at $$$!

All my machines are self-built: Plasma, Router, Laser, and Press brake (manual mill and lathe sitting and begging for ballscrews!). These machines are used regularly in the business so they need to work!

The early days were all Mach3. As much as I admire Art Fennerty I will not go back!( maybe Auggie?) Tried Mach 4, used Eding CNC and Planet CNC for a good stretch. Linux ... just too funky to make any money.

I am excited about Masso as the shop is hard on PC's and there are the endless updates, unsupported interfaces, and software issues. I am re-fitting my 4x10 rack & pinion router with rotary with Masso right now. I worked on several projects where I used an embedded controller to produce a custom motion control solution and stand at awe of the immense amount of hours that must have gone into this project!

My initial impression of the project is that Masso is almost there. Its the PC-less controller that still needs a PC. Its IO is rock solid and diverse enough to build anything (could use some onboard output buffering, 2803 darlingtons?). The Gcode Translation, manipulation, and display are the real features lacking IMHO. There are so many times when I get to my machine and I am all set to press START when I wonder??? did I get it right? Where should I put my hold-downs , clamps, is my material big enough? These things can be resolved by adequate zooming , panning and translating functions . Should I rotate my G code vs my stock? Will this arc hit my clamp? If I move left 1/4" can I fit another copy? (Watching CNC nutz do some wall art while looking at bare Gcode shows how hard it is!( BTW I love this guy!)).

These are hard questions to answer when looking at an esoteric list of commands (which cannot be scrolled anyway!) Not to mention that the toolpath display enjoys the majority if the screen real estate. Some of the material that I put on my Router or Plasma may approach $400.00 Us and be cut by an employee. This is not a scrap of birch plywood, He needs to see where this cut file fits on his machine. This is the reason most CAM software is visual. Of course there are constraints due to this NOT being a PC.

I don't know if this qualifies as a rant? I am just thinking out loud about my concerns about converting all the shop to Masso. I am not unhappy about my purchase of the Mill controller. This is such an exiting project and we WILL make this router work! The guys working on this are much smarter than I.

Frank C

Oh Yeah... this is supposed to be about who I am and how I can help the forum!

I have background in: Electronics and interfaces.

Industrial control PLC

Pneumatics and Hydraulics

Computer programming

Making Stuff from metal, plastic, wood

Graphics and Signage (yeah I know!)

I may offer my 2 pence occasionally but by no means feel that I have more knowledge than the guys what built this thing!