We needed some CAD CAM Solutions for our shop. Here is how we did it.

My friend Brian and I needed some CAD CAM Solutions . Brian has an old CNC mill and I need a machine to make hardware for my prototypes. Brian is an industrial electrician and I’m a model maker. We can help each other.

Brian is confident he can make this old machine to run. His trouble is after he gets it running. He doesn’t know how to run it. I tell Brian “You get it running and I will take care of the rest.” We can help each other.

To write the programs we are using POWER STATION XPERT a 2d cad cam software. What type of control is Brian going to fit on this machine? He showed me a solution that surprised me.

A company called Arcsoft has a PC based control for CNC machines. The MACH 3 PC based control is just what we needed. The manuals are very readable. If you ever looked a CNC machine manual you know what I mean. You do not need to be a CNC expert to understand the manual. A novice or an expert can benefit from this book. We expect to have this mill operational in 2 or 3 weeks. This web site will have an article explaining the retrofit process we did. Complete with before and after photos.

Be our guest then and see how we did it. This CNC mill will be available to entrepreneurs, inventors and business owners. Our little machine shop help you turn your new idea into hardware.


The retrofit of this CNC mill is progressing nicely. Here is some of the old hardware. Notice the 1970s style tape wheels. For you young people that is how we used to store programs. The control panel was state of the art in 1975. If you look closely you can a small narrow digital read out. All you got was one line of numbers. The original readout was similar to a pocket calculator of today. When this machine was new you needed 100 parts minimum to make it worth the trouble of programming and setting up.

Brian built the power supply from the ground up by hand. This photo really does not do it justice. His workmanship is of the highest quality. Notice how most of the wires have a neat 180 degree radius at the terminals.

The photo below is what I call the brain. The PC replaces a very primitive computer. The 1970's tape wheels were inside the top section this cabinet. The PC can hold more programs than 1000 cubic feet of the old tape.

This machine is going to be capable of doing much more complex work than when it was new. The setups will be faster and making just one part is what this little machine shop will be good for.CAD CAM will continue to get faster, better and less expensive.

CLICK HERE to learn about the PC based control we are using on this CNC Mill.