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Almost started a fire - watch your feed rates!

So I tried my hand at cutting the “coat hanger” sample project that came on my MakerMade USB Stick, and it looks like Fusion360 was very eager to follow the curves to the nanometer, because it generated an ungodly amount of GCODE (about 160kb) for a very small cut.

This made my Maslow slow down to a crawl in the curved portions while I saw GCODE scrolling like crazy in Ground Control. Unfortunately this slow down caused some saw dust to accumulate too much heat, and I started to get a lot of smoke and then some orange light (embers).

It didn’t get to the point of needing a fire extinguisher because I caught it in time and smothered the embers with a scrap plank I had laying around, then I splashed a bucket of water on it.

So 2 lessons to learn:

  • Watch the amount of G-Code you generate, because this can slow your feed rates to a crawl
  • Keep an eye on any CNC machine that’s cutting a flammable material
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And I would add something else. Get your dust extraction (i.e. vacuum cleaner) working ASAP, it not only does the obvious of getting rid of the dust, but it helps with getting airflow moving past the tool bit and work surface to help cool things a little.

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Yep - I had that experience - you can try this command line utility I wrote:

It will build and run on anything, although you will need the .net Core 3.1 SDK

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Awesome, thank you for this. And yes, dust extraction just got bumped way higher on my todo list; in the meantime I’m manually cleaning out the sawdust between passes (I don’t have a z-axis yet, so when it pauses for me to adjust the depth, I clear the dust at the same time). Seems to work better, and I also tried out the “buffer gcode” option which did improve things a little.

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