CNC Machine Personalities

Computer Numerical Controls (CNC)

Computer Numerical Controls (CNC) (Photo credit: wistechcolleges)

As CNC machine operators/machinists, technicians, even button-pushers, we’re a breed apart.   As I stated previously in an article dedicated to CNC shop management and ownership issues, “We tend to be gear heads, persons interested in how things work, passionate about our trade and our skills…”.

We are passionate about what we do and how we do it.  There may be more than one way to skin a cat (or knock out that spindle replacement), and  you’ll certainly find most of us willingly acknowledging this…right before continuing to show you the best way.  We sure as heck are not afraid to get our hands dirty or to attempt new solutions to old problems.

Just like the machines and materials we work with on a daily basis, we come in all shapes and sizes and personality types: some of us smooth around the edges, others a little rough but still full of character.  Some of us are a bit older and seasoned, much like that old used CNC machine that may have a bit o’ grey but runs like a workhorse. 5 Types of CNC Machine Personalities

The blog has a fun post touching on the different makes and models that comprise the people in our industry.  From the “Perfectionist”, “Energizer Bunny”, to the “CNC DIY enthusiast” they cover any number of the personality types I’ve encountered over the years.  Take a look and see if you recognize yourself.

One of my favorites: The Teacher.  The Teacher is an instrumental figure in the lives of those just starting out.  Patient and willing to instruct while never just giving you the answer, thereby allowing those fresh on the block to truly learn and understand their trade.  They realize they could just program that g-code for you but understand it’s better for you to do it yourself, to train your mind to think logically and muscle through.  The Teacher was instrumental in my life and I’ve seen it time and again with regard to others.

Your Turn

How about you?  As the blog post asks, did they miss any personality types?  Where do you fit in?


An American DIY CNC Success Story

As I’ve said in a previous post, DIY CNC is an attitude that starts on day one and it informs the person that we are.  It’s more than a CNC hobby.  It’s a character thing, a willingness to work hard, to follow our inspiration, and be willing to believe in our ideas and ourselves.  I’d say that DIY is very American.  Running a CNC machine with skill and expertise takes years of hard work and learning.  Running your own shop is a whole other ballgame not for the timid of heart.

To celebrate this glorious Friday I’d like to share a story I came across over at the Practical Machinist forums.  This is a very American DIY CNC success story about a man who had the drive and determination to go out on his own and build, as he says, his “piece of Heaven”.  Heaven indeed.

“David N” tells about growing up on a farm with a father who was a jack of all trades.  This mechanical aptitude was imparted to his children and to our story-teller.  He tells about working in a CNC machine shop as a teenager and by age 22 heading out on his own.  He covers the years of hard work and effort building his client list and shares with us the process of building his brand new shop.  Great photo’s of the process included.

I won’t say more so as not to spoil this amazing story.  See for yourself.  You’ll understand why he calls this his piece of Heaven.  I surely did.

Have to admit…loved those Haas CNC machines as well.

David N’s Thread:  My Piece of Heaven Part 2