This is the checklist that I use to make sure I don’t forget to do something important when using my CNC. I have forgotten to do all of these things at least once (just this morning actually), and it was not until I made this list that I stopped making the same stupid mistakes over and over again. (don’t laugh. you know you do them to.)
This list can save you great deal of aggravation, trust me. It is especially useful to the CNC newbie because keeping track of all of these things can be tough when you’re first learning.
Not everything on this list will apply to every part that you cut out, nor will it apply to every type of CNC machine. You may want to modify or add to it to suite your own needs.
1. The part being made is not bigger than the material it’s being cut out of
2. Everything is clamped down firmly
3. The clamps do not get in the way of the CNC machine’s movement nor does anything else
4. The correct router bit is in the router and the collet has been tightened firmly
5. The correct G-code is loaded into the machine controller
6. Double check the 3D representation of the part in the machine controller to make certain that the dimensions are correct and that the depth increments are correct *
7. Each axis, X, Y, and Z, is set to zero
8. The zero of the Z axis is located on top of the material
9. The controller board and stepper motors are turned on
10. The router is turned on
* If the depth increments are incorrect, the router could end up trying to go through the entire thickness of the material in just one pass.