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X and Y Axis Identification and Rotation

Sometimes we take the simplest things for granted. As an example, I started making CNC videos about 1 1/2 years ago, and I thought I was making basic videos for the absolute beginner. Well, it turns out I forgot to include some of the more basic info. I fell into the same trap a lot of other people make, and that is assuming that folks already know what I’m talking about when I use certain words and phrases. I figured that if a person was interested in CNC, they probably already had some basic knowledge of how they worked, and what the major assemblies of a CNC were called. Maybe they didn’t know every single part, but there was probably at least an understanding of what the major components were. It turns out I, like a lot of other people, assumed too much.

That led me the conclusion that as the CNC becomes cheaper and cheaper for the average woodworker to add to their arsenal of tools, there is a genuine need for this info. More and more people are exploring the thought of buying or building a CNC, so more and more people are asking the questions a lot of us take for granted. If you don’t know something, you just don’t know – there’s no shame in asking about it. I mean, that’s how you learn, right? None of us were born with this info stored away in the mental data bank – someone told us, we read it, or we saw it in a video. The point is we learned it somewhere. That’s why I decided to make this video.

I’ll cut to the chase here – I needed take a step back, return to the basics, and identify the three main axes of a CNC router. I’ve been asked several questions about how to rotate the X and Y axes in various CAD/CAM software packages, by people who have a CNC router that is oriented so that the gantry moves along the X axis.

In the video linked below, I’ll show you the basic differences between a Gantry and the X axis in a CAD/CAM environment, as well as on the CNC router itself. I’ll show you how to rotate a design to match the material orientation on the bed of a machine, should the need arise.
Some of you seasoned veterans may think this is a silly topic to do a video about. Others may be genuinely interested. No matter where you fall in that spectrum, I do hope you’ll be able to take something from this video, no matter how trivial you think it may be.



As usual, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to comment! If you don’t wish to make a public comment, click this Contact Us link, and submit it to me privately. I read ALL of the messages I get through my website, and I answer as many as humanly possible – unless you’re a spambot. Spambots get blocked – so there.

Remember, beginners – relax, take your time, and enjoy the process. It’s supposed to be fun, remember? You can do this. I’m living proof.

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Until next time, take care and have fun!