Training/Certification for CNC machine @ workshop?

Good morning all,

Sorry, I seem to be spamming the forums, call it beginner’s excitement. I’ve recently going the SDFWA and I’m super excited to learn a bunch. One of the things in particular that drew me to the member shop was access to the CNC mill. Is someone able to direct me to information on how I go about getting trained/certified to use the CNC? Also, if I remember correctly there might be a different type of PunchPass access needed for the CNC? Lastly, what program is used to run the CNC? (I’d like to start learning the program in the meantime and begin to layout my first project)



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Hi Jered!
Welcome to the CNC side. :smiley: It is indeed exciting.
I’m sure someone will answer all of your questions soon, I just wanted to say Hi, I miss the sounds of the CNC Router grinding away.
At the shop we use VCarve by Vectric.
If you haven’t heard they are having a User Group Meeting (virtual) starting Thurs wicked early AM time. .
Don’t rush out and buy it yet though! Wait for someone to reply with the details of CNC certification and what you get with that! I don’t want to speak out of turn because I’ve been MIA for the last 6 months and am just getting back to the swing of things.


First, you should know that Susan is being humble … she knows everything!

Second, CNC certification. There are three paths to certification. If you’re a beginner then there are two classes: Intro to CNC w/VCarve Pro and Intro to CNC Basics. Let me know if you’d like to go on the wait lists for those classes. If you’re experienced with CNC then there’s a third path which is Certification; it’s a test which can get you using our CNC quickly.

As for reserving the CNC, it’s the same PunchPass account you already have but requires a “switch be flipped” giving you the privilege of using the CNC. The same is true of the Laser, Lathes, and CNC. They’re all equipment that require special training.

Susan answered this best, VCarve Pro. It’s a $700 package which people get a license to when they take CNC with VCarve Pro (usable only on our CNC). The other answer is a free package for Shapeoko owners called Carbide Create. It’s free and you can download it now if you like. They both allow for simulation so you can see your design and toolpaths come to life.

Lastly, you expressed interest in Paul’s upcoming sharpening series.
His first session is this Saturday at 10:00 and is open to you.
Go register here and from that you’ll get the Zoom link.

Thanks for the heads up on the program @Susan. I’ll look at downloading Carbie Create for now and start practicing.

@SDFWA - I’m very much a beginner I’d appreciate being added to the wait list for both the Intro classes. Also, I looked into Paul’s class and unfortunately I won’t be able to attend his class because I’ll already be at the workshop for a slot I reserved. Will a recording of the presentation be posted to the club’s YouTube channel or another site where I can view it later?