Buried deep beneath piles of rubble and old text books, two CNC machines lie hidden and forgotten in the corner of an abandoned shop class. But now, with help from the local community, Analy High School in Sebastopol, Cali. is working to reclaim this forgotten space and convert the building back into a place for learning and experimenting.
Leading the way is Instructor Casey Shea, who’s been working tirelessly on the Project: Make pilot program for the past year. Due to its success, Project: Make is moving to a bigger location where the program will have access to even more resources. A few weeks ago, Casey approached me with the idea of trying to get these old CNC machines back in working order. We met on Friday to dig around the mess and identify the make and model of each machine and see if we could stat them up. Without the original software we did not get very far. After doing some internet research, it seems that the company who manufactured these educational CNC machines went out a business a while back, and the original CAD/CAM software is a bit hard to use and a bit outdated.
The CNC router is a Phoenix-GS CAD/CAM model, and the lathe is the Phoenix-EZ wood lathe model. We are missing most of the instructions for both machines. So now, we are posing the question to you, MAKE readers. Does anyone here have any experience with these machines, or even better, own one? Have you updated the electronics or switched over to a different software? Ideally, we would like to configure the machines to be compatible with the Mach3 software and are willing to update the electronics if needed.
If you think you can help, please leave comments below. You can include links, images, wiring diagrams, anything that will help us get these machines running again. Thanks for reading.