What made you start your CNC journey?
I began working with 3D printers while working towards my engineering undergrad and developed a passion for working with the “tinker toys” as my father likes to refer to them. I received my own 3D printer from him and began to develop knowledge of the mechanical, electrical, and software components. It provided the perfect blend of challenge and reward and there was always something that could be improved.
As I became more experiences with 3D printing, now owning two printers, I felt that the “never-ending” challenges that I had developed a passion for were not so “never-ending.” I had fewer things to fix and a harder time finding things I liked on Thingiverse. My father noticed this and brought to my attention the idea of getting a CNC machine. My first thought was, “What in the heck is a CNC machine?” And thus, my CNC journey was born.
Why choose Genmitsu?
After googling and figuring out what a CNC machine actually was, my father and I started to look into what companies offered hobby-grade CNC kits. After doing some research, it was clear that Genmitsu had the best reviews and overall satisfaction. I can say from experience, that their customer service is phenomenal and they are always super quick to help with any machine-related issues or questions.
Not only is the customer service great, but the CNC kits and equipment are also wonderful! They are very straightforward to put together and have quite the “stylish” look; I’ve found that many CNC setups can have a bit of an intimidating look, but Genmitsu makes sure to dodge this. In addition, their kits provide plenty of room to grow and upgrade as you gain knowledge in the hobby; I started with a single 3018 Prover, and have since upgraded to a 3040 with a larger motor and laser attachment.
What is the most difficult/interesting thing in your CNC journey?
The most difficult thing I’ve had to face in my CNC journey is having to start from square one by learning all the new software and coding language. I had become used to using slicers like Cura and Ideamaker for my 3D printers. Now, I was battling with Carveco and Lightburn, as well as understanding feeds and speeds calculators, and chip load. Luckily, with enough YouTube and experimentation, those challenges can be overcome.
The most interesting thing I’ve faced in my CNC journey would be figuring out the problems that Youtube or the online community does not have the immediate answer for. While these issues may have caused the most frustration in the moment, they definitely provide the greatest feeling of self-accomplishment after the fact (minus the time I for sure thought my CNC was broken for days only to realize the emergency stop button was engaged).
Have you had any friends ask you for help or to make any CNC works for them?
I have had multiple people ask me about my CNC work, including on Instagram, at work, and even out in public when wearing my laser-cut earrings. I have made engravings for friends and have had pieces requested for commission. I have also sold Laser-cut jewelry on Etsy. Some individuals have even told me they want to get their own CNC machine after seeing what you can make! Being able to spread the passion for learning a new skill is truly rewarding.
What do you want to make on your CNC next?
My favorite things to make are by far the wall carvings. I love anything nature-inspired and plan to make a safari scene as a gift to my father. I am currently working towards mastering the Norton White Tile method on my laser setup as well. Let's say, I’ll have birthday and holiday gifts covered.
The inspiration behind my laser-cut earrings stemmed from Etsy. I love statement jewelry and was always taken away by the handmade items on there. I always thought, “How do they even make these things?” And “I wish I could be able to make something that beautiful.” My Genmitsu CNC gave me that ability. While it may take a bit more effort than simply putting your credit card information into a checkout tab, being able to wear pieces that you crafted yourself hits differently; From creating the model on the computer to working towards finding the right laser settings, to finally having a stunning statement piece is truly something. It helps provide you with a sense of appreciation for many things that are often overlooked in our throwaway society.
KaLeigh Biss from Instagram @dont_kale_myvibe_