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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2009
If you are new to the DIY CNC machine and interested, but don't know where to start - this is a great book for you. It will help you understand some of the vocabulary and gives a good introduction to each major area you will have to consider when building your own machine. The intent of this book is to provide an overview and is not the book for you if you want an in depth set of plans or schematics.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2010
This is an excellent introduction to CNC and DIY CNC projects. The text is well written, the explanations are clear, and the quality of the information is outstanding. If you want an introduction to CNC with an emphasis on building your own machines, this is a great first step.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2009
Being new to cnc, I found this book to be a good intro to the world of computer controlled machining. It is well written and understandable, with a little humor thrown in. Not only does Hess explain what the components do (and where they fit) but he gives some good advice to the person who is looking to build their own machine, the diy guy. I really enjoyed this book and it gets my recomendation. Ted
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I received this on Friday and spent most of my weekend reading it in it's entirety.

As someone interested in, but largely ignorant of "what's important" about CNC machines this was an excellent introduction and overview into what goes in to such a machine, what the concerns are when designing and building, effects of early design decisions and scrounging parts if possible.

I'd quibble with the idea that it's a "cookbook" though. I'm used to both real cookbooks and O'Reilly programming cookbooks. It's really not that kind of step-by-step instruction guide. But I can't detract anything for a bad word in the title.

That said, this will give you enough information to design and build one yourself. But it won't hold your hand. All the math is there.

If you're at the beginning of your CNC journey (for instance, if you're a makerbot builder) this is an awesome guide that goes deeper than a mere overview.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2010
Having some Cad and electronics/ electrical background I am interested in CNC. What I didn't understand was the entire series of steps necessary to get from initial concept to working machine.

This book covers the broad strokes and gets into some detail that is useful for a DIY type hobbyist or someone who is just interested in the field.

It will take you to a point where you can think about what applications you'd like to use a machine for and give you the background to dig in to it with more confidence and sense of direction for a project.

It's not a step by step guide to any one machine. It is a basic overview so that you can learn more from an informed viewpoint.

It was informative and interesting enough to be a fun read. It did not come off as a dry textbook as I was expecting.

Nice book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2012
This book is a great introduction to CNC. It doesn't teach you enough to build your own CNC, but that's not what it's supposed to do. The book aims to make you comfortable with the entire CNC process, and it does a very nice job doing that. This book thoroughly covers hardware, including all the trade-offs CNC designers need to make. It's a little less thorough covering software, but with so many choices in software, that's probably reasonable. I would have liked a little more on g-code, but that information is easy enough to find online.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2010
This book is primarily a summary of the parts and functions of a CNC machine. While it covers a broad range of information about the anatomy and functions of these devices, it is far from the comprehensive text that one would need to build, set up, or operate a CNC tool.

I'll keep it, as it will serve as a primer for a basic understanding of CNC machines for my students, but we'll look elsewhere for the detailed information we need.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2010
This book is exactly what it says it is - a primer for the uninitiated in the CNC world. It's a good one-stop shop for learning and understanding the terms and concepts for DIY CNC projects. If you're thinking about getting into that hobby, I definitely recommend the book. If you have some experience with CNC machines, you probably don't need it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I'm a rank beginner with CNC, and bought this book looking for an overview, definitions of terms, and some background information. For my purposes it was pretty good. I'd say adequate or better.
The title is perhaps a bit misleading: it's not a "cookbook." If you want a real CNC "cookbook" I'd recommend Build Your Own CNC Machine (Technology in Action). I already knew this from reading Amazon reviews so I wasn't disappointed.
Overall I'd have to say it is a book I'm glad to have read once. It's not something I need to keep in my library as a reference, but it was a useful beginning point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2014
This book deserves the five star rating for taking me from "CNC zero to hero" in the course of one reading of this book. It is well written (a few typos and word usage errors aside) with a nice progression of introduction, overview, and then detail. This is not a step-by-step plan for building a particular CNC, but an outstanding guide to CNC principles. The author acknowledges that his book is really just a well-organized collection of information that is widely available on the internet. He does an outstanding job of this, projecting his subject matter expertise. BUT...

Two things: 1) this book was published in 2009; time for a second edition! The principles are still perfectly accurate, but four years is a long time in a technology such as this. As the author acknowledges, this information is available on the internet. If he expects it to continue selling, time for an update. 2) many/most of the pictures are so grainy as to prevent much detailed examination. This is particularly true of pictures showing complete machines. Up close pictures of components are much better. This issue may be related to the matte paper upon which the book is printed. But, I expect higher quality from a $25 book.

All that being said, I will purchase the next edition of this book (should it be published).
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