Part "Engrave a Tag"

For preparing, programming and running the Mill follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the Mill is in clean condition and ready for use. Follow the Maintenance and cleaning steps taped on the side of each mill in the Machine Shop.
  2. Obtain a tag and the fixture from an instructor or a TA.
  3. Set the assembly as shown above and place the piece on the vice of the mill using parallels so that at least half the height of the piece is exposed and the remaining part is gripped. Ensure that about 0.25” of the piece sticks out from the side of the vice.
  4. Zero the Upper left Corner of the Piece using the edge finder.
  5. Setting the tool parameters:
    • Since the program will be set to run with tool #10, scroll using DATA UP or DATA DOWN to get to tool #10.
    • Type 0.0625 then click ABS SET.
    • Type 4 for finish end mill and hit ABS SET.

     6. Load a 2-flute 1/16” end-mill. Zero the end-mill on the upper surface of the
 tag that is held in the fixture.

     7. Erasing old program in memory (if one exists):


     8. Make sure the mill is in 2-axis mode. If in 3-axis, press SYS – GO TO 2 AXIS – MODE

     9. Programming the single mill ENGRAVING event:

PROG – GO TO BEGIN – ENGRAVE                                                                       For “X Begin”, type 0.5 and hit ABS SET    (placeholder only this will change)  For “Y Begin”, type -0. and hit ABS SET    (placeholder only this will change)  For “Height”, type 0.25 and hit ABS SET                                                             For “Text”, type your name.

  • Note: The starting location will based on the length and the height of the text string. The instructions to obtain the correct location are as follows.
  • The total length that is available to engrave on this tag is  2.375”.

In order to take advantage of the entire amount of space and have the text centered within the location that you desire you must perform the following.

While you are typing your text the length of the text string will be displayed at the bottom of the screen. Take the final length of the text, divide  by 2 and subtract from the X location where you want the text centered Right to Left.  Your calculated value will be the X Begin value.

For the UP and Down centering you must divide the Height of the text by 2 and subtract this from the Y location where you want the text centered UP and DOWN. Your Calculated value will be the Y Begin.

Example: If you have a surface that is to be engraved with “Machine Shop”  and we want the text to be 1/4” in height we do the following, after typing we find the text to be 3.0”.

The surface area of the part to be engraved is 5” x 3” in order to center the text.

(length of area/2) - (length of text)=X  (5/2) - (3/2)=1    X start position

(height of area/2) - (height of text/2)=Y(3/2) - (.25/2)=1.375** Y start position**

After you have done the above calculations based on the Size of the text, length of the text and the locations you want to center the text on go back and edit the starting location values for the X and Y location.


  • For “RPM” type 4000 and hit ABS SET
  • For “Feedrate”, type 4 and hit ABS SET
  • For “Tool #”, type 10 then hit ABS SET
  • Press LOOK to confirm profile

     10. Checking tool path exists:

  • MODE – SET UP- TOOL PATH Note: Confirm tool path exists and no error messages appear before proceeding. Consult a TA or instructor if an error message occurs

     11. Conducting a trial run: (Note: The spindle must be retracted from the part surface before carrying out the trial run)

  • Ensure that the machine follows the correct tool path

Running the program:

  • Start the spindle, adjust the air then press GO for “CNC RUN”
  • When prompted to “Set Z”, move the spindle down to z = -0.01” using the quill
 while ensuring the endmill is clear off the vice. Then, press GO to run the program. Note: The “Set Z” location can be adjusted appropriately depending on the contrast desired. Consult an instructor or TA about this.
  • When finished raise the spindle when program prompts “CHECK Z”, then press GO.
  • Turn off spindle and air. Your part is ready for inspection