JeepForum.com

JeepForum.com (http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/)
-   Fabrication Shop (http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f37/)
-   -   Adding a CNC router / mill to the shop project (http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f37/adding-cnc-router-mill-shop-project-1571114/)

rescueweasel 09-04-2013 01:13 AM

Adding a CNC router / mill to the shop project
 
3 Attachment(s)
I have a metal fabrication business and have been wanting to get a CNC router / Mill for a long time. I have been doing research for a few months and spent sometime at a few trade shows looking everything over. I have a lot to learn when it comes to routers and mills, just a little different from plasma.

I decided to start out with a small bench top system and build it up as sort of a DIY project and see how it works and maybe expand to a larger table down the road.

My goal is to make this a multi-purpose machine if I can. I want to be able to make signs out of wood and plexi, machine parts out of aluminum, cut sheet goods like vinyl and cardboard for prototypes, and if I can attach an extruder and make a 3d printer out of the same machine....

So here goes I have been buying components as time and money allows and finally have enough to get started. I though I would post the build here and hopefully get some good advice along the way and share my trials and tribulations as I go.

So day one got the table from Precision Plasma assembled it and attached the Porter cable 7310 router. I'm waiting on my steppers and controller which I hope will be delivered soon.

Jim1611 09-04-2013 01:20 PM

When cutting aluminum, especially at high spindle speeds, it pays to get the chips away from the cutter. My machine has flood coolant. I'm not sure that's work for you though. Have you given any thoughts to this?

rescueweasel 09-04-2013 01:35 PM

I think a flood coolant system would be the best for the aluminum work but, on this machine I do not think that is going to work. I want this machine to do many different operations for prototyping. If it was a dedicated machine for one specific application it would be a little less complicated.

On this one I plan to have a flex nozzle blowing air into the cut area along with a vacuum attachment, hopefully that will work.

Lots of trial and error ahead on this project.

Jim1611 09-04-2013 02:23 PM

I think the air nozzle will work out fine. They also make some nice single flute cutters that run nicely in cnc routers that work very well with aluminum. RPMs is your friend with aluminum so the more the better in most cases.

relgnarw 09-04-2013 04:36 PM

I have a Gerber D200 at work and it works well for what I use it for. I engrave 3/8 magnesium plate stock for plastic injection molds. I'm using an antiquated Casemate program for my work and I can do a lot with it (I still wish I had a 3 axis machine). As far as chip removal goes I use a sealed air vac system in an explosion proof container. Spindle speed is around 4500 RPM.

rescueweasel 09-04-2013 04:59 PM

I ordered a module with my electronics package that will allow me to monitor my RPM (spindle speed sensor) so I can dial in on the various material.

With the explosion proof canister is that something special for the magnesium? Aluminum shavings are in the same realm, do you think I would need a vac system that was rated for that if I'm sucking up the aluminium shavings and dust?

Jim1611 09-04-2013 05:19 PM

If magnesium cathes fire it's tough to put out. I can't remember all the details but you have to be careful with it in that regard. Other than that it cuts nice. Dust can also catch fire if there's enough of it. What can happen is the vacuum canister gets dust or mag inside then the vacuum sucks something hot enough to ignite what's in there. You can even do that with a regular shop vac.

relgnarw 09-04-2013 06:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim1611 (Post 15872194)
If magnesium cathes fire it's tough to put out. I can't remember all the details but you have to be careful with it in that regard. Other than that it cuts nice. Dust can also catch fire if there's enough of it. What can happen is the vacuum canister gets dust or mag inside then the vacuum sucks something hot enough to ignite what's in there. You can even do that with a regular shop vac.

That's why my vac is strictly air operated with no electrical motor. I have a few buckets of sand on either side of my machine although I've never had to use them. I have had a couple of flame ups but it's been on my Bridgeport and I was cutting corners. I just let them die out, they haven't been very big so all is well. On the plus side I've made some great fire starters for when I go camping.
It cuts like butter and it polishes up like a mirror, perfect for what I do.

I don't know if you will need a vac for aluminium but I use it for both. Maybe just for a piece of mind for safety sake.

WSS 09-04-2013 11:34 PM

A regular shop vac would work for aluminum, just don't go and add mag or ti to the mix! Clean the canister if you do cut on another material like carbon fiber. Also, if you use plastic hose, run a wire all the way through it to disipate static electricity, another source of flare ups in your hose and can. I had some ti grindings flash on a galvanized dust catcher and was amazed at the ferocity and heat it generated. Mag must be a real treat LOL.

PS, is mag listed as hazardous to machine or grind?

relgnarw 09-05-2013 06:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WSS (Post 15873674)
A regular shop vac would work for aluminum, just don't go and add mag or ti to the mix! Clean the canister if you do cut on another material like carbon fiber. Also, if you use plastic hose, run a wire all the way through it to disipate static electricity, another source of flare ups in your hose and can. I had some ti grindings flash on a galvanized dust catcher and was amazed at the ferocity and heat it generated. Mag must be a real treat LOL.

PS, is mag listed as hazardous to machine or grind?

I know we have an MSDS sheet for it, but it isn't hazardous like chemical contamination, it is hazardous as far as explosion/fire.

rescueweasel 09-07-2013 06:01 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Got the Controller package and stepper motors in from CandCNC yesterday. I went with the BladeRunner Package. Its the same package I use on my CNC Plasma System and it has worked very well. About the only difference is that this one does not have torch height control.

The steppers are 300 oz - The router has a 2TPI screw for x and y, so the steps per inch is 4000. I use 50 for acceleration and can go 200 ipm or faster. The Z is 5 tpi, so the steps per inch is 10000. Acceleration 50 and velocity 100 or faster. With this setup I will have about 175 lb of cutting force on X and Y.

I was not expecting the steppers to be double shaft steppers. My plasma machine uses single shaft steppers. I did some reading online and from what I read no real difference some people suggested adding a thumb knob on the end to allow for some fine adjustment when the power is off.?

The case has two built in Aux power outlets. I will use one to plug my router into so that I can control it via the computer and the Mach3 interface.

This weekend I plan on installing the software from CandCNC as well as Mach3 and Sheetcam, getting everything plugged in and do some test movements to make sure the basics are working.

WSS 09-07-2013 09:30 PM

Sweet! Are the two 120vac receptcles switched by mach? I hear that Tom now offers a servo version of blade runner, did you look into that? Much cost difference? I understand the big difference is that servos don't have a sweet spot for torque.

System looks like a workhorse.

MORE PICS PLEASE!!

rescueweasel 09-08-2013 04:32 PM

[QUOTE=WSS;15883954]Sweet! Are the two 120vac receptcles switched by mach? I hear that Tom now offers a servo version of blade runner, did you look into that? Much cost difference? I understand the big difference is that servos don't have a sweet spot for

Yes the two outlets are controlled in Mach3 which is great for running the router and maybe the extruded when I get around to figuring out how to make that happen.

Tom at Candcnc does have several servo options now in various packages. The servos do cost more than steppers and each has there sweet spot. This machine is a small prototyping machine so the steppers will be fine for this one.

I did some research on the good and bad of steppers and made a comparison sheet on the build website. :
http://www.cncrouterbuild.com/steppersvsservos.html

There are more picture of the build there as well.

rescueweasel 10-08-2013 08:18 PM

3 Attachment(s)
I have been slacking on updating the build progress. Had to squeeze in a little vacation while I could.

I was able to get all of the software installed and do some basic motion testing and configuration. I installed Mach3 for my machine control software which has custom screens from the bladerunner package. I also installed Sheetcam for 2d work. I use it all the time for plasma cutting so I though I would put it on this system since I'm familiar.

I also installed Aspire and Photo V Carve from Vectric which I plan to use for most of the routing and carving.

Program install was easy no problems. Powered up the the machine and was able to move it around the table using Mach3 No cutting yet.

Anyone have another programs they think I should have or could use. I want to eventually add a rotary axis. I'm still reading up on aspire and getting familiar with all it can do.

Next project is adding the home and limit switches along with some cable management to the machine.

rescueweasel 10-15-2013 05:49 PM

5 Attachment(s)
I got most of the cable management done with the Igus track I got of ebay and I mounted the Air system for the blow off nozzles for clearing the cut path. I plan on just plugging the system into the shop air and regulate it with the on off valve.

Had a few people suggest the nozzle system for doing aluminum. I don't plan on running any type of coolant system. I would like to keep it all dry if I can.

Its nice having the plasma machine in the shop. I needed some custom brackets and supports to mount things so a quick drawing threw some aluminum on the plasma table and made some bends and I had come custom brackets.

Next project in this build was to start building the cart that all this will mount to and on. My shop never has enough room so I have to keep this project mobile.


The time now is 10:26 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.