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Author Topic: 4x4 CNC  (Read 4969 times)

f00bard

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4x4 CNC
« on: May 30, 2012, 12:56:31 PM »
You guys!  We're gonna buy a CNC router.  I think we have enough pledged for it, and Chris says we could pick it up Friday if we get the money together and a way to move it.  Here's a wiki page he created for it: http://familab.org/wiki/index.php?title=JoeCNC

It'll need a little TLC when we get it (per the wiki page).  But it's something!  ThantiK is already talking about milling these: http://www.3ders.org/articles/20120529-vision-3d-printer-an-optimized-reprap-prusa-mendel-on-kickstarter.html.  And matt wants to cut guitar amps.

What could YOU do with a 4x4' CNC router? 8)

Catastrophic

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Re: Our new CNC router
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2012, 02:47:06 PM »
That is the best news I've heard all day! I I will be available on Friday to help with the transport if needed.

Simply7

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Re: Our new CNC router
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 03:11:05 PM »
Going to make lots of sawdust!
But this is awesome. Can it cut aluminum?
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 03:16:02 PM by Simply7 »

Matt

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Re: Our new CNC router
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2012, 03:25:16 PM »
We should probably start looking for an upgraded spindle fairly soon. It will come with a standard router but those are crazy loud. I don't see any reason why we couldn't cut *thin* aluminum with a good spindle, good tooling and reasonable feed rates. Of course, I would say it should be limited to cutting plexi, wood and foam for the time being. If we deem it sufficient for cutting thin aluminum sheet at a later time then we will publicly announce that. I don't anticipate ever being able to cut thicker aluminum plate though. The heat generated would be too great and it isn't set up for a coolant system. We have briefly discussed the possibility of a CNC plasma cutter but that's a ways off. The bed would need to be completely changed. The motion system should be ok for that purpose though.

Chorca

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Re: Our new CNC router
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2012, 03:27:33 PM »
It's made for wood/plexi/foam/other light materials, though it is ACME leadscrew driven, so it has some torque (should have more once we upgrade the drives) However, the bed it's mounted on is for dry cutting, so we prolly wouldn't be able to do much with metals that require cutting lubrication. It's most likely not accurate enough for it anyway.

As for upgrading the spindle, I'd very much like to do that, and will start looking into quieter, powerful motors we can use right away. The Zen is an excellent example.. Dremels are stupid noisy, but with a larger size motor, it's whisper quiet.

Chorca

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4x4 CNC
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2012, 03:33:15 PM »
We're getting a 4x4' CNC hopefully this Friday. It is large, in charge, and will cut wood, foam, plexi, and other light materials that can be cut dry.

We have a small wiki article on it with a couple pictures here: http://familab.org/wiki/index.php?title=JoeCNC

This is an excellent option for those people wanting to cut thicker materials, instead of having to make 20 passes with the laser cutter and burning the tube out. Plus, we can use materials containing PVC, as it won't generate chlorine gas.

The machine is about 5' x 6', and has a cutting area of around 4' x 4'. It uses (now) a standard router, and comes to us with a computer, router, control box for the stepper drivers, and the whole thing itself. We will need to look into bits to get, as I am not familiar with a lot of this, I will be working to learn a lot more, and I would love to give some classes on how to operate the machine once it's up and running.

Things to upgrade/fix:
  • Fix gantry/upgrade steppers to fix binding issue (most outstanding problem)
  • Upgrade spindle to quieter and better model. This may require research into AC-driven spindles and VFDs for said spindles. Computer-controlled spindle speed would be awesome!
  • Upgrading the bearings/sliders - Matt mentioned he would like to purchase MakerSlide if it could be used for the machine
  • Taller Gantry - Matt asked about the z height, I believe it is at least eight inches, but we could easily expand it by cutting larger gantry pieces.
  • Endstops, Pendant control, Z leveling platform, etc - This is icing on the top, though endstops might come sooner rather than later. If someone wants to build or make a pendant control, awesome!

If we intend to begin using this machine soon, we will need dust collection. Particularly when milling MDF, as it is hazardous due to the glues used to bind the dust together, and can cause allergies to flare up, and much worse. We should be able to acquire one for under $200 from craigslist, which could them be used for other tools in the lab. (piping to connect to dust collection ports on tools)

If there are any other questions about the machine please note them here. We will most likely try to have this at least moving around by the Open House, as this would be a rad machine to show off!

I am going to do my best to learn as much as I can about subtractive milling and CNC, so that later on this year I can teach a class on how to design and mill objects in CNC. I would love for someone like JBC to help me out with this, as he is quite good at designing objects!
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 06:42:08 PM by Chorca »

Hybridsix

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Re: 4x4 CNC
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2012, 03:44:23 PM »
Neat! Cant wait to see it!

Catastrophic

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Re: Our new CNC router
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2012, 04:13:11 PM »
I took a look at the wiki page, this looks great and the fact that it needs a little tweaking is right in line with the vibe of the lab.  I read that the dimensions are roughly 5x5, but do you know the approximate weight?  I've got a 4x8 flat bed utility trailer that we could probably alter a bit to carry a 5x5 table, but if we can't carry it up the steps then we may have to get Dave involved and his magic forklift or something along those lines...

Chorca

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Re: Our new CNC router
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2012, 04:53:11 PM »
It disassembles, transportation is pretty much already figured out, but a couple hands at the lab Friday night would be good for offload/reassembly.

tetsuharu

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Re: 4x4 CNC
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2012, 10:00:28 AM »
I am so excited.

Simply7

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Re: 4x4 CNC
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 11:41:19 AM »
I'll make arrangements to be up at the lab Friday to help unload. If you need help loading let me know.

Bobsea

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Re: 4x4 CNC
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2012, 09:34:55 PM »
sounds great about what time friday I have a 3 horsepower Hitachi router that might work good with this.  I'll bring it up to the lab.

Chorca

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Re: 4x4 CNC
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2012, 09:48:47 PM »
I should be getting a Hitachi router with the machine, but we're looking at using VFD-driven AC spindles.

Simply7

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Re: 4x4 CNC
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2012, 09:53:39 AM »
About what time are we going to meet up at the lab today to get this unloaded?

Chorca

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Re: 4x4 CNC
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2012, 10:21:10 AM »
I'm throwing a random guess that i'll be back somewhere around 6pm, but I'll post an update here when we're closer to that time.