1. #1
    Hey guys,

    I just found this website after searching for diy builds. I'm a plastics guy and i now work in the tooling side of things. My background is part design, tool design, cnc programming hsm, etc. I'm looking to build two machines actually. The first is going to be a rigid 3 axis (hopefully) horizontal mill, that i would like to build from old iron. (I'll start a thread in the more appropriate forum) and the second a high speed graphite machine. The first machine will be the learning experience.

    Anyways ill be browsing the forum alot. Hopefully you guys can give me some insight. Anyways... That's about it. See you in the threads.

  2. #2
    Hi and welcome to the forum two machines hey glutton for punishment looking forward to viewing your build log. I take you have found the build section. Good luck with the buid.
    ..Clive
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

  3. #3
    Hey clive.

    The first machine might end up being a refit or upgrade. I need to make parts, and the more i look at this, the more i think i need to start with a more solid foundation. I'm mainly needing to do hsm and 3d surfacing. Any suggestions on machines that might fit the bill? I think id like to find something that's limited by its control and update that.

    Now the graphite machine, that's just a light duty toy that will need to move fast. Im thinking maybe using pre-built linear motor setups. There is one available with glass scales. Just need to give it a control and enclosure. That's a ways down the road though.

  4. #4
    Does being a "plastics guy" mean you have access to fancy software that will give you a watermark tool path?

    What precision will you be aiming for when cutting your graphite?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Hewitt View Post
    Does being a "plastics guy" mean you have access to fancy software that will give you a watermark tool path?

    What precision will you be aiming for when cutting your graphite?
    Im not sure what you mean by watermark toolpath. I do have access to mastercam, hsm, and bobcad.


    The graphite machine should be accurate to +-.0002 , but more importantly, it should be able To Move fast enough to negate wear on diamond tooling. Most tools wear out in Graphite because (most) machines cant deliver, totally 0 stop, true constant engage machining (hurco being a very notable exception. Ultimotion works excellent in graphite. As does gf micron machines) its usually either that, or limited acceleration that kills tools in graphite.

  6. #6
    There are two kinds of software, those that remove material with a series of close parallel line cuts moving the tool up and down, and those that cut everything to an ever increasing depth, as if the part were partially flooded with the tool following along the water line. Also known as tide mark or anything else that takes your fancy.

    Glass scales. Is this an alternative to zero backlash? Do you have a cunning plan? Does graphite never snatch or what?

  7. #7
    Oh i see. Yes mastercam does have a multitude of surfacing toolpaths that do what your suggesting. I most commonly use surface parrallel, and raster. Waterline is occasionally useful depending on the surface. There is several others (radial, pencil, etc)


    As far as the graphite machine goes. There is a linear motor table already prefitted with renishaw glass scales the i am interested in.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mad_Scientist_565 View Post
    Yes mastercam does have a multitude of surfacing toolpaths
    Will it take a 3D shape such as a .stl file?

    Be very careful how you answer that

  9. #9
    Ive never tried to do cam with an stl file. I. Use them quite frequently for stock models however. I generally try to work with x_b or step files whwnever I'm not using mastercam for solidworks... Which uses the native sldprt file (obviously)

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