1. #1
    Hi Guys,

    I am building a 4-axis CNC router for wood and aluminium. The 4th axis (B-axis) is the swivel head. This is a build for a friend, who will be mainly routing simple shapes on 3 sides on thin-walled aluminium profiles (see attached example). Although I have 3-axis router experience, I am struggling to find an efficient and easy workflow to do repetitive cuts.

    I'd like a workflow which is easy to setup for my friend, who is not cnc-proficient. The requirements are:

    • Cutting mainly 2-d profiles on 3 sides.

    • The profile is to be mounted on the table and the 3 sides to be routed without repositioning the profile.

    • The CAM should be easy to use. 3D preview is a bonus.


    Creating three, 2D operations (one per side) seems tedious. I am open to use Mach4, Linux CNC or other reasonably priced controller. How is kinematics relevant?

    What is the approach you would take?

    Cheers!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    For a swivel-head design you will need a multi-axis CAM package which allows you to define a machine model describing the relationship of the machine components allowing calculation of clearance and moves within the CAM package.
    Well conceived fixturing would allow the work you describe to be carried out with a conventional Fourth Axis (A) with the advantage that three 3-axis jobs with the correct Z zeros set can be concatenated in a text editor with the rotary indexing added manually, a remarkably simple process possible with the free CAD/CAM of your choice.

    - Nick
    You think that's too expensive? You're not a Model Engineer are you? :D

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