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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Monty_UK View Post
    Hey Jazz

    Aluminium, engineering plastics and some mild steel - I imagine the most common will the aluminium though. I had considered changing the main drive after the CNC to get higher speed and more constant torque

    Thanks
    Well in that case I would look long and hard before buying a Mini mill because very few will have the RPM you need for cutting aluminium and soft materials correctly and converting the spindle is not a simple or cheap thing to do.

    If you want a challenge you may be better off DIY building a strong Fixed gantry Router/Mill that will do everything you need and then some with the correct spindle fitted. It will certainly be more versatile and useful than a converted Minimill and won't cost much more. Here's one I built a few years ago (yellow one) with a 500 x 500 cut area and also one we built recently that is fully covered designed exclusively for cutting Aluminium moulds with a cut area of 600 x 400 which is more or equal to many industrial CNC machines but fits in a 1mtr/2 space.!

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    Last edited by JAZZCNC; 21-01-2022 at 03:08 PM.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

    Email: dean@jazzcnc.co.uk

    Web site: www.jazzcnc.co.uk

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    Well in that case I would look long and hard before buying a Mini mill because very few will have the RPM you need for cutting aluminium and soft materials correctly and converting the spindle is not a simple or cheap thing to do.

    If you want a challenge you may be better off DIY building a strong Fixed gantry Router/Mill that will do everything you need and then some with the correct spindle fitted. It will certainly be more versatile and useful than a converted Minimill and won't cost much more.
    Its amusing that this is where i started - then the thought process led me down the path of buying a machine and converting it :)

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    Well in that case I would look long and hard before buying a Mini mill because very few will have the RPM you need for cutting aluminium and soft materials correctly and converting the spindle is not a simple or cheap thing to do.

    If you want a challenge you may be better off DIY building a strong Fixed gantry Router/Mill that will do everything you need and then some with the correct spindle fitted. It will certainly be more versatile and useful than a converted Minimill and won't cost much more. Here's one I built a few years ago (yellow one) with a 500 x 500 cut area and also one we built recently that is fully covered designed exclusively for cutting Aluminium moulds with a cut area of 600 x 400 which is more or equal to many industrial CNC machines but fits in a 1mtr/2 space.!

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    The blue one looks very impressive - do you know the build cost of that ?

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    If you want a challenge you may be better off DIY building a strong Fixed gantry Router/Mill that will do everything you need and then some with the correct spindle fitted. It will certainly be more versatile and useful than a converted Minimill and won't cost much more. Here's one I built a few years ago (yellow one) with a 500 x 500 cut area and also one we built recently that is fully covered designed exclusively for cutting Aluminium moulds with a cut area of 600 x 400 which is more or equal to many industrial CNC machines but fits in a 1mtr/2 space.!
    ATC BT30 Cartridge and 5000rpm servo drive belted to 7500rpm at the nose, too heavy???.

    Or is there a 6k-8krpm ATC BT30 motor option out there?.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Monty_UK View Post
    The blue one looks very impressive - do you know the build cost of that ?
    Yes, I do but that's not information I'm going to share on the forum unfortunately as these machines we build to sell, plus we buy components in bulk so wouldn't be relative to the average DIY builder.
    However, for the machine in the picture you won't get any change from 10k given it's got a custom-built 40K spindle with ceramic bearings. But what I will say is that from the point of view of a machine builder the bulk of the cost isn't components but rather the time that goes into machining and building the machine. There are a lot of hours and work that goes into a machine like this which as a DIY builder doesn't come into play.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

    Email: dean@jazzcnc.co.uk

    Web site: www.jazzcnc.co.uk

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by dazp1976 View Post
    ATC BT30 Cartridge and 5000rpm servo drive belted to 7500rpm at the nose, too heavy???.

    Or is there a 6k-8krpm ATC BT30 motor option out there?.
    Yep Cartridge and motor setup would be too heavy but we can have custom-built water-cooled ATC electro spindles with BT, HSK, or ISO tapers in usual sizes 20,30,40,63,100, etc with power ratings from 1.8Kw up to 40Kw with speeds and torque ratings up to 60K and 120Nm.!

    So yes having an ATC BT30 with 6k-8k rpm is no problem, either flanged (cartridge) or straight body spindle type. Can even have with encoder for ridged taping or orientation and thru coolant.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

    Email: dean@jazzcnc.co.uk

    Web site: www.jazzcnc.co.uk

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Monty_UK View Post
    Its amusing that this is where i started - then the thought process led me down the path of buying a machine and converting it :)
    I missed this post.!

    Yes, it's funny how things are initially conceived but then go off at tangents, I see this all the time with customers, esp new users, who buy machines with a plan to use them for ideas they have but within a few months or certainly within a year when they realize just what a CNC machine allows and it takes them down paths they never even thought about or knew existed.

    Converting works provided you buy the right machine to start with, but I've yet to see a good Mill come out of China.

    The problem with converting a manual Mill is they were never designed for CNC in the first place so often you struggle to fit ball-screws and motors mounts etc without the castings or beds needing material removing and it's here when the shit hits the fan.?

    The cast iron and steel are of very low quality and the casting doesn't undergo any stress-relieving so when you start removing material they have a tendency to shape-shift and twist etc.
    Even buying machines from UK based companies like Warco or Chester tools, Axminster, etc doesn't help this because they are just made in China with the same low-quality iron, this is why I recommended looking at used machines like Denfords or Boxfords because the castings are made in the UK with good quality ductile cast iron and stress relieved.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

    Email: dean@jazzcnc.co.uk

    Web site: www.jazzcnc.co.uk

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  9. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    I missed this post.!
    The problem with converting a manual Mill is they were never designed for CNC in the first place so often you struggle to fit ball-screws and motors mounts etc without the castings or beds needing material removing and it's here when the shit hits the fan.?
    .
    You basically need a mill to convert a mill.
    I had to make casting adjustments and tidy up a lot of rough areas.
    (About the only thing my Sieg X2 conversion has been useful for!. Twists and stalls like crazy)

    At least the castings on the Amadeal 25 weren't totally like cheese. Got lucky I reckon.

  10. #29
    A little late in the mix.

    Total cost.
    Depends how far you want to go. The type\brand\quality of ball screws can be a big factor. Then there's open loop steppers vs closed loop steppers vs servo.
    After that is the control infrastructure, Mach, grbl, Linuxcnc or other. Then with Mach & Linuxcnc there is a choice of using Parallel Port hardware or external motion control. For Linuxcnc the most popular and well support external motion control is the Mesa FPGA cards, with them you have the choice of PCI, PCIe, Ethernet or SPI in the case of the Raspberry Pi. Tho there are a few projects that are repurposing the NVEM boards with custom software, another that repurposing ColorLight FPGA boards. Or there you can use a Orange Pi with the H3\H5 Cpu that uses the on die mcu.
    Then after all that, there are PSUs and control boxes to think of, and of course wiring, switch, pendants, lights and a thousand other gubbins to think of. Then theres the chance you may need to buy quality crimpers, after a while you get sick of the cheaper stuff.

    Now after all that here comes the expensive part. What vice are you going for, are you going to use standard collets or if you have an R8 spindle the Tormach system or the cheaper chinese knock offs.

    Then after a while you are going to want a coolant system and then after dealing with the mess an enclosure\tray might be next.

    After that point you kind of put the total cost to the back of your mind as you don't want to think about it.

    And finally depending on the country you live in postage\delivery\taxes can add a fair amount.

    Unless you're buying an actual factory cnc mill it's hard to put a price on it.

    And here's something.......after a while you realise that some of the tasks you do were quicker when the mill was manual.

    And the final kicker, the mill you have will be a little bit smaller for the task at hand.

  11. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by dazp1976 View Post
    At least the castings on the Amadeal 25 weren't totally like cheese. Got lucky I reckon.
    That's the "Box of chocolates with no lid" problem I mentioned in an earlier post, you never know what you are going to get or what will happen when you start taking it apart or modifying castings, etc.

    Then if you are lucky enough that it doesn't let go when converting there is no saying it won't shapeshift when being used because it was never designed to handle the forces CNC is imparting on the chassis.?
    Why anyone would want to invest the best part of 5k and 100+ hours of time into a machine that could shapeshift at random is beyond my understanding.! It's like playing Russian roulette with a full revolver.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

    Email: dean@jazzcnc.co.uk

    Web site: www.jazzcnc.co.uk

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