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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by routercnc View Post
    You could design a lower 'floating bearing'. This is where the lowest bearing block has two or more alternative mounting positions on the Z axis part which holds the router. For long reach work you bolt it where it is now, and accept the deflection. For shorter reach work you bolt it further down, spacing the bearings out so that the loads are taken towards the ends of the unsupported beam, rather than towards the centre. You need a moveable limit switch with this idea.
    Yes! I was thinking that just hadn't got round to posting it...I'll allmost certainly do that. Maybe have 75mm or 400mm travel. Thinking about it I may as well have the lower bearing with several positions - it's only a few more holes after all.

    With regards to supporting the rail at the centre I could do this when the Z range is limited, as above. It would make it take slightly longer to change between the two set-ups though.

    Quote Originally Posted by routercnc View Post
    It looks like you are using an 'I' beam for the router mounting plate. You're only considering the bending in one or possible two directions, which will give you good results on the deflection for these load cases. ...

    For such an overhang, you might want to choose RHS for the part which attaches to the router/spindle... bolting into this section should go all way through with spacers inside to get the loads into the section, rather than locally deflecting the wall. The calcs all assume good load transfer.
    Just to clarify I'm not using actual I beam, just 3 aluminium bits slotted and bolted together to make an I. I can't find RHS in the right dimensions so I guess I'd have to use a similar approach, just now with two 6mm aluminium plates instead of one. I'm concious that using RHS is going to further increase the horizontal distance from the router to the Y axis. Would it be ok to cut the front out of the RHS (to make a C shape) just where the spindle mounts. It's either that or get big enough RHS to fit the spindle inside?

    Quote Originally Posted by routercnc View Post
    As Ross has already suggested, I suspect you don't need to mill down 400mm into things, but rather you want to be able to machine to a depth of perhaps 30mm into things which are up to 400mm deep. If this is the case you could limit your Z travel to say 100mm. You then block up the workpiece with spacers to suit. This would be fairly stiff for all cuts, but give you options in terms of workpiece sizes.
    Unfortunately that's not the case otherwise yes, I would just use blocks. One project I have in mind which needs a long Z axis is making wind turbine blades. That would, or course, be wood I should be OK.

    Thanks for the help. I'll have another look for what steel RHS I can get hold of and modify the drawing accordingly.

  2. Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    Unfortunately that's not the case otherwise yes, I would just use blocks. One project I have in mind which needs a long Z axis is making wind turbine blades. That would, or course, be wood I should be OK.
    Forgive my stupidity, by why do you need all that z-movement for a wind turbine blade? If you're thinking of cutting them vertically 'on the hub' so to speak I think you run the risk of, as a minimum, the blade deflecting, or worse snapping off... anything that high a length to width ratio probably needs milling horizontally and adequately supported... or have i got the wrong end of the stick (or should that be blade?) :lol:

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by irving2008 View Post
    Forgive my stupidity, by why do you need all that z-movement for a wind turbine blade? If you're thinking of cutting them vertically 'on the hub' so to speak I think you run the risk of, as a minimum, the blade deflecting, or worse snapping off... anything that high a length to width ratio probably needs milling horizontally and adequately supported... or have i got the wrong end of the stick (or should that be blade?) :lol:
    Yes you got the wrong end of the stick/blade there! :lol: I am intending to mill them horizontally. Near the hub, due to the twist on the blade, the Z distance is quite large. I'm intending to make a set of 3.2 meter (diameter) blades for a variable pitch wind turbine I've made. There are other things I want the big Z travel for, I just can't remember them at the moment!

    I've found some 160x80mm steel box section. There's 5mm, 6.3 and 8mm wall thickness available. I think the 5mm should be ok. No idea how much it costs or if I can buy less than a 7.5 meter length....

    http://www.steel-shop.co.uk/contentf...talogue(1).pdf
    (page 7 - I live very near to them but I've never actually been)

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    The rails are 600mm long (the above prices are for 700mm just to be safe) which leaves a nice 400mm or so travel.
    Do you really need 40cm travel? If you have some specific task in mind that needs it, do it, if not you are seriously weakening the machine for no good reason.

    If you are not stuck with 40cm, why not bring the gantry down a foot, then increase the separation on the pillow blocks so you can centre support the rail?

  5. Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    Yes you got the wrong end of the stick/blade there! :lol: I am intending to mill them horizontally. Near the hub, due to the twist on the blade, the Z distance is quite large. I'm intending to make a set of 3.2 meter (diameter) blades for a variable pitch wind turbine I've made. There are other things I want the big Z travel for, I just can't remember them at the moment!

    I've found some 160x80mm steel box section. There's 5mm, 6.3 and 8mm wall thickness available. I think the 5mm should be ok. No idea how much it costs or if I can buy less than a 7.5 meter length....

    http://www.steel-shop.co.uk/contentf...talogue(1).pdf
    (page 7 - I live very near to them but I've never actually been)
    Ah ok i see now... thats some serious machining you're planning! what material will these be made of (I know you said wood, but what type?). So each blade is 1.6m long approx by what at the root? the aspect ratio of a blade like that would be maybe 12:1 or more so the biggest cross-dimension is 135mm but I dont see that needs a 400mm travel. What am I missing?

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by irving2008 View Post
    Ah ok i see now... thats some serious machining you're planning! what material will these be made of (I know you said wood, but what type?). So each blade is 1.6m long approx by what at the root? the aspect ratio of a blade like that would be maybe 12:1 or more so the biggest cross-dimension is 135mm but I dont see that needs a 400mm travel. What am I missing?
    Ash would be nice, maybe pine ... depends what I can get hold of really! Either way it's not a hard material, and anything I make which is a hard material won't be more than say 75mm tall so I think the making two of the bearings moveable and supporting in the middle is the way to go. Doing it that way would surely be sturdier than if I'd designed for 75mm in the first place - it will just take a bit longer to set up.

    Here's one of my blade designs. This one was optimised for less Z axis travel but as you can see it's still quite a lot. The calculations show the root at an even steeper angle, and hence need a good Z travel. I agree this blade won't need 400mm, but I really don't want to be faffing trying to squeeze the blade into the available space!

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    The blade there is a 0.7m blade I made for a smaller with turbine. Plywood isn't so good...

    Do you think the 160x80x5mm box section will be sufficient?

  7. #27
    I've edited the drawing to include holes to mount the bearings further down when I want only 75mm travel:
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    The thing floating around is a support for the middle of the rail. I've designed it in two parts since that means I can fix it on without removing the bearings from the rails.

    I've not put the box section in yet. It's just occured to me that mounting the bearings to box section sturdily is going to be a lot more difficult! Would fixing the bearings to just one side be ok, or should I put a spacer inside the box section and use a long bolt?
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  8. #28
    Having now seen it fit so well on the mill I think you would be better for off building a VMC, but optimised for wood, 400mm z axis on linear rails bolted to a column would be be no problem. The other way to deal with the large Z axis you need is to fit a 4th axis and then rotate the blade to the tool, I've seen furniture machinces work like this.

    Are you going to be making a lot of these blades? if not it seems like you are building the machine to make a part but limiting other useage (hope that makes sense)

    nice work so far, is that your workshop?

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Ross77 View Post
    Having now seen it fit so well on the mill I think you would be better for off building a VMC, but optimised for wood, 400mm z axis on linear rails bolted to a column would be be no problem. The other way to deal with the large Z axis you need is to fit a 4th axis and then rotate the blade to the tool, I've seen furniture machinces work like this.
    Erm, it doesn't really fit so well on the mill. To do that 0.7m blade I had to do half of the length at a time on each side - so a total of 4 setups which is less than ideal since getting it aligned is a pain.

    4th axis...yes! I had that in mind. It's one reason I want a large Z travel to be able to fit a 4th axis, either directly to the Z axis or onto the base.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross77 View Post
    Are you going to be making a lot of these blades?
    Hopefully - I'm not sure. I would like to make them to sell however I'm not sure how much of a market there is.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ross77 View Post
    is that your workshop?
    Yep I've got that 'CLARKE CMD1225C' milling machine which I've converted to CNC, plus a Sieg C3 mini-lathe and pillar drill, bandsaw, wood lathe plus the big router we've been discussing all in a 20'x10' workshop! Space is limited to say the least. The workshop was originally intended for me and my dad, but I've kinda taken over a bit...

    Here's my latest plan for the Z-axis:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I've changed it so that the rails move and the bearing are stationary. This significantly reduces the weight / cost. The supports in the middle of the rail limit the travel to 75mm, so I'd remove them when I need the full travel. I guess I'll mount the stepper motor on the top of the slide - shame about the added moving mass there.
    The aluminium plates in that drawing are 15mm. I'm thinking I could make the bigger one 20mm thick, to better resist torsion, then *if necessary* add side pieces like in the previous design.

    So, do you think I should go ahead with this design, or spend another whole day designing :lol:?

  10. #30
    Jonathan
    Have you considered to make the bed rails adjustable at each corner? this way you could keep the 'Z' shorter and do the machining in stages? It would make t machine very flexible for different uses.Spacers or a wind up/ down mechanism could be done fairly easily.
    If the nagging gets really bad......Get a bigger shed:naughty:

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