Also being one of the new members, thought I would post here as well. My main interest is in making model gliders which I usually do from carbon and fiberglass, this involves making moulds for the fuselages but have up until now cut out wing cores from foam and laminated them in a vacuum bag. Have made a cnc foam hotwire cutter to get better foam cores but still not happy with the leading edges and want more elliptical shaped wing tips for improved performance, so next step is to make moulds for the wings. A popular way to do this is to mill mdf patterns for the top and bottom surface of the wing moulds, flood with epoxy, sand smooth and polish before laying up the mould halves. I will probably make a couple of new moulds a year and am looking into the viability of making a cnc router for this purpose. I have no skills or machinery to work metal but good with hand and powered carpentry tools, (carpenter by trade) so this points towards a mdf build. The machine needs to be fairly long in x axis to at least make a 2m wing in two halves though have a corner of the workshop that would take up to 1.52m overall, so would like to keep my options open for larger wings. The y axis is not so important, at least for making wings, and would be happy with around 500-600mm cutting capacity. Because of the long x axis presume supported rails are the only way to go and costing it all out am beginning to wonder if I want to go down this route, as it seems the machine building could take over from the hobby I want it for, both in costs and time. This is about as far as my research has got to by looking up the basic stuff and getting some idea of what I need but do have a couple of questions:
Could anyone give me a rough idea of costs to get mdf wing panels machined from supplied stl files, lets say four parts 1m long and 220mm average width as I am undecided on if I actually need my own machine or not. The other thing that I am not really understanding is the effectiveness of skate bearings for linear slides, seen lots of plans for small machines using them to keep costs down and like the idea of using them on my machine to start with, but would they work well enough for accurate 3d cutting of my mdf wing panels?
Have to agree with TheChunk - many people will have an interest in CNC, but lack of time / ££ / motivation / space restricts building and using these machines. For me anyway, lack of space is a problem; no garage, shed or loft means any machine would have to go in living quarters / bedroom. Being in an upstairs flat doesn't help either...
Other posts relating to "being able to contribute something useful" is also true. I personally come on occasionally mostly to see what's new on the site.
FWIW, and as a new-ish member my interest in CNC comes from previous employment in the engineering industry (trained as fitter / toolmaker, and trained in manual milling / turning), and I'll admit my interest is largely in "commercial" machinery (which is generally too big and clumsy for an average home user) and engineering in general.
It's been that long since I've been on here, I could almost pass a newcommer :-/
My harrison mill is still where it was about 18months ago, but I'm back on here, because after a chance meeting at the weekend, I'm going to collect a new toy this weekend, which means I should have some functional CNC capability sooner rather than later!
well I'm new in fact so new to all this I bought 2 machines from a very nice man in Wales and build my garage into a workshop with the sizes given for the machines and never knew they came with the control boxes lol so now have to rebuild tha garage to fit them as well. So for now I have a cnc lathe and milling machine that I can not use lol now that is frustrating but with a little help from my friends I will get there.