I know water is great for cutting thick materials; a friend of my Dad works (oops, worked) at an industrial kitchen makers, and they cut 100mm work tops. That said, I've seen some slightly rough edges on water-cut stainless plate I once got done (free of charge admittedly). It almost looked like the contour was plunge cut without enough swathe.
I also just want to say thank you to the people who have contributed to my thread! I keep getting told I need to use stronger, faster, better parts but at least I am also avoiding some big mistakes. I think perhaps part of the problem for me is that I got a CNC3040 and figured it is easy enough to scale up, but most of the things they have done in that machine don't work on a bigger scale. I think I also have a loose wallet as I don't have a set budget and I think of this machine as a business investment since I design and make speakers.
Just curious, how many of you like good stereos? Not to be rude, but most of the machinists I have met don't seem to worry about wearing hearing protection even though they work in very noisy places. Please protect your hearing, it's not girly!
I've just had a quick look and actually steel box section is more pricey than the alu profile, though not including connectors. I was going to buy from this place http://www.valuframe.co.uk/Valuframe...t 27-02-12.pdf
Even more interesting, it is cheaper to cover the entire bed with 30x30mm profile than 16x160mm.
P.S. Would a mod please move this to the DIY section ;)
Last edited by Tenson; 27-03-2012 at 08:41 PM.
Water jetting leaves a edge slightly angled so it's no good for pieces that need 90deg joining to others like bearing blocks to gantry sides or the Z axis etc.
Sorry I don't know my local steel merchants. I looked on Google and the first on-line retailer I found sells 30x30mm mild steel box section at £8.30/meter, and the next sells 30x30mm stainless box at £18/meter.
Alu 30x30mm profile is £6.55/meter.
Looking a bit deeper I foun mild steel for £5/meter. Is mild steel suitable or should I be looking for 'engineering steel'?
Thanks for the advice on water-jet. A shame, as most precision engineers seem uninterested in small one off jobs. I worked shortly with a local one who did a bad job and our relationship went bad when I expected them to make it good. I've emailed a few online guys and they tend not to respond for small jobs.
Yes mild steel is what you want and you will find it a lot cheaper if look for a steel stockist. 7.5mtr is standard length for steel section and it's often sold and priced per length.
Post what you want making on here I'm sure someone will help you out, unfortunatly I can't offer as I'm commited to other people and only so many hours in a day.
Digressing just a little.
As steel is more suitable and lower cost than ali profile why don't we see more low end commercial machines made from it? The only ones I know of are these sexy beasts http://translate.googleusercontent.c...Zrb3V7vkmqihcw , looks more like pressed thin sheet than welded box section :( So, is it tooling costs? Assembly and finishing costs? Weight? The price of paint? Or have we all become victims of the profile looks sexy fashion cult?
I knew you'd get the bug. The 3020 looks like good training wheels but I'd ignore everything about its construction if your wanting to making a decent machine. They're notoriously shite in general and the principles used are barely suited to its own small frame let alone once scaled up.
I think I already mentioned it to you over on DIYA but I bought a 'commercial' 4x4ft machine from a supplier here in the UK. Its been eventful and to be honest I wish I'd built my own now. Its really not that difficult with that right tools and a helping hand from folks on here. Of course I wanted to be up and running quickly so thought an off the shelf solution would be best. That was December and 4 months on I still haven't cut a single useful part yet. Annoying but around £5.5k lighter in pocket I'm almost ready to go. I hate to think what that money would have bought if I'd DIY'd.
Good luck with the machine. If you listen to the folks like Jazz then you won't go far wrong.
PS. Since your building this can't you go with a larger bed? I'd say 4x4ft is the minimum for cabinet work otherwise you'll be swapping sheets in and out as often as you change undies. 4x4 also has the advantage of taking a standard sheet without cutting. I would have liked an 8x4ft really but that would take up most of the workshop. Interestingly you might want to consider wall mounting or making a vertical frame to get the bed size up and the floor space back.
Don't forget about your choice of spindle too. I know its early days and you haven't even drawn up plans for the construction yet but I'd recommending avoiding regular routers, even the larger one's. I went with one of these types and quickly swapped to a 3hp water cooler spindle with vfd. These are around £250-350(inc del) from china via ebay and can vary in quality depending on the seller. Check out linearmotion_2008, he seems to sell the better models. If you prefer to buy from the UK then CNC4you have the same model for £369
Alu profile just needs cut, bolted together with suitable brackets, and with a bit care you have a pretty accurate machine.
Steel needs cut (more expensive/time consuming to do accurately than cutting alu), joined, be that via welding or drilling and brackets, which both take longer than doing similar with alu profile. If welded, you then have to deal with distortion.
Plus alu profile is also more accurate out the box so to speak, as extrusions are usually accurate within a thou, unlike steel which can vary quite a bit.
I've used alu profile for frames before, and cost wise it is more expensive, but takes less time to assemble, and for what I used it for, resulted in a lighter stiffer frame than using steel. Plus it looks cool ;)
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