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  1. #1
    Iím not much of an engineer but I have been in IT for over 20 years, and I can use auto cad and 3dmax so I thought I would buy a pre-built CNC Miller instead. I would really love the time to make my own but I just donít have enough.

    I opted for this one,
    Black Cat CNC Machine 300x200mm cut area. UK Support / Warranty | eBay

    I have been browsing the internet and forums researching as much as I can, and it seems that this was just the right size for the room I have to work and also for what I need it for, which is mainly small headphone amplifier enclosureís although I do want to make some high quality desktop speakers with it as well. A new one was well over a grand and I didnít want to buy from China. They also have 12 months warranty on everything but the spindle. This one as it says has a fault, in the bed is slightly out; I will have to work with the forum to get that corrected. Now I have to start to learn.

  2. #2
    I think there was an earlier post on these machines maybe around last week sometime and it was thought that these might be re-badged chinese machines.
    Any way I would say that the "slightly out" bed is rather a lot out. It looks like several mm side to side and possibly running out front to back from the photo. This could be a pain to fix depending on the way the table is built but you will need to get it home first and have a good look at it.

  3. #3
    Personally I think you have a bargain.

    The total cost is less than the sum of all the parts plus at least it's together and working after a fashion.
    Worse scenario is mill a sacrificial bed flat and then anything that goes on that bed will be flat.

    Simples.
    John S -

  4. #4
    jesus! you dont mess about!

    im not familiar with NCStudio CNC software... iv no idea how embeded in your hardware it is or if you would have the option to use mach3 as your machine driver should the need arise?

    it looks to be an all in one type software and may well cover all the ground you wish to cover... i guess we will find out soon enough
    when are you expecting it to land at yours?

  5. #5
    I'll be very interested to hear what the electronic are like. Please keep us informed; good, bad or ugly.

  6. #6
    Well I'm hoping ( fingers crossed) that I can convert the parralel to USB with one of these

    CPC

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Then I can use other software as well as the one supplied, of course I may need another controller box ,I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
    Mark I hope it will be here by next week they quote 2-4 working days. Hopefully when I get the machine I can strip out the table and try to find out why its offset and if I can do that I might be able to fix it, if not at the back of house is an massive engineering shop for BAe systems and I have a friend who works there.. maybe a skim job? as you said or it may turn out to be something simple.. who knows , I'll let you know as thing progress :)
    My dad was a tool maker many moons ago ( when computers filled rooms not watches) , dont think he can help me with the computer side but might help me with the engineering.. bugger he will want to use it all the time now I bet lol !

  7. #7
    Just as a query .. I take it that being liquid cooled means the spindle and not gushing water over the tool ? Also if anyone can answer this, and yes it may be a silly question but how do they put the letting on the face plates .. i was thinking of etching them then filling with paint but is there a tool for the miller ? BTW theres money to be made making these custom plates for people, one of the reasons I invested in a miller, to do the one below as a "one off" would have cost me close to £100.. now they sell for less than £6 plus postage .. but back before mass production to get one made so I could mould it would have been very expensive.

    example :

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  8. #8
    iv had a quick scan and it looks like some people are using some form of fanuc with your setup so im optomistic that you should be able to use other cad/cam packages to create your code if the need arises (without the need for the usb... i dont think the one you have linked would work for cnc...it takes an exotic bit of hardware/sofware to cnc through usb)
    you need a Parallel Port/printer port (old computer that has one or add a pci Parallel Port card to your pc if its not got one)

    if your dad gets to use it you can twist his arm to cough up for some tooling :)
    (ebay/china)pack of 3.175mm carbide single flutes and a couple of 6mm carbide single flute cutters will see you through most general machining adventures

  9. #9
    yes, the spindle is water cooled.
    and yes it may be a silly question but how do they put the letting on the face plates
    im guessing that plate has been etched, mayber with a lazor?
    it would take quite a bit of effort to machine it with the diffrent size/thickness of fonts

    if you tacticaly designed a line drawing decal you could easily drag engrave your plates add a touch of paint then burnish it clean?
    a simple spring loaded drag engraver it pretty easy to make if you can get to a lathe?

  10. Quote Originally Posted by Fivetide View Post
    Just as a query .. I take it that being liquid cooled means the spindle and not gushing water over the tool ? Also if anyone can answer this, and yes it may be a silly question but how do they put the letting on the face plates .. i was thinking of etching them then filling with paint but is there a tool for the miller ? BTW theres money to be made making these custom plates for people, one of the reasons I invested in a miller, to do the one below as a "one off" would have cost me close to £100.. now they sell for less than £6 plus postage .. but back before mass production to get one made so I could mould it would have been very expensive.

    example :

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yes, its the spindle thats water cooled. there's no option for coolant on that machine, but when cutting ali a garden spray bottle filling with cutting fluid and the occassional squirt is all thats needed... or a compressed air blast works too. Depends on cutting speed/material/etc.

    When I used to do faceplates like that in the past we had these approaches...

    prototypes: letraset and lacquer

    short/medium run: Screen printed or photostencil, etch and paint-fill. For ali panels, photoresist, etch and anodize was also an option.

    medium/large run: screen printed or die punched. Tho milled/paint-filled was used on occassion for equipment that would take a battering or where the panel was too thick for die punching - usually military stuff where cost was less an issue and the paint-fill could be redone in the field.

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