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  1. #21
    Thats a good idea by over hanging the X rails. I guess you could also have a removable section in the centre of the bed to do the same thing, but will obviously limit the size of the material that is being cut. May take the idea up and incorporate it into my design. What length overhang would you say? diagonal supports could be added for a bit more strength too.
    Im debating over the Z axis travel now too. i originally stated 300mm, what is the norm? or will it be best to go with less around 200mm. I will be mainly profiling, but will occasionally mill in 3D (modelling foam), if pocketing im guessing the depth of Z travel will be restricted by the tool length?

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Danielroyal25 View Post
    Im debating over the Z axis travel now too. i originally stated 300mm, what is the norm? or will it be best to go with less around 200mm. I will be mainly profiling, but will occasionally mill in 3D (modelling foam), if pocketing im guessing the depth of Z travel will be restricted by the tool length?
    Make the Z-axis as small as you can afford to without compromising what you want to make. It is far easier to design a machine with a short Z-axis since the overhang is less, so the torque applied to the gantry, and hence in general the forces are lower.
    Old router build log here. New router build log here. Lathe build log here.
    Electric motorbike project here.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Danielroyal25 View Post
    What length overhang would you say?
    Depends on other factors like the gantry design, bearing separation and Z axis etc but you don't need much has unless you create an offset gantry then the tool naturely tends to overhang pass the bearings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danielroyal25 View Post
    Im debating over the Z axis travel now too. i originally stated 300mm, what is the norm? or will it be best to go with less around 200mm.
    I've never needed or built over 200m in any Z axis. Like Jonathan says just enough for your needs and no more. The adjustable bed takes the need for long Z axis away in most cases and Jonathan has quite a long Z axis but I bet he rarely has need for it.? . . Other than being too lazy to lift the Bed.!

    Tooling length will be a limiting factor and while you can buy long tooling it often costs a fortune and requires large spindle collets. You'' be hard pressed to find longer than 200mm flute cutters with less than 12.5mm shank sizes that routers or common ER20 spindles take and even then you probably find the price prohibiting.!!

  4. #24
    I,m building a machine as Jazz knows, that is able to take a half sheet ie 1220mm x 1220mm. My x is going to be 1700mm, y is going to be in the region of 1670mm/1700mm, and z will be finalised nearer the time, but will have travel of 100mm. The sides of my table will 250mm high, and the removable table will be sitting 100mm down from the top of the sides. When i have my 200mm material on the machine, my z travel is going to be in the region of 50mm (nothing is finalised at the moment apart from the table design). When i have thinner material on the machine, and the removable table is fitted, again, the travel will be 100mm. I,m hopeful that this will be in keeping with the strength of the machine, which i,m sure it will be. i,m looking at using 350mm of the over hang for the 4th axis. The way i,m doing as advised, is to keep it out the way of normal table operation, and this design is going to do just that. Just need to get the bloody workshop built, hopefully this weekend, now that the snow is away AGAIN.

  5. #25
    Should hopefully have a few more images up tomorrow as I will be working on the cad model.
    Have changed the set up of the gantry rails so they are aligned vertically as advised, think I will mount the y ball screw at the rear of the gantry as I can get the spindle closer to the y axis and the ballscrew will be partially enclosed reducing exposure to cut material etc.
    thanks for the info Alex, had a read through your log, do you have any images? Sounds like you will be busy setting up your workshop and machine.
    I was thinking of whether to get a 4 axis controller so there is the possibility to expand in the future but heard the cam software is pretty pricey? Don't know whether to just get the 3 axis for now, depends on the difference in cost.
    in terms of x rail position, is it best to align them with the supported rails (height wise)? Will hopefully have these mocked up in the cad model for comments.

  6. #26
    I'm using the photos jazz has shown you, but with a few tweeks. I don't have any photos but will start soon. This weekend will see me build my workshop, and then it's all systems go. Although I want to get cracked on, I'm well aware for the need to be accurate throughout, so will be taking things easy, so that the errors are kept to a minimum. I will be seeking advice from jazz, no disrespect to anyone else, but by maintaining a one to one with one person, is going to save me some grey hairs due to getting mixed up with too much info. I'll keep you posted on my progress, and good luck with yours.

  7. #27
    Should have some pics up by next weekend, got some done on the model but still needs a bit more work pre comments. Probably a bit early to discuss but could someone give me a rough guide on machining costs for 20mm thick alu plate for the z axis and y sides. Will be able to to get some sizes up soon. When the parts are ready for machining I can provide cad models or detail drawings. Let me know if I have any volunteers (also would be nice to see a few bits being machined in person).
    Also when fixing the plates together are they normally just drilled and tapped? The fixings will be going into the side of the plate, will this make it difficult to set up to drill accurately?
    Last edited by Danielroyal25; 09-02-2013 at 07:24 PM. Reason: Additional question

  8. #28
    Hi, I'm reading this part of the conversation about the long z axis with interest as i'm in the process of making a 1250 x 1250 with 500mm travel on the z axis. its designed specifically to cut deep styrene foam sheets where there is less resistance.

    Where is a good source for long fluted cuttters like the ones your talking about and is it possible to buy a 1/8 to 1/2 shank adapter to take 1/2 cutters?

  9. #29
    Been a bit busy with work and jobs around the house so have not got much more done yet. I have been looking at the costs of materials and may be a bit pricey to use aluminium t slot extrusion on the machine.
    i am looking at aluminium box section 60x60x4 for the frame and 120x60x4 (2x L shape config) for the gantry. Is there much difference in strength / deflection using box compared to the t slot ext and how does it deal with resonance? What materials are generally used to dampen if it is needed?

  10. #30
    Hi, here are a few more screen shots of the model. Done a lot of work on it, but still a few more hours to go... Please let me know your thoughts as i would much rather make the changes now than down the line. I have still got to add diagonals / gussets onto the frame to strengthen it up. What are peoples thoughts on the X pulley set up (i have left the cross bar unsupported so material can be slid through), ways to mount X ball screws and set up of motor / pulleys on Y axis?Click image for larger version. 

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