So it looks like my gears that I am cutting on my DIY mill are becoming more popular and I need to find ways to machine quicker / better. Currently the bane of my life with cutting gears is the changing of bits and that I am using a Kress with not the best runout values (and not enough speed control).
Please suggest me something that is decent, not too big but still powerful enough (I mainly cut plastics and brass) - but that has the ability to have 4-5 bits assigned that can be automatically changed and autoleveled ready for cutting without my interaction needed ...
Honest answer is there isn't any sensible priced ATC spindles available. If your wanting to get away from the Kress and still keep it small then your really really limited on options.
Even if you do happen to find ATC spindle then expect to pay big bucks, minimum £1000 just for cartridge type which still needs motor and inverter/speed control.
There's a guy over on CNC zone trying to do this with BT20 tool holders and think he's got some kick starter scheme thing going trying to do these at sensible money but it's just cartridge type and will still need motor/inverter and will be £1000 + area.!!
Really if you can live with the Kress then possibly best option is to go fro something like this below and for speed control then use something like Super PID. You'll still be in the £1000 minimum area which ever way you go.!!
Sorotec - Tool Changer for Kress
Other than this then expect big money and much larger size spindle.!
Last edited by JAZZCNC; 01-08-2013 at 02:19 PM.
Must Point out thou it's not exactly small spindle being 105mm dia and nearly 5Kg. That's over twice weight of Kress and much fatter. Also that's without weight of the ATC so another 1Kg. That's nearly 3 times weight your Z axis carry's now so expect either lower speeds or even upgrading motor/drive.?
PLUS the ATC restricts you to ER11 collets and back to 8mm max tooling so all your gaining from spindle is better speed control and bit more power.
Other than these things it looks a quality unit and should make a decent setup for small machine.
Perhaps the answer is either stay with Kress and get the ATC or go for the Chinese spindles and try and make an ATC ..... surely someone has done an ATC for the Chinese Spindles?
If your serious then I'd look on Alibaba for spindle company's in China and send an email requesting quote, Reckon you'll get something proper with full ATC with ER20-25 size collets for around the £2K.? Again minimum speeds will be high has they tend to be router spindles not milling.
Last edited by JAZZCNC; 01-08-2013 at 04:29 PM.
Thanks - am starting to look at other methods to machine these - bought a small lathe - might be able to take the gears down to a certain size and then mill the teeth. The semi circle gears however need a lot of work and need a few changes made to the tooling during a cut. I dont want to move the part once it gets machined - I struggle to get them back to where they were with the correct precision - perhaps I need to look at that again, biggest issue I have is stock holding and placement - main issue anyways.
Fixture jigs using precision dowl pins are very accurate and repeatable if done correctly. Without knowing your machine and it's cutting area it's hard to say but to give an idea of what I mean to help improve productivity you could do this.
Say you want to cut 12 parts all the same but only have room for 3 on table then make 4 identical fixture plates that align to the same dowl pins or holes on the bed with 3 parts on each fixture.
Now simply cut all with first tool removing and adding each fixture plate then start again with next tool and replace fixture plates. Do this for each tool and you'll have 12 parts done in no time with minimal tool changes.
If care is taken when making fixture plates your parts will always be exactly back in correct alignment to high repeatability has they where never actually removed from the fixture until finished.
Last edited by JAZZCNC; 01-08-2013 at 07:29 PM.
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