Thread: Hello from Nottingham
That 3d printing is awesome. I didn't spot the vulcanising press or centrifuge in the background, but you obviously had a bargain. is your centifuge bob-weight or pneumatic clamping? By flatback I meant your moulds be two sided or just have the pattern in one part of the mould (hence flatback), but I can see they will be full 3d figures. Excellent. G.
Yeah it does a good job. Certainly been useful for my casting. In the first picture I posted, you can just see the side of the centrifugal machine, the press is just out of shot. Yeah I'll be making full 3d models. So both sides of the moulds will have details.
Just wanted to say that your 3D modelling is impressive! If you went anywhere near your local Warhammer club with those completed models, the locals may start to worship you as a minor deity.
Hehe, they aren't my sculpting skills, I get good sculptors to do them. I just print and cast.
Fair enough. A well cast piece can still be a challenge, especially with that level of detail and complexity, so I'm still impressed!
I started down the DIY injection tool path and I got a bit stuck. I got as far as cutting simple shapes with the tiny tooling but never quite figured out the software.
It's the tiny tooling that puts in the fine detail which I found tricky, once you get down to sub mm you have to creep along and pray. You can't see what is happening because you are pumping in so much cutting fluid to clear the "chips" and keep it cold.
I ended up with a modified Roland CAMM-3 but I'm not sure that is the tool for the job.
I got a severe attack of confidence before I understood the problem.
I presume you are planning to inject at the mould break line rather than use a sprue?
Have some links...
Blackburns Metals Limited - Mould Plate - Alumec
DMS-Diemould | Serving mouldmakers, moulders and diecasters worldwide
Thanks for the reply Robin,
Yeah its the tooling that has me most worried, i can see it being a steep learning curve!
I linked the machine above, would that be more suited? bearing in mind this machine will only be used for cutting aluminum 95x95mm plates.
Yeah the Arburg will be injecting at the mould break, im thinking of having an internal sprue on it. Its something ive goto research, but there isnt much information on the net.
Thanks for the links! I was going to use HASCO in germany for the mould blocks, but the DMS looks rather interesting, and do the size i need!
Like robin implied the Devil will be in the detail and if your after High detail like your models have shown then you'll need Small cutting tools run at very high speeds. The amount of cutting depth and step over of the tool is tiny other wise they snap like carrots also like Robin says you'll need very good cooling.
To be of any use time wise you'll need high feed rates and even then the Job cycle times can be high due to the tiny amount the cutters taking per pass or step over.
Now to minimise this you'll need to run highest feed rates possible and this is where I feel that machine will fail you has it's frame will just not be stiff enough to handle the high feed rates you'll need to achieve this to worth while standard.
Also it's linear components being lower quality Linear round rail to keep costs down (or Profit up.!!) are not designed for this level of detailed work and the accuracy just won't be there.
Also to get the best finish from ultra small tooling and tool life you'll need a very fast spindle with minimal run-out, 40,000rpm plus 60,000rpm is not uncommon on machines design for this level of detailed cutting.
The kress type spindle shown and designed for on this machine just isn't good enough in quality and duty cycle. To be honest for high quality finish will tiny tooling Even the Chinese WC type spindles are not best suited being limited to 24K rpm and while much better still only less than average run-out for this detailed level of cutting.
After looking at the renders/3d prints the Detail you are obviously looking for and used to achieving you won't achieve from this type machine.! . . . Even a milling machine while very stiff won't give you the spindle speeds you'll need.
My strong personal feeling is that you'll never be happy with low(-ish) cost off the shelf machines like the CNC Designs 2012.
So I'd say you'll be better off either building a custom machine that's very very stiff and built around your needs regards Spindle and resolution with quality components. . . . . OR . . . . Buy a dedicated machine designed for this level of miniature cutting.
( Search for Datron machines to give you some idea of what I mean.!!. . . . VERY VERY Expensive but designed just for this type of job.)
Building your own small machine to do this level of detail is very possible but not I'd say for someone with little experience or limited equipment/skills. It will require quality components and careful design with high level of build quality.
Compared to dedicated machines like Datron's it will be very cheap but still cost more than likes of 2012 machines because of the price of quality components needed. . . . . The spindle alone will probably cost the same has 2012 machine.!!!
Last edited by JAZZCNC; 15-08-2013 at 02:12 PM.
Thanks for the very insightful and detailed post jazzcnc.
So it is go big, or go home? That darton machine does look pretty amazing. What's the kind of price is involved with that?
The custom route seems the way to go, but as you say, its something for someone with a good background in machining and a sound knowledge in CNC machine. Of which I have neither :(.
I still think in the long run of things, getting the CNC machine will be cheaper than getting the moulds cut by a 3rd party time after time.
I guess time will be the teller. I still would love to do a CNC machine.
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