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  1. #1
    Hey guys,

    Ive decided to bite the bullet and build a CNC PVC pipe profiling machine. Apart from owning my own company refurbishing commercial steel swimming pool filters i also manufacture the drainage systems that are installed in the bottom of these vessels.

    These systems collect the water after its been through the filtration process and send it back to the pool.

    Rather than sit by a Drill press all day i would like to make something semi automatic to allow me to continue with other things whilst the machine is doing its job, then once that has finished insert another pipe and send it on its way.... well that's my plan anyway!

    The machine will be 3000mm long to incorporate the longest size i do with a little more to spare. At first i will create a frame big enough to handle my most popular at 50"


    What would i like the machine to do?

    I would like to set the machine away to complete a number of 75mm holes along the datum of the pipe, then by either rotating the pipe manually of by means of a stepper.

    the bit that will hold the pipe will be a chuck at one end, big enough to adjust to 220mm pipe. and at the other end some sort of cone shaped blank that will have grooves cut out to the ID of the pipes that will be fitted.

    This my no means will be a short build or build thread, but i thought i would share it with you guys as you may be interested and also to help you guys spur me on, as i tend to get bored and loose interest with long builds lol

    Budget is a minimum unfortunately, with plans to upgrade as i go on.

    my solidworks skills are limited guys so please bare with me.


    so for starters we have the gantry... i will be working a little more on it today along with the frame
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  2. #2
    ok this ill give you an idea what im trying to achieve
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  3. are you planning to mill the holes or use a hole saw? the latter could simplify things and reduce the need for high rigidity at the expense of potentially needing tool changes if there are variable hole sizes. obviously you couldnt do rectangular cutouts.

    Also I'd consider mounting the spindle horizontally on a sliding carrier rather than a gantry (think lathe toolholder) so it drills in from the side. easier to make it rigid for large diameter workpieces.

    Do you need a chuck? one with internal jaws that expands to 220mm is going to be heavy and expensive, although i realise you wont be spinning it at any speed. Why not use a stepped cone each end with a screw-down clamp (big jubilee clip maybe?)

    The back of the cone could have index holes to manually lock it against a static support at 60 & 90 degree steps. you could add stepper later if you wanted.
    Last edited by irving2008; 23-08-2013 at 11:49 AM.

  4. #4
    Thanks for your input buddy,

    I plan on routing the holes due to wanting it automatic, and understand that a longer bit would be needed.

    To mount the spindle on the side wouldn't give me what I require as when routing the holes the pipe would need to spin which would leave a chamfer on the inside of the holes, and that wouldn't enable me to slide a socket into them.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by D-man View Post
    Thanks for your input buddy,

    I plan on routing the holes due to wanting it automatic, and understand that a longer bit would be needed.

    To mount the spindle on the side wouldn't give me what I require as when routing the holes the pipe would need to spin which would leave a chamfer on the inside of the holes, and that wouldn't enable me to slide a socket into them.
    OK, Fair point, but you can still achieve that result by having a short 'z' axis on the side saddle. I reckon it'll be a lot easier to get that rigid than a gantry approach.

  6. #6
    Really? Now you are testing me with solidworks I've only just learnt this bit hahaha

  7. Here's my thinking... To handle 3m length on X with a 500mm wide gantry (to allow for a 220mm wide cutting area) you're going to need to use a fairly heavy ballscrew or go for a belt drive. Either the gantry sides are going to be tall to accommodate the 220mm workpiece+the tool length or your going to have to raise the workpiece manually. The actual required Z motion is small, the max wall thickness of the tube.

    By making the X run alongside the workpiece the saddle will be much lighter and relatively narrow. The workpiece supports can then be made to manually move horizontally to handle different diameters, much easier than doing it vertically. The Y axis is then only the cutting depth of the spindle in and out of the work and Z only needs to raise/lower the horizontally mounted spindle 220mm or so. All in all much easier to make and much more rigid for a lower weight.

  8. #8
    how would you plan to mount the spindle, surly its then going to be a wide machine?

  9. #9
    why not make a small machine that has steppers connected to U shape wheels,

    the wheels would have to be grippy and preloaded with come springs but it's be cheap, and then you could do pipes of infinite length.
    Last edited by jcb121; 23-08-2013 at 02:46 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jcb121 View Post
    why not make a small machine that has steppers connected to U shape wheels,

    the wheels would have to be grippy and preloaded with come springs but it's be cheap, and then you could do pipes of infinite length.
    Sorry i dont follow..? if im correct i would need an infinite workshop to haha

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