Thread: Cutting metal shapes
This is my first post here so please be gentle ;)
What I would like to do is cut small shapes from metal plates, mostly aluminium but at lower grades like 1050 and about 16gauge / 1.4mm thick as it would be used for jewellery.
It would be small designs and shapes, circles stars etc on average about 1" diameter.
Now I thought I found the perfect machine with a cheap Chinese cnc router but after a fair bit of reading it would seem that it's not the best machine for the job on softer metals.
Is there a machine out there that would be suitable for this? Have a budget of about 2-3000.
Thanks very much
Hello and wellcome to the site. I think that you will find that a small, but rigid cnc mill will be better than a router and there will certainly be some used (already converted) machines available within your budget. good luck with your search. G.
Last edited by GEOFFREY; 24-11-2013 at 10:24 AM.
The Chinese CNC routers you see on eBay are fine for the engraving, but they would take a long time to cut out the part. If you're making lots of these then you want a better machine. If it's just a few here and there then go for it...
so how on earth do people cut stuff like this from thin 1000 series aluminium
Aluminum Metal Blanks 20 Gauge Hearts for Hand Stamped Jewelry 20mm | eBay
5 Metal Stamping Blanks 20 Gauge Aluminum Washers for Hand Stamped Jewelry 3 4" | eBay
Aluminum Metal Blanks 20 Gauge 1 2" Blanks for Hand Stamped Jewelry | eBay
If you were really posh you could also have press tooling trim off the waste from the previous part, along with a back guide and an end stop the work would then be self-aligning in the press ;-)
Can i do it on a machine for under 2k?
the largest i would need to stamp is maybe 3" (if that)
I think this is currently the cheapest on ebay that includes delivery, seeing as you are well North.
J Nielson No 2A Deep Throat Fly Press c/w 2 Weights | eBay
Then you could use the spare 1.85k to get some tooling made
If you could stretch your budget there's this
sheet metal punch presses-in Punching Machine from Industry & Business on Aliexpress.com
Edit: Axminster have some nice little mills that you could maybe convert to cnc
Last edited by EddyCurrent; 24-11-2013 at 11:59 AM.
But you'll have to shop around ;-)
I picked up a nice but slightly problematic ex-educational mill that had already been converted for Mach3 for £650.
Replacing the DC motor & drive with a 3phase motor and drive plus some limit switches brought it up to £900, add a license for Mach3 and 4-Axis Standard BobCad/Cam V25 and it runs over your budget by a few hundred, but for what you want to do I'm sure there's some free or very cheap 2/2.5D Cad/Cam that would leave you space in your budget for a nice fly press - my No.3 cost me £80 from a local engineering tool dealer - he had around 20 in stock and I waved pound notes under his nose ;-) .
Last edited by magicniner; 24-11-2013 at 11:46 AM.
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