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  1. #1
    Hi everyone, I am new to the forum and in the process of designing a cnc router. By looking at a lot of build posts and designs it seems to me, that the best way to start the design process is to first have the measurements of all the components I intend to use. In my case the starting point is a cutting bit that I will need to use that has the measurements of 250 mm long (outside the chuck) and 22 mm diameter. I would appreciate any help to find a spindle that meets my requirements.


  2. #2
    Hello there again,

    I have done some research and I have concluded that I need a spindle with an ER32 chuck and Maritools in the us sells a special collet that is 7/8 for ER32 that is exactly what I need.

    If anyone knows a supplier here in the UK that sells those collets please let me know as that would save me a bit on shipping costs and would be great to have a local supplier in case I need replacements. So far I did not managed to find anyone in the Uk.

    I have been looking at the air cooled Chinese spindles like this one:

    If anyone has experience with those please let me know your thoughts.

    I have also found this one and I am leaning towards this one as at least has a brand name :)

    Also this video is quite convincing as the Chinese ones seem to have more like a 0.1 run out and not what they claim.

    At least now I know that I should be counting on 15 - 20 kg for the spindle.

    My working envelope needs to be at least 1100 x 600 x 260 mm and on the Z a 250 mm end mill needs to be able to be lift it above the material block. For this I might make a system where I can remove the spindle and reposition it higher when I use the long end mill and lower when using shorter ones.

    This CNC will be doing one thing and one thing only ...will be carving ice inside a freezer. There won't be any water as it will be kept at -5 at all times.

    Ice is a lot softer than wood but harder than polystyrene. To make you understand it easier when I carve by hand I use a makita GD600 400W

    And with this tool and a 100mm x 9mm end mill I can go to full depth and make strokes in the ice. Although I usually do this in two 50mm strokes.

    This is what is available on the market, but I don't like it as is not capable to work with the 250 mm long end mill I am planning to use plus I think is way overpriced.

    So with all this info my next step is to decide what diameter and pitch ball - screws to use and what size stepper motors as when I start making the 3d model would be great to know the sizes.
    I see is often recommended to use a belt to drive the ball-screw instead of direct drive, but I dont think that is an option for me as belts and cold don't play well.
    My table needs to be steel as although ice is soft is extremely heavy around 150 kg / block.

    I think with this size spindle the gentry should be box section steel as well.

    I will be doing a lot of 3d work with this cnc and needs to be fest.

    I quite like this one but unfortunately is not finished yet:

    I am new to all this and any input and suggestions would be greatly appreciated to get me on my way.

    Thanks for taking the time to read.

    You can see some of the type of work I do here:


  3. #3
    Hi Your Ice sculptures are very nice but do you realise how long Large detailed 3D toolpaths can take.? Air cooled spindles have short duty cycles (the time they can run in one go) and Even at -5 I don't think they will run constantly for the length of time you'll need to cut a large detailed Ice sculpture.?

    I would be looking at how long your Models will take to cut and if the spindle will run this long without needing a rest period.? @ -5 it may not be overly long but still you'll need to factor it into the Job and possibly how you toolpath the Job.!

  4. #4
    What about water cooled spindle with some strong antifreeze?
    CNC routing and prototyping services


  5. #5
    I suspect that the spindle bearings/lube may not be too happy ay in a -5 environment. G.

  6. #6
    Hi Jazz and Gav

    Thanks for your suggestions I will definitely consider them, but to make it more clear I don't intend to use the cnc to finish the job all the way in 3D as I like to apply my personal touches plus since it is just 3 axes I would have to work on them anyway. I would need just a roughing step most of the time with my largest end mill since the material is quite soft and easy to finish by hand. Most important is that the whole thing is nice and square as often times I use a large amount of blocks. I am talking here about 1.5 tons of ice sometime.

  7. #7
    Sorry got logged out earlier.

    At one of the places I work at we have a 4.5 kw Perske spindle and it has been running for years now although it was used just for 2d work well time will tel.
    But here is an example of something that would already make my happy and in fact it was done this way:

    Here is the 3d model that I have made :

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    This is how it all fit into the blocks:
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    And basically I have only did two passes on each block like this:
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    Each of the passes went in 125 mm. The line across is for alignment basically just a scratch so I know how to align it with the next block.

    And when the whole thing was assembled it was finished by hand.

    Here is a video I have made earlier of how this works. This was for a pitch for a PlayStation game lunch:

    So basically as you see it in the video the whole thing has to fit together as a puzzle and that is the most important for me the rest only needs roughing.

    The antifreeze idea is interesting I will definitely look into that. Would that allow me to use the spindle a lot longer?

    Any idea on what size ball-screws and steppers to use?

    I am planing to use Hwin rails on each axes.

    Thanks again for the suggestions finally I can fill this thing rolling :)
    Last edited by HipoPapi; 21-06-2014 at 06:09 PM.

  8. #8
    Erm your a talented Man and I would love to meet the Model riding that beast. . Lol

    Don't worry about what ballscrews and motors yet because you have much more to do before you'll need to know that.? First you need a machine size/design and then choose material to build it from which will be needed to answer your ballscrew and motor question. When you have setteled on a size and design then you can choose the screws and motors to suit it.
    Worst thing you can do is go buying blind before doing the home work. Just like you plan the Ice sculptures and they have a process how they go together in order building a CNC machine is same there's an order to build it in.? Starting with design again like your Sculpture's.!!

  9. #9
    Thank you for your kind words and suggestions Jazz they do make a lot of sense. I guess is time to start drawing and modeling so we have something to talk about :)
    Thanks again and have a great evening.

  10. #10
    Also if there is anyone in London who has built or in the process of building a still frame or in fact any kind of cnc and would be willing to show me his project I promise to brig the Guinness :)
    I am part of the London 3d printer group, but unable to find any cnc related meetup groups.

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