It's made more difficult due to the pipe being steel, if it was wood for example I would make a larger tube to go over it, this larger tube would have the required slots already cut in it then I would use a router with a guide bush to follow the slots while cutting the workpiece tube inside, if you follow my drift.
Last edited by EddyCurrent; 13-10-2014 at 06:56 PM.Spelling mistakes are not intentional, I only seem to see them some time after I've posted
Plasma is what you need. The forces to cut steel, even with Slot drill are much more than you probably realise if your suggesting to use Dremel type spindle.
The spindle will need to be slow spinning with plenty of torque. The Milling head will need to be very strong and clamp the pipe tight to handle the forces involved.
While Plasma cutter will cost more than spindle the cycle times for jobs will be much faster if you used plasma and the overall machine strength can be lot less as there are no cutting forces involved saving money on the build. These two things alone will outway the expense and pay back down the line.
No brainer to me Plasma is the way to do this.! . . . . . Just look around every machine doing this job uses Plasma or Laser.!!!
Last edited by JAZZCNC; 13-10-2014 at 08:02 PM.
I agree with Jazz. With a slot drill you'll need a couple of fixed steadies either side of the cutter and you would have to traverse a 6m bed, to machine a 3m length, which would have to be extremely rigid over its full length.
With plasma the work holding is much simpler, the workpiece is static in X supported on some v-rollers which are easy to fabricate, the lightweight plasma head moves in X along a 3m rail, probably using rack and pinion drive, so relatively easy and cheap to build.
Righteo. Yous are the boys with the experience, so I will take heed.
So my machine will still need to be 3 axis, right?
I do recognise that practically every other pipe profiling machine out there uses a plasma or laser. But as I am a rookie in this field I was simply making an assumption based on.. well nothing really.
So plasma it is.
What is the cheapest plasma cutter available, capable of cutting 5mm mild steel?
Sorry for not being around guys, I've been doing some research and a lot of re-designing of my product.
After the advice obtained from this forum, I've concluded that plasma cutter is the way forward.
My new machine will be required to cut the same type of slot as above, but on a standard chs post size of 139.7 x 10mm @ 1810mm long. So therefore as my post will be the same length, and diameter, I'm really only looking at a 2-axis machine.
Whilst I have been redesigning my product, I have also been gathering together some spare parts to make an a-axis. - which is why I am back on here for some advice.
So far I have a 125mm self centring chuck (which just about grips my work on the inside), with a 32mm solid bar spindle welded out the back of it, at a length of 185mm.
I have two bearings with square housing which I will bolt to the opposite ends of a box section casing. (Each to the sides of 10mm plate, which is welded to the 120mm box section.)
The next part is where I need the help. I'm lead to believe I will need a Nema 23 stepper to rotate this chuck and work piece (post)?
The chuck and spindle weighs about 10kgs and the post weighs approx 58 kgs, although the majority of its weight will be supported using ball bearing rollers. Speed does not need to be fast.
As for the drive type, im not sure whether to go for a belt and pulley system or chain and sprocket?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again for your time guys.
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