New to this forum and happy to answer any questions about myself or why I want a cnc machine!
But the big question from me is:
What do people think of this???
Looking for anything you think about it - and mainly what you think of its capabilities for Aluminium and harder ferrous metals.
Ill include a sample image of the sort of thing Id like to produce with it - mainly looking at prototyping things with small, quite complex cuts that I believe a 5-axis machine will enable me to do (like phillips screwdrivers and 0.5mm slots.)
Thanks in advance!
the electronics on that machine is 100% junk ... sorry thats just my feeling :S ive had the same controller and it simply didn't work
i cant figure out what that part is you making ?
Agreed. Would not waste 1p on it.
Hmm, that was my concern. But hardware wise - would it be ok? Could I put a different control unit in there? (how? haha)
That particular thing isn't a part at all. It was a concept for a cycling multi-tool - spanners and a single screwdriver. Having not made it I would imagine it was flawed due to the thin walls on the spanners, but thats beside the point. Its pleasing to the eye and a good test for the mill because of the angles and the intricacy of the screwdriver tip. Im sure it would be do-able on a 3-axis. I just think i need a 4-axis at least for my actual products.
If you like it ill send you one once I have the damn mill :P
Sorry, double post. Cant figure out how to delete it.
Last edited by Joshi; 21-09-2015 at 07:28 PM.
For aluminum you may be able to build a small 5 axis machine from $10000 upwards - for steel at least double that number.
But mechanics are only one issue - software is another:
- "Cheap" 5 axis software starts at about $5000 (I'm not joking).
- Even if you manage to get a copy of such software it will be useless because you need someone to program a post processor for your machines kinematics.
- Don't expect this kind of software to be easy to use - even CNC programmers with years of experience usually need to visit expensive training courses to use those programs.
5 Axis machining is absolutely out of reach for any hobbyist and even most businesses.
By the way: the part you've shown is possible with 3 axis as far as I can see - you just need to flip it once.
But even for just 3 axis you won't be able to find a machine with the ability to machine steel for just £1000.
Last edited by Christian Knuell; 21-09-2015 at 10:34 PM.2D / 3D CAM Software and CNC controller: http://www.estlcam.com
An extensive and compelling reply. Thank you very much Christian, I really appreciate that.
I thought from the beginning of my research that a 3 axis machine would be enough for my needs - but as it often goes with research one thing leads to another and you somehow convince yourself you always need the next machine 'up' as it where.
What about the Boxford machines converted with Mach3? They're able to do mild steel from what their website and staff would have you believe. At my current stage taking something out and physically flipping it would be fine - how hard is this to do and align properly?
My budget is probably around £2500 but id obviously like to spend less than that if I can. And im happy to wait a bit to do so.
As another opinion, what do you reckon to this? (for Alu, not Mild)...
What you actually want is 3+2 which Like Christian points out is way different to true 5 axis machining.
But anything done with 3+2 setup can be done with just 3 axis and fixtures/vises. 3+2 is just easier.
Forget those Ebay offerings for anything but learning because they just are not strong enough for cutting anything harder than frozen Mars Bar's.
The Linear components match the electronics on quality or lack of.! Structeral Design is very poor which would result in more chatter more than naked Ozzy in Artic snow storm.!!
In all honesty you'll need minimum of £3K to even build any half decent machine with 3+2 capabilty's able to cut steel's. You'll need at least double this to buy any pre built machine worth having, if you can even find one.!!
There's a big difference between scratching and cutting and the simple truth is that cutting harder materials requires a ridged machine with the correct spindle.
These Boxford/Denford type machines are light weight machines designed for teaching students in range of materials so while the Blurb says they cut aluminium what they actually should say is they scratch Aluminium away. If you want resonable feed rates and decent finish quality then these light weight machines are not strong enough for cutting Aluminium correctly and Just plan unsuitable for steels.
The machine you require for cutting steels and aluminium correctly when buying off the shelf is a Milling machine, which is actually hard to find and quite expensive when you do because of the spindle required.?
Aluminium requires spindle speeds in the 8-14000rpm range and higher if smaller tooling. Steel requires anywhere between 100-3000rpm and lots of torque.
Spindles with low to high rpm with torque are very expensive and quite hard to find Off the shelf Milling machine with one. When you do you'll need to sell the family to afford one.!
If you build a machine then it's possible to get machine that will do both but again the spindle plays a huge part and cost's lots. The design needs to be strong and components used of resonably quality and matched to the application. All this cost's far more than £1K and like I say £3k will be a more realistic figure for a good machine worth the effort.
Sorry if this isn't what you want to hear but it is realistic reply.!!
Last edited by JAZZCNC; 22-09-2015 at 12:20 AM.
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