If you guys honestly believe it possible and 'better' to build my own truly Aluminium (and possibly harder material) capable machine then I am totally all-ears.
But for the sake of argument, what sort of machines would I be looking at - if you could provide names or links to pages that would be chuffing excellent. Im all about the research and the more data I have to go on, the more I can get stuck into it :D
If you really want to machine steel for as little money as possible maybe an "BF20" clone (something like this http://www.ebay.de/bhp/optimum-bf20 but there are many more companies with very similar machines) converted to CNC ist the best choice.
Those machines are small, cost quite some money until they are converted to CNC and are still far from a "serious" machine for steel machining - but at least they get the job done.
Last edited by Christian Knuell; 22-09-2015 at 08:11 AM.2D / 3D CAM Software and CNC controller: http://www.estlcam.com
The main issue is you really need another machine to build the next machine to achieve the accurecy and strength required. Then you have the Cost.!!
The cost of a spindle alone capable of cutting steels correctly and still be fast enough for aluminium will start around £2000 -2500 upto 4-5K. So hopefully you can see some of what your up against.
Now if you lower your sights and stick with Aluminium/brass being the upper limit then with the right design and choosing the correct components then it's possible to build a very nice machine with £3K. Cutting Steels really does take you into another zone.!!
Converting a Mill is an option but IME if mostly cutting aluminium then they are not always ideal. Again it's the spindle speeds.!! Upgrading the spindle isn't always possible and if it is then it won't be cheap upgrade to do correctly.
I have seen German made Wabeco Mills that have High speed spindles but they have all been very expensive.!
Ok - so this is the reply they sent me. Confirmation its to be avoided?
Thanks for your message .
This is a full set machine, with water cooling pump & hand controller, but if you need it to work perfect, you need to connect it with a PC.
It is controlled by Mach3 software(we have a software CD to go with the machine, on the CD, there is a demon version Mach3).
When you got the machine, you can install the software on your desktop PC(Window XP/2000) by LPT port.
There is a brief manual on the CD, you can set up the software following the manual guide, when you have this work done, the machine can run normally,
but if you need to make it work for your need, you need to do some CNC drawing & programming on other CNC software first,
then load the program on Mach3 so that you can make the machine to do your own work accordingly.
We have 1pcs 3mm bit & 1pcs 6mm bit included in the package for you, if you need some other machining bits, you got to prepare them by yourself.
This machine can work on metals like Aluminum, brass, stainless steel etc, here are some video for your reference:
The item will be shipped via DHL ,usually you will receive the item 12-15 business day
The business day is not include saturday and sunday .
We do appreciate your understanding and time.
If you have any questions,feel free to contact us,we are always here to serve you.
Looking forward to your reply
Video link - http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNzA0ODI0MzAw.html?from=y1.7-1.2
Some of these videos are pretty persuasive:
Stocking more goodies than just Smoothsteppers
I'm sorry but this is not cutting.!! . . . . I see scratching, rubbing and hear plenty of resonance but not much cutting going off.!!
Last edited by JAZZCNC; 23-09-2015 at 07:39 AM.
Agree, should have written "dissuasive "
Best get a converted machine or see if exonomical to farm bits outwww.emvioeng.com
Stocking more goodies than just Smoothsteppers
Same as I posted in the thread of the other guy:
Buy FS4MG LANG and add one of those china 4th/ 5th axis.
This + usbcnc (Eding) + leadshine closed loop stepper 2nm (ebay) + gdk80-12-24Z/1.2-2.2 spindle
But be prepared that the end price is around ~6.5K euro without tax
Fusion 360 as CAM software (3+2axis) "free"
Also buy a haimer 3d probe , a bunch of 1/2/3 flute VHM mills for alu and a decent toolsetter + add limit switches to the machine + a decent vice (the Vertex VA4 fits nice on the bed)
Now you home the machine -> inset the haimer probe -> it auto measures length and does compensation (G49) -> zero the stock
Now run your code -> insert endimill -> auto measure length and G49 it (saves you so much time and makes your tolerances much better).
Having a spindle that has ATC is even better ... but those are quite pricey.
I have not done any steel yet , but I can't see why it is an issue (forgetting the spindle speed).
They Also Have the FS3MG which is "made" for steel. The base price is quite a bit higher but still doable for a small business.
Its perfectly possible to build, yourself, a machine for milling steel.
99.9% of people who start, fail.
I scratch-built a VMC.
It went like this.. (as my wife reminds me..)
A couple of weekends and some hundreds of €€...
((Router->Bridgeport M head-> ISO30 spindle)).
15.000 work hours later, I am finishing the V3 iteration of what is now a commercial quality VMC.
This is what it entails;
32 mm ballscrews, 1200 mm working length
Moving table, in steel, 1600x500 mm, 60 mm thick, 200 kg in mass (will double to 400 kg and 11 cm thick)
35 mm linear rails and trucks
ISO30 spindle (about 1300€, they are not that expensive)
Brushless AC servos, 400W, 1.3 Nm continuous, 3.9 Nm peak
125 kHz hardware controller for high pulse rates
Current step size is 0.2-0.3 microns on each axis.
Machine is 2.3 wide, 1.6 m tall, 2 m deep, approx 2000 kg in mass, all built in basic local tool steel "F1 calibrado".
Table size is 1600x500, with 1200 x 1200 work area.
Most people wont have the patience, time, space and ability to continue for so long, until you finish something like this.
I am now a professional machine builder, with factory training from a major manufacturer (2 years ago).
My own machine costs about 20k in components.
Retrofitting an old manual metalworking mill is much easier and cheaper.
A scratch built machine is much better (more work envelope for cost and volume, more rigid for the mass and size).
Current machine rigidity is 17N/um, which is acceptable industrially.
Goals are 10-70N/um rigidity according to industrial guides and textbooks on machine design.
A good set of retrofit gear costs about 2500€ and up.
Hows the Lathe upgrade coming along.? I'd like to see this working when it's finished so please post a video. Also the mill. .
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