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  1. #11
    When I'd stopped fiddling with the spindle, I could let it loose on making a front panel so I could finish the electrics:

    The engraving took *forever* - if I went much faster than 50mm/min, the cheap ebay engraving bits would snap. Because I was using the hobby version of Fusion 360 to generate the code, the 'rapids' are limited to the same speed.

    Cutting holes was better (caution - loud)

    The end result was this:

    After a bit of de-burring (I should have run a pass around it with a chamfer tool) I was very pleased with the outcome:

    It was a pleasure to be able to build the panel up with everything fitting nicely where it should. (I'd been hoarding that Neutrik USB connector for years, just waiting for something to come up that needed it.)

    Finally, wiring that I'm not ashamed of! (It's not as bad as it looks to work on - the heatsink, with the drivers attached, can be unscrewed and swung out of the way to give access.)

    It made an actual thing - a mount to hold the SD card reader behind the slot in the panel. (Machined out of a slab of laminate. Thanks to some bug in my CAM, it managed to make a rapid move through the bottom left hand corner and take a chunk out of it. All part of the learning curve...)

    I decided that the controller looked better with handles on it (I could pretend that I wanted them to protect the switches, etc. but I was just being a tart.)

    As it was a sunny day, I carried it outside to take a photo before I got it too dirty. It weighs about 45kg!

    X axis travel is 330mm, Y 235mm and Z 114mm. X & Y seem perfectly reliable at 4m / min, Z at 3.6m/min.

    I have cut some test pieces on it, but I'm still getting my head around CAM and learning how to use the machine.

    I will post some updates to this thread in due course.

  2. #12
    Here is some video on cutting trials on aluminium & steel (I had never intended to cut steel, but it seems to do OK - I still think that the spindle is the weakest link).

    I would probably use less aggressive settings for any real machining.

  3. #13
    Many thanks Mister G for this excellent build log.

    As a DIY layman, I have learnt plenty from your documented approach to things, particularly the pictures!

    Cheers, Andy

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  5. #14
    Thank you! I'm glad it was of interest

    (another) Andy

  6. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Misterg View Post
    I still think that the spindle is the weakest link. I would probably use less aggressive settings for any real machining.
    Yes your absolutely correct re the spindle Andy, do you plan to upgrade it? If so I can recommend Fred over at BST Automation for a decent 2.2kw water cooled spindle etc. Nice mod's to the spindle by the way :)

    Yea until/if then quite conservative feeds and speeds will be required with that spindle, you've built a decent machine that is capable of allot more with a better spindle...we all start somewhere though right...will go watch the video now...
    Last edited by Lee Roberts; 14-01-2023 at 04:54 PM.

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  8. #16
    Hi Lee - thanks for the reply

    do you plan to upgrade it?
    I'd like to, but I can't afford to throw any more money at it at the moment.

    I'm toying with the idea of making a Taig / Peatol style belt driven spindle and driving it from the existing motor.Not sure if this is just flogging a dead horse though.

  9. #17
    Some thoughts on the spindle

    Because of this, I've made a new one from scratch, using the original one as a motor.

    Belt drive gives 0-12,000 RPM or 0-4,800 RPM.

    Very quick demo of it in operation

    I'm pretty happy with that! :)

  10. #18
    Nice work, looks to be working pretty good...

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  12. #19
    Here's some video of it doing something a bit more worthwhile. (Skip to 0:30 to get to the chips without the preamble):

    Total machining time was about 2 hours.

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