Monday, October 1st 2012 - 3:48 AMLiberty4Ever,
I went with a really nice pc liquid cooling system for the laser and paid a pretty good amount of money for it and I want to avoid that if possible. I like closed loop systems so I will be avoiding the submersible pumps and will go with some kind of inline pump, hopefully a cheap ebay rip off one and not the swiftech I have in my laser. I will probably get one of the new swiftech radiators with the reservoir build in, I just need to decide how large it should be.
I know the flood system is going to be a huge mess but since the table surface is 2'x3' and I will most likely be working with small pieces I will be able to setup some kind of shield to contain the liquid to the table itself (once it is going I will see what I can come up with). I have seen machines with plastic brushes or plastic sheet that hangs down around the mill bit to keep the liquid contained.
Bart, if you happen to read this what kind of cooling do you use on your spindle/what would you recommend?
Sunday, September 30th 2012 - 3:36 PMOk, so the main purpose I am building this cnc is to cut things that I can't do on my laser. I really want to be able to do a good job cutting aluminum but I know I would probably have issues with cutting aluminum with my 1.5kW 24000rpm Chinese spindle. So I started looking into ways to make this possible and decided I should implement some kind of lubrication system. I stated looking into how to do this and think I have everything figured out except for what fluid I should use. I have read that aluminum doesnâ€™t really need the coolant part as much as the lubrication part but I don't think I could afford to use a fluid that isn't in concentration. I looked around and found one Mobilcut 102 which says it is great for cutting aluminum and has additives to reduce bacteria/foam/odor rust protection. It says it gets diluted at a ratio of 1:30 which can be varied depending on material, and McMaster (2507k18) sells a gallon of the concentrate for about $30.
I really just wanted to see if anybody else has any recommendations on what cutting fluid I should use. Also do you guys think I will have issues cutting aluminum with my setup, I have a 6mm, 1/8", and a 1/4" collet so I will be restricted to small end mills. I think the flood system will help out a lot (at least hopefully more than the mess it is going to create).
In order to accomplish this that I will be adding gutters to the two short sides and adding sidewalls to the two long sides (parallel to the tables tslots). I still need to find a filter for the filtration system but once I get the fluid I can do some tests (I like the reusable coffee filters but they might not have high enough of a flow rate). I already found a nice pump that does about 1.2 gal per minute and I rigged up electronic speed control so I can very the flow rate. I will be using a 5 gal bucket mounted on a drawer system in the back of my cabinet for the reservoir. I figure I need a very large bucket because of the amount of table this 2ft x 3ft table will be able to hold before it starts recirculating. As for the nozzle I bought a set of 1/4" loc-line flexible hose. Unrelated I bought another loc-line hose for a compressed air output for when I am cutting wood. I will post pictures of the setup when I get everything fabricated next weekend (I am waiting for my aluminum to arrive).
On another note I finished the wiring this weekend (at least the electronics cabinet wiring) so that means I will get to install the table surface soon and start working on upper gantry stuff. Here are a couple pictures of my progress.
I guess I had one other quick question how much cooling do these Chinese spindles need? I was thinking of installing a dual 120mm radiator and pump loop, is that too much or too little?
Friday, September 14th 2012 - 1:09 AMI have made a little progress over the past weeks. I was able to strip the entire frame down and repaint it and mount some of the initial wiring.
I also received my motors and a gecko drive (I'm waiting until I buy the other two). I ended up going with the 400oz-in motors so I went with the G201X drive which I will be running at 48V/5A. I decided to use the laser cutter to make an adapter plate to mount the heatsink to some fans, this should be more than enough to cool the drives.
I should have the chance to mount the rest of the electronics in the cabinet this weekend then I get to start wiring.
Saturday, August 25th 2012 - 1:25 PM
macona wrote:You might look at the kflop from Dynomotion. It is a much more capable controller than the smoothstepper. I had a smoothstepper on my mill for a while and went back to the parallel port with all the issues. Once I get working again I am going to get a kflop for my mill. A friend of mine got one for an X/Y stage and they work very smooth. You can use them with their own free CNC software or a plug in for mach 3.
Thanks for letting me know the KFLOP exists, I need to do a little more research, but I will probably end up buying one.
Saturday, August 25th 2012 - 6:44 AMPost reserved for future pictures and videos...
Saturday, August 25th 2012 - 6:44 AMI figured I should start up a buildlog for my most recent project. I recently acquired a used chinese cnc table router from my work. (it is basically the same unit that automation technologies sells) I saw it in the back one day marked "For Disposal" and offered to take it off their hands. The unit was in pretty rough condition, and was missing motors and drivers. They removed the spindles and used them for custom pick and place machines to assemble/waterproof our products. Since this was their first/prototype machine it was pretty much covered in half hardened epoxy and had a lot of modifications and parts missing.
After spending a couple weeks going through countless paint scrapers, shop cloths, and acetone I managed to get all the epoxy off of the table (and the t slots). I also removed the stock rubber sheets that come pre-attached to the cnc, not really sure why you would want this material but I guess it is a kind of sacrificial layer (even though it is glued on and isn't replaceable). I also don't really understand why they painted the aluminum table surface in the first place.
I don't plan on repainting the table surface, but I am going to give the stand a nice coat of black after I get it cleaned up.
Luckily my work happened to keep the spindles and vfd drives for the machines which will save me a lot of money. Luckily the unit also shipped with a 110V to 220V transformer because the vfd drive requires 220V. I do still need to source some stepper motors and stepper drivers. I plan on using either Gecko G201X's or G251X's depending on my motor rating. I cant decide if I should get the 3.5A 280oz-in motors or the 5A 400oz-in motors. I have already purchased a 48V 10A power supply which should be sufficient but might be cutting it close.
As for control I plan on using Mach3 (already own it because of my laser cutter) and because I am out of fast computers with parallel ports I will most likely get a USB controller like the KFLOP (and not a smoothstepper thanks macona). I already bought another cable track for the X gantry, but I still need to buy everything to build the spindle liquid cooling system.
I still have a decent amount of work to do to get this thing up and running but hopefully I should have it going in a couple more weeks. As an update my laser has been doing great my tube just passed its first birthday so hopefully I can get another year out of it. I am looking forward to being able to cut things other than acrylic, but I still love the laser for its ease of use and cut quality. As for my hadron I still havent finished wiring it up been really lazy recently but I did preorder the Azteeg X3 and couldn't resist his heated platform so if anyone wants to buy my never used (or even soldered too) Ultimachine Prusa heated bed let me know.