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Bob
Serious Geek!

United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2005 :  08:52:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Anybody thought about making their own CNC miller? I have found a book on the subjecthttp://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0071418288/ref=pd_huc_gp_hr_6/026-6683259-4890010?%5Fencoding=UTF8 and an interesting website http://www.terry-is.f2s.com/. There is a UK firm that sells the lead screws http://www.marchantdice.com/linear/SFC/index.htm. So the most difficult bit is achievable if you throw a bit of cash at it.

Bob

daedalus
Starting Member

2 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2006 :  12:17:26  Show Profile  Visit daedalus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi,

That book isnt that good, all the info in it is related to a wood router machine, which is nowhere near stiff enough to mill metal at any rate.

Check out www.5bears.com for a really good homebuilt cnc mill.

I have looked at marchantdice before, but the prices arent that great, and you can get far better parts surplus through ebay for less. The round rails from marchantdice are ok for small travel light loads, but you need the continuous supported type for a long axis, and even then they have like 1/10 the load rating of thk rail. Leadscrews may end up being a false economy, because for the extra cost of rolled ballscrews, you get a far greater efficiency, so can get away with smaller motors / lower current drives.

I would suggest you check out www.cnczone.com, as there are lots of people who have built their own cnc there. Also the gallery is worth flicking through for ideas. Ive been a member there for a year now, and am just refitting my first cnc lathe.

My plan is to save up some money, and buy a sieg x3 mill to use as a base, then convert it to cnc. I already have some nice ground ballscrews for it, and a load of bldc servos and drives, all from ebay.

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Bob
Serious Geek!

United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2006 :  19:37:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by daedalus

Hi,

That book isnt that good, all the info in it is related to a wood router machine, which is nowhere near stiff enough to mill metal at any rate.

Check out www.5bears.com for a really good homebuilt cnc mill.

I have looked at marchantdice before, but the prices arent that great, and you can get far better parts surplus through ebay for less. The round rails from marchantdice are ok for small travel light loads, but you need the continuous supported type for a long axis, and even then they have like 1/10 the load rating of thk rail. Leadscrews may end up being a false economy, because for the extra cost of rolled ballscrews, you get a far greater efficiency, so can get away with smaller motors / lower current drives.

I would suggest you check out www.cnczone.com, as there are lots of people who have built their own cnc there. Also the gallery is worth flicking through for ideas. Ive been a member there for a year now, and am just refitting my first cnc lathe.

My plan is to save up some money, and buy a sieg x3 mill to use as a base, then convert it to cnc. I already have some nice ground ballscrews for it, and a load of bldc servos and drives, all from ebay.





Hi Daedalus

Thanks for the pointers. I agree about the book, but I am interested in building a light duty machine for milling (routing) F1 in Schools cars out of balsa wood blocks. I have access to several CNC millers at school (Boxford VMC300, CAMM2 etc.) None of these machines have any real grunt, even the big Boxford coughs and protests when asked to do any serious metal cutting. Boxford market their machines as training machinesand don't expect them to hew cylinder blocks out of chunks of phosphorbronze or cast iron. The little CAMM2 is great for engraving and one off production of (albeit coarse pitch) PCBs but lacks the Z travel to make one of the F1 car body shells.

The commercial products from Boxford and Denford are good, but the price is too high for our pocket. I have studied these machines (and the Trend vertical system) at various exhibitions and think that they are built from MerchantDice bits (there are references to Denford machines on the MerchantDice site.

I tend to feel that small millers (say 6" x 24" bed) wether hand fed, power fed or CNC driven tend to be a real pain in the a*** as they never seem to have sufficient rigidity for the job in hand. I used to have access to a big Archdale and that had the rigidity to cope with the power available and would take a heavy enough cut to let tipped cutters work properly.

Bob
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daedalus
Starting Member

2 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2006 :  23:11:43  Show Profile  Visit daedalus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
argh this forum software is driving me nuts, this is the third time i have typed this response now!

There are some posts on cnczone about doing cnc pcb milling, with tutorials on what software to use etc, which might be of use to you.

You mentioned rigidity problems with benchtop mills, well if you want to do bigger machining jobs in the future, maybe you would be better off getting a used industrial mill and updating the controls. I have seen early cnc bridgeports going for 300 before, they arent up to production speeds these days, but still more than enough for small volume work. Its way overkill for a balsa car, but if you have bigger projects on the horizon this could be a good excuse.

Reading through the project logs section of cnczone would be a good idea, they have things ranging from industrial refits to mdf routers.

My current project is updating a conect mini cnc lathe i found on ebay. Its a myford ml10 lathe which has seen little use over the years, as it was from a school. The electronics is obsolete, but swapping that out should be pretty easy.

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Fluba
Geek!

United Kingdom
437 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2006 :  09:58:12  Show Profile  Visit Fluba's Homepage  Send Fluba an AOL message  Send Fluba an ICQ Message  Click to see Fluba's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
You know what would be a good project if you do build this? wooden http://www.tech.plym.ac.uk/robofoot/images/robot.jpg robot football chassis'. I've been looking at these for a while, and reckon they'd be perfect for general use robots, including micromouse and minisumo, just the pricing of the metal ones has always stopped me from buying one. I'd be happy to resell them out of my robotics shop, once (if) i (ever) get around to launching that!

I've read trhough a few CNC project logs at bit-tech.net, and it looks like a fun, if difficult, project!

Bob(2)
www.thinkl33t.com

Edited by - Fluba on 31 Aug 2006 09:59:53
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Bob
Serious Geek!

United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2006 :  12:15:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by daedalus

argh this forum software is driving me nuts, this is the third time i have typed this response now!

There are some posts on cnczone about doing cnc pcb milling, with tutorials on what software to use etc, which might be of use to you.

You mentioned rigidity problems with benchtop mills, well if you want to do bigger machining jobs in the future, maybe you would be better off getting a used industrial mill and updating the controls. I have seen early cnc bridgeports going for 300 before, they arent up to production speeds these days, but still more than enough for small volume work. Its way overkill for a balsa car, but if you have bigger projects on the horizon this could be a good excuse.

Reading through the project logs section of cnczone would be a good idea, they have things ranging from industrial refits to mdf routers.

My current project is updating a conect mini cnc lathe i found on ebay. Its a myford ml10 lathe which has seen little use over the years, as it was from a school. The electronics is obsolete, but swapping that out should be pretty easy.





Ha Ha...

The balsa wood cars and my heavy duty metal bashing are separate projects!

It is a very sad reflection on modern technology teaching that the lathe had seen little use because it had come from a school, but unfortunatly what you write is all tooo true.

Bob
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Agog
Forum Admin

United Kingdom
775 Posts

Posted - 09 Sep 2006 :  22:35:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Daedalus, what's the problem you're having with the forum?






DIPEx a database of people's experience of illness

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Bob
Serious Geek!

United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2006 :  17:03:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Anybody had a look at the CNC Miller in the Jan07 Elektor? Looks a bit pricey to me for what you get. Notice that the cost seems to have jumped up a bit since the preview in December!

The article is not too clear, does it use G+M code or is does it use some other system to drive the mill?

Bob (Hands still very much in his pockets)
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ivanirons
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2007 :  02:39:35  Show Profile  Visit ivanirons's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have made two cnc machines so far. One is a cnc plasma cutter, the other is a cnc wood router. I also have a bridgeport that I have CNCd.

I even have some videos of a cnc project I did here:
http://www.cncinformation.com/CNCBlog/

Then click on the link on the left that leads to videos.


Thanks,
Ivan Irons
http://www.cncinformation.com
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Bob
Serious Geek!

United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2007 :  17:19:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ivanirons

I have made two cnc machines so far. One is a cnc plasma cutter, the other is a cnc wood router. I also have a bridgeport that I have CNCd.

I even have some videos of a cnc project I did here:
http://www.cncinformation.com/CNCBlog/

Then click on the link on the left that leads to videos.


Thanks,
Ivan Irons
http://www.cncinformation.com



Hi Ivan

Thanks for the link. I have a sort of love/hate relationship with angle grinders! They are great when you want to tidy something up quick, but in anybody else's hand they are the pits. Grinding frass everywhere.

Bob
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suzo
Serious Geek!

Australia
1360 Posts

Posted - 18 Dec 2007 :  11:22:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I have to say, I never heard of a radial engine before. They look most mystical!
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xihan
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 04 May 2009 :  20:01:43  Show Profile  Visit xihan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Bob:

Can you help me out with Boxford VMV300 software, Someone messed it up. Thanks

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Bob
Serious Geek!

United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 05 May 2009 :  08:21:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by xihan

Bob:

Can you help me out with Boxford VMV300 software, Someone messed it up. Thanks





Hi Julio

What are the symptoms of the 300 VMC troubles?

Just a guess, but if you have installed the software on a new computer to control the miller then you will need to set the Z height. The on-line manual goes through the procedure, but is none too clear as to what reference plane to take for the position of the head when the machine is in the home position.

I measured our machine using a vernier height gauge and found the Z datum to be 280.4 mm. I measured from the table to the machined surface under the head, not the flat face of the spindle. Now I think, and don't blame me if you cut a slot in the bed of your machine as a result of using this information! that the Z datum is not that critical as it is cancelled out when you set your tool offsets. What I know for sure is that if you don't set it the software will not drive the machine, indeed it will think it is in axis overtravel all the time.

Also I have found the good folks at Halifax very helpful with problems with Boxfords in general.

Hope this helps.

Bob

Edited by - Bob on 05 May 2009 08:22:49
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emilvv
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2009 :  09:32:24  Show Profile  Visit emilvv's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Interesting CNC image BLOG ..

http://www.bg-cnc.com/wordpress/

Emil

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Bob
Serious Geek!

United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2009 :  17:27:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by emilvv

Interesting CNC image BLOG ..

http://www.bg-cnc.com/wordpress/

Emil





Hi Emil and welcome to Robotbuilder

I agree that there are some good images on the blog. Last night I went out to look at a second hand miller having been told that it was a Adcock and Shipley vertical mill. I went expecting to see a Bridgeport look alike, but found the ugliest machine I have ever set eyes on. Mind you it would have done a good job. I didn't part with any cash however because of the four speed three phase motor which was integral with the casting of the machine, it would have needed an expensive 440 V (9 Amps) inverter to run it, plus the bearing cap on the top of the quill had be cracked, sif-bronzed, cracked again and the table was badly chewed up.

Bob
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stan
Geek!

United Kingdom
812 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2009 :  23:48:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Bob,my mate fixed an electric spark eroder a year back and said it was cool at cutting 3D interior shapes.Heard of such device?

Nature has created so many life forms but none with wheels?
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