CNC Router for Cutting Steel

Discussion in 'CNC Machines and Conversions' started by weir-smith, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. Oct 24, 2016 #1

    weir-smith

    weir-smith

    weir-smith

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    I have always had an interest in cnc and my project started out when I was given a couple of stepper motors. Six months later, my machine is complete and is working better than I ever expected. I should state up front that I make small parts for model engines the current project being a true diesel. The router has a cutting surface of 15 by 24 inches so not large. I don't have the room for anything larger. All of the major parts were machined from 3/4 aluminium plate and all axis have dual linear rails. The biggest problem was sourcing accurate information on wiring up the breakout board, stepper controllers etc. Not an overly difficult task however there were many things that were not clear and required persistence to get it right. I think I could write a book on the subject. I have since completed a similar machine for a friend who builds surf boards and also re built a cnc lathe including programming an 8 tool carousel.

    So far I have cut out parts for a quad copter from carbon fibre and numerous engine parts from plate steel up to 1/4 inch thick. There is no vibration in the machine when cutting steel. The spindle is 1500 watts three phase with speed control.

    If anyone is interested, I can provide more detail.

    Bruce W-S

    photo 5.JPG

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    photo 1.JPG
     
  2. Oct 24, 2016 #2

    Niels Abildgaard

    Niels Abildgaard

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  3. Oct 24, 2016 #3

    Blogwitch

    Blogwitch

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    Niels,

    I think it is to do with whatever someone wants to build, not what is generally available.

    Some people will get great enjoyment from making things for themselves, most probably as much enjoyment as you get from making little engines. Some people are quite happy building a little wobbler while others want to build a time machine.

    As I have stated before, what would the world be like if we all wanted to do the same thing.

    Nice build BTW Bruce.

    John
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
  4. Oct 24, 2016 #4

    fuddy699

    fuddy699

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    to wier - smith , jeff here . i am wondering if you could make me some small parts for some steam engines i have . i can send you an original and would pay for any cost's and shipping . i have tried to make them on my own but do not have the right equipment for this type of pieces . i think they were stamped out and i cannot get the final to where i would like . thanks for any reply . jeff
     
  5. Oct 24, 2016 #5

    Herbiev

    Herbiev

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    More details of this machine would be great Bruce.
     
  6. Oct 25, 2016 #6

    james_III

    james_III

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    Yes, more details and if possible video to show how this thing cuts :)
     
  7. Oct 26, 2016 #7

    weir-smith

    weir-smith

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    Herbie

    I am more than happy to share the build. I have all of the electrical drawings and some construction drawings and I am happy to take some detailed photos. It realy just depends on what your looking for. I live in Perth Western Australia so everything was either sourced locally (which is another way of saying that I scrounged the material) or purchased through the internet mainly Chinese manufacturer. Including the spindle, the total cost was about $1000.00 spent over six months. I have used dual linear bearings on all axis and ball screws with stepper motors etc

    If it is the lathe your interested in, I have all of the electrical drawings. The lathe itself is a Hercus CNC student which they built a number of. All of the electronics had failed so it was a complete rebuild including the 8 position tool carousal which was the most difficult and required a complex macro for it to function correctly. The motor speed control was interesting to get operational using the original DC motor.

    For software, I have used Mach3 and Cambam as the post processor to generate the G code from a DFX file.

    If you want to take it further, just provide an email address and what your looking for.

    Bruce W-S
     
  8. Oct 26, 2016 #8

    weir-smith

    weir-smith

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    Jeff

    If you lived locally to me (Perth Western Australia) it probably would not be a problem. I have machined parts for other's from over seas in the past and found it to be too difficult to cope with, so I now decline such requests.

    In respect to your problem of not having the required machines to cut your small parts out, you have several options. Firstly, you need to draw the components out using any one of the available (some are free) CAD programs using a steel rule and a set of verniers etc. You need to be able to produce a DXF file that can be imported into a post processor to generate the required G code. I would be most surprised if you could not access CNC laser or CNC water jet cutting. If you need realy fine detail you could have them CNC wire cut which provides a very good finish. I would like to have one. The people that provide these services usually do not mind that the parts are small but you need an accurate dxf file as they usually will not entertain correcting yours

    However, if you have the time and a few basic hand tools, you can produce some very good results and there are plenty of articles on the internet showing the procedure of marking out, cutting and filing. I assume that you do not have a surface grinder so you can source through the internet ground flats and bar steel (often refered to as "Guage Steel") which is usually of good quality and is available in many sizes and thickness. Providing you look after the ground surface while you are working it, the final finish is very good.

    Something for you to think about

    Bruce W-S
     
  9. Oct 26, 2016 #9

    Herbiev

    Herbiev

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    Hi Bruce. If can supply a video of the unit in operation, that would be great.
     
  10. Oct 30, 2016 #10

    stragenmitsuko

    stragenmitsuko

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    I think I'm working on something quite similar

    Mine will be a desktop cnc with a working area of rougly an A4 or letter sized paper .
    Started from a cast aluminium frame , added 4lineair rails to it ,
    those were fun to drill and tap :wall:and then had a 100 other things to do so it's been on hold for quite some time now .

    Would love to see/hear more about your machine


    Pat

    frame.jpg
     
  11. Nov 2, 2016 #11

    weir-smith

    weir-smith

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    Pat

    Today I took some more photos of my machine. I haven't worked how to put a video up as it dosn't to be supported. As I have previously stated, I have plenty of info on the wiring and some of the construction etc

    If you would like some help just say so.

    Bruce
     
  12. Nov 2, 2016 #12

    weir-smith

    weir-smith

    weir-smith

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    For some reason, I have difficulty with uploading photos. So here goes my second attempt
     
  13. Nov 2, 2016 #13

    stragenmitsuko

    stragenmitsuko

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    Bruce , to make a long story short my job requires me to dismantle
    and trash various lab grade machines . Incubators , centrifuges , microscopes
    biopsy machines , samplers etc etc etc .
    A fair amont of these have steppers and ballscrews and lineair
    bearings and drivers , power supply's , planetary gearboxes , dc micromotors ....
    I really have an overabundance of those . An example are these rotating nut steppers ,
    I must have at least 30 of them .
    http://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/showthread.php?t=26124

    So for years it's been in the back of my head to use this material
    to design and build the "perfect" router . Overdimensioned , over engineered
    with every feature included I can possably think of .

    As your router is capable of machining steel , it must be very wel designed .
    and ridgid . Most routers I've seen won't even machine aluminium .
    Hence I'de like to know more about the mechanical construction .

    I the upload of the pictures keeps failing , I can pm you with my email
    adress ?

    Pat
     
  14. Nov 3, 2016 #14

    weir-smith

    weir-smith

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    Pat

    More than happy to help you out and provide guidance in terms of how I went about my build.
    I haven't been able to up load more detailed photos.

    If you can provide an email address, I can provide photos, wiring diagrams and some construction drawings.

    I have built two other routers for others who had started and were not getting anywhere. Over all, as a project it is not difficult however, you need to decide just what you want to do and then design for it using what is available.

    Bruce
     

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