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Old 03-16-2012, 02:07 AM #64
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:19 PM #65
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Another update of what ive been working on: Continuous rotation, horizontal rotary axis. Basically a fancy way of saying "Cutting something that spins yo".

Similar to a 4th axis, but does not have the ability to step to a position and hold there, only continuously rotate.

I was wanting to cut a clear polycarb spacer, but everytime I would chuck it in my lathe, the chuck fingers would smush it down making a rounded, triangle shape and thus, wouldnt cut right. I had high and low spots when I tried this - no good. Mush less, I needed 2 o ring grooves cut in either size. So thats where I got the idea for this guy. Why not build something to cut the spacer on my router? Well thats what I did.

The results arent the best (they rarely are on the first try though!). So I think Im going to have to go back and try again with a slower feed rate and a higher spindle speed and see how that goes.

I dont have many assembly pics, they would probably be boring anyway. Here is one of the overall view of the mechanism:

The 2 struts on the left are 0.75" MDF with bearings press in holes(you cant see them from this view), with a .25" shoulder bolt running through the middle. I made some tapered delrin washers to go on the outside of the bearings so no aluminum-aluminum rubbing. I also made delrin inner cross beams to tie them together. The third MDF strut also has a bearing pressed in it for the tail of the work piece. This is sitting in the 2 slots on the baseplate so it can slide back and forth to accommodate different lengths. The polycarb tube is just sitting on tight fitting mandrels and sits on the pretty snug.

Here is a closeup of the large, delrin drive gear:

Because who wants to buy gears when you can cut them on your cnc machine, right?! Anyways, I know they arent true involute gear profiles, BUT these gears are only transmitting motion and should not take ANY force to them, so im not worried about broken gears. Just out of frame is a hobby servo I modified for continuous rotation with a small gear with matching profile mounted to the drive shaft. Ill take some better pics of this tonight.

Here are two mounting holes (left) and a levelling set screw (right):



I needed to make sure it was square in the machine only on 2 of the 3 axes. In this case, X and Z. Since Y was perpendicular to the tube, it didnt really matter if it was off by a bit. This pic shows measuring X axis deflection:


Not kidding, I mounted the baseplate to the spoil board, and took a measurement that was fluttering between 1 thou (.001") without having to set anything up. HECK yes.

This video shows the measurements and the initial movements. No "during" shot, its slow going, and wouldnt be very impressive:


I had to do a small amount of levelling on the Z axis, but I also got it to in under a thou of play. Good enough for me!

Cutting...

Notice the helix paths. This is because my feed rate is a bit too slow (i think).
Cutting o ring grooves:


OK, here are the results...Less than impressive, I know. I need to slow my feedrate down a bit and up the spindle speed. The pictures make it look worse than it is. If i need to, I can slap this on the lathe, and hit it with a file and sand paper to get down really smooth.



Notice on the right side of the tube, it looks super sketchy. This is because I was running a cutoff program to get the tube to the correct length, but stopped it early. Thats why it looks so janky. Move along, nothing to see there....
Compared to an unused tube.



Just some cool little things that have been consuming my time lately Ill try to get some better pics of everything tonight. Hope you guys enjoy!
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:53 PM #66
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Things that go smush are a perfect time to use a collet chuck instead of a 3-jaw.

Have you considered making a stationary cutter to mount to what the router head typically is attached to and essentially using the system as a lathe?

Nice work, I can't wait to get my CNC finished.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:36 PM #67
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Hows my order coming.

I also need an address to ship to that they wont tear into the box and ship back........
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:40 PM #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y0da900 View Post
Things that go smush are a perfect time to use a collet chuck instead of a 3-jaw.

Have you considered making a stationary cutter to mount to what the router head typically is attached to and essentially using the system as a lathe?

Nice work, I can't wait to get my CNC finished.

Im curious how this thing would cut aluminum or delrin or something a little less "smushy" lol
I have considered it, but that would mean spinning the piece fairly quickly. Also, the tube is only held in there by a snug fit on the mandrels. I would be a bit wary about using a conventional lathe tool on it. Id be afraid it would just catch on the part and wouldnt cut well. The reason I wanted to use my router is so I wouldnt have to use a chuck. Sadly, all I have atm is a 3 jaw chuck, so i think im sol with a collect :/. I think if I up the spindle speed and slow the feed, I can get much better results. Im not opposed to taking it to the lathe and finishing it up though.

What kind of CNC are you getting? Id like to design and build a legit, stepping 4th axis at some point.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:42 PM #69
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Hows my order coming.

I also need an address to ship to that they wont tear into the box and ship back........
Its coming along . Have you looked at the triggers yet?

whoa whoa whoa, who ripped open the box? What service did you send it with? That sucks man, sorry to hear that. It never made it to me though
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:24 PM #70
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I'm converting a Grizzly mini mill to CNC - just 3 axis for now, but I plan on adding a 4th in the future. I could finish it at any time, but I'm trying to not half *** the wiring too badly and need to find a decent project box to mount the driver and power supply in.

I've also had decent luck making an aluminum piece that is a near interference fit to slip into the deformable material to prevent it from smushing once chucked. I had to do that a number of times with thin walled Delrin pieces before I got my collet chuck.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:40 PM #71
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Its coming along . Have you looked at the triggers yet?

whoa whoa whoa, who ripped open the box? What service did you send it with? That sucks man, sorry to hear that. It never made it to me though

Yes, 1 out of the 3 would be usable. Im more interested in the bullets, im almost out. I also need you to pm me a good address, one that wont get torn into and then returned so I can send those parts to you.

I like what you have been doing, at some point we are going to have to work out a body for me. As for the grip panels, I think I have that under control, I cut 4 sets in 2 hours, stay tuned.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:33 AM #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y0da900 View Post
I'm converting a Grizzly mini mill to CNC - just 3 axis for now, but I plan on adding a 4th in the future. I could finish it at any time, but I'm trying to not half *** the wiring too badly and need to find a decent project box to mount the driver and power supply in.

I've also had decent luck making an aluminum piece that is a near interference fit to slip into the deformable material to prevent it from smushing once chucked. I had to do that a number of times with thin walled Delrin pieces before I got my collet chuck.
I tried that with the mandrel pieces that are on this rig, but didnt get that great results. Maybe the walls of the polycarb were squishing into themselves?? Not sure though. I dont do a whole lot of work like this, but a collet chuck would be a nice addition in the future. Are those limited at all to the sizes you can put in them? Or is there a range of ODs you can use?

Mario - PMd you. It wouldnt be a matter of address that screwed the box up though, someone on the truck was probably a little to rough with it or something with whoever you shipped it with.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:35 PM #73
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:10 PM #74
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Grrr.. threads like this make me want to get into hobby machining
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:28 PM #75
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Grrr.. threads like this make me want to get into hobby machining
do it. I would suggest if your planning on getting into paintball parts that you start with a lathe though since almost all the parts are round


also I've found that cutting plasit, lower your spindle speed and increase your feed. you want to make actual chips and not melt the material away. I do this for cutting wood as well.
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:19 PM #76
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Lol, cs, I actually just ran another trial (pics below), and did the exact opposite . The above run, I had my spindle at the lowest speed (about 10k RPM) and a fast(er) feed. From what I remember, I think it was about 1-1.5 ipm feed.

This next run though, was at a higher spindle speed and lower feed rate (0.5 ipm). This actually yielded much better results for me lol. Any thoughts? This was honestly a trial-and-error run for me, so im still figuring it all out.

And to Frmr: Definitely go with a lathe. You can get a cheap one from harbor freight that will do plenty.

Here are the pics. There is still a spiral pattern from the bit, but the surface is MUCH smoother. Hopefully you can see it from the pics. I honestly cant feel the spiral ridges at all. I can scratch a fingernail on it, and i cant feel them. Oh, I also went over it twice to see if that would help anything, or kill the ridges made by the first pass:


I had planned on hitting it with some fine grit sand paper anyway. This was also more of a test, so I didnt cut it to right length or make the o ring grooves.



Came out much much better than before, im really happy with it. I need a 1/16" ball nose bit to make the o ring grooves the right way , but I feel like I could make a pretty nice one on my next go.


Also, here is something I made the other day. Much harder than I thought, but came out pretty cool.



I actually ran it on a scrap body I had yesterday, but the profiles on the curves of the body just didnt come out right on my machine since I had to cut them with a vertical tool. Maybe Ill get a 4th axis someday...one can dream though...I knew it wouldnt be perfect, but I was curious to see what it could do. I took some pics, but im not really happy with the outcome, so i dont think im going to post them. Plus, I think I lost some steps in my z axis because I went to the bathroom and came back to the bit making a big gouge on the side.
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:30 PM #77
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10K is REALLY fast for plastics. 10k is my MAX spindle speed on my mill. I usually run it around 1.2k and a feed of 10-15IPM at a .1 depth and a .25Diam end mill
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:58 PM #78
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Haha yeah, these routers run way high. This latest run was about 16k rpm. My reasoning is that since this is cutting on a turning cylinder and not a flat plate, if my cylinder is running too fast, or my spindle too slow, there is a chance the bit could miss small areas causing a rough surface. I dont think its a big chance, but that sounds logical in my mind.


Running it like this made a long ribbon of cut material, somewhat melted, but not really any chips.
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:06 PM #79
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next time i'd try increasing your feedrate. you don't want it melting at all. It'll throw your tolerances out and give you a poor surface finish. you shouldn't be getting long chips at all when cutting on a mill. your end mill could be a bit dull and isn't actually cutting but displacing the material. that will also give you a poor surface finish.

you'll always have peaks and valleys when cutting on a mill or a lathe, but they are going to be so small you can sand them out very easily.

crank up the feed and get some nice sharp tools, i think you'll be happy you did
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:11 PM #80
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also...if you wanted to do this on the lathe, you could make an expanding mandrel to hold it...kind of like the dremel sanding drums, but bigger
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:42 PM #81
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Well, my very first one (no pics, it was before the earlier one), I went too fast, and I actually missed some material altogether. Ill give it a shot, but this surface came out really nice. Its not melted at all. The earlier run had melting though. The endmill I used had only been used once before on some aluminum with coolant, so I dont think its dull.

Ill have to try the mandrel idea, I know exactly what you're talking about! Very clever.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:07 PM #82
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:33 PM #83
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Try using some WD-40 as a lubricant as you machine the polycarbinate. It should help the finish.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:49 AM #84
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Actually yes. I got in some new polycarb stock and chopped it down into manageable lengths for cutting. I am going to try to cut some on the CNC this week if I have time. I ran one on the lathe, just cutting it down to the right OD, and it came out alright. I ended up going slow and easy, making a few light cuts.

The OD of the polycarb is 1.25", and the final OD of the tube is only 1.235", so im not taking off very much at all! I think i am going to cut them on the CNC but leave them slightly oversized. Then, ill slap them on the lathe and sand it down to the correct OD and cut the o-ring grooves. This will leave a much better finish. Then I might try to flame polish them a bit to give it a super clear finish.

Thanks for the interest guys, Ill be sure to update it as I go along. Still working on it, just slowly
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