Posts Tagged ‘Aluminum’


New spindle, new Z axis, new towers, New Machine!

April 26, 2011

It’s been some time since I have updated on my CNC machine, and quite  a few changes to my machine have taken place.


The new Spindle and VFD was ordered from China. Its a 3KW air-cooled spindle with a matching 3 phase VFD. It will do any speed between 0 and 24,000 RPM.

Google G1 in there for scale...


Here she is mounted to the machine. The tapped bolt holes make for a quick and easy mount job. At first I had the unit plugged in backwards so as I was actually spinning the end mill backwards. That meant that it was simply burning through the material. Ha! After I flipped two of the three phase wires, she ran the right way and cut like a dream.

Note the updates. New Z axis, and fully alum towers.


Currently I am working on controlling the speed of the unit by communicating via RS485. I have a USB to RS485 converted, but the VFD appears to be not communicating properly.


In the meantime I have been working on a few secondary systems. I cut the probe mount on the unit itself out of HDPE. The homing switches have also been installed.

Cut on the machine out of HDPE (chopping board) Currently has a few 'noise' issues. Hope to fix it with shielded wiring.


CNCv2! (Or is that v3?)

September 15, 2010

So, after working with the CNC machine for some time, I began to realize just how useful it really is. I can literally sit inside at my desk, design something in solid-works, convert it to G-code in solid-cam, press go. I hear the unit outside kick in, the dust collection whirl up, and 10 min later it all shuts itself down with the part created. Its woodworking for lazy people.

So, to this end, I decided that this invention (OK, not really my invention, but my design) should be upgraded. Currently the machine has a theoretical accuracy of 0.07mm, but in reality, I am lucky to get accuracy of 1mm or so. This is because wood is simply too flexible and the weight of the unit can make the gantry rack quite badly.

A upgrade is in order.

So, I picked up some aluminum extrusion from a local company. Its the same stuff as 8020, but made by Bosch Rexroth. Some 3mm steel bar and a bit of a blue spray with the gravity fed sprayer (that I use to paint cars/bikes/trailers) and its starting to look awesome.

Current status…


Well, actually, these have all been screwed down now, but close enough.
Note the super awesome hold-downs. I picked these up to avoid having to screw each piece down every time I work on it. They are really strong and heavy.

Originally I was going to paint the towers blue, but now I am thinking black to make the blue on the rails stand out more. I’m going to have the machine re-make them anyway as they are about 1mm out of whack.

Anyway, thought you guys might like to see.

Gotta find some time to get to the bearing shop to get some thrust bearings…