Do you mean tube bender?
What is a tube profiler?
Like to draw on the collective wisdom for a simple cnc tube profiler.
My idea is to buy a HF X1, remove the table and convert the Z axis using CNCFusion kit. Replace the table with a custom table using 80/20 with a linear slide driven by a rack and pinion system. On the linear slide I would mount a CNC rotary table. No y axis needed. Use a G540 and a power supply. run it all with Mach 3. Pretty simple and straight forward.
Tubing ranges from 3/8 to 1" with a wall anywhere from .020 to .049
Any thoughts if I am on track or missing the big picture?
Do you mean tube bender?
What is a tube profiler?
Don't forget that you are going to need a large enough rotary with a 1" through hole capability (per your tube size requirements) and a chuck to go along with it. The other thing to keep in mind is that although you can do a really nice job fishmouthing one end of a tube, you'll want to come up with a way of alignment to you can line the second end up as well. Something like a series of clampable collars that you could put on, and indicate so as to keep the two ends starting in the same place. Otherwise what is the point of using a CNC? Also making sure you have a method of measuring the end to end distances. Don't know how long a tube you are talking about, but again, if you can't figure the end distances you may as well mark and grind by hand.
That all being said where there is a will there is a way. If you have enough tubing being cut to justify the purchase of the machine you can figure out ways around this stuff. Just keep it in mind, as it's a shame to produce perfect ends, but not get them to line up, or to come out the correct length.
What materials are you looking to machine? The X1 spindle has a 2200RPM top end, which can be roughly doubled with a belt drive. This limits your ability to use small cutters well, which may limit your ability to cut complex profiles on smaller tubes.
Also, I don't see why you want to yank the tables and all--there's nothing wrong with them for this type of application.
For a truly dedicated machine, I'd be tempted to do a Frankenstein job using a Sherline or Taig lathe as a starting point. You really only need two axes--the rotary (A) and horizontal (X). The cutter depth could be set manually, at least for simple profiles.
The lathe would provide a bed which could be the X axis and you could use the leadscrew to move the tube carriage back and forth. Sherline sells a lathe->mill kit which mounts the lathe headstock vertically to use as a spindle. The through-hole on the A axis is too big so you'd need to build your own, but that wouldn't be too hard. You wouldn't have to worry about backlash so long as you only cut in one direction.
"When you machine the end so it mates up with something else."
No, that's a tubing "notcher".
I appreciate the replies. Pretty much a newb with machining. Do have some fabrication and computer skills.
What size/type cutter and at what RPM would you recommend? Material is thinwall 4130 tube.
I was looking at the X1 due to its fairly low cost. Certainly willing to look at others.
4 meters of 80/20 about 50 bucks, linear bearing about 70 bucks.
I was planing a 4 meter x table in order to handle a whole tube at once with no resetting. A sliding steadyrest to hold the end being cut. A 3 jaw chuck on the rotary table so as not to need too large of a rotary table.
Does mean I might need as much as 8 meters of space when cutting the second cut.
Chuck the tube up in the jaw. Make the first cut, then move the tube to make the second cut.
Kind of like this but with a mill not plasma.
could move the milling head, but I thought it would be easier to move the tube as it would not need to be as stiff.
If this thing was within 20 thou I would be happy.
How thick is the tube you want to cut? Your going to have to hold it pretty ridgid MAYBE as far as 6" from where your cutting, depends on how thick the tube is.
A plasma system would work better, you could rotate and drive the material using your rotary and x axis, set up a steady rest right in front of the plasma torch head and just roll off parts, just like the video.
Interesting project, what kind of parts are you going to be making?
Tube wall 28 to 49 thou
The plasma does offer some benefits. Unfortunately the downsides outway the benefit. My research from those that have done it that you have to vary the feed rate depending on the cut in order to get a good cut.
But the biggest problem for me is that with where I have to put the machine the sparks and fumes are a major problem so I really need to go with a mill cutter.
Holding the tube rigid won't be a problem (not too much).
Anyone have a recomendation on cutter size, type and speed.
Try 1/8" solid carbide, stub lenght if they are not too much more expensive. More than likely, your speeds and feeds will be dictated by how ridgid you can hold the tube, and it's also possible that if you try to go too fast, it will just colapse the tube instead of cut it, so feeds and speeds are to be determined.
For the .028 wall, you'll probably want to put a piece inside to support it and just cut it at the same time, I forsee problems... Doable though.