Who will be the first ones to make it a reality? Just an idea, but wouldn't it be possible to take a hobby robotic arm kit and convert it to hold a router for 5 axis machining?
Like I said just an idea, please post your feedback on it.
Mach3 2010 Screenset
(Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)
Something that would be financially possible for a hobbyist CNC guy. Like a converted 5 axis robot arm kit or something like that?
I've been thinking about the same thing. You can buy a used robot pretty resonably and put a router head on it. Let me know if you find out anything and I will do the same.
I work with industrial (6 axis) robots every day from little MIG welders to large material handers. The problem I see with using a robot arm to do anything like this is rigidity. When you extend the arm out or place an uneaven load (tool banging against material) the arm will vibrate. This is even the case with very large payload (200+ kg) robots. They are designed to move stuff around not to do work accurate work. Yes they can sand and grind and stuff but deflection in those applications is not that important. I can only image the problems that a small, cheap hobby arm would have.
Cutting foam or something might be the max of what you could do. Wood would be a very far stretch IMHO.
I've already thought of how to take care of that problem so that there is zero vibration from moving the arm. Diy mini-gyro stabilizer boards you can buy for $4.00-$50.00/each.
This is actually an easy fix. Keep in mind that you obviously can't put a standard router on a robot arm because of the weight issues, it has to be a flexi-shaft type assembly, which are inexpensive.
(also keep in mind this is to be a hobby machine not a pro-level $7million dollar machine, hehe. I've since re-vamped my idea about an arm based unit and have already picked out a more stable solution.
It's a machine currently used in an industry that has nothing to do with cnc or machining, but it can be converted with little or no hassle. PM me for details, I just don't want to let this cat out of the bag
publicly just yet, just so I don't give a great idea away to others lurking who only have $$ in their eyes. Its going to be Open Source for Everyone, if it works?