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Thread: cnc spindle motor selection

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    cnc spindle motor selection

    Hey guys i built my own cnc a couple months ago and i use a 3 axis TB6560 board i have modded(details on another thread on this forum).
    Cutting area is about 16"30" and i currently use a dremel for my circuit boards and hopefully come acrylic signs. the dremel works great for the circuit boards but im getting tired of breaking my bits, and want to move to heavier wood working or some light metal working(like aluminum).
    While all of my problems arent fixed yet-like some y axis slop- i will be replacing the current 1/4" steel bar with some nice aluminum tubing to make things a bit more rigid. it is a sliding table type cnc and i use emc to run it.
    I am wanting to upgrade to a router or a 300w spindle motor but have a budget of about 100$ but its more of a not wanting to spend too much budget.
    I was wondering what the advantages and disadvantages of routers and spindle motors are.
    So far i have come down to two candidates of router and one for a spindle but the dewalt dwp611 is about 130$ not including and collets, the Professional Woodworker 7381 is really the only one within budget and the chinese http://www.ebay com/itm/160953993883 300w spindle motor with variable speed power supply.
    i have read the horror stories about the chinese spindle motors and how cheap the bearings and seals are, thats why i chose the air cooled spindle.
    While this is a hobby, i would like to make it more than a hobby at some point, so i do want it to last a while or be fixable if something breaks. i have access to a mill, lathe and precision grinder if needed.
    Main uses are going to be circuit boards, next would be plexiglass or woodworking.
    I just would like to know what other issues could be or if there are any options that i dont know about.
    Thanks in advance!

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    Registered Walky's Avatar
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    That 300W motor seems like a DC motor with an ER11 chuck installed. The spindle motors most people talk about here are the watercooled 3-phase motors meant to be used with a matching VFD (which usually doubles the total cost), and are usually 0.8kW, 1.5kW, 2.2kW and up.

    IMHO a Bosch Colt 1HP router would be a wiser choice than the 300W motor, it's not too expensive and has adjustable speed. For circuit boards it would be good to get a precision collet kit for the Colt as runout is critical when doing fine traces like those for SMD.

    Even the chinese watercooled spindles will most likely be better than most (or any) routers in a similar power category, though.

    Can you show us some photos of the machine? It's not clear what's the steel/aluminum for (structure, rails?) and how it's used.

    http://www.build.cl


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    My setup

    I use a RotoZip 1500 from Home Depot for $89.00. Comes in a set with 3 collets (1/8, 3/8, 1/4) and is made by Bosch using decent bearings. Not the quietest thing but it can run all day through 2" thick bass & cherry with a 1/4" end mill and is only slightly warm. I bought some Freud bits and some red oak planks while I was there. I have also used some 1/8" bits from Harbor Freight, they break easily and must be run at a real low feed rate but they're cheap to learn with. Seems like the main reasons to get a VFD spindle would be variable speed and quietness. I use a Harbor Freight speed control to get 10 to 20k control for cheap. A VFD spindle may give you 4 to 24k, still not low enough for steel but plenty good overall. The router is loud but the type of material and speed of cut will also add to the noise, where as the spindle will need to be cooled with liquid or used as air cooled at a limited duty cycle. I say if you need to run a lot of different jobs on a budget, a router will do just fine to start. HTH

    Cheers



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    I can get the Bosch colt for about 93$ shipped and then I can get the collets from precisebits. I am still doing work on the cnc but I'll be sure to take the pictures and try to post them tomorrow.
    So from how you used vfd its an alternative to pwm? I noticed a frequency rating on spindle motors so is that how they accomplish high torque at low speeds with a router?
    Is going with an adjustable speed router sound silly if you compare it to vfd? Do the routers with adjustable speed become weak at lower rpm?
    I also don't know what speeds are good for what.
    I know plexiglass/acrylic are low speed high feed rate
    Wood I know high speed worked well for me with my dremel but that about it
    Pcb traces are high speed lower feed rate and steel and aluminum I'm not sure of.
    The machine has a rectangle base with two upright steel pieces holding an aluminum plate with the y axis on it. When the bit digs in to the piece the steel flexes side to side. But I am hoping to replace the steel with aluminum to be more rigid. I currently can get about 20 ipm on 1/16 micro stepping. It still misses steps but the board was only modded a few hours ago( ground chips and heatsink, removed 12v fan, remove current limit while idle resistors and replace 1000pf caps with 100 to increase frequency.
    It had a major noise problem and stalling but is much better now except for the fact the motors are getting quite warm. I'll end up making heatsinks for the steppers(minebea 42 oz-in 12-24v) directly coupled with 12 tph acme rod with anti backlash nuts. It's very strong at low feed rates and has actually moved the 40 lb cnc a time or two during testing.
    Currently powering everything with a 12v computer power supply that's running at 11v( about 9-10 to steppers) which I think why the motors are missing steps.
    Once I fix those ill see if I should invest in a router and precision collets.
    As for the rotozip I don't know where I would get precision collets. Any idea?



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    here are a couple of pics, excuse the mess i just finished putting the thing back together.
    i found the dewalt 611 on ebay for 7$ more than the colt. Also found out they make precision collets and nuts for it too.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -082-jpg   -081-jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by sharpen047 View Post
    here are a couple of pics, excuse the mess i just finished putting the thing back together.
    i found the dewalt 611 on ebay for 7$ more than the colt. Also found out they make precision collets and nuts for it too.
    They do now. Mine is already on order.

    The DW611 is phisically larger and has more power than the Colt but is well worth the $7 difference. It may even be a little too large for this machine. When you set up a Z zero setter, remember that the collet and cutter is not grounded through the aluminum frame of the router. You will need to clip onto the cutter for the return path to work properly. Check that there is a reliable connection path through the flex shaft also.

    CarveOne
    http://www.carveonecncwoodcraft.com


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    just take into account one thing, is it has brush or brushless.. that says everything..
    brushed motors are worth less, and noising way more..

    a brushless motor dont get hurt running 72 hour permanently.. i dont know how a brushed can stand that..

    thats why the cheapest spindle start around 300-350

    i also used from harborfreigth the cutoff tool.. that was very cool for 20 bux.. i added a routercontrlo for another 15 and i had professional spindle for 35 bux ... LOL

    i could run 8 hour.. i didnt care it has bad runout.. for 20 bux you dont care that

    that simply made the task.. when it got bad i simply put a new one on.. when i got money i replaced with a spindle.. didnt go for brand handheld routers..

    a brushed motor for router dont worth more.. permanent risk the brush..



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    Quote Originally Posted by CarveOne View Post
    They do now. Mine is already on order.

    The DW611 is phisically larger and has more power than the Colt but is well worth the $7 difference. It may even be a little too large for this machine. When you set up a Z zero setter, remember that the collet and cutter is not grounded through the aluminum frame of the router. You will need to clip onto the cutter for the return path to work properly. Check that there is a reliable connection path through the flex shaft also.
    Are the dimensions too big or is it just too powerful? and what do you mean the cutter and collet are not grounded and the return path may not work properly?



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    You z axis is not heavy enough to handle a larger router. If you put one on there has it is you will more than likely twist the Z axis off due to the power of the router motor.



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    what are the size and weight differences between the colt and the dewalt? amazon shows both are "compact" routers.
    As far as the twisting- i am going to the metal supply store here in a few hours to look for some nice plate or rectangle tubing. Going to make every axis stronger.



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