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Thread: Steel / aluminum CNC router design

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    Default Steel / aluminum CNC router design

    Hello everyone,

    I have been working for some time now on my steel / aluminum CNC router design, and would like to hear your thoughts about it.
    My design is 'somewhat' based on a machine Boyan Silyavski made some time ago.

    I will use the machine for wood, 'soft' foam and plastics routing, but I hope I can also use it to machine aluminum with it.

    The design uses a quite stiff steel frame made from square 100 * 100 * 3 mm beams for the main frame and a two 100 * 100 * 3 's for the gantry. The Z-axis and its carriage will be made from aluminum.

    Since I own a TIG welder (and no MIG welder), I plan on using my TIG for all welding. By carefully planning and executing the welds in a certain order, I hope I can prevent excessive welding distortion. If this turns out to be a problem, I might tack the frame with my TIG, and bring the frame to work to MIG it further.

    I have designed the machine roughly, and before completely detailing everything, I will wait for the comments of you CNC-zone members That way, I (hopefully) do not have to start all detailing work all over again.
    The cooling reservoir is now quite high up on the Z-axis, I think I will change this, since I don`t like the look of it.

    I plan on using SS441 Hall effect sensors for homing, and simple NC lever switches a limit switches.

    I still need to add the spindle cooling radiator, home and limit switches, energy chains, bolts etc.

    Some facts about the design:
    - 100 * 100 * 3 mm steel beams for main frame
    - all steel members will be waterjet cut from 6 mm steel plate
    - aluminum parts for Z-axis will be 10 or 15 mm tooling plate
    - all rails are Hiwin-type 20 mm rails (1150, 800 and 300 mm)
    - dual Y-axis, X-axis and Z-axis driven by 1605 ballscrews
    - Anaheim stepper motors with integrated drives
    - Chinese 2.2 kW water cooled spindle driven by a Siemens VFD
    - rails will be leveled with self-leveling epoxy after frame is completely welded
    - the weight of the machine will be around 140 kg (according to Inventor).

    I will add to images of the design I have made in Inventor

    Please let me know what you think of the design,

    Regards,
    Reinier

    Similar Threads:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Steel / aluminum CNC router design-cnc-machine-back-jpg   Steel / aluminum CNC router design-cnc-machine-jpg  


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    Default Re: Steel / aluminum CNC router design

    Looks fairly solid. What will your cutting area be?

    My only regret with my machine is not going bigger. Mine is a 1250x675mm cutting area.

    Think about sheet sizes. E.g my machine takes a quarter sheet, which makes sheet breakdown easy.

    7xCNC.com - CNC info for the minilathe (7x10, 7x12, 7x14, 7x16)


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    Default Re: Steel / aluminum CNC router design

    I would use thicker wall tubing so you have more threads for your rail bolts.

    Gerry

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    Default Re: Steel / aluminum CNC router design

    The cutting area will be 940 x 610 mm. I should be able to place a quarter sheet on the machine, but I cannot mill it in one pass. That`s why I have the front and back of the machine open, so that I can move the sheet in the machine, if I really need to machine such a big sheet (which I do not anticipate).

    I chose these rail and ballscrew dimensions because they are standard sizes and not overly expensive. Futhermore, I will lose a lot of stiffness from the machine if I would make it much larger. The work I plan on doing with this machine should fit easily.

    Quote Originally Posted by pippin88 View Post
    Looks fairly solid. What will your cutting area be?

    My only regret with my machine is not going bigger. Mine is a 1250x675mm cutting area.

    Think about sheet sizes. E.g my machine takes a quarter sheet, which makes sheet breakdown easy.




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    Default Re: Steel / aluminum CNC router design

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    I would use thicker wall tubing so you have more threads for your rail bolts.
    Thanks, I will consider this. I am also looking at the option of flowdrilling, since I do not want to make the machine overly heavy



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    Default Re: Steel / aluminum CNC router design

    I wouldn't be to scared of tig welding it, I found it great for pulling th material the way it needed to go, dependent on what way you run the weld.



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    Default Re: Steel / aluminum CNC router design

    Quote Originally Posted by Reinier View Post
    Thanks, I will consider this. I am also looking at the option of flowdrilling, since I do not want to make the machine overly heavy
    I'm not familiar with flowdrilling, can you explain that for us?

    As for making the machine heavy, there are advantages to being heavy and certainly a few with being light. Heavy though will help contour vibration and resonance. It is up to you obviously but I'd lean towards heavy instead of light.

    As far as the design goes there are only two things that really bother me. The gantry saddle arraignment with the ball screw on the back side doesn't inspire me. Along with the rails on the top and bottom I'd be very concerned about being able to properly machine the beam and get those two rails into alignment. The ball screw itself should be closer to the saddle too.

    As for the second item, it was already mentioned above but 3 mm is pretty thin for screw holding. This is an example of where part sizes are often dictated not by the machines structure but rather the ability to hold screws. You can always buy linear rails that are tapped and use through bolts to fasten them in place. With 3 mm stock you will barely have 2.5mm worth of screw holding capability once you counter sink or in some way debar the mounting side of the holes. Generally you want at least one diameter of thickness for the bolts you need to mount the rails. So rails mounted with 6mm bolts should be fastened to stock at least 6mm thick. Yes this is counter to your desire to control weight. There are other options including welding on stock upon which the rails will be mounted, but you then get into serious machining costs.

    When I say minimal thickness it is probably better to being yourself an allowance on top of that. The reason is the the beam may require some machining to eliminate distortion. This of course depends upon the exact meths you choose to address the problem of less that perfect materials. Epoxy leveling can greatly reduce the need for machining but might not completely eliminate it.

    Overall though it looks like you are off to a great start.



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    Default Re: Steel / aluminum CNC router design

    Most of it is pretty good as far as I can see, except I find the setup for the Y-axis too complicated.

    Takes too much energy and time to get it working propperly and then it will still be less precise then the simpler setup I have used here:
    All aluminium 1250x1250x250 router

    Sven http://www.cnczone.com/forums/diy-cnc-router-table-machines/320812-aluminium-1250x1250x250-router.html


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    Default Re: Steel / aluminum CNC router design

    Quote Originally Posted by wizard View Post
    I'm not familiar with flowdrilling, can you explain that for us?

    As for making the machine heavy, there are advantages to being heavy and certainly a few with being light. Heavy though will help contour vibration and resonance. It is up to you obviously but I'd lean towards heavy instead of light.

    As far as the design goes there are only two things that really bother me. The gantry saddle arraignment with the ball screw on the back side doesn't inspire me. Along with the rails on the top and bottom I'd be very concerned about being able to properly machine the beam and get those two rails into alignment. The ball screw itself should be closer to the saddle too.

    As for the second item, it was already mentioned above but 3 mm is pretty thin for screw holding. This is an example of where part sizes are often dictated not by the machines structure but rather the ability to hold screws. You can always buy linear rails that are tapped and use through bolts to fasten them in place. With 3 mm stock you will barely have 2.5mm worth of screw holding capability once you counter sink or in some way debar the mounting side of the holes. Generally you want at least one diameter of thickness for the bolts you need to mount the rails. So rails mounted with 6mm bolts should be fastened to stock at least 6mm thick. Yes this is counter to your desire to control weight. There are other options including welding on stock upon which the rails will be mounted, but you then get into serious machining costs.

    When I say minimal thickness it is probably better to being yourself an allowance on top of that. The reason is the the beam may require some machining to eliminate distortion. This of course depends upon the exact meths you choose to address the problem of less that perfect materials. Epoxy leveling can greatly reduce the need for machining but might not completely eliminate it.

    Overall though it looks like you are off to a great start.
    Uses a tool, usually ceramic, that drills with friction (heat) and pushes material inward, that which could be threaded, eliminating the need for adding thickness with a plate to drill and tap.



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    Default Re: Steel / aluminum CNC router design

    The process is pretty interesting; the spot gets red hot, and is pushed inward so there's a collar that's much thicker than the wall thickness. It would make sense for a project like this. Here's a FAQ: Formdrill: F.A.Q.

    Andrew Werby
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    Default Re: Steel / aluminum CNC router design

    Thanks guys! Never heard of it as flow drilling.

    Quote Originally Posted by awerby View Post
    The process is pretty interesting; the spot gets red hot, and is pushed inward so there's a collar that's much thicker than the wall thickness. It would make sense for a project like this. Here's a FAQ: Formdrill: F.A.Q.
    It might make good sense but having never used the technique I'm not sure I'd go this route myself. I have seen the results of this technique but never on something that calls for a lot of fine workmanship.



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    Default Re: Steel / aluminum CNC router design

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainVee View Post
    Most of it is pretty good as far as I can see, except I find the setup for the Y-axis too complicated.

    Takes too much energy and time to get it working propperly and then it will still be less precise then the simpler setup I have used here:
    All aluminium 1250x1250x250 router
    That`s a very nice looking machine!
    I am a little confused as to the comment you make. I assume it is the same comment as the first one from Wizard, and then the 'problematic' axis is what I thought people normally refer to as the X-axis (the two rails that sit on the gantry itself), not the Y-axis. Is that what you meant?
    For now, that is at least what I have modified.
    I have modified the design to something that is indeed much simpler. I originally chose the design I used to minimize the distance from the spindle centre to the bearings on the Y-axis to minimize the torsional moment on the gantry. With this new design, this distance is a little larger, but it is a much simpler construction. I do have to look into a way to fasten the bolts for the rail carriages, because they are now interfering. Since it is only a rough design, I will look into it when making the final design.
    Steel / aluminum CNC router design-cnc-machine-v2-jpg

    On the flowdrilling: it is indeed a very nice proces, but I now realized I cannot use it here. I will be leveling the rails on a slab of self-leveling epoxy, and that will melt / burn of when flowdrilling afterwards. I think it will be a bad idea to flowdrill the holes before laying the epoxy.
    I agree with you all that 3 mm is actually too thin to tap nice M6 threads, but I do not want to change to larger wall thicknesses of the main beams (my supplier sells 100 * 100 * 5 also, but it is more than 4 times the price of the 100 * 100 * 3....) Instead, I think I will weld in pieces of steel bar of e.g. 20 mm dia and 10 mm length at the bolt locations, see example below.
    Steel / aluminum CNC router design-example_stud-jpg



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