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mcphill
11-14-2010, 06:03 PM
wOOt!

I had some serious computer issues literally minutes after I turned on my coolant pump for the first time. Still not sure if that has anything to do with the root cause or not, but I FINALLY have the problem fixed. Turns out the RAM in my computer was TOAST. So, after nuking my Windows install thinking it was the problem, ripping the computer back out of the Mikini, lugging everything inside to troubleshoot, etc., I am BACK ON LINE with the computer remounted in the Mikini (this time with Nylon screws to keep them electrically separated), a new stick of Corsair XMS2 2GB memory, and everything appears good to do.

So, I now also have some video of cutting metal!!! My first aluminum piece.

First pass is 0.0417" DOC, second pass is 0.0833". Tool is a 1/4" HSS cheap import bit. Spindle is 5000 rpm. Width of cut is 0.125".

Pix of the finish:

http://images112.fotki.com/v502/photos/1/435091/9196467/CIMG0207-vi.jpg

http://images18.fotki.com/v673/photos/1/435091/9196467/CIMG0208-vi.jpg

http://images112.fotki.com/v495/photos/1/435091/9196467/CIMG0209-vi.jpg

Video going up on Vimeo, will post it as a reply when it is viewable...

VERY happy right now.

I think I also finally understand how to use G54 with homing, so I am getting pretty dangerous now! I have a couple chunks of aluminum I will do some playing with using some Z rough and Z finish 3D contouring, hopefully this week. Very excited to get something "real" off the machine!

Brian L
11-14-2010, 07:25 PM
Very cool, looking forward to seeing it rip along. Now, do I understand correctly that you ordered the machine without the computer, built your own and that's where your troubles have been so far? Although the blown capacitor, that was on a stepper drive or power supply correct?

mcphill
11-14-2010, 07:31 PM
Here's the video...

Mikini 1610L Cutting Aluminum on Vimeo (http://www.vimeo.com/16828927)

mcphill
11-14-2010, 07:38 PM
Correct, I ordered the machine without a computer, so all those issues are my own.

The capacitor was on the DC power distribution board. Phil sent a replacement as well as a UPS label to return the defective part. The replacement was in 3 days after I e-mailed him the pictures.

A few of the the other hiccups I have had have been due to a lack of documentation/information available... I would say the manual is "spartan" at best. There is NO information on any of the hardware, except for a very high level wiring diagram (no info on setting the stepper motor drivers for different microstepping, jumpers or settings on any boards, etc.). Phil stated this was intentional, as the machine is configured as it should stay leaving the factory. I personally prefer to have the information whether I need it or not, but I can also see where that could lead to support issues if people tweak around with settings and then either don't admit or don't remember that they did.

Also, the manual was supposed to come with an XML file for Mach3 - apparently mine did not. Again, Phil e-mailed me the XML file, and it worked great once I loaded that in. That said, I think a few screenshots of how to configure the machine should be in there, or on the website, or the XML file should be available on the website.

I have been providing all this feedback to Phil, and his responses indicate he sees it as constructive criticism (as it was meant) rather than complaining. He also indicated he has been working on a website update that will allow much more information to be accessible from there. That should help with several of the "lack of info" and confusion issues I have had...

Brian L
11-14-2010, 10:25 PM
Well, I can understand not wanting things messed with, but... when we bought machines they came with books from Fanuc (the control), books from the manufacturer detailing every parameter, wiring diagram and all the maintenance requirements.

These machines, after all, are aimed an the "do-it-yourself" market.... most guys at this level have built retrofits, or are pretty familiar with steppers, drives and Mach 3, so keeping things "secret" is in my opinion asking for someone to experiment and then screw things up. I mean after all, a guy drops $12k to $15K on a machine and he should be adult enough to keep his hands out of what he doesn't know, and will be able to handle what he does know.

This applies even more considering they sell the machine minus the computer if you so desire.... which means you have to be able to have the information available to hook up your own computer. I'll be interested to see if/when the website gets updated and how proficient it is.... I suspect the current website prohibits sales to a great extent.... pretty crude and all the linked videos are well over a a year old, things need to be fresh and kept current.

scudzuki
11-15-2010, 12:20 AM
I see you are holding your barstock a the left end of the vise.
I hope you have another piece of stock cut from the same bar clamped in the opposite end of the vise to prevent the moveable jaw from twisting, otherwise you are holding the stock along a single edge line of contact and it will move if you try to remove any serious metal in one pass.
Best practice has you holding the part in the center of the vise, as the above scenario divides the vise's clamping force between the actual workpiece and the balancer. I know that makes setup far more difficult sometimes but there's no getting around the physics I'm afraid.

Joe

mcphill
11-15-2010, 08:59 AM
Thanks for the tip. I think I am glad I had it wrong, as I crashed in to the part shortly after that photo! It tipped the part over, rather than destroying the tool or drive - better way to fail ; ) I will follow your advice in the future, though, thanks!

scudzuki
11-24-2010, 05:16 PM
Well it appears your setup was correct, at least for that particular operation!

Joe

dirtridn2010
02-05-2011, 10:02 PM
wOOt!

I had some serious computer issues literally minutes after I turned on my coolant pump for the first time. Still not sure if that has anything to do with the root cause or not, but I FINALLY have the problem fixed. Turns out the RAM in my computer was TOAST. So, after nuking my Windows install thinking it was the problem, ripping the computer back out of the Mikini, lugging everything inside to troubleshoot, etc., I am BACK ON LINE with the computer remounted in the Mikini (this time with Nylon screws to keep them electrically separated), a new stick of Corsair XMS2 2GB memory, and everything appears good to do.

So, I now also have some video of cutting metal!!! My first aluminum piece.

First pass is 0.0417" DOC, second pass is 0.0833". Tool is a 1/4" HSS cheap import bit. Spindle is 5000 rpm. Width of cut is 0.125".

Pix of the finish:

http://images112.fotki.com/v502/photos/1/435091/9196467/CIMG0207-vi.jpg

http://images18.fotki.com/v673/photos/1/435091/9196467/CIMG0208-vi.jpg

http://images112.fotki.com/v495/photos/1/435091/9196467/CIMG0209-vi.jpg

Video going up on Vimeo, will post it as a reply when it is viewable...

VERY happy right now.

I think I also finally understand how to use G54 with homing, so I am getting pretty dangerous now! I have a couple chunks of aluminum I will do some playing with using some Z rough and Z finish 3D contouring, hopefully this week. Very excited to get something "real" off the machine!

In your photos, you only show one side of the vice. Is there another piece of the same material (thickness) at the other end? If there IS NOT then you are risking the operation. By that I mean that the vice applies the force through the Vice screw that goes up the middle of the vice. That is where the maximum force is. While the force at the ends of the vice jaws is for all intended purposes the same. BUT when you clamp material at one end only then the vice will distort, possibly bind up on the slideways of the vice and NOT apply the force equally across the contacted surfaces of the material (more force will be applied to the inside contact area of the piece of material)allowing the material to possible move (pivot) while it is being cut. This could lead to the material being ruined. The cutter being damaged/broken or both. Solution, put that same piece of material in the middle of the vice, have the vice clamp onto as much material as possible and as little as possible above the vice. For me, the best surface finish possible IF using the same cutter (slot drill) would be to use the side of the cutter. Mount the material out the side of the vice (and a piece of scrap the same size in the other end of the vice) and take your cut. I would (on a manual machine, up cut mill on the first pass(your depth of cut) and climb mill with NO increase in cut on the way back. Nice controlled feed rate on the way back (tiny amount of material will be removed (deflection of cutter etc.)) and a much better surface finish. I'm not suggesting that your setup (as seen in photos) wont work. But the finish wont be as good and the safety level is not as high as it could be. Regards Peter (dirtridn2010) Well, what a Tool I would be, I started reading this post from the bottom and read all the posts first, got a bit carried away, and put a reply up immediately. My apologies, I did not mean to repeat what some body else had already covered. regards Peter (dirtridn2010)