Build Thread PM-45 CNC Conversion (RF45)


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Thread: PM-45 CNC Conversion (RF45)

  1. #1
    Registered jid2's Avatar
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    Default PM-45 CNC Conversion (RF45)

    1st Post!

    I'm not sure whether to thank all you guys for the great build threads and wealth of knowledge and data here.... or e-slap everyone for the amount of dollars which have left my possession in the past week

    I'm a mechanical engineer who has been bumming machine time at friends and co-workers home shops for years now. Having a little machine shop in the garage is something I've wanted since I was in high school. But I didn't think I could do it in my two car garage while maintaining the "rule" that both cars come into the garage at the end of the day. Initially I felt any machine purchase would need to be a big ol' bridgeport style machine to do any real work. I also wanted the ability to build complex shapes because as an engineer I'm used to being able to "have" any shape I can design - and I don't turn wheels with both hands too well. So I had kinda given up.

    I finally gave in to the idea of just finding a cheap mill drill on craigslist and sticking it in the corner. I went to buy one for $1000 and lost it to another guy by about 5 minutes - turned out that was the catalyst for all this. Started looking around more, found this place, and realized I could squeeze in a RF45 sized machine, make real parts, and do it CNC.

    The PM-45 should be here this coming week. All the electronics are on order. First I have to do some mods to my current garage setup. Cutting up benches and moving stuff around.

    With the help of all the other RF-45 threads these are the parts in-route to my house:

    - PM-45 Milling Machine
    - Antek 10N70R5R12 power supply
    - Gecko 320X's
    - C11T controller
    - Smooth Stepper and BOB
    - Kelig 850oz/in servo motors
    - CUI encoders

    I work at an electronics company, so I'm going to build the control system at work with some of the EE's. The guys at work are excited, should be fun. Plan is to get the control system up and running first. I'll get the machine setup in the garage, and take it apart to measure everything and create a CAD model of it. Then I'll design and layout the CNC conversion parts in the CAD model and create drawings. That should allow me to order the ballscrews with pre-finished ends. I just got a lathe, but don't feel like turning those. I might have some friends crank out the mounting brackets for all the CNC stuff at their shops so I don't have to do it all by hand. I don't have tons of spare time and thanks to you guys I want the CNC up and running soon. But who knows, I could end up building them all myself too.

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    Welcome aboard !! Great, yet another RF45 build. Be sure to keep us all updated on the build !



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    Ditto... Post lots of pictures, too...



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    The RF-45 is a nice machine and you will be happy with but the slow spindle speed will be the first thing to bug you.

    I just changed from the 1750 RPM stock motor to a 3550 motor and the speed increase makes the finish on aluminum much better.

    If you don't want to go VFD right out of the box pick up a low cost 2hp 3600 RPM and make it fit, its a good place to drop $100.

    I did a test cut with a 2.5" face mill the other day at 100 IPM.

    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD14mxH4xjI"]YouTube - IH mill .160" thou 100 IPM.MP4[/nomedia]



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    Quote Originally Posted by arizonavideo View Post
    The RF-45 is a nice machine and you will be happy with but the slow spindle speed will be the first thing to bug you.

    I just changed from the 1750 RPM stock motor to a 3550 motor and the speed increase makes the finish on aluminum much better.

    If you don't want to go VFD right out of the box pick up a low cost 2hp 3600 RPM and make it fit, its a good place to drop $100.

    I did a test cut with a 2.5" face mill the other day at 100 IPM.

    Arizona, this is very interesting. I assume VFD is to have a variable speed? Can we have VFD and keep the gearing or do we have to do the belt drive for VFD? Can you point me to some more info on VFD and how to set one up? Thanks

    MUDSUX


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    Glad to see another joining the 45 crew!

    One thing I would mention is that IH advertises 'hardened' gears in their machines & they even offer a 3600rpm motor as an option. Not sure about the PM machines, but I would tend to guess they're not hardened. The gears in my clone are certainly not.

    This is not to say a higher rpm motor can't be used, but I just wanted to mention this as a precautionary note.



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    Registered jid2's Avatar
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    Belt drive and 7000 RPM are in the plans - you guys make it too tempting, just not right away like some of the other conversions in process. The 1 shot oiler looks to be the way to go, so I plan on doing that as well. Really it will be a money and time issue I guess. If the conversion takes forever I'll probably have time and funds to buy the new motor and VFD, before cnc chips are flying.



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    Wow, an another RF45 clone.. Couldn't see that coming.

    Welcome on board, hopefully your ride will be pleasent also.

    Mine had a 3200rpm spindle, but I had some free time and disassembled the head and decided to go with a belt drive.



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    Quote Originally Posted by arizonavideo View Post
    I did a test cut with a 2.5" face mill the other day at 100 IPM.

    OMG, that's amazing. I still don't know what these minimills (including mine) can do since I haven't done any cutting with it yet, but that sure looks promising. Thanks for sharing.

    Mine has done this much of spinning:
    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3xIRbS6q8g"]YouTube - HBM F45[/nomedia]



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    Tracking predicts the machine will be delivered tomorrow.

    Too many posts without a single picture. I'm boring myself! So to add a little color to this thread.

    Here's the section of the garage I need to fit the mill into - the left corner. I've enjoyed having the tool box there and the large bench....



    But I gotta make some space, so goodbye to about 40" of bench space, and now the tool box needs to go somewhere. Still not sure on the final resting places - but this will make space to get the mill in the corner right away.





    Just picked up the 12x36 lathe from a friend at work this past weekend. Still need to wire it up. It also displaced some stuff that needs a new home, most likely on an extended bench off to the left.





    And finally, here are some photos of projects that could have used the CNC mill over the past few years. Instead they were done with more crude methods.

    I cut this 7075 with a jig saw and a crap ton of blades





    Plasma cut these profiles, came out rough and needed lots of sanding.





    All those parts helped make this.





    More plasma cutting.





    Some true manual milling.



    More manual metal removal.



    And finally, I expect there will be a picture very similar to this one in about a week when all the electronics show up as well as my order of "I guess I want to be a machinist" tooling.





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    You are way too organized, and your garage is way too clean!


    You do nice work with primitive tools, so I'd expect that you will do wonders with an RF-45...



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    Nice venturi on the last bracket. what is it for? Intake I'm guessing?

    Jermie


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