Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?


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Thread: Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?

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    *Registered User* iampoor1's Avatar
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    Talking Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?

    Hello

    I am a CNC beginner looking to purchase a first machine.

    My goal is to have a machine that can do engraving in anodized aluminum front panels, as well as mill out holes in the same aluminum panels. I know that milling out the holes will be no problem, but I am concerned that I may be expecting too much from any machine in the sub 6-8k price range, so please set me straight

    My concern with the machine is, will it have the accuracy to engrave small text accuratly over a full 16in front panel? I have attached an image of some fonts that I am designing with. The grid is 1in between the solid white lines. I am not particularly concerned with speed, accuracy and resolution are far more important to me. Is it reasonable to expect engraving of text this fine over the width of a 16in panel with a Benchtop PRO machine., or am I completely out of my mind?

    I know my post is missing tons of information. I am not really super deep into the specifics as of yet, as I know the machine will impose limitations that I may have to design around. ANy suggestions or starting points would be greatly appreciate as this is a very overwhelming learning curve for a beginner, and ultimatly I want to not buy the wrong tool from the job. We all know how that ends!

    Also, if anyone with a benchtop pro machine is willing to do some samples for me, I would be glad to pay you, if I am not totally off base.

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?-front-panel-scale-png  


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    Registered ubergeekseven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?

    I have the pro 4896. But I use a Bosch router with it and I can easily engrave and I cut aluminum. Right now I'm working on a 4th axis mount that will require 8 aluminum brackets made from .25 inch plate. You just need to adjust your feeds and speeds and get used to what it can do.
    Cncrp has a video of someone cutting a chain sprocket on what I think is the bench top version. I also have made brass logos to burn into wood designs I have and it was my first attempt. The surface finish could be better, but I had no idea what I was doing at that time and it works fine.
    Engraving should be no issue. Buy some inexpensive bits and a couple good ones. Play around until you're comfortable.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk



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    Default Re: Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?

    In short - absolutely. I bought some cheap bits on eBay and some aluminum at Lowes. I made some nice little plates. It did well on slate too! I haven't done any milling of aluminum, but the brass I did went quite well. It was thin - furniture hardware. i have also engraved plastic, wood, etc. Oh, my machine is a Standard with a Bosch 1617 router. I don't think you will be disappointed.

    I haven't tried very fine text, but the graphics I have engraved had some fine detail that came out very well. Wish I had a pic here at work I could post. It takes some fooling around (I use Vcarve) to figure out the correct font/fill/etc. to get the quality vs. speed you are happy with.

    Tony



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    *Registered User* iampoor1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?

    Thanks for the information guys.

    I would be very interested to see what you have engraved Tony. My main concern at this point is the fluidity of the cut (if that makes sense), IE< will I be able to see any jagged edges. Im not really sure how the accuracy specifications are speced on the CNC Router parts machines. Thanks!

    -Nathan



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    Default Re: Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?

    No jagged edges here. A nice smooth curve comes out as a nice smooth curve. I think you are far underestimating the ability of even the low level CNC machines these days.

    This is 24" wide, but almost all nice smooth curves. The lettering was done with a 60° V bit.

    Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?-sign2-small-jpg

    Not engraved, but again, nice smooth curves - in brass.

    Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?-img_4623-small-1-jpg

    I can't quote accuracy numbers - I think they are hesitant to be too specific as there are so many variables. I know a lot of folks have spent time tweaking their machines and the results are impressive. I probably work within +/- 0.010" with my Standard machine. Most of what I do is within a 2' square. I have been using a drag knife and the Z accuracy is very important. It is working quite well cutting vinyl and veneer.

    Its a huge investment (time AND money), so make sure you get what you need/want. There are some youtube videos of CNCRP stuff in action. That might help. You might find a maker club in your area and see if they would make you a sample engraving with whatever machine they have just so you could see what they can do. I'll try to get some pics... Oh, check out Toolstoday.com, they have lots of videos. Not CNCRP machines, but you can see what this level of machine can do. Pretty amazing actually.

    Oh, I also have milled several circuit boards. That worked out great.

    Just found this...posted here before I think...this is a piece of slate...the variation in depth is because the slate was very uneven. Probably not a good example....
    Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?-slate-jpg

    Tony

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?-sign2-small-jpg   Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?-img_4623-small-1-jpg   Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?-slate-jpg  


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    Default Re: Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?

    This is a 1" tall aluminum strip (from Lowes) I was playing with...hope this helps...

    I used a Bosch 1617 with a eBay engraving tool (the type that is ti coated and is cone shaped - half the diamer is ground off - not sure what to call them). I use VCarve and added the bit as a custom tool with an 0.008 R I think. I go around 0.010 or 0.015 deep or so. I think around 40ipm? You can see that, even this small, the curves are curves. I did another piece of slate using the same bit last night -very nice.

    Good luck. Hope you find something that works well for you.


    Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?-engrave-jpgBenchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?-engrave2-jpg

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?-engrave2-jpg   Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?-engrave-jpg  


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    Default Re: Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?

    Wow, really nice examples of your work. I need to raise my game considerably.



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Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?

Benchtop Pro machine able to do fine engraving in aluminum?