CNC Mill

This has been a long term project, and has gone through a few revisions. The major revisions were to reduce the hanging distance of the cutter to increase rigidity; and to use a 3phase motor and VFD for more torque over the high speed RC motor I started with. I also revised the elctronics from an all in one parallel port interface / stepper driver to an Ethernet smoothstepper and individual stepper drivers for each axis. The system runs on a desktop PC with Mach3.

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An early spindle design, using a timing belt and RC hobby motor.

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The current iteration of the spindle, using a CNC spindle from ebay with modifications to fit a standard BT30 collet.

AlternateView

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Internally it uses a series of ball to grab the pullstud, which are moved in and out by screwing a locking nut up and down.

130324-IMAG0133

The bed used is a 12mm thick piece of aluminium plate, with holes drilled and tapped every 50mm. It has only been that clean once…

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I’ve got a webcam set up running through the mill computer streaming back to the house so I can see the progress. VLC batch files on both machines and fixed IPs.

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Not the tidiest electrical box in the world, but it does the job, and the aluminium backing plate makes things sturdy, and easy to set up.

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A view from the bed, spindle with coolant/air hose at the top, with the 4th axis on the right. The collet/toolholder is not in there at the moment.

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An exterior shot showing the 4th axis pulleys and usb numpad which I have bound key to Mach3’s rapid traverse movements. The Y and Z axis are enclosed in a perspex case to prevent dust ingress from other workshop jobs. The tubing is for air/coolant for the cutter, as well as a radiator system for the water cooled spindle. All slides are supported round rail with ballscrew/stepper drives.