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Thread: Rotary Indexer

  1. #1
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    Default Rotary Indexer

    I'm brainstorming about how I'm going to make a specific part. The part got 2 holes in a 15 degree angle that requires 2 ops. the total amount of ops I need to do is 5 or 6. Way too much work...
    A 4th axis would be great because it reduces the setups to 2. I can rotate the parts and drill those holes in an angle.
    But adding a 4th axis is not a cheap option. So I'm searching for cheaper options for now. I only need to turn the part. I don't need full 4th axis machining.
    I'm fairly new to the CNC world but I'm thinking I search for a indexer?

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    We rarely need a 4th but the few times we have we just mount a manual indexer and add a M01 to the program and manually position the indexer as needed.

    Doesn't get any cheaper then that!

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    I needed a 4th axis for years before I finally got one. I developed some tricks that made not having one almost as fast as having one.

    Manual Indexer for odd angles. Pretty quick, and used a 5C collet. I think the one I bought was less than $100 (Chinese), but worked fine.

    5C Collet Block: Again a 5C, but it came with two blocks, square and hex. This allowed easy 90 degree and 60 degree increments.

    Probably the best method that I used was to drill dowel pin clearance holes around the periphery of the part in left over material from OP1. These clearance holes lined up with two dowel pins in the fixed jaw of my vise. Then it was just a matter of opening the vise and rotating the part to line up with the correct holes. I also have done a simlar thing with a fixture plate, the part is held down in a fixture plate, and the plate has flats milled in it at appropriate angles. These flats either rested on the bottom of the vise, or with bigger parts, on the machine table, resting against a 90 degree table.

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    I saw these guys at IMTS 2002
    marketplace.yet2.com - SC-Rodexer

    It looks like a possible solution. You used a tool in the spindle to push a knob on the indexer to advance it.
    They seem to have gone away in the last 16 years.

    Isn't there anyone else who builds a push to advance indexer?
    No cost to the machine or control to install it.

  6. #5
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    That's a clever idea. Why couldn't you do the same thing with a super spacer like the Bison? It has a lever that indexes the head an amount that is "programmable" by a plate scheme. Doesn't seem like it would be too hard to have the spindle push the lever.


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