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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Confused on rails and trucks.
    What's the confusion? Choo-choos run on rails, trucks run on highways. I learned that in 1st grade...

    Actually, what is the confusion? Is it my contention in #19, or Comatose's in #18? Or something else?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    What's the confusion? Choo-choos run on rails, trucks run on highways. I learned that in 1st grade...
    Now I am so totally lost.
    I thought the talk about machine slideways and trucks and rails in that reference and how they fit and work as a system.
    It is a linear motion system, all the parts play a role in this in my experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    And to grab prices from McM, their generic smaller profile rails are $.40/mm, which would be ~$560 for just a pair of 28" rails for (say) 16" of X travel.
    Why would you buy retail from McMaster ? HiWIn is going to be a third of that for oem, and there's others that would be fine for a benchtop machine that are way less than that. In fact I'd look into linear motors .... no screws at all

    We luvs our linear motors ... I've seen a little benchtop machine for mechanically testing switches, they do make them motors small enough.

    The benchtop four and five axis cheapos go for about a thousand dollars wholesale. They ain't pretty but they work. Have to agree with OP that you could build a machine that would be better than what's offered at a decent price ... but making a business out of it, in the US, difficult as hell.

    funkychina.jpg

    Oops, wrong one. Maybe this ...

    newest_okuma.jpg

    Remember the guy on alt.machines who built and sold that kind of thing ? He was in Michigan, I think. What's he doing now, kicked back and useless like the rest of us ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Why would you buy retail from McMaster ? HiWIn is going to be a third of that for oem, and there's others that would be fine for a benchtop machine that are way less than that. In fact I'd look into linear motors .... no screws at all
    So why'd you post two pictures of the identical machine?

    Yes, I know (but misspelled) that there were cheaper options, it's just a fast way of getting order of magnitude pricing on the rails.

    Linear motors are teh smexy, but the cost, power requirements, heating control, and risks of runaway if you climb mill past their capacity is something that would keep me with ball screws and servomotors, I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    It is a linear motion system, all the parts play a role in this in my experience.
    Yes, but if I were trying to control costs and had the capacity, I'd make my own trucks over trying to make rails. I could match my truck's geometries to commercial rail, I couldn't make rail to fit existing trucks.

    Now, what would be really interesting is to make your trucks integral with the rest of your staging, but who's crazy enough to do that??

    [Me]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    Linear motors are teh smexy, but the cost, power requirements, heating control, and risks of runaway if you climb mill past their capacity is something that would keep me with ball screws and servomotors, I think.
    Let me connect you with the people making them .... wait until you see them in real life, and not by some Chermans who are good at overcomplicating and overpricing everything they touch. They are killer. Going to be the next real advance in machine tools.

    And no, Fanuc and Siemens do not want this to happen because they have a lot invested in ball screw techology. Think Kodak ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Let me connect you with the people making them .... wait until you see them in real life, and not by some Chermans who are good at overcomplicating and overpricing everything they touch. They are killer. Going to be the next real advance in machine tools.

    And no, Fanuc and Siemens do not want this to happen because they have a lot invested in ball screw techology. Think Kodak ...
    Well, I'm all ears (and some hair). I'm working (minor at the moment) on a project that's using smaller linear motors, but wasn't part of the speccing/sourcing for them. More knowledge is good...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    Now, what would be really interesting is to make your trucks integral with the rest of your staging, but who's crazy enough to do that??

    [Me]
    You build your own recirculating ball or needle trucks for linear rails as in the ones we see on most machine tools?
    Puck me I bow down on my knees. So way past me.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    You build your own recirculating ball or needle trucks for linear rails as in the ones we see on most machine tools
    Puck me I bow down on my knees. So way past me.
    Bob
    Oh, fiddlesticks. Needle/roller would be trickier, but balls?

    Child's play...

    [And for further clarification, I'm not doing this at the moment. But I am crazy enough to try it]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    [And for further clarification, I'm not doing this at the moment. But I am crazy enough to try it]
    I do so much love a guy with no fear and do all and anything if pushed....They will call us crazy.
    The OP is obvious crazy land..... or not?

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    I'd make the base a slab of granite. Pretty cheap, stable as hell, definitely good damping properties. And there's inexpensive linear ways.

    At least a few pieces could be made better than what's commonly available and still be inexpensive.
    I think there was a thread over on c*****e.com about making concrete bases/columns for machines, or it might have been on the Linuxcnc forum.

    As cheaply as granite surface plates can be had on craigslist/auctions/ebay/new etc would make a viable and cost effective base. And drilling and epoxying in thread inserts is easy enough in granite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by triumph406 View Post
    I think there was a thread over on c*****e.com about making concrete bases/columns for machines, or it might have been on the Linuxcnc forum.

    As cheaply as granite surface plates can be had on craigslist/auctions/ebay/new etc would make a viable and cost effective base. And drilling and epoxying in thread inserts is easy enough in granite.
    I cannot take credit .... saw some floppy disk facing machines being scrapped, and that's what they used. Thought, "Oh, what a good idea !"

    That was a while back

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    Quote Originally Posted by triumph406 View Post
    I think there was a thread over on c*****e.com about making concrete bases/columns for machines, or it might have been on the Linuxcnc forum.

    As cheaply as granite surface plates can be had on craigslist/auctions/ebay/new etc would make a viable and cost effective base. And drilling and epoxying in thread inserts is easy enough in granite.
    I've seen a some videos of such homebuilt mills about and some of them are pretty impressive, such as this one,

    First test cut on my diy epoxy granite vmc - YouTube

    Epoxy granite cnc mill walk around - YouTube

    That said I'm sure if he added up the cost of all the materials, parts and the number of hours he has put into it multiplied by a reasonable hourly wage he'd at very least be at the cost of a Haas Mini Mill if not something a bit more £$£$£.

    I won't deny that some hobby machinists have some real skills at their disposal but they generally have more time than money (that they are willing to part with) and I swear for some of them the hobby is making tooling for their machines to help them make more tooling for their machines and don't spend an awful lot of time making parts for anything else. I often see videos of people making tooling that those in industry would just buy because it's cheaper to just do that once time is taken into account, not a customer base I'd really be chasing.

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    I have a homebuilt CNC mill. It is configured with a stationary table and the spindle moves in all 3 axis. The spindle can be rotated to a horizontal position as well.

    The table is a scraped cast iron surface plate from the junkyard for $99 dollars. The X,Y,Z axis are all THK linear linear slides with 18” travel and 20mm ball screws, 4 of them for $1200. So I have a spare. The axis motors are 980Oz/in Nema 34 steppers on 80 volt Leadshine drivers supplied by a 1500 watt 68 volt DC power supply for 300ipm rapids. The base and enclosure are 8020 extrusions from an old customer for free. Two spindles, a Hitachi router, and a minimill spindle driven by a Baldor DC treadmill motor controlled by a free motor controller. A free PLC controls all the auuxiliary functions and drives a large stepper on a stripped down minilathe for turning and 4th axis. Mach3 with a motion card for about $400 running on a free PC.

    So far I am way past $10K! Well into the realm of a Tormach.96df5dbd-7055-49d0-bef6-c2c8e6d0834d.jpg

    I have about 2000 hrs machining time on it making lots of parts for lots of things, many of them difficult or impossible on a manual machine.

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    I have made several hundred epoxy granite based machines. You spend your time on design, and making a precise mold. I use a very slow cure epoxy and let it cure for at least 48 hours. Strip the mold, do a little sanding, paint it. Everything else bolts on. The stuff can be very cost effective if you shop around.
    Your opinion of the product changes drastically when you wail on a block of it with a 10 pound sledge hammer. You get tired.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthiasBeek View Post
    Hello everyone!

    In the past few months, I (student mechanical engineering) have been looking over the internet in a search for a functional CNC machine that could fit in a fairly small place. After finding barely anything useful or affordable, I decided to make a small CNC Mill myself. As it seems like I am not the only one trying to find a capable machine, I would like to create a new product: A desktop CNC Mill designed with great tolerances and repeatability in mind. The machine will be designed with strength and rigidity in mind.

    To gain more insight for this product I created the form below and would really appreciate your feedback!

    Desktop CNC Mill

    Thanks a lot and have a great day!


    Sounds like the new hire that on the first day knows exactly how to change everything to make it work better. Never mind the fact that what is in place works with the test of time behind it.

    ...not saying fresh eyes and ideas should be dismissed. However, see how things work and function before tossing it all and starting fresh.

    Desktop CNC sounds great on the surface... a smaller size, a smaller price, but it does not work really that way unless you start cheaping out on rigidity, components, and tolerances. It's fine to make a flimsy 3D printer squirting out melted plastic, not too good for a machine used to cut precision parts from steels

  19. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Why would you buy retail from McMaster ? HiWIn is going to be a third of that for oem, and there's others that would be fine for a benchtop machine that are way less than that. In fact I'd look into linear motors .... no screws at all

    We luvs our linear motors ... I've seen a little benchtop machine for mechanically testing switches, they do make them motors small enough.

    The benchtop four and five axis cheapos go for about a thousand dollars wholesale. They ain't pretty but they work. Have to agree with OP that you could build a machine that would be better than what's offered at a decent price ... but making a business out of it, in the US, difficult as hell.

    funkychina.jpg

    Oops, wrong one. Maybe this ...

    newest_okuma.jpg

    Remember the guy on alt.machines who built and sold that kind of thing ? He was in Michigan, I think. What's he doing now, kicked back and useless like the rest of us ?
    Are you thinking of Fred Smith?
    Also sold VectorCam, and then some more software, and desktop hardware.
    Here:
    Vector Cad-Cam 2d and 3D professional Cad-Cam

    Got VectorCam from him 21 years ago.
    Still use it every day. Orders of magnitude faster than anything I Ever tried for 2.5 axis jobs!
    Even was able to (easily!) hack it to produce full contour 4axis simultaneous motion on a ring cam, from a two axis layout.

    But, I digress..

  20. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by implmex View Post
    Hi Matthias:
    There are DOZENS of offerings in the desktop and small home shop toy CNC market; everything from bare bones "Maker" kits to fully functional machines.
    If you want a decent machine you don't need to make one yourself...you just have to find the money to buy one.

    If you really really want to make and sell a new product, you have a hard road ahead of you.

    I have a Defiance VTX-1 benchtop 3 axis CNC mill.
    Light Machines Inc made comparable models.
    They cost anywhere from 20 to 60 thousand dollars new, and were capable enough to find homes in proper machine shops who were making the kinds of parts a little machine like this can do well.

    Neither company exists anymore...they lasted maybe 10 years and died...not enough profit in it to make it worthwhile in the long term.

    Making the machine is the least of it...making it PROFITABLY and finding buyers for it is the real problem.

    So while I hate to stomp on your dream...

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining
    For that kind of money I can find a good, used, full-sized CNC.

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    I think the machine you are looking for already exists - Its made by Prototrak and is called the Trak 2op.

    It seems like a very innovative design. They built it as a bridge type mill instead of a C frame. This leads to two major benefits - firstly its more rigid than a similar sized C frame Mill. The second benefit of this is you get quite a bit of travel for the machines size (14 inches of x Travel in a 30 inch wide machine - a similar sized tormach is like 80" wide the guards mounted).

    Its fully enlosed, it has servos, linear guides, a standard bt30 spindle, a toolchanger, rigid tapping, flood coolant, and a prototrak control, all that in a machine that takes up about as much space as a fridge.

    FWIW I have a Tormach in my home shop, I don't like it and intend to replace it with one of these at some point. I wish I would have just bought a 2op in the first place, but I did not know about it at the time.

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  23. #40
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    Hi CoronaVirus:
    You wrote "For that kind of money I can find a good, used, full-sized CNC."

    Yep...you're right...no argument from me.
    That's part of the reason they didn't last...nobody wants to spend real money on a toy.​

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining


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