Sturdy DIY CNC Mill made of Fibre Concrete
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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Sturdy DIY CNC Mill made of Fibre Concrete

    Hi Machinists,

    Here a video about my recent DIY CNC build, where I experimented with Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete.

    Sturdy DIY CNC Mill made from Fibre Concrete - YouTube

    Looking forward to your thoughts and comments

    Regards
    TheTinkerLab

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    Using some variant of concrete for machine tools is something I'm interested in, but many here will consider it a "home shop" experiment, so don't be discouraged if you get some negative feedback.

    Edit: Took a look at the video, and it's a very small home-style machine. It looks good for what it is, but it's really not appropriate for this forum.

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    Nice effort.
    I'm not impressed yet that this should be in woodworking.
    Can you show examples of woodwork you have done in the past?
    & describe what the wooden parts you are making are/are for?

    smt

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    if you watch the video, you see it used for woodworking. I don't think that there's any intent for metalworking, hence the woodworking forum.

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    Does concrete absorb and/or give off water vapor? I'm wondering if that could be a potential problem long term for steel components? Seems like the epoxy/granite stuff would be impervious.

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    if you watch the video, you see it used for woodworking. I don't think that there's any intent for metalworking,
    Understood.
    However, if it was a full on CI & steel build would the project belong in woodworking, General, or metal working?
    Ditto concrete.

    However, anything that promotes woodworking is welcome. Posting on here, it would be nice for him to show & describe what he makes with the machine; and discuss the woodworking aspects.

    There's also Don's imperative against non-industrial equipment. Which you will be aware i ignore so long as somewhat interesting (in the complex or accomplished sense) is demonstrated & described.

    Should everyone who builds a youtube machine get to post a link to it here with little other participation?
    Or do you think that would eventually lead to more participation overall?

    I'm pragmatic, and interested in what the OP has to say on the subject as well.

    smt

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    Hi Richard, thanks for the interesting question. While the concrete cures the water therein will partly condense, but most of it will actually be bound/consumed to the cement during a process called hydration. The cured concrete will not give off vapor. For my machine I also have an epoxy coating that seals the machine.

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    Only fiber ?
    No pre or post stressing going on ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Only fiber ?
    No pre or post stressing going on ?
    As far as I can tell, just fiber. It's a higher percentage than usual, and there's companies promoting it like these guys:

    Trinic

    You can think of it as almost like a classic fiberglass composite, just with a different (more complicated) matrix material. I haven't seen anyone try this with woven glass, just fibers.

    I'm actually interested in this for some larger machine projects, should be much cheaper than epoxy structures.
    Last edited by Milland; 12-01-2020 at 01:14 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Didn't a big company make some multi ton machines using concrete for the main casting around 20 years ago? Someone made a table saw with a granite top.
    Bill D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    Didn't a big company make some multi ton machines using concrete for the main casting around 20 years ago? Someone made a table saw with a granite top.
    Bill D

    Yes, the machines were CNC Lathes. The company's name is Hardinge. The process was....is? called Harcrete.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    Yes, the machines were CNC Lathes. The company's name is Hardinge. The process was....is? called Harcrete.
    I thought those were polymer (epoxy)/stone fill bases, not actual concrete. There's also some very fancy European grinding machine manufacturers using polymer bases.

    Rock-Solid Machine Bases | American Machinist

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    You're right, not actual concrete. I should read slower and more carefully.

    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    I thought those were polymer (epoxy)/stone fill bases, not actual concrete. There's also some very fancy European grinding machine manufacturers using polymer bases.

    Rock-Solid Machine Bases | American Machinist

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    All of the 5-Axis machines at one of our customers are made with concrete X-Axis ways . . .


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    MG, are they using a true concrete (Portland cement and aggregate), or a polymer and aggregate?

    Regardless, it's a good use for such materials, rather than castings. I'd imagine the actual ways are butted linear rail? Anything fancy going on for alignment and smoothness over the transitions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard newman View Post
    Does concrete absorb and/or give off water vapor? I'm wondering if that could be a potential problem long term for steel components? Seems like the epoxy/granite stuff would be impervious.
    O.T.- but I remember something about that group of people who lived enclosed in that dome in the desert. There was a lot of unsealed concrete in the biosphere that ended up absorbing a lot of their oxygen. Screwed up their calculations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    MG, are they using a true concrete (Portland cement and aggregate), or a polymer and aggregate?

    Regardless, it's a good use for such materials, rather than castings. I'd imagine the actual ways are butted linear rail? Anything fancy going on for alignment and smoothness over the transitions?

    Standard Portland cement and aggregate out of a cement truck - lots of steel inside and size 65 linear rails butted end to end and ordered that way for that purpose. Rails are mounted to machined weldment that has jacking screws every 16 inches with lock nuts. Leveled with a water level and microscope initially and then a Leica laser tracker in final setup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motion guru View Post
    All of the 5-Axis machines at one of our customers are made with concrete X-Axis ways . . .
    Holy cow, concrete out of a truck is cheap. I want one of those.
    Will $20,000 buy me this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Holy cow, concrete is cheap. I want one of those.
    Will $20,000 buy me this?
    $20K will buy you one length of the X run of 65mm linear rail.

    Maybe...

    [Wonder how much time it took to set and align the two rails in that pic]


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