A couple questions?!?

Hi all,
My first post here and after reading through assembly instructions and some of the forums I have decided i can’t live without one of these so… I started my printing about 4 hours ago.
First, Ryan Incredible idea and execution… your my new hero!
Second I have been mulling over tubing and want to use the stronger stock as I plan on milling aluminium often. I saw in the thread on dust collection that Jim Hildebrandt had what appears to be iron pipe that’s not conduit and not stainless? Is this 1" iron stock? And as far as dust collection how well does that system work for aluminium?
And last for now… I have seen a few posts on Mach3 is this in addition to Arduino / Marlin set up or a standalone setup?

Thanks, you are too kind!

If you want it stronger build it smaller and shorter. I spent more hours Than I care to admit trying to find the best material for the rails. EMT is AWESOME, Stainless steel is slightly better for about 10X the cost. Other rails have a ton of flex or extremely poor exterior dimensions. I spent more time finding a rail than designing the machine initially.

Jim will have to answer that.

I can say at first, for a long time you need to stand right there and babysit it, there is a lot to learn and if you want to mill aluminum you have even more to learn. Please no dust collection until you verify a program and you are just running copies. You can’t see the bit so it is best to just watch it and vacuum by hand. Trust me it should take you a long while to turn your back on a metal milling machine. Wood is not so bad but things happen, knots, clamp slips, tool comes out of the collet, cord catches, hose catches. I hope this doesn’t sound too harsh but this can be extremely dangerous. We have even seen a fire happen. For me, I rarely do the same job twice so I have no use for a dust boot. I just vacuum it off every few minutes as I watch it and clean up or prep the next step of the project.

One other consideration, if aluminum is your primary goal you shouldn’t use a vacuum, an air line blows away the chips and helps keep the bit cool. That is a little more standard for metal and sometimes plastic.

Why Mach3? The control board does all the work, Mach3 REpetier, the LCD, all they do is send the coordinates to the board. Coordinates you made with your cam software, it is just a mailman delivering the code one line at a time. The CAM is where you should be most concerned, The “control software” does very little.

Thanks for the info. I am thinking 30"x30" or possibly 30"x24" for the overall size and keeping the Z to a minimum. No worries I am cautious with all my new tools. I have been in the trades for the last 25 years so I know better than turning my back on a new machine until tested thoroughly. Having full size routers, router tables and laminate routers has taught me how powerful these tools can be as well as how fast things can go wrong. I have no plans on laser or printing with the MPCNC as I have a Tevo Black Widow and it handles printing and has the option for a laser as well. I want this for plastics and aluminium as well as some wood (there may be a Low Rider in my future). The Tevo has taught me how to edit and work with Marlin fairly well and was one reason this system has a greater appeal to me as I won’t have a totally new learning curve on the machines software or the stepper set up either. I asked about the Mach3 only as a curiosity in the event I want to build a more powerful machine in the future. The CAM software is another story… editing tool paths sounds daunting at this point, but as with anything its time and use that will make it a tool and not a task.
And thanks again I look forward to learning experience from building this and to the projects it opens up to me.

Hey Charles, I used 1 inch steel 16 gauge (.065) tubing for my build. I live in a dry climate & rust isn’t a thing here, I wouldn’t recommend it in a coastal environment. It’s been a fun project! Good luck with your build.

Thanks Jim,
I live in southern Louisiana so coastal doesn’t begin to describe the humidity here. I am going to use the conduit for now and then iron out the kinks and then expand from there.