Extra axis

I’ve noticed some industrial style mills have extra axis and was wondering if anyone considered the feasibility of adding those functions to the MPCNC?
The one I am personally considering is a rotational axis to allow milling of round stock (like a lathe), but rotating and tilting the mill bit would be useful as well.

There are kits on ebay such as the one below. You might have to make a few changes to your machine layout. One simple thing you could do is set up endstops so that the bit/endmill can not possibly touch any of the 4th axis stuff. I am not quite sure how you would go about setting up Gcode for it though. You might need to upgrade to something like mastercam and possibly different firmware on the ramps board or a more industrial stepper driver system. But I don’t see why the ramps couldn’t do it as long as you feed it the Gcode in a way that it can make sense of it.

Our Haas VF1 at work as a 4th axis but we usually don’t even keep it in the mill because it takes up space that is better used by a vise. We really only set it up (which takes forever) for round stock like you said. I actually have to make a part here at school that needs a 4th axis and I haven’t found a mill yet that has one. We might end up rigging something up with pillow blocks and just spinning the stock by hand.

Funny that this particular topic has come up three times is as many weeks. Lots of interesting ideas discussed here: https://www.v1engineering.com/forum/topic/laser-etch-wood-dowel-ideas-needed/.

Some 4th axes are driven by a stepper connected to the y axis. There also a mechanical one listed in the above thread.

I’m looking forward to seeing someone actually doing one of these.

Most of those are designed for laser engraving. This thread is more oriented for milling, so the part needs to be chucked probably with a live center at the other end so that the piece wont move with the side loads.

Thank you for the link nerdyrcdriver, and thanks karltinsly. I’m sorry I didn’t search for the topic first. After my first post and a cup of coffee I quickly found the topic in the 4th axis. Once I get started on building once of these beautiful machines, I think I will adapt the “Bob’s super easy 4th axis” to the MPCNC.

@nerdyrcdriver Wow, that is one heavy duty unit. You’re right, that’s the sort of thing you would probably need for milling something round.

It was like the first result on ebay when I searched for it. It is nothing even close to the 4th axis we have at work, but it is probably way more than enough for a MPCNC.