Lionkev's Aluminum Attempts

Looks a lot more fancy than mine. If I ever made a lowrider I would want to carve out a new board.

I am visiting sdsu tomorrow, what are the odds. If only the mpcnc could make me perfect grades. Where are the toolpaths for the SAT?

I spent a lot of time in the machine shop downstairs. I think they just got a new engineering building though…

Okay, got everything mechanical fixed today. Spent hours with the wrenches messing with tension bolt C. Getting the z axis perpendicular was sort of a lost cause, so I just shimmed the hell out of the mount and it seemed to do the trick. Not ideal but as far as I can tell everything works great.

Besides making the bit actually perpendicular, I added another 1’x2’ particle board sheet to my bed, making it around half an inch taller. My z is now as short as it can be, with z pipes flush against the gantry.

All the chatter is gone, now it sounds like cutting butter again, yay!

How do I turn off estlcam tool changes? Everything just pauses forever in the middle of the toolpath. I put 2 different tools in my tool list, but they’re the same “tool” just different settings for different operations. One is the contour passes where I use trochoidal, the other is a pocket setting where I use parallel pocketing.

Just delete everything in the tool change tab. I was looking at it as well, I prefer to do my helical cuts real slow when they are small and the tool change thing would have been irritating. I ran mine for 2 hours straight today, lots of lowrider parts.

Can’t wait to see your next video!

Aaaah dang. It keeps cutting out in the middle of a job. It’s going really well but it’s not finishing! grr.
Hope the ramps didn’t die, everything looks good. Thought my drivers are overheating but I just added a fan and nothing. Repetier starts freezing and everything just stops. It doesn’t respond to commands anymore and I have to force reset. Could be the laptop I am using since I never had any issues prior to this when I had it next to my desktop.

Well it seemed to stop, for whatever reason. Had some success today though. Finally made through 1 tool path without any troubles. I really need some compressed air though. The total toolpath was about 30min, and vacuuming chips for half an hour gets old. Still though, 3/8 aluminum plate is tough and not easy to go through especially with a $400 machine.

I ran out of good single flutes, so this was with a sharp dual flute. I like single flute more but it is far better than using a dull single. Tolerances check out, except for that estlcam doesn’t seem to have an oversize finish pass option, so the part comes out the exact dimensions in the CAD file. This is good and bad, just means I have to oversize on my dxf drawing.

Later tapped the holes M4, and did the M6 set screws that go along the sides.

Looks really nice! Just FYI most cnc’s don’t have a ‘finish oversize’ option. When designers are making the CAD they will typically design with tolerances in mind. The software doesnt know what dimensions you are OK with being over or undersized. Sometimes its even left up to the machinist at the machine to determine what offsets he wants to set on OD and ID cuts based on how his machine is cutting that day and the tools being used. Just keep it simple for now. Remember you can always take more off, but its a bitch to put it back on…if you can.

Great result, bravo!
30 minutes seems a bit long for such a small part, what parameters did you use?

About your problems of machine stopping, instead of using repetier, I suggest you to use the SD card directly. Using the SD card will rule out any computer related issues.

Thanks, and I will keep that in mind. Normally on fusion 360’s CAM, I do a contour finish pass where under “Stock to Leave”, I put a negative value which actually does oversize on purpose. It’s a cnc router so tolerances are pretty loose. I am getting within .1mm which is great for my purposes. Very true about oversizing, it’s so easy to file fit vs trying to…idk shim the fit with something else.

SD card sounds like a good idea. 30 minutes is mostly due to the fact that my toolpaths are trochoidal. The advantage to this is that I can do really deep cuts without the chips getting burried in a 3mm wide slot. The disadvantage is that I actually have to remove more material than “necessary” to create the cutout geometry.

I used
7% trochoidal step
70% trochoidal width
3.2mm DOC
900mm/m (This can be faster but I if I go faster, I get weird interruptions, probably the arduino usb bottleneck) Son of a diddly!

Really need an idea for a cheap air blast. I literally wouldn’t care how long the toolpath is as long as I don’t have to watch it with a vacuum. To think most of my previous 3d prints took WAY longer than 30 minutes, this seems fine. I care more about repeatability since I want to do a production run of at least 20 of these. Knowing I can hit the green button then do other things would be awesome.

Well, that is still quite an aggressive setting, I’m impressed.
70% width is quite a lot, but if it works fine, then go for it. During my tests I’ve set it up to 50% or less.

Do you have a workshop air compressor? You could easily hook it up to the cnc, then just add a simple valve to set up the air flow, and a flexible tube to get it where you need. You could even add a solenoid valve to start/stop it whenever you want.
If you don’t have an air compressor, well… buy one! It is one of the most useful tools around the shop, a must have! Plus it doesn’t cost too much, a small 30 liters one should be enough.

About the speed, what you can do is to lower the microstep setting. I suppose you are using the 1/32 step mode, so try 1/16 or even 1/8. That’s what I use on my 3040, it gives much more room for speed and doesn’t seem to have an impact on accuracy. Could worth a try.

That and a drill press are clearly missing from my makeshift dumpy garage. I don’t really have any income…so this may get kind of ghetto rigged. If I could still print something I would try to get like 4 12v high static pressure(and noise) fans and then combine their air into a single stream.
Doubt it will have enough pressure though. Just wondering if buying all these “upgrades” is worth it.

I also owe some money in ebay fees…don’t tell them I was here! :slight_smile:

Good idea on 1/16th stepping, guess I have to change my jumpers. If there really is no change in accuracy I don’t see why not.

I am running outa power in the garage here. Not that many outlets, and I have an electric car charger that’s 1400W on the same breaker.

I think I am going to go with this

Seems like enough air to me, I really am not dishing out the next satellite to go to the moon. The mister is made for coolant but my guess is it doesn’t really need it. I just like how it has the line already there and has a valve.

You can get a lot of tools used on CL, too. I didn’t have luck with a compressor, but I bought my drill press on CL and I got a bargain. Tools that are designed for people working 40 hours/week won’t get worn out by weekend warriors, usually. And a lot of tool tech hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years.

Funny you mention that, cause I was just looking. For bigger stuff that is usually more expensive online (shipping cost), I find letgo to be good. Craigslist is good too but there’s all these newer options too like wallapop and offerup. Found a compressor for $40, may take a stab at it.

Maybe that’s why I’ve had trouble with Craigslist last time I tried to sell something…

Playing around with aluminum again.
Drop down to the last four rows of pictures. I shortened the mpcnc back to my first dimensions. Have about 510 by 470mm of cutting area. After surfacing the spoil board I tried cutting some 2" aluminum bar. Didn’t work out so well. So I attached a second piece of mdf on top of the first piece, and attached a half inch piece of plywood to that. Then I did the masking tape and superglue method of attaching the aluminum to the plywood. Much better results! End goal is to mill out some name plates for my ladders at work.

Is that climb or conventional? 6061?

Hate to just barge in on the answer but it looks like conventional. Climb almost always works better, the only downside is your bits can grab into the material and break your bit if you don’t have things really perfectly aligned. I’ve had it happen :frowning: