February 21, 2018 at 12:51 pm #53496
Has anyone tried milling aluminum sheet on the lowrider?
I’m looking to cut max 1/4″ sheet.February 21, 2018 at 1:24 pm #53501
I haven’t yet. How big did you build your LowRider?February 21, 2018 at 2:46 pm #53506
I haven’t ordered parts to build one yet. I have a mpcnc and its good for small stuff up to 1/2″ thick but has a small build area.
I’d like to cut bigger sheets like 4’x8′. Just simple 2d dxf lines.February 21, 2018 at 3:17 pm #53508
That will take a very long time. The smaller the machine the faster, even for the LowRider. I know it seems really convenient to drop on a full sheet and cuts parts as you need them but it will be much more efficient to keep the machine as small as your largest part and drop in cut down material.
I am sure it can do the cutting, but 1/4 is pretty thick and a 4’x’8′ cut would take a really really long time.February 21, 2018 at 4:03 pm #53512
How does having a smaller machine that you have to cut pieces down for equate to being faster then a machine that you can set with a path to complete the entire print at once?February 21, 2018 at 4:07 pm #53513
A smaller machine can cut the paths much faster. Half the size equals, roughly twice as ridged, equals cutting much faster.
And I don’t think you would be cutting an entire sheet worth of parts at once. It would take a crazy amount of time. A water Jet is typically used for large scale 2D cutting, Plasma if it can be rough.
CNC’s are not set it and forget it, you have to be actively monitoring the progress.February 21, 2018 at 6:36 pm #53518
Slow is fine, when one part is the size of a sheet it shouldn’t take very long.
I’m mostly concerned about the machine being able to repeatably cut along the same line after travelling to the other side of the table and back. Are the belts able to stay in tension properly over 8ft?February 21, 2018 at 6:42 pm #53519
What sort of tolerances are you needing/expecting in Aluminum?February 21, 2018 at 8:33 pm #53537
1/16″ or less over 8′February 22, 2018 at 7:49 am #53540
Not ever going to promise that. It is technically possible, the resolution is plenty high, steppers and router are plenty strong but to be safe I will say this is definitely not for you.
1/16″ is a lot harder than it sounds over 8′ but is doable with a finishing pass for sure if you started perfectly square, but I just don’t think 24′ (minimum) of milling 1/4″ aluminum is going to be as fast as you think and some of the fine details could be lost in metal if your CAM isn’t perfect. Heck even making sure you start your machine that square isn’t an easy task, that is 0.037 degrees.
This was built as a full sheet wood router and can handle others materials at a smaller size. Pretty good for $500, next steps are $3200 for a crawlbot but I have no idea how they feel about milling metal, then maybe a few options starting at about 8K, still none really want to promise metal.
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