Cut parts in Aluminium. Better??

New Home Forum LowRider Advice – LowRider Cut parts in Aluminium. Better??

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This topic contains 20 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Colton McCormack 4 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #79942

    John
    Participant

    Hey people.  About to start collecting parts for a full sheep lowrider 2.  Is there any benefit to having the 3 cut parts out of aluminium rather than wood?  Has anyone done this?  And what thickness did you go?

     

    Thanks John

    #79944

    John
    Participant

    OR….. I don’t suppose 3D printed parts would be strong enough?

    #79965

    Barry
    Participant

    I think I’ve seen one or two made in metal.  I would think quarter inch aluminum would be plenty strong and stiff enough.

    #80001

    John
    Participant

    Thanks Barry.  Is there any possibility of cutting small aluminium pieces on a lowrider, or is it purely for wood?

    #80017

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    MDF is really the best for this on my opinion. I have Baltic Birch and they are not as rigid as MDF. I tried some stainless, and for it’s weight it was still more flexible. Aluminum would take some thickness to get it right. I designed it with wood in mind. The first version will work with anything, not so much the second one. If you redesigned the Y plate a bit it could help but…

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    #80080

    John
    Participant

    Thanks Ryan,

    MDF it is then.  I was thinking that maybe I could do some aluminium with it if I get the plates done in aluminium.  Is there any chance of doing a little aluminium with the lowrider 2?

    #80091

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    Thanks Ryan,

    MDF it is then. I was thinking that maybe I could do some aluminium with it if I get the plates done in aluminium. Is there any chance of doing a little aluminium with the lowrider 2?

    If steel can be done with the MPCNC then I see no reason why the Lowrider couldn’t do aluminum. The sweet spot will probably be harder to get, given the size of the machine, but I’m pretty sure it should work.

    #80093

    John
    Participant

    Yeah, we’ll see how it turns out.  Thanks

    #101070

    Jake
    Participant

    Did you end up doing MDF plate(s)? Wondering if you ever ventured in doing them in aluminum?

    #101349

    Greg
    Participant

    I’ve done some playing with ultralight mdf…  3/4” ultralight would be the same weight as 1/2” regular mdf.  Might make a nice upgrade without changing the weight if everything fits.

    #101572

    John
    Participant

    Jake I just stuck with MDF.  I don’t have plans to change it in the near future but you never know later on.

    #101838

    MikeDub
    Participant

    I’ve hand cut mine in ply for an initial proof of concept.

    Will then be looking at getting the lowrider to cut about 8mm aluminium for the plates. Will post results once done.

    #101846

    kd2018
    Participant

    MDF is really the best for this on my opinion. I have Baltic Birch and they are not as rigid as MDF. I tried some stainless, and for it’s weight it was still more flexible. Aluminum would take some thickness to get it right. I designed it with wood in mind. The first version will work with anything, not so much the second one. If you redesigned the Y plate a bit it could help but…

    So then are you mainly referring to the y plates here?  I’m looking to possibly make just the 611 plate from aluminum in the future, or even gauged steel plate…

    #104736

    Colton McCormack
    Participant

    I’ve done some playing with ultralight mdf… 3/4” ultralight would be the same weight as 1/2” regular mdf. Might make a nice upgrade without changing the weight if everything fits.

    As a heads up, the modulus of elasticity for MDF is pretty linearly tied with density. Using an ultralight MDF would require the full 3/4″ more than likely to retain the same rigidity.

    #104747

    Oscar Salcedo
    Participant

    What’s the verdict on Aluminum then? I too was wondering if that would be an option; it might sound odd, but I have better access to cutting the flat parts in aluminum than MDF! 1/4″ for the 611 plate and 0.5 for the Y plates.

    #104770

    Greg
    Participant

    As a heads up, the modulus of elasticity for MDF is pretty linearly tied with density. Using an ultralight MDF would require the full 3/4″ more than likely to retain the same rigidity.

    Are you sure?  The few discussions I found online as well as the lumber yard contradict this.  The 3/4” ultralight in my shop seems more rigid than my 1/2” mdf although I haven’t done any tests on it.

    #104848

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    If you can get aluminum parts for a good price, that is awesome! End result, probably not very different, and a little heavier.

    I am not real close to a good lumber yard anymore, I need to get my hands on ultralight and try it out.

    #104873

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    Are you sure? The few discussions I found online as well as the lumber yard contradict this. The 3/4” ultralight in my shop seems more rigid than my 1/2” mdf although I haven’t done any tests on it.

    I imagine it depends on the application. Thinking of printing the part, with different thicknesses and the same amount of plastic. If a bolt was being pulled parallel to the surface, the thicker material would have a bigger lever arm to hold it in place. I am not a mechanical engineer though…

    #104935

    Colton McCormack
    Participant

    Are you sure? The few discussions I found online as well as the lumber yard contradict this. The 3/4” ultralight in my shop seems more rigid than my 1/2” mdf although I haven’t done any tests on it.

    See attachment.

    E1 = modulus of elasticity along the place (weight of Z-axis bearing down on XY gantry in our case), E3 = modulus of elasticity perpendicular to the plane (the main thing we’re concerned about, lateral forces from X-axis milling), M = moisture content.
    Source

    Pretty sure, but not 100%. MDF in generally definitely does change modulus of elasticity linearly with density. I suppose it’s possible that ultralight somehow gets around this by using some special property of radiata pine, but I doubt it. Radiata pine and black spruce (the wood used in the experiment above) have about the same weight and modulus of elasticity, so I have to assume that it’s reduced weight comes from a reduced wood mass.  The pressing action in the manufacturing process would likely largely keep the longer fibers in the ultralight oriented along the board rather than across its thickness. This would probably yield some rigidity in E1 since the height perpendicular to the force is the main factor in deflection, but I believe E3 is the real concern in our application. I’d love to be wrong though.

    Attachments:
    #104938

    Greg
    Participant

    I’m not really sure what the graphs are from but if they are for same thicknesses and different densities I could see that but I’m wondering if the difference in thickness is adding some structural rigidity. I guess I could do some tests next time I have some cutoffs.

     

     

    #104949

    Colton McCormack
    Participant

    I’m not really sure what the graphs are from but if they are for same thicknesses and different densities I could see that but I’m wondering if the difference in thickness is adding some structural rigidity. I guess I could do some tests next time I have some cutoffs.

    The link explains how they were all made. They were all 12mm panels. Your point about thickness is salient though. If ultralight is indeed the same weight as 1/2″, but comes in 3/4″ then if the parts can be made to fit it should produce a much more rigid panel without increasing weight. This is because deflection is mostly correspondent to the height of the material along the axis the force is being exerted upon (think about how ceiling joists are often made with 2x12s or 2x10s, all the rigidity is in the height, not the width).

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