This mill actually won't be CNC'ed, but it'll be hard to tell: I want put stepper motors on all axes and then use shuttles on a control-board to control the mill. This will allow me to do funny things like speed limiters, automate some tasks, etc. I'll probably also make it be a DRO as well.
Everything will be driven by threaded rod. Maybe acme. Maybe I'll make the threads on my lathe. Maybe I'll never finish this project...
The design is done in OpenSCAD. Its just how I roll.
... Who am I kidding? I'll end up using it as a CNC as well.
I also have some half-baked ideas about doing 4th and 5th axes. Later....
March 19, 2017 update
I finally ordered some C-beam, and started cutting! I also bought some hardware, but not enough to *ASSEMBLE*. hope to fix that this week. Meanwhile, here's a photo of the aluminium and the acme rod.
March 23rd, 2017
I got more bits, and have something kinda assembled. Nothing is square at the moment, and I'm short 7 corner brackets, not to mention a bunch of little bits here and there. Also, makerparts is out of C-Beam end mounts. Need those.
Then I can start thinking about the electronics. I know I'm going to start with GRBL and a nice little shield I got off tindie ( GRBL Compatible Shield for Arduino by 18Robots ), and I have some NEMA17s, but I'm going to want to change those to 23's, I think, and I need some stepper drivers too.
March 29, 2017
A bunch more parts came in, and I rebuilt the mill, this time worrying about how square everything was. There's a part of me that wants to do a few designs for objects that are easy to build that will conveniently allow you to bolt bits of t-slot together and be confident its square... the rest of me says "Good idea, but you have too many projects as it is."
I used 2 hidden corner brackets to attach the C-beam Z-pillar to the Y-axis. I spent a lot of time making sure it was square and centred. I then used a pair of aluminum brackets to fully attach the two c-beams together. I double-checked squareness, but nothing had pulled out of line. Yay!
I used two more hidden brackets to attach the back pillar. I used other pieces of v-slot and C-beam to make sure it was square to the front pillar. That assumes Al extrusions are straight and square, but I'm assuming that anyways...
Remember boys and girls: you can't own too many clamps.
Different angles of the clamping of the rear pillar. I'm not sure why I went with the angles overkill...
These photos show the arms, that hold the Z-axis out over the centre of the XY table, being attached. They're set down from the top of the pillar just enough to leave room for the angled corner connectors. Before these were attached, everything felt rigid. but it feels more solid now that they're bolted down. I'm not sure if I've taken up some flex, or if its just psychosomatic. Probably a bit of both.
I've got the gantry plates, but I mis-ordered the screws I needed. No big deal, machine screws can be cut. I got 2 of 3 plates assembled when the cutting bit on my dremel broke, so I need to go buy more.
I also need to decide: am I going to wait patiently for makerparts.ca to get more c-beam end plates in stock? Or order them from openbuilds? or just use my drill press to make my own?
Building a small mill to match my 7x12 lathe.
- Build License:
- CC - Attribution Share Alike - CC BY SA
Reason for this BuildI wanted a small manual mill to play with as I learn machining, but even the small mills at places like Harbor Freight, BusyBee Tools, or PrincessAuto were too big (IMO), and kinda expensive. I also have access to larger mills if/when I need them, so I really wanted something cheap and simple with a 1 cubic foot (or less) work envelope.
Inspired byJohn Mueller's OXmill and the Sier Z6000 mill on Alibaba!