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M4: 1510SS Heavy Mk.I

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by Rob Taylor, Aug 22, 2020.

  1. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Veteran
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    Rob Taylor published a new build:

    Read more about this build...
     
  2. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Veteran
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    Well, I've alluded to it for long enough. Finally finished the model enough for my purposes last night, so it's time to pull the cloth off this thing!
     
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  3. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    I love the built in lathe. I had considered something similar with my current modifications to mine, but chose do do a stand alone.
     
  4. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Veteran
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    Yeah, I'm partial to it. :D I'd love to be able to run it like a mill-turn, but at 80:1 reduction on the Harmonic Drive to hit reasonable torque/stiffness figures, even the ~1000rpm max speed on a stepper would be 12rpm. A 5000rpm servo would get me to 60rpm, which would put me in the ballpark of the low speed on most gearhead lathes for threading, but with a 36mm through-bore on the chuck for bar-feeding, single-point work (even assuming a servo-drive spindle or solid mounting block on the Z axis) would be extremely limited in terms of usable surface speed. Still, I do get to use it as a live-tool-only lathe, which isn't the worst thing in the world. And the way the spindle mounting is set up, it wouldn't be completely infeasible to add either a secondary horizontal spindle or a 90 degree angle head on the main spindle for face work. That could be pretty cool!

    It's definitely not a simple task- and as you can see, the base and table have to be entirely designed around its ability to run the B axis. I'll also be making an insert to allow it to have a full-area spoilboard (or perhaps, more likely, fixture table- this thing's begging for palletization) that seats and locks into the base frame for regular 3-axis work. No need to CAM or troubleshoot more complex operations if it's not completely necessary. But having the ability to turn a full 18x48" cylinder under the gantry allows for a ton of flexibility- including potentially even adding a 5th axis trunnion that could probably have an 8" platter without coming close to any space limitations! That's huge compared to the normal, what, 3" unit that's usually sold for gantry routers? Might have some torque/power limitations though.

    Sometimes additional machines are just the way to go though. Multitasking is better if you have the space and power available!
     
  5. Corey Corbin

    Corey Corbin Well-Known
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    Awesome design! I like the double C-Beam setup for the X axis talk about being rigid!!
     
  6. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Veteran
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    Thanks! Yeah each axis rail is a pair of C-Beams in opposition, spaced on the ends by pieces of 2060 V-Slot, and held in place on the back side by an aluminum plate and on the front side by the linear rail and carriage plate system. Should be super rigid. Not sure it'll be steel-capable, even so, but I might try some small stuff with low cutting forces. Depends how well the spindle performs around the 6000-8000rpm range, which is basically the standard maximum for steel due to SFM constraints but the spindle minimum and probably isn't even close to peak power.

    It would be nice if I could find some HSM strategies that allow me to use the full spindle speed range so I can push the 8,000-10,000mm/min/300-400IPM that this thing can run with steppers. Assuming that either the spindle or the stepper motors can actually manage to maintain just enough torque to provide sufficient power at those speeds and feeds to the cutting edges. It may be that my MRR ends up being like, 0.5cuin/min so all the rigidity in the world is useless because it can't be brought to bear with sufficient power on harder materials.

    Such is life in machining. :rolleyes: HSMAdvisor is pretty cheap though, so I'll probably end up playing with that eventually. They have this intriguing little article, I'll have to check the related video out: HSM Machining
     
  7. phil from seattle

    phil from seattle Journeyman
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    This looks like a well thought out design. A couple of questions/observations.
    - The Z axis looks pretty long (to get the 12" cut depth, I presume). Have you modeled the flex from that?
    - how rigid are the C-Beams? My little C-Beam machine is not the stiffest machine by far.
    - What controller are you going to use? (insert pitch here for grblHAL:) }
     
  8. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Veteran
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    Haven't modelled anything yet- literally just finished the model and ran the renders before posting, and I'd had enough of Fusion's single-threaded capabilities for a while. :D May do a separate file just for FEA on the Z axis, wouldn't be a bad idea.

    Currently what I know is that it's about 450mm from the collet face to the center of the Z carriages. That's a hefty leverage. And the height of the (500mm) Z rails from the gantry beam is probably in the same area, maybe 350mm. However, I resisted doing fixed carriages/moving rails, because not only would there be a slightly more inconsistent flex, but it would be at its lowest rigidity right at the bottom of the travel, where the hardest materials are likely to lay. So I kept the fixed rail with the mounting point at the bottom.

    Anything being machined that's ~6-10" thick is almost certainly going to be some kind of foam, maybe some solid urethane, but that's about it. In this design, that's where the two leverages combine for the lowest rigidity as a V-flexure. For most everyday use on aluminum and hardwoods, the Z and X carriages are side-by-side, the only leverage is the spindle mount, which is a pair of 15mm thick (faced from 5/8" bar) supports. I think it should be good. :nailbite:

    I had concerns over the length of the extrusion, but doubled up, plus the backing strap and the linear rails themselves, I'm doubtful it should have any issues. If there are, they'll show up when I do the FEA, I guess, but from what I've seen of other people's work on it, I see no reason currently to be overly concerned. There are plenty of commercial routers out there running longer gantries with 7-15kW spindles and doing just fine with extrusion.

    This is the machine I was talking about re: grblHAL a few months ago, and I did reconsider it again here recently, but because I already have a machine running LinuxCNC+Mesa, I kinda just wanna keep things uniform. Gives me backup hardware when needed, etc. I still think it looks like a great system and anyone who wants to try "real" capabilities for grbl prices should absolutely try it. If I ever make that mini desktop 5-axis that keeps floating around in my head from time to time, grblHAL would be perfect for it.
     
  9. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Veteran
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    Ok, did some super basic fully-rigid simulations just to test the overall geometric layout of the Z axis per my initial design:

    No sliding elements, no screws, just completely rigid full-face contact between components (which, for most of these components and the amount of screws or rolling elements involved, probably isn't too far off). Cutting force used is 100N (~24lbf) straight into the side of the collet. I wasn't too worried about the variations of tangentialism- as the cutters get smaller, the difference tends toward zero anyway.

    A 2.2kW, 24,000rpm spindle runs just under 1Nm peak torque (at what RPM, I don't know, probably about 15k?) which is going to be able to supply around 200N to the cutting edge of a 3/8" end mill. based on my cursory research, typical higher-feed, higher-DoC/WoC, lower spindle speed, "standard" machining operations in 6061 produce around 300-700N of cutting force at the tool. The high-speed operations that extrusion machines perform are unlikely to reach anywhere near these numbers. Looking more at 10-20% stepover instead of 75%, etc etc. So 100N seems reasonable as high-end-but-not-a-worst-case-scenario.

    So, with that context, the results!

    First, low-Z ("high rigidity"):

    M4FEA_lowZ-disp.JPG


    0.14mm! That's a lot. But wait... Most of the structure is blue- 0 to 15 micron. It's only at the narrowing of the arms that it starts rising up into the aqua. Well, guess I'll have to work on that bit then. No worries.

    M4FEA_lowZ-strain.JPG

    The strain view backs this up. Seems odd that 100.0162% elongation over a few cubic mm could lead to the drastic offset we saw in the first pic, but there it is.

    Now for the top of the axis! The scary bit.

    M4FEA_highZ-disp.JPG
    Only a six micron difference?! I'll take it! The extra motor mount plate and huge gusset plates doing the job I had thought they would, clearly. The V-Slot will be screwed in along its length on both sides, so the simulation isn't inaccurately adding additional connection there. I just didn't bother putting most screw holes in to the "does this thing physically work?" design. I'll add them when I derive all the parts into new files for CAM.

    M4FEA_highZ-strain.JPG

    Strain view supports it- those six microns appear to be at the top of the rail column, from the deformation visualisation, and while some of the rear plates are obviously taking the load as designed, most of the strain is still concentrated at the actual spindle mount, nowhere in the axis assembly itself. Which is great!

    Interestingly, the peak strain is noticable lower in this position, presumably because of the additional flexure being provided by the axis, but I'm not 100% sure how (the simulation should surely "press" until everything stabilizes? Which is 1.000162x longer for that particular stretch of aluminum in the spindle arms... Maybe because I had to move the force location between simulations, just an experimental design error).

    Anyway yeah. Bit of spindle arm design tweaking that honestly I assumed was gonna have to happen anyway, but otherwise rock and roll! Might have to sim the gantry columns too, make sure that big ol' 1-1/4x2" or whatever bar stock I put on there was sufficient to help out the single C-Beam (almost certainly yes).
     
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  10. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Veteran
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    Moved on to the gantry/X-axis, because

    concerned me. (spoiler alert: he's correct)

    Welcome to my brain over the last 24 hours...

    As-designed, with fixed ends, under ~100N of radial force at the cutter (probably ~140N of tangential force, from the charts I've seen), the C-Beams look like this:

    M4FEA_lowZmedX_disp3.JPG

    M4FEA_lowZmedX_disp2.JPG

    That's pretty excessive- almost 0.3mm/0.012" of displacement at the tool. It's not gonna break anything, in all likelihood, but it's not gonna be happy either.

    Now, 100N is a little on the high side- for trochoidal milling, high speed machining, low-stepover strategies, whatever you wanna call it, aluminum seems to sit in a 20-70N range at ER-spindle speeds with normal-size tooling- think 3/8" end mill, 1/4" DOC, 0.003" chipload, 0.035" radial engagement, about 15,000rpm, 5000-6000mm/min (I make no apologies for my rampant inconsistency of unit systems... Blame the '90s UK education system and, well, America)- not necessarily those numbers precisely, but that general ballpark, which is crazy for a hobby router but perfectly normal for other machines (DATRON maybe?).

    This is according to my semi-cursory research, which turned up a few different journal articles looking into machine optimization and simulation. Terms like "machining force modeling", "milling cutting force calculation clamping", and "milling cutting force coefficients". Turns out, researchers like finding coefficients, and industry types want as little clamping as possible, so there's a lot of focus on the topic once you nail down the right search terms.

    Anyway, for hard woods (say red oak), it's more like 5-50N. Other stuff it's obviously significantly less. So my testing is somewhat extreme, which is the point, but not "I expect mill performance from a router" extreme, which is a recipe for failure. Running slowly in non-ferrous metals is not the end of the world, as long as the cuts are precise and with good surface finish.

    So, first test. Stick a big aluminum bar across the bottom that stops it buckling in the Y axis:

    M4FEA_lowZmedX_disp_BottomBarStrap.JPG

    Wildly unimpressive. Didn't stop nuthin'. 0.02mm of improvement. Wait. Am I actually modelling the V-Slot right? What's that stuff made from, anyway, and is Autodesk's "Medium Alloy Aluminum" model remotely accurate? Well, Google says it's 6063-T6, which would make lots of sense, but Fusion doesn't have it (wut). Is there something that's pretty close in terms of bendiness? After a few stabs in the dark, turns out, 5052-H32 is relatively close:

    M4FEA_lowZmedX_VSlot5052comp.JPG

    ...Good enough for the lazy modelling we're doing here. Onwards!

    M4FEA_lowZmedX_disp_BottomBarStrap_5052H32-VSlot.JPG

    ...Absolutely no difference. Guess "Medium Alloy Aluminum" was pretty close after all, my assumption was good.

    Next idea! Steel is 3 times the rigidity, albeit at the expense of 2.5 times the weight. So how about a big ol' steel box section on the bottom instead, and going all the way across instead of just trying to reinforce the center? eBay only seems to have 304 stainless in 1x3x1/8" or any other reasonable size in the neighborhoud, so we'll go with that:

    [Picture Not Found]

    Ok, I didn't screenshot that one, because I was somewhat underwhelmed and immediately decided "what if 3" x 1.5" x 1/4" angle iron were better?" I think it was 0.195mm of max displacement.


    M4FEA_lowZmedX_disp_Bottom1018Angle.JPG

    So yeah no absolutely not. Back to stainless rectangles. I probably need another one on top, but don't have much space. How about a 1.5" x 0.5" x 1/16" section?

    M4FEA_lowZmedX_disp_BottomBoxTopMiniBox.JPG

    Down to 0.18! Getting somewhere. Gonna need a full size box on top though, guess I'll suck it up and move half of the Z axis to give it room:

    M4FEA_lowZmedX_disp_TopBottomBox.JPG

    Only 0.05mm of improvement, but look how not-green the top of the Z axis plate is! Hmm. Well, at this point, I'd probably be better off fixing the Z arms:

    M4FEA_lowZmedX_disp_ThickerArms.JPG

    Ok it's a halfass fix, I admit, and the top of the Z got greenish again, but barely even 0.1mm of total deflection! And remember, this is cutting aluminum with ludicrous feeds and speeds by router standards with a 3/8" end mill in a 2.2kW spindle at the end of a 14" long lever! Once I make a proper design for those arms, we'll be in business.

    ... Now I gotta transfer all those changes back to the original model. And look for the most cost-effective way of sourcing ~90" of stainless rectangle tubing on eBay! Wait: Just found mild steel in the right size. That's good! Wonder if the simulation holds up...

    Upside: I bet at some point I can fill those tubes with mineral epoxy and it'll be awesome.
     
  11. phil from seattle

    phil from seattle Journeyman
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    Hmmm... You are definitely going down the right path. And here I'd made my mind up to buy a Pro4848. Watching this with interest might not pull the trigger on Avid.

    FYI, on CNC Zone, there are a number of threads arguing the merit of epoxy. iirc, the biggest benefits are vibration reduction and inertial mass. Though I didn't get into chapter and verse.
     
  12. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Veteran
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    This almost certainly means going NEMA 34 on the Y axes so I can kinda do whatever I want with the gantry, which isn't really a huge deal, I think, and exactly why I designed those motor plates the way I did.

    In general, I think this entire machine build is gonna cost ~$1000 less than just the mechanical machine kit from Avid with no table, electronics, controller, spindle, or 4th axis? Which is kinda what I'm going for, as stated in the original summary. A $10-15k machine for ~$3k. I think it's doable, with some care. Obviously if you dump the 4th axis, use 15mm rails instead of 20mm, rack and pinion instead of ballscrew, etc, you can bring it way down from there.

    I read about ~70 pages of the main epoxy granite thread a couple years ago, but that's it so far. From what I recall, this page is actually a great summary without all the back and forth: CNCCookbook: Epoxy Granite Fill

    Vibration is the main thing I'd be looking at on a gantry like this. Obviously more mass isn't really better here, but trying to reduce it's ability to be one giant tuning fork would be good. Aluminum is the worst for that. A couple filled beams on the columns wouldn't be the worst idea either, but the columns are really temporary at this point. Once the machine's working, I can use it to cut out much better columns with multiple skins and internal ribs and all of it.
     
  13. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Veteran
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    Still not 100% happy with the results given that I haven't gotten to simulating the columns yet, so continued research re: torsional rigidity, and basically there are only two feasible ways to increase it.

    One, use round tube instead of square tube. Obviously we all know round tube is more rigid than square tube, that's engineering 101. The problem comes with trying to attach it to rectangular extrusion with no convenient way to machine flats into it:

    M4_RoundReinforcement.JPG

    Epoxy and machined brackets would be the way to go, I suppose, but then screwing the things in becomes an issue. It's a tricky spot.

    The "better" way of doing it is internal diagonal bracing, which I originally found in this paper from DuPont about GRP products: http://www.engpolymer.co.kr/design/design_data/ribs.pdf

    DuPontDiagonalBracingPaperFEA.JPG

    Which makes a lot of sense. Any twist will be attempting to both stretch and compress the internal bracing and not just twist it across its weakest dimension like it does to the tubing skin. This is also easier to connect to the C-Beam. The problem is mainly actual fabrication- can it be TIG stitch-welded without severe distortion, since it can't be heat-treated and machined down (though it would fit diagonally on the bed if an un-reinforced gantry could lightly surface it with reasonable accuracy using HSS tooling). I don't have a large precision fixture table for welding, so clamping would be out; to build this structure prior to having the machine operational would be a case of measuring as I go and heat-bending everything back into place followed by hand grinding and sanding with a framing level and Dykem. Not ideal, but not impossible.

    CR Onsrud do it for their gantries, as I discovered whilst watching shop tours while working on this model. That was rather timely and gratifying.

    CROnsrudZplateWeldments.JPG

    In general though, I think this plan of attack really has to wait until V1.5 with servos, and then maybe I can pull back the V2.0 steel gantry without doing the rest of V2.0's steel framing. A V1.6, I guess. I could probably even surface grind the steel mounting beams with M4, since the Y axis travel is the same length as the X axis rails, and surface grinding is mostly a pretty low-force operation.

    In the meantime, structural tubing apparently has some deficiency that Fusion doesn't like over stainless tubing- which makes no sense because it has both a superior profile (rounded corners) and a slightly higher shear modulus- which put the model back at 0.12mm of deflection even with the ends locked and an adjustment of the spindle arms:

    M4FEA_lowZmedX_disp_TopBottomBox2_FixedEnds.JPG

    But I noticed on this one that the spindle arms weren't just buckling at the mounting plate; their offset mounting point on the carriage plate was inducing a moment about the rail (or the corner of the carriage, or the rail mounting plate...) that was twisting the arms into their weaker orientation and allowing them to distort more than they should. Since 2" square arms aren't really feasible, this simple reinforcing plate did a substantial job for now, and I'll continue to ponder the arms themselves as I go.

    M4FEA_lowZmedX_disp_TopBottomBox4_FrontPlate.JPG

    Obviously the floating Z screw gets in the way of a lot of this whilst not being visible in this model, so it's hard to work around. It should provide just a tiny bit of added rigidity though, since it's relatively short and through a double ball nut.

    In the meantime, 0.1mm deflection of a 350mm lever is 0.0164┬░, or just under 1 arcmin. Which just happens to be the rated standard accuracy of the Harmonic Drives I have (they're both SHG-32s), interestingly enough. But I think the roughing end mills are gonna survive. :ROFL:

    Guess I'm buying steel tube and more NEMA 34s for now.
     
  14. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Veteran
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    Tried an alternate C-Beam layout a little while ago, but it doesn't work:

    M4FEA_rotTop_brackets.JPG

    I thought tying the top front to the bottom rear should help cancel each other out, but it just seems to encourage more twist. So, still sticking with the original plan.

    The table is built! 2x10 beams and 2x8 joists per the model, 6x6-36" legs cut from some beams I've had laying around for a couple of years for a project like this.

    Photo Sep 22, 08 46 23.jpg

    Had to build it upside down on some melamine dangling off the edge of a bench. It was the only way I could get anything even approaching flatness.

    Photo Sep 22, 09 36 16.jpg

    When you build a 200lb table, hoisting it off the bench and moving it around is MUCH easier when you can actually get inside the joists near the center of mass. A+ strongly recommend.

    Photo Sep 22, 10 01 24.jpg

    In place, taking up the last bit of room I could clear for anything in the shop. Everything else is either storage or walking space now.

    Photo Sep 22, 12 31 33.jpg

    Put some of the melamine down as a temporary work surface (the mill is immediately behind me here) and got the components I have so far up off the floor. Gonna add more 1/4x5" SPAX lags to the legs, I think I want three in each. Flatness seems to be comfortably within 1/16" (maybe 1/32"?) so almost falling off the bench while clambering around was clearly worth it.

    I'm sure I'll end up adding runners and additional shelving under there, but I want to be sure I have all the electronics squared away first, since there's no space to fit anything outside the envelope of the machine. Hopefully I can make some kind of screen/keyboard control panel on a swiveling arm, somehow, or setting up whilst moving around the entire perimeter might get inconvenient.
     
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  15. phil from seattle

    phil from seattle Journeyman
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    The deflection is a consequence of the long Z axis - hard to overcome leverage of a long arm. It's hard to tell but some of the flex looks to be in the Z assembly rather than the gantry.

    Probably not relevant here but this article intrigues me. I don't know how much more rigidity one could get but the premise of lighter and stronger seems like a winner.

    And, that table seems like deja vu to me. Building a table is something I find myself doing all too frequently. But wood has such nice dampening characteristics.
     
  16. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Veteran
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    Oh for sure. No getting away from that with a long-Z machine. I use the top of the Z rails as a metric for the gantry twist, since the bottom of the spindle doesn't really mean a whole lot in practice. Here it's 0.06mm and on the better version above it's only 0.03mm, so this arrangement is literally twice as bad, torsional-rigidity-wise.

    It does tie into my research above about truss-type structures and the "recti-diagonal" rigidity ideal, for sure. It's hard to do without a machine to do it with, though. If I had a surface grinder most of my work would be unnecessary!

    Isn't it? I pretty much have a standard pattern at this point. My machine tables are built one way, benches another slightly lighter-duty way, and that's basically it for everything. Rinse and repeat. Works well though. Only difference here was the size- normally they're only 2ft deep, the ~51" was a bit of a challenge.

    And yeah, given the option I'd probably do some kind of epoxy-granite based structure, but even at currently-doubled lumber prices, this is at least an order of magnitude cheaper and I'm not trying to overspend on this project, however it may seem externally. :ROFL: I haven't decided what I'm gonna do for the top yet- MDF for better damping, melamine for better coolant resistance, or hardwood plywood for better general strength.

    No enormous hurry right now though. Spindle's on its way- went with G-Penny, since they seem to get consistently positive discussion- but still haven't got the last two steppers, VFD, power supplies or Mesa cards. Main thing next is to buy all the aluminum plates, I've got as far as making a list of them all but that's it! That... Might be everything that's left, actually. This thing is seriously underway! It was slowed a little by the additional Harmonic Drive (but it was the right one in great condition at a nice price) and some more money I just threw at the laser, but it's solidly on track.

    After my experience with the mill the last week or so, I think I'm gonna buy a single 1200mm or thereabouts glass scale and use it to calibrate this thing. They're so cheap now, and I already have the DRO head. Reinstalling those on the mill just cut short months of occasional tweaking with insufficient tools like digital indicators and vernier calipers. You get 0.01mm accuracy- or as much as the screw/mounts will allow- in 2-3 iterations that takes all of ten minutes and an instant, exact readout of backlash that you can type straight in. Worth every penny of the $50-150 those scales cost. I think I'm gonna leave them permanently installed on the mill for convenience, but I don't think that's really necessary for M4.
     
  17. phil from seattle

    phil from seattle Journeyman
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    Where did you order the Spindle from? Same for the VFD. Watching your build but kind of still set on an Avid Pro4848. But, I can't get serious until I clean up the target garage bay...

    Very interested in your glass scale calibration work. Please post when ready!
     
  18. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Veteran
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    Found them on AliExpress, Googled around and found a bunch of posts all over the place talking about them, nothing negative to say that I could see. Seem to be an OEM rather than a reseller, which is nice.

    The extra money might be justifiable on a ready-to-assemble kit. Hard to be sure from this side of the process. Ask me again after machining 37 blocks/plates! :ROFL:

    Hahaha, sounds familiar.

    I think I might actually do videos again on this machine, like the laser, since this is a somewhat unusual machine and might be of interest, unlike yet-another-mill-conversion. I want to cover some stuff that I didn't/haven't covered in depth there like proper frame tramming, and glass scale calibration is definitely a good one.

    Plus I've had a Tascam DR70D and a Sennheiser G4 lav set basically sitting around for a year waiting for me to be ready to continue and I really need to put them to use! :oops:
     
  19. phil from seattle

    phil from seattle Journeyman
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    I prefer to do it myself in general but something like that would take me about 2 years to approximately never. It's never really about saving money, TBH, it's about the challenge.
     

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