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Recommendation: Cutting Slots and Holes in Project Boxes

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by MarceloManzo, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. MarceloManzo

    MarceloManzo Well-Known
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    Hello,

    I have a start-up company that manufacture video game accessories.
    We recently launched a new product, this product uses the project box below as enclosure for 2 pcbs.
    CU-3283 Bud Industries | Boxes, Enclosures, Racks | DigiKey

    To be able to manufacture it, I drill manually 2 holes in one side of box, 1 rectangle for USB in another side, in the front 2 more holes and 3 more in the lid.

    The demand started increasing 50 boxes per month, and I think it's time to invest into a CNC.

    More or less, this is that I need to do, but ideally in scale like at least 6 boxes at the time (because it will require multiple passes):


    Questions:
    1) Ox or Workbee would work for me use case, any other recommendation?
    2) To be able to cut at least 6 boxes at the time, what dimension should I buy?
    3) Belt or Screw driven?
    4) As I will be just cutting abs plastic, I believe that I would be fine with a Makita or Dewalt router?

    Budget between 500$ and 1000$

    Thank you very much in advance, any feedback is much appreciated.
     
    #1 MarceloManzo, Aug 27, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
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  2. CNCMD

    CNCMD Veteran
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    I will try to make this as simple as possible. This is a simple job. You would have to design the CAD/CAM file. I would recommend that you use a model center origin. That would mean getting the box onto the machine, held in place securely, and then positioning the origin as per the CAD/CAM file. Cutting the holes would be a breeze, and can be done with either belt or screw, but I would always go screw, but that's me.

    Now, to do 6 parts at a time, that is a challenge. Can it be done, yes of course. GRBL provided for lucky enough, 6 different work coordinate offsets. So as most would tell you, the hardest part is workholding to organize and hold the 6 parts in place. You then would have to set the origin for each of the 6, and then you can easily do it. However, in order to be efficient, your workholdings have to be what I call indexable, meaning, you can take out the freshly cut part, and put in a "blank" and you will have the origin already set based on the prior box you cut. But that would be a workholding that allows you to accurately position the next part.

    The router of choice is fine.
     
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  3. CNCMD

    CNCMD Veteran
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    I just looked at the video, and he is doing as I explained, developed a workholding that allows you to put in the box, clamp it down. There is the stop block on the bottom as well that maintains the Z height, although that is less of an issue and these are through holes. You would need to build something like that x6. You could also model it all in a CAD program to cut them all at once, but you would have to ensure that the workholdings on the table correspond to the distances in your CAM software.
     
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  4. CNCMD

    CNCMD Veteran
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    I see you liked my response, so I will add one more thing for you to think about. If it was me, and I had to bang out say 100 of these, I would still do them 1 by one. The time it will take to program the code, setup the fixtures, create the fixtures, etc, I would be done doing 100 of them. I would imagine the walls of these boxes are probably 1/8" thick. It would take 2 passes at most to cut this deep. I would estimate you could cut these two holes on each side in about a 1 minute, seriously. So maybe 1 part every 3 minutes if you have to cut holes on both sides. All i'm saying is you need to determine how many you really need to cut before you invest the time in building the fixture, the CAD/CAM file, and then to setup 6 parts. You would still have to be very involved, because 6 would cut in about 6 minutes on each side and need a flip.
     
  5. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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    I have to agree with @CNCMD. One at a time with a simple clamping system, either a simple lever clamp or potentially even suction all in a form fitting jig. Same side 40 times, flip the jig, swap the program, and go for 40 of the next side. Time per side could be as little as 15 to 20 seconds.

    As for a machine, I would suggest OpenBuilds MiniMill. You'll need to enlarge it slightly to get the capacity you need in X and Z but that's as simple as adding a couple of 500mm C-beams and a 500mm screw to the order.
     
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  6. MarceloManzo

    MarceloManzo Well-Known
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    thank you, I will look into that.
     
  7. MarceloManzo

    MarceloManzo Well-Known
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    Got it, I will go that route!
     
  8. MarceloManzo

    MarceloManzo Well-Known
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    and thank you so much for the advise.
     
  9. Toph

    Toph New
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    another option would be to program all 4 sides that need cut in the same cad program and do 4 boxes at a time, rotate them to new position and do it again... only 1 program needed to do all the sides, and with indexed mounting it just becomes repetition
     
  10. Kevon Ritter

    Kevon Ritter Master
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    Fusion 360 let's you copy toolpaths to multiple work coordinate systems, so all you are doing is creating a single toolpath.

    It will save you time on tool changes and indexing.
     

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