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The Buffalo

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by Paruk, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. Paruk

    Paruk Journeyman
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    Well, the serious short video didn't stood a chance. Hands full with the forming and the cam with stand are still packed away somewhere. Can't be bothered to try and find them at the moment. What I did find though, is that the CNC router and a vacuum former together are a very powerful duo!;)

    So, I decided to take it more serious (well….) now and designed a better setup that allows for more professional results and higher production speed. The new design is more or less based upon the Stelter (check Youtube for that), although I liked the Formech design more because the heated material doesn't have to be moved, hence less loss of temperature while forming. The Formech are using quartz heaters and I couldn't find the right lamps that provide enough heating area for the application. The ones I found have only 480mm heating area on a length of 600mm, which I considered to be not practical (you need an oven 20% larger to have a full cover of the material).

    The next few weeks will be dedicated to collecting materials and build the new design. The ceramic heater elements are ordered from China (and are sold in the West for crazy high prices!), still looking for a decent priced vacuum pump (5-6 CFM) but are going to try to use a 3HP compressor in reversed mode to start with. I'm using a 31KG used propane gas tank as a vacuum buffer (smelly and will take some time before all gas is extracted from the inside steel).

    It's a fun project and if it works out the way I hope it will, a very productive tool with lots of possibilities.

    The previous made vacuum table I will re-use as a sanding table and a vacuum press for veneer and wood forming work. So nothing lost there.

    The designs of both models lined up. Valves, hoses, tanks, pumps etc. will be filled in on the fly.
    Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 10.15.07.png

    Wish me luck and steady hands!
     
    Mark Carew and sgspenceley like this.
  2. sgspenceley

    sgspenceley Journeyman
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    Prank, Very ingenious! It brings back many memories of my university days using the vacuum table.
    Have fun and good luck!
     
  3. Paruk

    Paruk Journeyman
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    The new vacuum former is nearly ready, just have to get the ceramic elements in. For that I needed to make square holes in the 1mm stainless steel oven plate. Not having a cnc plasma cutter yet, I had to come up with some cunning plan (Baldrick of Blackadder). So, I used the Buffalo cnc to make a mold for all the holes and going to use my hand plasma cutter to do the cutting. Had a dry run on 1mm mild steel and it seems to work pretty good.

    plasma template.png

    So, for now I can do without a CNC Plasma Cutter. This also brings al kinds of new ideas along, like cutting some nice template for an arty steel plate job that can be used for the new gate we're planning.:)
     
    Joe Santarsiero likes this.
  4. Paruk

    Paruk Journeyman
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    Well, have this project in my mind for a garden gate out of stainless steel 304. As you can see, the image in the middle circle needs to be engraved into the 2mm 304 stainless steel plate. I'm planning to use the Buffalo for this, with the Makita on minimum (10K RPM) low feed speed and an Onsrud engraving bit with 0.5mm tip and 15 degrees angle. The idea is to make passes of 0.1mm each until the final depth of 0.5mm is reached.

    Anybody with advice or "OH NO! Don't do that's" please feel free to help me out here.

    Thanks in advance.

    Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 19.24.21.png
     
    GrayUK likes this.
  5. Paruk

    Paruk Journeyman
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    Well, a CNC plasma would have been much easier…….. but for a first attempt it turned out not too bad.

     
  6. Martin.Barfoed

    Martin.Barfoed Well-Known
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    Hi Paul

    Nice video with you cutting the plates for your impressive gate. I have not seen a plasma cutter before. Looks like a really nice piece of tool. You should definitely see if you can mount it in a CNC configuration.

    Good luck with your gate.
     
  7. Paruk

    Paruk Journeyman
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    Hi Martin,

    That is certainly the plan, a CNC plasma cutter. I'm boiling it at the moment, thinking to use my Buffalo for it and in its place build a new CNC router based upon the experiences with the Buffalo and try to make the next one stronger, faster and a little bit bigger.:)

    My present project is a vacuum former, though. It's nearly ready and as soon I have it running and know how to get proper results with it, I'll post a video here. Might be a nice one for another build, perhaps.
     
  8. Paruk

    Paruk Journeyman
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    A short Buffalo update: tried to engrave into stainless steel 304 plate and yes, it works! First used a 45 degree V-bit with carbide tip (2 flute), making passes of 0.1mm each time, all the way to 0.5mm deep. A second try, this time with 2 flute 1/8" carbide ball nose, 0.1mm passes and stopped at 0.3mm because the result was good, going deeper wasn't necessary. Feed speed at 60mm/min, spindle at 10K RPM.

    So, now off to the design table and create some nice thing to engrave. I will try to make a video of that engraving and share it on the tube.

    Who would have thought that an OX (the Buffalo!) can do such a thing?:)
     
    Mark Carew and GrayUK like this.
  9. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
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    Awesome update Paul! Thank you for sharing and looking forward to seeing the finished gate :thumbsup:
    Keep up the good work my friend
    Mark
     
  10. Paruk

    Paruk Journeyman
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    Unfortunately, the garden gate became a Thai Story. Which means that the guy who was making it, starting to screw up more and more wile working on it, resulting in an unacceptable piece of work, which he than (because of his people not coming to work for a week!! 1 of the 99 million lies out of the Great Thai Lies Book)couldn't deliver in time. So we called it of and going to look for somebody else, or….go do it myself (as it most of the time turns out).

    The vacuum machine is working excellent and together with a CNC router a very profitable combination, as I found out. Starting to get very, very busy with making all kinds of plugs for vacuuming signs, forms and whatever else you can think of.

    So forgive me for not posting any videos or pictures yet. I didn't forget, simply no time to set a camera up and tape some work and machines. It will come though, please be patient with me. ;)
     
    GrayUK likes this.
  11. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
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    Sorry to heard about the gate project, hope that it works in in the end for the best.
    We completely understand and are looking forward to your postings!
    All the best
    Mark
     
  12. Paruk

    Paruk Journeyman
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    Today my Buffalo honored its name! 14 hours non stop 3D work, didn't mis a step! I'm impressed, also about the Makita router that keeps running all the time not giving trouble and even the cheap vacuum cleaner runs without showing fatigue.

    But…..I have to find ways to make these runs shorter in time. Anybody advice about decreasing cutting/engraving time? I'm using Aspire, Planet CNC controller.

    The finishing part of today was estimated by Aspire at 6.5 hours with a time scale of 2.5. Real work took about 12 hours (the finishing run, with 1/8" ball nose, 10% step over, feed speed of 4000mm/min). The roughing goes fast enough.
     
  13. Paruk

    Paruk Journeyman
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    G540 and Mach3 solved the problem. Back again at a short but steep learning curve (Mach3 and its typical things) but prospects look promising with this combo.
     
  14. Paruk

    Paruk Journeyman
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    I might have formulated it not entirely correct...... not really steep but some studying and getting accustomed to the Mach3 software in a short period of time actually. I like it, though. :)
     
  15. Paruk

    Paruk Journeyman
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    The Buffalo at work.....

    IMG_1768.jpg
     
    GrayUK and Joe Santarsiero like this.
  16. GrayUK

    GrayUK Openbuilds Team Elder
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    Excellent work! :thumbsup:
    Gray
     
  17. dean knipping

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    very nice....what was the cut time on that?
     
  18. Paruk

    Paruk Journeyman
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    Final result.....
    P8100168.jpg
     

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