Aug 4 2016

Aluminum Polishing and Finishing

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Keeping anything that is made of metal clean can be a hassle for anyone who is inexperienced in doing so. Getting rough aluminum you purchased from a manufacturer to look nice can be a chore as well. Thankfully both of these tasks are not too difficult once you know what to do and both of them can have your items looking much nicer whether they are newly crafted or if you have had them for years.

Aluminum cutting  and polishing

Aluminum cutting and polishing

Aluminum is one of the most common metals used in making items, from spoons to car wheels. Over time items made from aluminum can lose their shine and become dark colored. Restoring an item back to spick and span shape is an easy process as long as you are using the right tools. Start to clean your tarnished metal by washing it with water and plain dish soap. Once the item is soapy a cloth or rag can be used to scrub the dirt and grime off. If you need stronger scrubbing power use a toothbrush but make sure the bristles are not too rough or you could damage the aluminum with your scrubbing. Rinse the scrubbed item off with water and mix cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate) with some water to form a paste. Before applying the paste you can sand the item so that it will have more of a shine when you are done polishing. Using your cloth or rag from before to apply the paste and wipe the aluminum using circular motions. In hard-to-reach spaces like corners or in grooves you can put the scrubbing toothbrush to further use. Once you have polished to your satisfaction rinse the item off with water and dry it with a cloth. Lastly you just need to apply aluminum polish and your item will shine once again. Do not apply polish to the inside of a pot or pan, utensils or any other surface that comes into contact with food; polish can be toxic. Some polishes are also flammable so if using them on a pot or pan or anything else that can be exposed to flames do not use the polish on an area that will be touched by fire. When you choose your cleaning supplies do not use baking soda or any other alkali-based cleaner as they cause discoloration to aluminum. If you are using a cleaning product you have never used before you should probably clean a small section of your item before applying the new chemical fully in case there are any mishaps. Do not forget to be gentle and timely with it when cleaning. Harsh scrubbing can scratch aluminum and if aluminum is not hand dried quickly enough streaks and spots will form from air drying.
Now that you know the steps for properly cleaning aluminum we will talk about finishing raw aluminum so that your clean items will be made from the finest material you can work with. There are several options for finishing it. Your first option is to brush and anodize the aluminum. This is a low-cost option and it can be done quickly. A brushed appearance is also fairly popular for making products. On the downside brushing can alter the tolerance of aluminum and if you brush too forcefully the aluminum can come out with a rough surface. The second option is to use bead blasting. Bead blasting is like power washing but you use an abrasive substance, such as sand, instead of water. This method can make aluminum look very nice without changing tolerance but it will require some trial and error to get the result you want. Bead blasting is also more expensive than brushing and rough aluminum will need to be tumbled before being blasted, raising prices even further. The process of bead blasting is also done manually which can cause inconsistencies in the finish. Your third option is to bead blast while also bright dipping and then anodizing. Bright dip is a substance used in place of etching that reduces the dullness of the metal. Bright dipping leads to excellent textures and appearances in aluminum and costs roughly the same as anodizing. However, bright dipping is corrosive so it can be difficult to find this service in some countries. Since this process still involves bead blasting you will retain the downsides of that process as well. Find the process that works best for your goals, your project and your budget and you should be able to get your project just the way you want it.


May 26 2016

Aluminum Types

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Aluminum Types

Aluminum is a metal commonly used for milling but there are multiple types to choose from, each with different uses that make them best suited for a variety of projects. 1100 (also called pure aluminum) resists weather and chemicals and is low cost and easy to weld. It is commonly used for chemical equipment, fan blades and sheet metal. 2014 is used for structural applications like parts on planes, trucks or other vehicles as well as other machines. 2024 is also used structurally and has high strength and workability while also resisting corrosion. These traits make 2024 aluminum ideal for large pieces of equipment like truck wheels and recreation equipment as well as small items like rivets and screws. 3003 is a general purpose material with the same capability for welding and formability as 1100, but it is stronger than 1100. It is used for many of the same things as 1100 along with seeing use in making more everyday items like cooking utensils. 5052 is even stronger than 3003, allowing it to be used in marine environments while still having all the uses of weaker aluminum alloys. 6061 has good weld-ability, formability and corrosion resistance on top of its impressive strength. It is used in the construction of vehicles, furniture, architecture and even basic sheet metal, amongst other things. While there are many more types of aluminum available than the ones mentioned here these are some of the more common varieties that millers may find themselves using.

Badog Aluminum

Aluminum

Machining aluminum can be a tricky task but there are some things you can do to make sure the process goes smoothly. There are cutting tools that are made and sold specifically to cut aluminum and these are the ones you want to use. Aluminum is a soft metal and becomes very sticky when you are cutting, clinging to your cutting tool and gumming it up. The tools built specifically for aluminum cutting are made to counter this effect. To separate a chip from the rest of the material you are going to want high rakes angles. Using positive rake angles up to 20 degrees axial and 25 degrees radial is a common practice. Having a high helix angle (at about 45 degrees) is also a good idea. Keeping the helix angle this high will help to move chips out of your cutting area and will give you a good surface finish while softening the impact when you start to cut as well. Using a two- or three-flute end mill will allow for larger flute areas. A core diameter just below 50% of the cutter diameter also helps the flute areas. The use of an open flute design will further help in getting chips out of your cutting area. Aluminum likes to stick and the hot chips will try to stick to your otherwise smooth surface area so keeping them out of the area is important. Chips can also be kept out of the flute area with the use of coolant, which you will also need to keep your tool at working temperatures. An air gun spraying a mist is a common choice for coolant but flood coolant can get chips out of the way if the pressure is high enough. Using an air gun should be satisfactory is your tool is coated. Slick tool coatings on your equipment will help to reduce friction on the flute surface. The three big things to remember when preparing to mill aluminum are to use a cutting tool specifically designed for aluminum, use a machine with speeds and feeds that are high enough for aluminum and make sure you can get chips out of your cutting area while working.


May 12 2016

CNC machine types what are the differences?

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CNC machine types what are the differences?

Numerical control (NC) refers to automated machine tools. That are controlled with pre-programmed computer commands. As opposed to machines that are operated by hand. Most numerical control today has evolved into computer numerical control (CNC). The difference from NC being the large and important role computers play in the system. With the computers modern CNC systems use computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software to run. This article will highlight several different types of machines that can use this type of set-up and software.

CNC ROUTER MACHINE

CNC ROUTER

CNC mills use rotary cutters to remove excess material from raw material that are “fed” into the machine at an angle with the axis of the tool. These machines can be used on small individual scales or for large heavy duty operations. Milling is one of the most common methods used to machine precision parts today. The computer controls on the machine are used to translate programming into various locations and depths that the machine can follow. G-code, the standard programming language on CNC machines, is used most often but some machines have their own languages created by machine manufacturers. Custom languages can be easier to learn than G-code but have the downside of being unusable on other machines.

LASER CNC Machine

LASER CNC Machine

Lathes are machines that rotate workpieces on their axis, allowing the user to perform tasks such as cutting, sanding and drilling. This allows the finished project to be symmetrical along its axis of rotation. They can be used for a variety of differing projects like woodturning, metalworking and even glass-working. They can also be used to shape pottery (a potter’s wheel is a type of lathe). CNC lathes can make fast, precise cuts using indexable tools and drills using their computer programmed commands, allowing them to create items that could not be made on a manual lathe. The CNC versions usually have tool holders and coolant pumps to reduce wear. Controls on a CNC lathe are similar to a CNC mill. Like a mill they can usually read G-code and the custom language of the manufacturer (if applicable).
Plasma cutters use plasma to cut material, commonly steel and other metals but other materials can also be used. Gas, such as compressed air, is blown out of the nozzle at high speeds while an electrical arc is formed through the gas as it comes out of the nozzle to the surface of the material being cut. This turns some of the gas into the plasma used for cutting. Plasma is so hot that it melts the material being cut and it moves fast enough to blow molten metal away from the cut. Plasma cutters are used to cut metal as frequently as mills are used to cut wood, giving them an alternate specialty compared to other machines that can do similar work. Like other CNC machines they can be programmed with G-code but also sometimes have a manufacturer-designed code available as well.
Water jet cutters (frequently just called water jets) use an extremely high pressure jet of water (or a mix of water and an abrasive substance, such as sand) to cut materials. The term pure water jet (or water-only) refers to a water jet that cuts without abrasives and is usually used on soft materials like rubber or wood. Machines that use an abrasive and water mix are called abrasivejets and are used for cutting hard materials like granite or metal. Water jets are common for cutting machine parts and are used for parts made from materials that are too sensitive for the high temperatures used in other cutting methods.


Apr 29 2016

Wooden world map NASA sculpture creation with CNC

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Wooden world map NASA sculpture creation

45 years ago, on the very first Earth Day millions of humans decided to stand up for their planet. They joined force against pollution, deforestation, pesticides and oil spills … issues that continue to resonate with us today. Since we all have to care about this planet that we are living in, I wanted to make a wooden world map and do something to raise awareness and to show that we are all responsible whether is in your city, in your neighborhood or in your own life to protect our beloved earth from any kind of harm.

So for this occasion I wanted contribute with something I’m good at, and what I’m good at is creating something from pieces of materials with CNC machining.
My ide a was to engraving a 2.5D world map on a piece of wood, but this is not that impressive right? You are probably saying this has been done a million times and is not that original of an idea. But to that i say to you: What if the world map is a high resolution detailed height map from the Blue marble NASA project map? That would be awesome. In order to make my projet more realistic i thought that i would go to the NASA website and check out what height maps they had for the earth. In eessence, use NASA records to sculpt the earth correctly and with realistic details. For who doesn’t know what it is, this is a small definition:
NASA’s “Blue Marble” pictures of Earth show each month of the year 2004 to illustrate changes in snow cover and vegetation. This is a link to it

earth3
So after stitching the huge heightmaps files together and raising the waterline so that the continents were more visible, I got everything mechanical ready and I started working on it. I was using my Badog CNC so normally there is no hard setup or work to do for the piece because the table work area is small but this time it was different with a huge work surface and no real way to tie down the piece. The first attempt was great until about 16 hours of hard work machining when I ripped through the center of my piece. Iguess the depth was a little too deep and the wood strterted to bend upwards until my tool ripped through. this is happened:


I was alomost in tears, i thought, “I’m not going to make it to 22 April, the wood warped and I ripped through, I went too deep and ruined it!”. The good news was that my machine didn’t touch the table, smoke the motors and burn down the whole garage. I gathered myself and redid it. Broken wooden world map.
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Today, after 22 hours’ of machine work with a rental Badog Artisan CNC, (thanks to my friend André who let me use everything from his awesome kit to his garage to his cold beers) . In the end it had taken me 3 weeks to finish completely the NASA wooden world map. firstly i had to  transform the image into a complete heightmap, then translate the image into machine code with BMP2CNC software, choose and start to mill the wood. I had used 2 tools: one for rough and one for fininishing. The rough tool that i had chosen was a 10mm flat whereas the fine tool that i had chosen was a 3mm tapered ball mill. The rough passes only took about 6 hours and the fine work took a whopping 16 hours. but i was pushing into the wood with a 4.5kw Badog head so i saves some time. This is the best work I’ve ever done. I thought I share it with you although I didn’t make it to the deadline.

world map nasa sculpture 3

world map nasa sculpture 5


world map nasa sculpture 2


This project should have been posted on Friday, 22 April but I couldn’t post it then, I didn’t want to cancel the project to the next year, because earth day should be everyday.

If you want high resolution images email me directly


Feb 25 2016

Circuit Prototyping for CNC Router

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Circuit Prototyping for CNC Router

When circuit prototyping with your CNC router (or the other machine) you wish to create positive your style works before you commit an excessive amount of time and too several resources to a replacement project. making a straightforward paradigm of your style is a simple thanks to confirm everything is in operating order before you really begin to create something. 2 in style ways that for creating these prototypes area unit chemical edge and computer circuit board edge.

Circuit Prototyping For CNC Router

Circuit Prototyping

Chemical edge (also known as industrial etching) is that the method of exploitation temperature-controlled etching chemicals to vary the form of the thing you’re operating with. when creating cuts in your material that follow your style the fabric is soaked within the etchant. The chemicals react with the fabric within the cut areas and cause the fabric to dissolve; chemical process items of the fabric away till you have got the shapes you would like for your paradigm.

Historicallyin circuit prototyping, chemical edge saw its 1st significant use throughout the Renaissance throughout the fifteenth century wherever the method was used as an alternate to engraving to embellish armor. within the late seventeenth century this method was accustomed manufacture measurement tools that were rather more correct than something antecedently made. This allowed advancements in basic tasks just like the creation of covering and in military matters like creating mechanical phenomenon plates for cannon operators. Chemical edge saw its 1st major business use in 1927 once a Swedish company known as Aktiebolaget extractor used the method to create edge filters. The Nineteen Forties saw more development of this method as chemical edge was accustomed manufacture skinny samples of onerous metals that couldn’t be cut while not the samples being broken exploitation different strategies. nowadays chemical edge is primarily accustomed produce circuit boards, integrated circuits, microelectromechanical systems and semiconductors (though semiconductors conjointly use plasma etching).

Five steps area unit typically employed in the chemical edge process: cleansing, masking, scribing, etching and demasking. cleansing your material ensures that there are not any different parts gift that would alter the results of the chemical edge method. Contaminants like oil, grease or primer will cause non-uniform etching and might build it tough for the maskant to stay to your material. What you would like to use for cleansing can depend upon thereforert|the kind} of fabric you’re exploitation so take care to choose the correct substance and bear in mind to not directly handle your material when cleansing or the oils from your skin might contaminate the fabric. Masking is once you apply maskant to the areas of the fabric you are doing not needed have an effect on by the chemical edge.

There area unit differing types of maskants that resist differing types of chemicals thus build your choice properly. Scribing is once you take away the maskant from the areas you wish littered with the chemical edge. this can be simply through with a scribing knife or another similar tool. Etching is once you place your material within the chemicals. however long your material must be submerged can depend upon the depth of your cuts, the kind of fabric, temperature of the chemicals and probably different factors. Once you are taking the fabric out of the chemicals you’ll be able to demask your project by cleansing off the etchant chemicals and removing the maskant.

circuit Prototyping for CNC Router

circuit Prototyping for CNC Router

Printed circuit board (PCB) edge (also known as isolation edge when circuit prototyping) is an alternate to chemical milling. With this methodology you create your solid piece of fabric and thoroughly take away items till you have got created a printed circuit. This methodology has many benefits over the additional in style chemical edge methodology. Since no chemicals area unit concerned this method are often employed in environments that don’t got to be as secure as an area stuffed with doubtless dangerous chemicals. PCB edge are often done terribly quickly, particularly if you’re employing a CNC router or similar machine for the work. Drilling on circuit boards is already unremarkably through with CNC routers such a lot of facilities have already got access to those machines notwithstanding they use chemical edge as their primary creation methodology for circuits.

Circuit boards of prime quality are often created exploitation either of those 2 strategies. whereas each strategies will work well chemical edge is additional common and is that the methodology used for the production of circuit boards. These strategies will each after all be used for full scale circuit boards, not simply basic prototypes. that technique you select to use can seemingly depend upon what reasonably instrumentality you have got access to quite the rest.